How to Dress Like Jean-Michel Basquiat

Roxana Altamirano, the genius behind Nerd Boyfriend, the blog that offers step-by-step instructions for recreating the ensembles of style icons, offers Details readers tips on how to dress like everyone from Frank Sinatra to Grandmaster Flash.


The late, great Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was known to paint in Armani suits, then hit the town in those paint-splattered duds. In most photographs, he's seen in a mixture of oversized colorful street wear and designer ties and jackets. I love the way I can't tell if Basquiat mocked or embraced high fashion. Either way his unique voice made him a style pioneer. His close friend Glenn O'Brien dissected Basquiat's fashion excellence for Nowness, "He was a chromatic physicist who practiced an unspoken, unwritten theory of textile relativity. He puts a shirt, jacket and pants together like it would conjure the weather or influence the next day's headlines. With a paisley tie eccentrically tied over a plaid shirt under a tweed jacket he worked colors and textures. His taste was a signature, and in every photograph he's perfect, outside time and fashion, an eternal aristocrat."

Click below for a slideshow of Roxana's tips.
  • NERD051610_bas2_blog.jpg

    Wool Jacket
    This type of round neckline is hard to find for men. It almost looks like a signature Chanel. Get a similar one from the small online retailer Sweater Shoppe. Or try alternatives from Vivienne Westwood MAN (above, left) or Pigalle (above, right).

  • NERD051611_bas3_blog.jpg

    Wool Plaid Pants
    This season, wool plaid plants you can find them at Barneys and ASOS (above, left). For a less expensive at alternatives, visit YesStyle (above, right).

  • NERD051611_bas4_blog.jpg

    Floral Prints
    Don't be afraid to add them to your closet with pieces like this Comme des Garçons vintage knit.

  • NERD051611_bas5_blog.jpg

    Colorful Bow Ties
    Hunt down Carrot & Gibbs hand-crafted ties in stores or find them at their online shop for a variety of arresting patterns.

Also on
How to Dress Like Frank Sinatra
How to Dress Like The Rolling Stones
How to Dress Like Richard Gere

Photo by Julio Donoso/Corbis
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