John Legend gave us his Ten Essential Ways to Look Good for the sold out OutKast edition. We're sharing the out-of-print feature here. You can subscribe to BLAG for future classics here
"This is in no order, I’m just going to say them.
1. I’d say just be next to a good looking woman, that’s one, because no matter how bad you’re looking, if she looks good, she’ll make you look better. Why not?
2. Go to the gym. You know, it’s not going to kill you! Stay in shape, do a little running, a little bit of boxing, whatever it takes. Lift a little bit of weights, just take care of yourself.
3. Don’t smoke too much or drink too much coffee. It’ll make your teeth look terrible. You don’t want your teeth to look terrible, ‘cause women look at your smile and they know they want to be with you. If your teeth look terrible from a lot of coffee and smoking, then, not sexy.
4. Don’t look like you’re trying to hard to look good. So, you have to pull off this balance of looking good, actually working to look good, but making it look like you didn’t work at all to look good.
You know, relax in what you’re wearing, don’t super trick it out trying to make everything match perfectly, you know. Just don’t overdo it, don’t over match.
5. Don’t try too hard to be sexy, ‘cause again, it’s not sexy if you’re trying too hard to be sexy. If it seems like you calculated it, then it’s not sexy anymore.
6. You have to dress for the occassion. For me, when I’m just walking around the East Village, I’m in my jeans, t-shirt or a button up, my sneakers, sunglasses whatever. But then you’ve got to know when it’s time to dress up and put the tux on or whatever, and be appropriate for the occassion, but still cool. Like when I go to black tie stuff, I’ll wear a tux, but no tie or something, be a little bit different to everyone else. It looks just like you’re relaxed in whatever the situation, just really elegant and relaxed at the same time.
7. Blending. I think blending things, like blending a little elegance with a little ruggedness at the same time is good. So like, my hair is unkept, or has an air of being a little bit unkept, but it’s also lined up and got a contained chaos. It’s like nappy but it’s still neat in some ways. Kinda combining those two things at once is usually a good way to think about style. Not too much elegance, not too much ruggedness. A mix of it.
8. Being healthly. Getting a rest. Getting enough sleep at night, drinking water. You’re skin will look better, your eyes will look better. White guys: don’t tan too much.That’s one of my tips. ‘Cause it’s bad for your skin! It looks good for a little while, but it’s gonna wear on you, like five or ten years down the road, and it doesn’t wear well, so just be your colour and look good, you know.
9. Transport. See in New York, we don’t care about cars, everybody rides a cab or a subway, but in LA, you’ve got to have a nice car. I like really nice cars, but not super flashy, again, don’t look like you’re trying to hard, don’t trick it out. Don’t put every kind of rim and gold plating on everything, it’s just looks gaudy and stupid.
10. Don’t wear too much jewellary, it just looks silly after a while. Wear clothes that fit, like I’m not part of the whole baggy [scene]. Don’t wear it like two sizes too big – your shirt down your thighs – you know. Wear some clothes that fit, the whole ‘80’s...90’s hip hop baggy thing is over with. Rappers dress nice now, Kanye, Common, Jay-Z, everyone’s dressing nice. So you ain’t gotta dress like back in the ‘90’s hip hop, it’s not cool!"
INTRODUCTION & PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH J. EDWARDS
STYLING: HARRIS ELLIOTT
GROOMING: TARA HICKMAN
STYLING ASSISTANCE: TC
JOHN WEARS JACKET BY FILLIPA K, SHIRT BY GIORGIO ARMANI AND TROUSERS BY J. LINDEBERG