If you've spent your weekend binge-watching The Get Down, you're also probably wondering how to look as cool as their characters. Well, you're in the right place. Thanks to our quick and easy style guide you'll be one step closer to the status of Style Grandmaster in a flash.
Read more Men's Style Guide features.
Netflix has totally revolutionised the way we stream and watch TV but their work didn't stop there. Since 2013, the on-demand streaming platform has been churning out extremely successful original productions that have immediately turned into cultural phenomena. From House of Cards to Orange is the New Black, Narcos and Stranger Things, Netflix Originals are absolute hits. With The Get Down as the latest series to join the Netflix family, today we take a look at how to steal the 70s looks of the boys from the Bronx.
The Get Down
If you haven't had a chance to watch the show yet because you have a life or something, this is what you need to know. It's 1977 and if you live in the South Bronx, life isn't exactly a bowl of cherries. The rise of disco and hip hop scene is intertwined with the corruption that divides New York City.
As it often is, music is the saviour and The Get Down Boys are willing to do just about anything to make their mark in the underground world of MCs and DJ battles. Being Baz Lurhmann's first TV production, you can only expect the characters to have amazing costumes considering how visually dazzling The Great Gatsby was. Check out the trailer below to take a peak.
With an estimated budget of $10 million an episode, they certainly didn't hold back with the soundtrack and wardrobe. Luhrmann collaborated with his wife Catherine Martin who also supervised the costume department along with costume director Jeriana San Juan. From sneakers to bomber jackets, flared jeans, suits and 70s shirts, there are so many sartorial elements for you to borrow from the show. Here, fashion is rich with symbolism and it's as much of a character as the outstanding soundtrack and cast. If you're looking to put a retro twist on your street style, The Get Down boys will show you how.
The Get Down Boys
First of all, introductions are in order here. Idle Man meet The Get Down Boys. With their customised varsity jackets, you won't be able to forget their name. Nothing says friendship like matching bomber jackets. This certainly isn't the first time we see something like this on our screens. Think of the T-Birds from Grease for example. Few items of clothing have the same associative power as customised bomber jackets.
Historically, matching bomber jackets are an essential unifying element for members of gangs and crews. They're an immediate way of identifying different factions thanks to specific colours and logos. Now, getting customised varsity jackets for you and your best friends this Christmas might be a bit far but you could be the one kicking off the trend in your circle with The Get Down as the source of inspiration for your autumn jacket.
Ezekiel 'Books' Figuero
Zeke is the more responsible one from the group. He's the undiscussed protagonist with the beautiful Mylene (Herizen Guardiola) as his romantic interest worthy of West Side Story status. Right from the start we know that he's destined to big things. Being a true wordsmith he aspires to be the biggest Mc around. However, being half black and half Puerto Rican and with an interest in politics, he cares about his community and wants to make a difference in the Bronx. His style reflects his more serious personality and responsibilities. We can definitely say that he's got a penchant for striped short sleeved shirts and polos.
Ezekiel isn't just a master of rhymes and urban poems but he also nails the chino and trainers look. His smart-casual style is an extremely easy and versatile look to replicate. All you need is a pair of baggy sand chinos and make sure that your striped shirt is tucked in your trousers. For an even more casual look, get yourself some basic baseball T-shirts to wear with your jeans. Whether you prefer long or short sleeve, baseball and raglan T-shirts are essential to channel that vintage vibe.
Shao is possibly one of the most complex and tormented characters from the young crew. His passion for music and spinning records is often thwarted by his commitments to the drug business. For kids that grew up in poverty, every possession assumes a new value and for Shao (Shameik Moore) his pair of flaming red Puma Suede is what defines him. It's not simply a fashion statement, it's a matter of defining who you are, your status and your place in the world.
The suede Puma was the top of the top and certain colours were more difficult to get [...] People carried around toothbrushes to clean their shoes - sometimes even today in the Bronx you still see people putting plastic bags over their shoes so they don't get dirty.
- Catherine Martin, Executive Producer and Costume Designer
Along with his records, Shao's trainers are one of his most prized possessions and they're always kept in perfect conditions. In the show we learn that he has over 100 pairs making him the ultimate sneakerhead. Finding a pair of sneakers that represents you is no easy thing but it's a style hunt that will pay off. With Converse, Pro-Keds and Puma as the go-to sports shoes of the 70s, they're a great place to start your sneaker quest.
Shaolin's Fantastic Red
Red is an always present feature in the show and it's Shao's trademark. Before we even get to see his face, we're introduced to this character via different action scenes of his red wardrobe in full motion. The colour red doesn't only refer to his energetic, physical and passionate nature. He's also responsible for tempting Zeke to make potentially dangerous decisions. Shao's a bit of an anti-hero clad in clothing as red as the flames of hell.
As it often goes with devilish characters in film and TV, Shao's style is incredibly cool. It's impossible not to be intrigued. Not he can rely on his red Pumas but he also rocks a bright red varsity jacket and flat cap. Polo shirts with red accents are also heavy in Shaolin's wardrobe and later on the show we also find out that his underwear is red...
Ra-Ra Kipling (Skylan Brooks) is the man of many polo shirts. Yellow and green seem to be the colours of choice for Ra-Ra's wardrobe as a reference to his Jamaican roots. We can see him in full 70s groove with this bright yellow polo shirt teamed up with a pair of checked yellow mustard and green trousers. His signature sneakers are a pair of low top green Chuck Taylor All Stars.
Out of all the characters, Ra-Ra's the one who really represents the basketball look. With bright T-shirts, shorts and below the knee sports socks, he recreates the cool-casual off the court look as well as giving an understated nod to the basketball history of Converse.
Boo-Boo (Tremaine Brown Jr.) is the youngest of the Kipling brothers and his style is youthful and simple. He's a big fan of the striped T-shirt and denim shorts combination. Being part of a numerous family that isn't quite rolling around in dollar bills for fun, Boo-Boo's wardrobe is a realistic visual hint to how the younger sons get the short end of the stick when it comes to clothing.
However, no matter how minimal Boo-Boo's style might be, it serves as a reminder of how important it is to invest in a variety of staple pieces like striped T-shirts in different hues.
Marcus 'Dizzee' Kipling
With his advocacy for gender fluidity, Jaden Smith had his name written on this extremely artistic character. Making his mark all across the city with his signature graffiti, Dizzee's style is representative of his creatively curious nature. His camo and denim jackets customised with studs and pins are a symbol of the evolving social and cultural changes in the Big Apple music scene. With his wardrobe, disco, hip hop and afropunk elements combine to create genre-defining looks.
Dizzee's the ultimate flower child and you can recreate his dreamy and artsy look with a solid denim shearling jacket. In fact, one of Dizzee's strongest looks in the show features a sleeveless denim jacket with faux fur thrown on top. Complete the look with your favourite pair of jeans and don't forget your kicks.
Francisco 'Papa Fuerte' Cruz
With a consistent flow of cash of questionable origins going his way, Papa Fuerte is Mylene's successful and powerful uncle. He's the only one who can get away with wearing aviator sunglasses indoors. Therefore, unless your name is Cisco Cruz and you're fictional, steer away from this move. Being a businessman with lots of interesting tricks up his sleeve, he's always looking sharp in his suits. A lightweight beige two-piece suit seems to be amongst his favourites. However, it's with this black suit and red tie combination that he snatches a record deal for his niece.
Son of gangster queen of drug-dealing Fat Annie, Cadillac (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is the super suave villain. He's famous for his moves on the dancefloor and he's the undiscussed champion of disco dancing competitions at his mama's club, the red neon-lit Les Inferno (yet another devilish reference). With his suits and awful temper he's known to set the house of fire.
Cigars and chunky gold jewellery are his go-to accessories and he has a predilection for flared pants and three-piece suits. He often sports a hat to go with his funky suits. If you want to give his gangster peacocking a go, Cadillac is your guy. However, his gangster-cowboy look is possibly one of the most interesting ones. All you need is a white suit, Chelsea boots or white brogues and a white Hamburg hat to complete the outfit.
Thor is essential in Dizzee's style and art evolution. Also a graffiti artist, Thor introduces Dizzee to SoHo's art scene and underground parties where he gets a taste of the celebratory gay culture of vogueing dance-offs, drag queens and more. Much like Dizzee, Thor is a big fan of denim and his long blond locks play a big role in his overall hobo-chic look.
Your Quick Guide on How to Get The Get Down Look
- Make sure you get your hands on a varsity or bomber jacket. This autumn is all about making an impact with relevant outerwear to show off your street style.
- Raglan T-shirts, short sleeved shirts and chinos are vital to recreate Ezekiel Figuero's down-to-earth look. Unlike his intricate and poetic lyrics, his style won't be hard to recreate.
- When it comes to Shaolin Fantastic, it's all about red. Every item of clothing he wears features red in some shape or form. Anything from caps, jackets to underwear and, of course, his suede Pumas, red is the must-have colour to channel the look of the show's aspiring DJ.
- The key elements you need to borrow from Ra-Ra's wardrobe are green and yellow polo shirts and T-shirts along with denim shorts, basketball style knee-high socks. Top everything off with a pair of green Chuck Taylors.
- Boo-Boo's staple piece is the striped T-shirt. After all, every man should own a varied collection of timeless striped tees.
- Dizzee's the king of denim. Get yourself a denim jacket and why not, let Dizzee's artistic influence inspire you and play around with pins and badges. If you want to recreate his look with the faux fur, a shearling denim jacket is a great option.
- Few men can rock a suit and aviator sunglasses like Papa Fuerte does. In this case, the main thing you'll need to work on is the worldly confidence this character exudes.
- Cadillac's style is loud and in your face just like the character himself. With a fusion of disco and gangster vibes, don't forget to complete your look with a fedora or cowboy hat. Cigars are optional.
- Dizzee immediately finds a friend in Thor. And how couldn't they. They belong to the same artsy, hobo-chic subculture and can bounce off each other's sense of style. Just like with Dizzee, denim's your best friend.
On That Note
After 10 years of hard work, The Get Down is definitely going to be a the centre a new wave of interest towards the different style tribes and subcultures of the late 70s. You'll want a pair of red suede Pumas from the very start. Looking at the past for style advice is an always successful fashion move. Make sure you don't miss a beat and make all the necessary tweaks and additions to your wardrobe to channel those Get Down vibes. May we tempt you Shaolin Fantastic-style with a bomber jacket perhaps? Or maybe you're in desperate need of essential basics like our very own raglan tee? No matter what you're after, The Idle Man's got you covered.