How to Dress Like Jean-Michel Basquiat

Our guest blogger, Roxana Altamirano, the genius behind Nerd Boyfriend, shows you how to recreate the downtown artist's signature style.

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.


Photo by Julio Donoso/Corbis

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."


Photo by Julio Donoso/Corbis

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).


Photo by Julio Donoso/Corbis

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).


Photo by Julio Donoso/Corbis

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


Photo by Julio Donoso/Corbis

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

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