“I always refer back to the days of the Rat Pack, because that’s when I should have been around, I know how to dress the part.”
Singer, songwriter, superstar and self-confident could all be used to describe perennial chart sensation Shaffer Smith or, as he is better known, Ne-Yo. While the above statement could be taken as a little brash, it is generally not too far from the truth as Ne-Yo has often demonstrated time and time again.
Granted, during the formative years of his career, Ne-Yo’s style was much more reflective of the R&B and hip-hop side of the music he produces. But he has since matured style-wise and has made a flawless transition to the more Rat Pack suited approach he now preaches; something his last two album covers clearly demonstrate and reinforced by the ‘My Style’ video below:
Ne-Yo Style Breakdown
Key Consideration: Hats
The lookbook above demonstrates Ne-Yo’s penchant for good headwear. Rarely caught without a hat of some sort, he has cemented them as a key part of his signature style.
His ability to rock true gentleman hat styles with confidence is a relatively rare skill; most men steer well clear of such statement accessories, often not experimenting with anything other than a beanie, baseball cap or, on occasion, a driver. Ne-Yo on the other hand favours a fedora, which only further cements his old-school style and suiting habits – with headwear pretty much de-rigueur during the 50s and 60s.
Working headwear into your wardrobe is a simple matter of confidence and, of course, picking the right hat. For some inspiration on which hat to go for and how to work it into your everyday look, check out our range of articles on the topic:
- FashionBeans Guide To Hats: Tilbys & Fedoras
- Men’s Hats: The Driving Cap
- Men’s Fashion Basics – Casual Hats
- Men’s Fashion Basics – Formal Hats
Ne-Yo for Bollman Hat Company
With headwear being a huge part of Ne-Yo’s trademark style, last year he collaborated with America’s oldest hat maker, The Bollman Hat Company, to produce a line of hats under the brand name Francis Ellargo. The debut collection is superb, and an accurate representation of the sophisticated sartorial style our icon now curates.
“Francis Ellargo is a man of distinguished taste, a sartorial innovator who pushes boundaries today by honoring the best menswear traditions from our past.”
Inspired By Looks
With Ne-Yo citing the Rat Pack as his major style influence, tailoring is obviously going to take pride of place in his wardrobe. Grey trousers and a black blazer is a simple, yet effective combination that breaks up the monotony of a full suit without having to think, or try, too hard.
Black shoes and a white shirt fill out the rest of the look, while the outfit wouldn’t be finished without a piece of headwear. A black trilby is the perfect Ne-Yo inspired accompaniment:
- Asos Slim Fit Shirt
- Alexander Mcqueen Half-canvassed Jacket
- Ascot Accessories Ascot Accessories Handkerchief
- Topman Light Grey Skinny Trousers
- Lanvin Felted Wool Trilby
- John Lobb City Ii Leather Oxford Shoes
The waistcoat is certainly a forgotten art outside of the three-piece but Ne-Yo is making a case for their revival. Worn alongside a pair of slim dark jeans/chinos, shirt and tie, the waistcoat helps form a great smart-causal outfit option that can carry you from day to night.
Not forgetting the headwear, a flat/driver cap is the way forward with this look as it compliments the more casual tones channelled through the denim:
- Band Of Outsiders Cotton Shirt
- Kent Tailored Fit Check Waistcoat
- Allsaints Hanbury Tie
- Reiss Freeport Raw Selvedge Denim Indigo
- River Island Flat Cap
- Paul Smith Shoes Chocolate Leather Otter Chelsea Boots
Some days you’re called upon to keep it casual. And nothing is more minimally stylish than a well-fitted Henley, trousers and sneakers combination. Keep the colours relatively nondescript and everything in a perfect fit; the no-fuss look will still turn heads:
- Allsaints Saints Long Sleeved Henley
- Obey Upstate Charcoal Trousers
- Nike Blazer Premium Leather – Size? Exclusive
Inspired By: Clothing Picks
- Topman White Premium Cuff Shirt
- Gucci Slim-fit Wool Suit
- Paul Smith London Black Wool Mohair Italian Byard Tuxedo Suit
- Reiss Chelsea Check 3 Rolling Button Single Breasted Mixer Black
- Allsaints Bramford Long Sleeved Henley
- Mcq Alexander Mcqueen Classic Slim Jeans 134870
- Allsaints Tricky Leather Bomber Jacket
- Topman Grey Wool Skinny Fit Peacoat
- American Apparel Sheer Jersey Loose Crew Summer T-shirt
- Middlesex Black Regular Fit Suit Waistcoat
- Topman Harris Tweed Skye Blazer
- Topman Burgundy Novak Three-piece Skinny Fit Suit
- Ted Baker Flat Cap
- Paul Smith Accessories Navy Wool Felt Christys Trilby
- Allsaints Bovard Fedora
- Reiss Hecates Black Mesh Dinner Suit Scarf Black
- Topman Nevada Suede Desert Boot
- Reiss Toronto Double Sole Toe Cap Derby Shoes Black
As the man behind Rihanna’s ‘Take a Bow’ and Beyonce’s ‘Irreplaceable’ there isn’t any doubt that Ne-Yo knows how to make a chart hit, whether he’s writing or performing it. However, his personal style has also developed over recent years into something that is timeless, classic and refined – traits all FashionBeans readers can surely appreciate.
Taking inspiration from the sartorial greats: Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jnr and Dean Martin, Ne-Yo has developed a reputation for dressing outside of the norm for his section of the music industry and is a great example for those of you who are looking to transition to a more ‘grown-up’ style.
So, we want to know what you personally think of Ne-Yo’s style:
- Are you a fan of the transformation he has undergone since he first burst onto the music scene?
- Does his style remind you of the golden era of the ‘Rat Pack’ and ‘Mad Men’?
- Are you a fan of statement headwear? If so, what is your hat style of choice?
Let us know in the comments section…