Linen Suits and Soul at KBLX Concert
YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia
Blog, Pendarvis Harshaw
Jun 04, 2010
My button-up and loafers showed that I was aware, but all the same, the fit showed that I had no idea of exactly how player of a situation I was getting into.
We were headed to the KBLX Stone Soul Concert on the bill: Mint Condition, New Edition, Uncle Charlie Wilson, and the return of Ronald Isley. And my girlfriend's mother's husband was out of the window of the car, tipping his cap as a sign of his appreciation to all of the gentlemen in attire that matched the level of playerism that comes along with that bill of artists. Every last one of the men has one of those shnazzy Steve Harvey hats wicker 1930's fidora-ish hats. I didn't know what to call them, I just thought they were called a "pimp hat". Actually, my girlfriend was rocking a similar style hat... So were lots of other women. Actually, a solid 40% of the crowd was rocking a "pimp hat".
Even Ralph Tresvant of New Edition had one on! Ralph's hat was supported by a linen suit; as well as Bobby Brown and Johnny Gill. By the end of their set, they each had solid sized sweat stains on their threads.
Their set came to a close, and the small intermission allowed my mind to wonder and my eyes to people watch: Linen suits, or just a linen shirt or pants separate, was the dress code for about 40% of the male population.
Now remember who I was at the event to see: Mint Condition, New Edition, Uncle Charlie Wilson, and the return of Ronald Isley.
I'll give you this math equation: Bay Area + ole skool funk concert = "The Players Ball".
And now I'll pose this question:
How old do you have to be before you can rock one of those smoove all white linen suits? I was in awe of all the family men that had dreams of being pimps, and all the pimps- that ended up living that dream family life.
Concord, California isn't South Beach in Miami, but the heat made the linen suit applicable; I mean it was so hot that I saw a plus sized woman wipe the sweaty back of her legs in between acts. I wish I hadn't.
But the old heads in linen suits looked cool. So cool. They looked a lot cooler then the ole heads in throw back jerseys. Although, I did see a 42 James Worthy Lakers jersey and a 52 Ray Lewis jersey from his
Miami U days... both made me halt in a brief moment of honor. But my crowd scouting lead me to believe linen was the move. There were alternative colors; the brown linen suits were smooth, the blues were cool-but the all white linen suit and the brim was cool and smooth. Plus a classic.
The white linen suit is a staple at warm weather events in the black community. But because of its classic staple- will the white linen suit ever be played out? Is it played out now? is the white linen suit what eventually becomes of the white T wearing brothers of my generation?
So many questions! All I know is, it doesn't matter how "player" it is, I wouldn't want to rock a linen suit if everyone around me was wearing one...unless I was a member of New Edition, cause they can do
that. The intermission between sets was over, and following Bobby and the boys was Uncle Charlie Wilson.
I want to thank Uncle Charlie, he clarified more of my internal immature male fashion inquires than he will ever know. Uncle Charlie hit the stage in a number of different outfits, I do believed he managed to touch every color of the rainbow through his ensembles, and the color coordinated fits of his band and background dancers, "Charlie's Angels". No comment on the suits and live colors. My attention was diverted from Uncle Charlie's blinging orange and purple rhinestone blazer and shirt combo, when the elder gentleman began discussing what he has overcome: Colon cancer, drug addiction, and alcoholism all played a part in making the man that was adoring that outfit on that stage. And that man wasn't made by clothes, instead, he made em. Literally. Wilson has created a line of fly "pimp hats", and a portion of the proceeds from hat sales are dedicated to cancer research.
Uncle Charlie Wilson's hat was a little more "player" than any of the other hats.
It taught me two things about these "players ball" events...incorporate what everyone else is doing so as to show knowledge of the classics, while all the while maintaining a strong personal twist on it so as to remain original. And while at these "players ball" events, bottom line: have a ball...and I did.
-- Pendarvis Harshaw
1 of 1