Men’s style and fashion trends have certainly taken a turn for the best over the past several years. Designers are finally taking note that men like to look good too; and not just on their wedding day. But, with all the new options when it comes to suits, shoes and accessories, many gentlemen are reaching out to local fashion consultants for some much needed fashion assistance.
Dondrae McGee, Owner and Principal Stylist of the men’s styling group HaberdashNow has seen a significant increase in clientele over the past few months. Not because it’s wedding season, but because today’s man wants to be fashion forward…and doesn’t mind asking for help. Blackbride.com had a chance to meet up with the Washington, DC fashion consultant to get a little advice for the fashion-conscious groom.
How did you get your start as a personal stylist?
I got my start in 2014 when a close friend of the family was going to prom and he needed some style coaching. I styled him, took some pictures of his look, tweeted about it and it all blew up from there. People started asking me for me help. They had events to go to, getting married, getting job promotions and needed a more business professional attire, complete wardrobe overhauls, and they wanted me to style them.
What is Haberdashnow?
Haberdashnow is a men’s styling and fashion consulting group. We take a client’s desired look and style him on a budget he can afford and appreciate. Typically, when men look at style they look at athletes, celebrities, etc. The message communicated to clients is, it’s possible to look like these guys but on your budget. Also, when you talk about athletes we’re talking about guys who don’t have your average body structure. So they’re not shopping at your average department store. A lot of their stuff is custom made.
What are some of your favorites stores?
I really like Asos. I really like shopping on Asos.com because I find a lot of classic looks for my clients. One recent look I found was a horseshoe style vest, which is a deep V style vest and it is very hard to find. Another favorite store is Project September. It’s a really cool app. They have a lot of hot shoes for men. Just about any store in Georgetown, especially Zara. Then of course, I love the classic Nordstrom; which is my staple place to go.
I will say, I am a HUGO Boss, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Cole Haan guy. Also, a friend and brother of mine in the sartorial bond, James, has a store called Bespoke Not Broke. He has a great line of clothing. He is another great resource for dinner jackets, tuxedos, etc.
Many of your clients are grooms. What trends are you seeing for groom and groomsmen?
The trend that I am seeing now for grooms and I really love this trend, the Smoker’s Loafer. They come in all colors and patterns. It’s a really clean look that men are pulling off and it’s sockless. Men will go a little higher on the cuff of their pant to show more of the loafer.
Are there any trends you would stay away from?
Ok, so...There is this trend that came and never went away. The pre-tied bowtie. This is your wedding; you cannot do the pre-tie bowtie. I strongly encourage my guys not to wear this. The ONLY way I’ll endorse the pre-tied bow tie is if it’s a formal event and it’s the Velvet-Butterfly style bow tie. If those two criteria aren’t met; I cannot endorse the decision to do a pre-tied bow tie. If they don’t know how to tie a tie a bowtie, then I’ll teach them. I’ve done Facetime with clients before Red Carpet events showing them how to tie their bow tie. Whatever is takes. And that’s another part of the brand; teaching. It’s not about giving guys style it’s also about teaching guys how to be self-sufficient, which is why we’re doing Style Symposiums with youth, young adults, and more to educate gents of all ages on style.
Besides wedding, what other events do you style men for?
I’ve styled clients for awards shows, proms, anniversaries. I’ve done all white parties, closet analysis, and more. You name it!