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The fitting room

Steal His Style: John Boyega

As the winner of the BAFTA 2016 rising star award, John Boyega has begun to make a name for himself on the silver screen and in our hearts. Previously an unknown actor, his role as Finn on Star Wars: The Force Awakens has skyrocketed him to fame, making him a high-demand A-lister almost overnight. It isn’t just his acting skills we admire, though. It’s his style as well. His wardrobe takes on a life of its own and makes him stand out from other British actors in Hollywood.

 Before we get to that, though, let’s take a look at who John Boyega is.

 

Early Life and The Start of His Career

 John was born in London on March 17, 1992. His school-age years were spent in Peckham in the public housing project. His father and mother were Nigerian immigrants, and his father’s passion was spreading the Good Word. John was expected to become a preacher like his dad, but even early on, John knew he had different dreams.

 When he was only in elementary school, Boyega took on an acting role for school. In the school play, he was a leopard. Unlike other children, John didn’t just play the part. He became the part. He gave the leopard a backstory, did research on leopards and used his acting skills to give his best performance possible.

 After this, there was no stopping him. John went on to pursue acting at a local arts organization known as the Threatre Peckham. After graduating secondary school, he went to South Thames College and took on the role of the Shakespearean character Othello. He then went on to attend the Hackney Identity School of Acting and then Greenwich University for a short time.

 

A Star on the Rise

 There were several small roles played by John over the years. He starred as Danny Curtis in the TV series Becoming Human, played parts in TV movies like Da Brick, The Whale and My Murder. He even acted alongside stars like Jodie Whittaker, Leeon James and Alex Esmail in Attack the Block.

 It wasn’t until he was cast as Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that his true stardom began to arise. The role required seven months of training and auditioning, but when he landed it, John was grateful and relieved. In the film, Finn is a Storm Trooper. Unlike most Storm Troopers, however, Finn has feelings and doesn’t fit in the traditional mold.

 

Steal His Style

 The same can be said for Boyega. Unlike many other 23-year-olds, John Boyega has his own signature look- and it make it appear effortless. Luckily, his style isn’t too hard to recreate. In fact, you can use these tips to take on his signature style yourself.

 

  • Don’t be Afraid to go Against the Grain- In many circumstances, you’ll see John wearing the traditional looks for formal events. He’ll walk into the room wearing a black and white tuxedo or fitted men’s suits of the same colours. However, he isn’t afraid to go against the grain once in a while. Consider for instance, his style on the red carpet. While he stuck to the traditional tuxedo structure, he wowed everyone with his choice of purple in an iridescent fabric. Does this mean you should go out and buy a purple men’s suit? Maybe not. However, it should give you a few ideas. When you’re preparing to go out it the world, consider ways that set you apart from the crowd. It may be a fun colour or a different type of fabric. Whatever you do, give it your best and work it.

 

  • Pay Attention to Your Simple Pieces- Boyega looks good even when it comes to casual wear. This isn’t just because there’s a stylist in the background making sure every piece he wears look right (although this probably helps,) but because Boyega pays close attention to every bit of his outfit. Consider for instance, a recent casual choice he made. He paired black jeans with a black crew neck t-shirt and finished off the outfit with a burgundy bomber jacket. This outfit may seem simple, but it was carefully crafted by a stylish man who knows even the most simple pieces can make the man. His t-shirt, for instance, was made from organic cotton, providing a lush and rich look to the ensemble. When you choose items to wear, keep this in mind. Even the smallest, most casual pieces may make or break your look.

 

  • Love Your Clothing- In a recent interview by Elle, Boyega was asked what his most prized item of clothing was. His response was almost immediate: his jackets. This might not seem like such as big deal to a stylish man. There’s probably something in your cupboard you love as well, like your tweed jacket, your pinstripe suit or maybe that tie your wife got you for Christmas. What’s significant about this is what he said right after. He loves his jackets- and good tailoring. Caring for your clothing may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s sometimes lost on those who don’t truly love what they wear. It’s much easier to discard something on the floor if you don’t like the way it fits on you or hate the colour. Choose clothing you love- and get a tailor for the rest.

 

  • Keep it Simple- Especially when it comes to outerwear, the simpler, the better. Boyega wears many different jackets in dark brown or light brown options. This isn’t because brown is his favourite colour (although it could be.) It isn’t because brown looks so good on him (althought it does.) It’s because this gives him the option of wearing the same jacket with multiple outfits. The simple designs and monochromatic colour schemes of the jackets pair well with almost any outfit you might want to wear.

 

Don’t be afraid to look your best when wearing men’s tweed jackets, suit, chinos and more. Take a play from John Boyega’s book. Love your clothing and take care of each piece, don’t be afraid to try something new and different and keep your outerwear as simple as possible so it doesn’t distract from your ensemble.

By Brook Taverner 13 June 2016