Happy 25th anniversary, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Getty Images.
10 STYLE LESSONS FROM THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR
With the 25th anniversary of Will Smith’s hit television show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air this month, we look back at the ten best style lessons to glean from Will, Carlton, et al.
10. MIX MASTER
Never afraid to mix and match his prints, Will expertly pairs oversized gingham with a loud graphic t-shirt using the golden rule of pattern clashing: choose common colours to tie the look together.
9. POWER DRESSING
Hilary’s (portrayed by Karyn Parsons) body-con dresses and matching clothes-to-hat combos were the height of chic in the 90s. Plus, she knew the power of a strong-shouldered double-breasted jacket when she saw one (shown here). Paging Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, H&M’s upcoming designer collaboration!
8. WAISTCOAT FOR THE WIN
The waistcoat and graphic t-shirt combination was one of Will’s favourites – probably because it was dressed-up and casual at the same time. Bonus points for the patchwork of bright colours and vibrant orange.
7. PYJAMA TIME!
Throughout the series, Will’s wildly patterned pyjamas became a bit of a running gag. From cheeseburgers, ducks (pictured here) to even a matching snapback cap to a green geometric print, it reminds us that even sleepwear can be stylish!
6. PLAID PANACHE
The plaid shirt, often worn open like a jacket, was a recurrent item in Will’s wardrobe, evidence that it doesn’t have to be OTT all the time. Honourable mention here, however, has to go to guest star Tyra Banks (who played Will’s girlfriend, Jackie) – plaid, double denim and a cropped top.
5. PREPPY WAYS
To say that the quintessential preppy look – V-neck cable-knit jumper, striped shirt and bow-tie – was Carlton’s uniform is an understatement. It’s simple and sophisticated, but perhaps most importantly, comfortable enough to bust out the famous “Carlton dance”.
4. SMOOTH AS SILK
It wasn’t always all bright colours and sportswear for Will. The silk shirt and trouser game was just as strong. Perfect inspiration for the looser silhouette that is beginning to dominate men’s fashion right now.
3. BEFORE THEY WERE “MOM JEANS”…
She may have been the youngest daughter in the Banks’ brood, but Ashley (played by Tatyana Ali) rivals Will for style inspiration amongst the hip today. To wit, the high-waisted jeans with a looser straight leg and a tight scoop-neck top (a lesson in balance) wouldn’t look out of place today.
2. PUSHING PASTELS AND MORE
If Will was all about crazy colours and patterns, Carlton had more of a penchant for pastels. Both managed to push men’s fashion sense in the 90s and remind us that experimenting with colour will forever be in style.
1. IT’S GOTTA BE THE SHOES
Will’s casual t-shirt, shorts and baseball cap with flipped up visor in the very first episode (and the same outfit worn in the opening credit sequence) clearly showed his “fish out of water” status in chi-chi Beverly Hills. But as any sneakerhead knows, it’s all about the shoes – in this case, a coveted pair of Air Jordans.