How to Be Stylish: Mr. Baldwin Style Co-Owners Talk Groom Style
Having good taste and impeccable style doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes, it takes learning from the best in the industry to truly perfect dressing like a fashion-forward, modern man. Welcome to our new series, “How to Be Stylish,” where we pick the brains of some of the most respected figures in fashion for their ultimate style tips.
Ask most people, and they’ll tell you the same thing: One’s wedding day is the most important milestone of their life. And as you browse through wedding websites and magazines, you may notice that there’s minimal coverage on the groom. Until now, that is. Donnell Baldwin and Courtney Arrington-Baldwin, a married couple turned styling duo, recently released GROOMS: A Professional Stylist’s Guide to Wedding Day Apparel for Every Budget. With over 150 photographs styled by the Baldwin duo, this tome promises stylish results. We picked the couple’s minds about groom style and mixing business with marriage.
The Cheat Sheet: What inspired you both to get in the styling/fashion industry?
Courtney Arrington-Baldwin: Although I worked in construction management for the past 14 years, my love for fashion has been part of me since I was a child. I enjoy very classic looks and don’t get too caught up with trends. After marrying Donnell, it just made sense that we would pursue a business that focused on one [thing] we both love: fashion. Prior to dating Donnell, I can’t say that I knew too much about styling. But I will say that over the last six years, he has been an amazing teacher!
CS: Whether getting dressed yourself or leading your styling empire, what’s the one style rule you always follow?
Donnell Baldwin: Keep it simple. Less is more.
CS: What is the one thing that every stylish man should invest in?
DB: A well-tailored black tuxedo or black suit.
CS: What are five things every modern man needs in his closet?
CAB and DB: White button-down shirt, black knit tie, dark-rinse straight-cut jeans, black leather Chelsea coot, and black or grey overcoat.
CS: You recently came out with a book about groom style. Since most wedding websites focus on the bride’s dress, what fashion tips can you give our readers who are walking down the aisle soon?
CAB and DB: There are tons of fashion tips within GROOMS but here are some key points to consider: your bride’s look, the season, and the [big day’s] details.
CS: Why did you decide to focus the book, and much of your business, on groomswear?
CAB: Prior to starting Mr. Baldwin Style, Donnell already had an extensive background in fashion and specifically menswear. During our own wedding planning, we began to see that there was not a lot of focus on the groom’s apparel. Looking at photo spreads of real weddings, we noticed that in most instances the bride is impeccably dressed with a gown that has been tailored to fit her perfectly while the groom often looks as if he just showed up.
With all of the recent emphasis on menswear, we wanted to help change the game for grooms by letting them know that they have options for the wedding day as well. They don’t have to be reserved to renting a black tuxedo. Our book explores those options and gives the groom (and his groomsmen) step-by-step tips on how to select and master a great wedding day look.
CS: What tips do you have for mixing business with marriage?
CAB: One of the biggest things to do when mixing business with marriage is to make sure that you both have specific roles in the business. There may be some overlap, but each person should know their focus. In our case, Donnell is mostly responsible for creative and I handle business matters, logistics, and production. We try to be respectful of that. Another tip is to know when to turn to turn business activities off and just take time with each other. This can be difficult as small businesses often require almost round-the-clock attention but it is important.
CS: Where do you see your brand five years from now?
CAB: In five years, we hope to have written additional style guides for grooms and modern gentleman as well as partnered with a major retailer to design our own line of tuxedos, formal wear, and men’s accessories. We also hope to utilize technology in a way that we can provide additional on-demand advice to grooms around the world.
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