20 years ago, the idea of wearing suspenders, bowties, vests and glasses were more Steve Urkel. Traditionally, men dressed in this style were considered corny, swagless, and incapable of really being stylish. They weren’t cool and no one wanted to be them much less dress like them. So much in fact, the cooler version of Steve Urkel, Stefan Urkelle ditched all those elements and adopted a basic look. Fast forward to present, men have released just how ahead of his time Steve Urkel was. Yet, 20 years later, we’re seeing a renaissance in men’s fashion.
With the influx of "dope boy style" rather than dope style in the early 2000s, your average man was seen in oversized jeans, long white t-shirts, throwback jerseys and blinged out jewelry. However, things changed in late 2003 with Jay-Z’s top 10 single “CHANGE CLOTHES”. Jay-Z trades his t-shirt for a button up as he urged the general public to “GET A SUIT, get it tapered up”. Artists like Kanye West began to emerge, showcasing a new way of style. Kanye took it a step further, introducing book bags, pastel colored polos and sport coats. In 2005, NBA mandated a dress code on its players, forbidding them to wear timberlands, large jewelry and such. Though controversial, it changed the scope of men’s fashion. With hip hop artists and athletes embracing more traditional men’s fashion, the rest of world felt the pressure and soon began to change it up as well. Men across the board, both celebrities and average Joes began investing in key pieces, hiring stylists and putting much more effort in how they dress.
We constantly see our celebrities pushing themselves to dress smarter. Its had a trickle down effect to the streets. Whether its LIL WAYNE wearing a pair of black nerdy specs courtside at a Lakers game, or Dwyane Wade’s bowtie game being better than his current game stats or NE-YO’s fedora hat, we are seeing a nerd chic style across the board. No longer are Black men being known for dressing "bad". Once upon a time we clowned people like “Carlton Banks’, and now we are borrowing the clothes out of his closet.
Check out the gallery to see how some of our favorite celebrities are bringing NERD CHIC to a whole other level