Bling Bling Tailoring feat. Akil McLeod

September 25th, 2013

Akil McLeod first caught our eye with his photo entry to the Articles of Style May Giveaway. He had a ‘retro prep’ thing going on and we always appreciate smart vintage finds.

Then we met the man himself at the annual Michael Andrews Bespoke sample sale, where we chatted for a half hour about the value of men’s style, the influence of bloggers, and how much we both love gold jewelry (at the time, Akil was wearing two gold chains and a fistfull of gold rings…on some ‘Modern Day Mr. T sh-t).

One thing led to another and I thought we should feature Akil to share his style with our readers.

“My name is Akil McLeod and I am a 23 year old Academic Advisor for the Educational Opportunity Program at Buffalo State College. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and I attended BSC for both my Undergraduate and Master’s Degrees. My interest in menswear and dressing well began when I started my first internship in Graduate School. I was the youngest person in all of my courses and I realized that the way you dress says a lot about you. In order to be taken seriously, I thought: why not dress for the role that I’m aspiring for?

Then once I started my latest internship with the Educational Opportunity Program, I was already respected by the campus administration because of my work ethic and my style of dress. Therefore, I always say that my style has helped me gain invaluable work experience and ultimately land my dream job.

I also always give credit to my style icons: Dan Trepanier, Sabir Peele, and Angel Ramos. I think their style appeals to me the most because they are real guys with style that can be appreciated by people of all ages.”

Here Akil gives us a taste of his personal style, complete with his signature gold bling.

1. Tailored Slick Rick

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“The coral blazer is completely unlined and 100% cotton, so this is a perfect look for a hot day at the office. Although, truthfully, I would wear less jewelry at work. We don’t have a strict dress code, but I never wear more than one ring to the office for the sake of professionalism. It wouldn’t be a good look for me to have a handfull of gold rings while meeting with the Dean of Students or the Vice President of Student Affairs…

With the bling it’s more of a stuntin’ on the weekend look…hah.”

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White on white with coral frames to complement the jacket?!

That’s a veteran move, showing some serious attention to detail.

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What I love about gold jewelry is that it instantly adds an air of confidence and luxury.

For example, when I first saw this look I thought Akil was wearing a high-end tailored blazer. In reality, the jewelry only made me think the jacket was high-end. It’s from Uniqlo – but fits like a charm!

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At first glance I also thought these tan suede double-monks were some high-end footwear.

Akil must have a knack for making budget items look expensive.

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  • Coral Blazer by Uniqlo ·
  • Green Beaded bracelet by Beads of Hope ·
  • Rings – All 14K gold ·
  • Watch – Vintage Stauer (I found this watch in a local thrift store and I wear it almost every day.) ·
  • White Chinos by Zara ·
  • Beige Suede Double Monks by Zara
  • · White Dress Shirt by H&M

White Broadcloth Shirt

2. Trained Stuntman

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“This is the outfit that I wore to the MAB sample sale back in July. Unfortunately, when I got there most of the good stuff was already gone, but trust me if I got there earlier I would have purchased that dope blue suit that Adrian bought.

Nevertheless, I was still fortunate enough to meet Dan and Alex and just kick it with them for a little while. I was even more surprised when Dan asked to feature me and use my jewelry as the main theme. It’s definitely a great feeling to be a loyal reader and then be recognized in a feature!”

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“When I first decided to change my style and dress well, I wore tons of accessories. Like tie clips and brooches with every ensemble. However, now I’ve learned the importance of ‘less is more’, unless we are talking about gold because in that case, more is always better.”

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“I’m usually dressed in a shirt & tie during the week for work, so this is one of my more relaxed outfits.

I’m not really a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy. Sometimes I even feel uncomfortable when my shirt doesn’t have buttons.”

06

“Although I wear a lot of jewelry, especially gold rings, I try to keep things balanced by keeping my outfits rather simple and classic.

I try not to be too trendy. That way twenty years from now I won’t look back at my photos in disappointment and disgust.”

02
  • Khaki Driver’s Cap by H&M ·
  • Vintage Gold Sunglasses ·
  • Blue Dress Shirt by H&M ·
  • Yellow Shorts by Towncraft ·
  • Beige Suede Tassel Loafers by Zara ·
  • Green Beaded bracelet by Beads of Hope ·
  • Vintage Graphic Watch by FAO Schwarz

3. What’s the Meaning?

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“Jewelry has always been a fixture in my personal aesthetic and I doubt that will ever change, especially since it has so much sentimental value for me.

Both of my chains tell a pretty interesting story. I was born in New York, but my family is from Trinidad. Therefore one of my pendants is the Trinidad and Tobago coat of arms and the other is a 2009 $5 dollar gold coin. For me it symbolizes my roots, all the while keeping my mother close to me at all times.”

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“The gold bracelet that I hardly ever leave home without is a gift from my mom that I have owned ever since I was a baby. In fact, I remember wearing it on one of the inner links so that it could fit my wrist.

My college graduation ring symbolizes one of the achievements that I never thought was possible for me. I remember when I graduated High School in 2007 and had no intentions of going onto college…now six years later here I am with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs.

Unfortunately I do not have any sentimental stories for my other rings, but I hope eventually they will develop their own sentimental stories.”

16

“I recently learned how to polish shoes and this was one of my first attempts.

I purposely only polished the front of the shoe, giving the leather a nice transition…”

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  • Blue and Brown Check Blazer by Zara ·
  • Gold Vintage Aviators ·
  • Light Wash Blue Jeans by H&M ·
  • Vintage Gold and Brown Leather Watch
  • · White Dress Shirt by H&M

White Broadcloth Shirt

 

Thanks for reading and special thanks to Akil for participating!

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

 

Photography by Alex Crawford & Westley Dimagiba