Black Panther hits theaters today and you already know that black folks are coming dressed to the tee. The outfits we’ve seen this week have been amazing!
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It’s not every day we get a blockbuster movie with a black superhero, black director and mainly black cast, set in Africa, with black beauty front and center.
Just like Wakanda is a magical black nation, movie theaters are about to be overflowing with enough black fashion and creativity to make you think you’re in a Kendrick Lamar and SZA “All of the Stars” video.
We spoke with a Chike Walker and Le’Shera Hardy, a fashion trendsetting black couple in Brooklyn about how to find the perfect outfit for Black Panther.
Here’s four looks you can wear for #WakandaWeekend!
1) African Inspired Attire
Africa is a beautiful continent with more than 50 countries in total to draw inspiration from. Even in Wakanda, tribes are defined by different colors, prints and styles.
“People are talking about how the outfits at the premiere were amazing,” says Le’Shera Hardy, an attorney and fashionista. “So people are going to be somewhere between Western and African wear.”
Bright colors and bold patterns are welcome.
Do your research and come looking like African royalty- or in the case of this Filipino Black Panther fan, pay tribute in your own unique way.
See examples below:
This movie was a sea of black women perfection personified. And black people were multilayered and complex. And although the pragamatist won because let’s face it, it’s a Marvel comic, Eric Killmonger did not come to play with a nah one of y’all. #wakandaforever #blackgirlmagic #teamKillmonger #blackpanther #partyblackly
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2) Formal Wear
“If you buy tickets for opening weekend, you should take it up a notch,” says Chike Walker, a men’s footwear designer. “At least wear your church clothes. Get a haircut. Dress up!”
Full-length coats, satin dresses, and sleek hats like the kind you’ll find at shops in Harlem or a RocNation brunch, are always in style.
“We used to dress up to in the 70s to go to the movies or go out places- we should take it back to that,” says Walker.
His fashion inspiration came from the movie’s actual characters:
“I’m a Wakanda general going to a black tie event,” says Walker. “I found a broach on Etsy two months ago that looks like a shield that has a panther on it.”
3) Marvel ‘Black Panther’ Paraphernalia
If you’re more into t-shirts than custom clothes, you may opt for a comic book-inspired style of dress for “Black Panther.”
Even people who don’t want to drop a lot of cash can make a statement.
“Just wear something you wouldn’t usually wear to the movies,” says Walker.
Black Panther fans can pick from a ton of websites to get ideas, including Marvel’s official online store or black-owned t-shirt hub, Wakanda Wear. Even actor Jamie Foxx came in a Wakanda tee to the LA ‘Black Panther’ premiere.
While Walker is a fan of going in big style to the premiere he says- at the least- come fresh.
4) All Black Everything
Black is a beautiful color. Just ask T’Challa a.k.a. Black Panther.
Take one look at original Black Panthers, who opted for black berets and clothing in the 1960s and 1970s, and you’ll see black never goes out of style.
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“Black is just forgiving and universally flattering,” says Hardy. “I tend to style black with pops of colors to keep the look interesting.”
You can also mix up all-black attire by getting a cool shirt, head wrap or accessory crafted by a black-owned business like Kwasi Kessie’s artistic “Homeland” tees, unapologetically black 80s Baby Prints, or for something high-fashion, Harlem Haberdashery.
No matter what you choose, you can always bet on black.
Got your #BlackPantherOutfit already? Tweet/DM us photos to feature on theGrio using the hashtag #BlackPantherOutfit.