Black Panther- A look and a movement

Black Panther- A look and a movement

With February being dedicated to Black History Month, I wanted to style an outfit in honour of the 1960’s black political group known as the Black Panther Party. My aim is not to make this a drawn out history lesson but I do feel that it is important as a black person and a black woman with a platform to take this time to honour the lives of the men and women who have helped pave the way for me and who have made it possible for my voice to be heard. Undoubtedly, a fashion focussed blog post may not add all that much to the narrative but as someone who loves art and who sees her fashion as a form of expression, hopefully you’ll see this as my own unique form of tribute.

Members of the Black Panthers line up at a rally at DeFremery Park in Oakland, Calif.

Brief History Lesson

After Malcolm-X’s assassination in 1965 and the killing of an unarmed black teen Matthew Johnson by police, the Black Panther group was established. The group was formed in Oakland, California 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. The party was primarily made up of young adults in their 20s and was created as an armed self-defense group aimed at protecting black communities from police brutality. Not only were they known for their political and social contributions in the black community but their iconic status also resulted from their style.

As seen in this photo, the uniform of choice was a black beret, black turtleneck, black leather jacket, black pants and black boots. Talk about fashion-forward crime fighters! Truthfully, I would easily rock this whole look on its own, down to the black shades but I thought it would be more fun to bring my own modern twist to the classic all-black look.

Jacket: second hand (Zara) $40 originally $99

I wanted to stay true to the edginess of their uniform by keeping the outfit mostly black but I decided to add some texture in the form of this fuzzy cheetah-print beret and brown and black sherpa jacket.

However, if ever you want to rock a strictly all black look, I would suggest pairing black items of varying textures. One of the main reasons is that even if the items were originally the same shade of black, within a few washes blacks tend to fade, resulting in more of a gray-ish, almost all-black outfit. In order to avoid that, try to have your top, jacket, pants and shoes in a different texture. For example you could do a leather jacket, a cable-knit sweater, black denim, and patent-leather boots (click on the Pinterest link below for an example).

As you can see, I decided to swap out the black beret for a cheetah beret bought from TopShop for $7. With animal print making a big comeback this year, the choice was also a play on the ‘feline’ symbol of the party in the form of a panther.

The next element that I chose to modify is the all- black leather jacket. This sherpa jacket was actually bought for $40 from a fellow blogger (Ana Cruz- who was selling some of her clothing items via Instagram. I had been eyeing this jacket in all-black at Zara for a while but was not willing to pay the original $100 for it. When I saw the brown sherpa detail I liked this one even more especially because it is a little more unique and acts as a really cool statement piece- and I love a good statement piece! On a more practical level, I have a lot more brown and camel items in my closet than black and so this jacket ties in those pieces well.

boots: le Chateau originally $110 bought for $35

The last item that I want to feature are these chain detail combat boots that I bought from Canadian company, Le Chateau a few weeks ago. I have literally been looking for combat boots since high school ya’ll, HIGH SCHOOL ! But patience is a virtue and this girl’s patience got her a pair of combat boots that were originally $110 for $35 during their special weekend sale earlier in February. They are currently having a BOGO sale where they are now being sold for $79.00. 

See you next Monday, where we will officially be in March- crazy!

Wishing you all a lovely week and Happy Black History Month!

Let me know what you guys thought of this post in the comments below

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