Setting a new sartorial standard
Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta, is the nation’s dominant Black male education institution. Morehouse men are noted for setting the tone of Black leadership in America. Now it appears that they have done just that, sartorially.
It is not uncommon for the older generation to find fault with the dress styles of their youth. In the late 1940s, Blacks developed the zoot suit, which was fashionable for a while. Then came the shabbily attired styles of the peaceniks. More recently, many Blacks wore pants that slipped down below the belt line to reveal their underwear.
While many people found this style to be both unattractive and indecent, everyone avoided speaking out on the matter in order to avoid a conflict that might very well ensue. The sad part is that no one informed the youth that what you wear is unavoidably a uniform. If someone is dressed in the style of thugs, that is how people who don’t know him will see him. All that a stranger can know about you depends upon what you look like.
Now the Morehouse men have established a standard for how a man with self-respect and dignity should dress.
According to the New York Times, it is a tenet of the college that a man of Morehouse must be “well-read, well spoken, well-traveled, well dressed and well balanced.” James Jeter, an alumnus, has joined with Ralph Lauren, the prominent American designer, to establish the Morehouse look. It would be greatly beneficial to develop another style that would appeal to the young Black urban men.