Accessorizing a Tailored Look feat. Niyi Okuboyejo

September 3rd, 2011

You can wear a suit without looking, or feeling, like a suit.

The combination of well curated personal accessories can take a tailored look from stiff and corporate to playful and expressive.

Nobody knows this better than Niyi (pronounced “knee”) Okuboyejo. He’s one of the best I’ve met at accessorizing a tailored look with creativity and self expression.

The Nigeria native moved from Houston to New York a few years ago to pursue a career in fashion. He is now part of the newly employed staff at Michael Andrews Bespoke – he’s in charge of keeping the place extra dapper, among other things.

“You don’t have to break the rules, but you can certainly bend them, at every opportunity… At some point you get to a place where stripes, checks and polka dots cross paths…and it don’t look so bad.”

And I couldn’t agree more; “Hey – we need to look good while we are tackling the greatest conundrum this side of the galaxy “the psyche of a woman.”

Here, Niyi shows us how to wear a tailored look with a punch of personality.

1. Straw Sun Block

“I have a lot of hats, but this is probably my favorite one. Wide Brims are quite my fancy compared to the of-the-moment stingy brimmed hats.

I bought this one from the French Market in New Orleans (My wife’s hometown). Now I’m looking for another excuse to head down there to get another.

It’s probably the main reason I get excited when summer rolls around. Not that I like the summer heat (in fact, I hate it); but straw hats have become a part of my style. I wear it with everything”¦ jeans, polos, chinos and all kinds of suits (Wool, Cotton, Linen, Birthday, etc).”

Tip: Let your accesories do the talking. Niyi’s outfit here is relatively conservative (navy pinstripe suit, pale pink shirt, solid tie)…which leaves the perfect canvas for all those personal touches.

Tip II: Understanding color is crucial with accesories, especially in the summer. There are certain colors you don’t want in large doses, but look great in small flashes (the bright red of the axe tie bar, the yellow of the square, the orange of the bracelet & watch strap, the green of the cufflinks).

Tip III: The longer backside of the tie – another quirky touch for a dandy look. Certainly not by accident.


Hairline Stripe Worsted Suit in Navy

  • Frog cufflinks Vintage ·
  • Brown suede tassel loafers by Tom Ford ·
  • Straw hat from the French Market in New Orleans ·
  • Pink cotton shit by Brooks Brothers ·
  • Tan linen tie by Ralph Lauren ·
  • Tie clip Vintage (eBay) ·
  • Pocket square Handmade ·
  • Orange watch strap from the Museum of Modern Art ·
  • Orange coral bracelet from Niyi’s traditional wedding ·
  • Brown leather belt by Ralph Lauren
  • · Navy pinstripe suit by Costume National

2. Scarf Belt

“So I wake up super late for work. I’m scrambling to put together a look and brush my teeth at the same time. My pants won’t stay on my waist and I can’t find my belt. I stumble into my wife’s closet and discover her scarf”¦ problem solved”

Tip: One of the reasons Niyi can pull off such an expressive look is that he understands what’s most important: the fit of his clothing. He is no stranger to the tailor.


Charcoal Essential Suit

  • Green paisley shirt by Ralph Lauren ·
  • Pocket square by Billy Reid ·
  • Orange watch strap from the Museum of Modern Art ·
  • Orange coral bracelet from Niyi’s traditional wedding ·
  • Silk scarf (worn as belt) Vintage ·
  • Black velvet slippers by Stubbs & Wootton
  • · Grey peak lapel suit

3. Stick Like a Bee

“We all have pet peeves. One of my biggest: someone touching my tie. I was once in a line for an event and some idiot, in all his fashion rubric, came up to me and adjusted my tie bar.U can poke on my brooches, you can even pull out my pocket square – that’s cool. But for the love of God, do not touch my tie…nor my tie bar”.

Tip: Slanting your tie bar can add a little personality.

Tip II: Guys are wearing just about anything on their lapels these days. I love seeing guys confident enough to wear brooches, especially ones this unique.

Tip III: Navy leather tassel loafers. Pshhh.

  • Tortoise shades from Street Vendor ·
  • Peak lapel glenplaid suit jacket by Ben Sherman ·
  • Peak lapel glenplaid suit trousers by Ben Sherman ·
  • Blue striped shirt by Burberry ·
  • Silk pocket square by Ralph Lauren ·
  • Yellow polka dot linen tie by Brooks Brothers ·
  • Tie bar by J.Crew ·
  • Bee pin by Gap ·
  • Orange watch strap from the Museum of Modern Art ·
  • Orange coral bracelet from Niyi’s traditional wedding ·
  • Navy leather tassel loafers by Paul Smith

4. Get Scrappy

“I have loads of scrap fabric at my apartment. Being a designer, it comes with the territory. I always try to find a good use for it – neckerchiefs, bracelets (wrist or ankle), pocket squares”¦ whatever.”
Tip: “Experiment with the resources around you. You never know what you’ll come up with.”
Tip II: Cheers to the askew necktie.
  • Orange coral bracelet from Niyi’s traditional wedding ·
  • Orange watch strap from the Museum of Modern Art ·
  • Tan cotton jacket by Ralph Lauren ·
  • Pink banker shirt by Rugby ·
  • Blue paisley tie by JCrew ·
  • Yellow paisley pocket square by Paul Smith ·
  • Navy pinstripe linen trousers by Ralph Lauren ·
  • Scarp fabric as Bracelet ·
  • Burgundy leather tassel loafers by Brooks Brothers

Thanks for reading and special thanks to Niyi for participating!

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford.