By my birthday in February? They were completely out of style. And that’s when my dad sat me down with Alan Flusser’s book Clothes and the Man and talked to me about my great-grandfather Daddy Emmit’s sense of style. It was timeless. He was a well-dressed deacon who was never seen without a fedora, an umbrella, or a cane.
So when it was time to go to college, naturally, being a SpelHouse baby I went to Morehouse, as the majority of those foundational juggernauts that the civil rights movement stood on were bred at the Black Ivies, better known as HBCUs. I admit, when I arrived my freshman year, I still had a couple of Major Damage and Exhaust suits left, but I never wore them because they didn’t translate in this new arena. Going to an all-male school, other than Crown Forum, I was dressed in my collegiate track-and-cross-country grays almost daily. It didn’t matter, because I was with hard legs throughout the week. This made getting dressed on Fridays that much more of an event. You had The Wall at Clark Atlanta University, where all the AUC schools would gather in their freshest fashion Friday attire, and of course Lower Manley at Spelman. In the fall you might find me in my Kayak Polo rugby, a white Jockey tee, my chocolate brown shearling vest, RRL indigo denim jeans with one leg tucked into my Polo socks so you could see the player, and chocolate brown Polo boots with the buckle across the first through fifth metatarsal. And for the spring: my navy Polo basketball tank top, Moco Sport cotton heather gray athletic shorts and white slouch socks—a nod to my DMV fam—and white Reebok Pumps. After all, next week is FreakNik, the stand-still stand-up-on-your-car-while-on-the-expressway traffic jam when everything inside the BeltLine became a sidewalk, including portions of 285. The humidity gave way to women in booty shorts, combat boots and midriffs, spaghetti straps, and tennis skirts with slingbacks, who were dropping it down to everything from the J-Team to 2 Live Crew bass music from Bazooka tubes powered by Rockford Fosgate punch 45 amps. And one, and two, and you know what to do—YEEK!