Accessorizing a Tailored Look feat. Niyi Okuboyejo

September 3rd, 2011

You can wear a suit without looking, or feeling, like a suit.

The combination of well curated personal accessories can take a tailored look from stiff and corporate to playful and expressive.

Nobody knows this better than Niyi (pronounced “knee”) Okuboyejo. He’s one of the best I’ve met at accessorizing a tailored look with creativity and self expression.

The Nigeria native moved from Houston to New York a few years ago to pursue a career in fashion. He is now part of the newly employed staff at Michael Andrews Bespoke – he’s in charge of keeping the place extra dapper, among other things.

“You don’t have to break the rules, but you can certainly bend them, at every opportunity… At some point you get to a place where stripes, checks and polka dots cross paths…and it don’t look so bad.”

And I couldn’t agree more; “Hey – we need to look good while we are tackling the greatest conundrum this side of the galaxy “the psyche of a woman.”

Here, Niyi shows us how to wear a tailored look with a punch of personality.

    1. Straw Sun Block

    “I have a lot of hats, but this is probably my favorite one. Wide Brims are quite my fancy compared to the of-the-moment stingy brimmed hats.

    I bought this one from the French Market in New Orleans (My wife’s hometown). Now I’m looking for another excuse to head down there to get another.

    It’s probably the main reason I get excited when summer rolls around. Not that I like the summer heat (in fact, I hate it); but straw hats have become a part of my style. I wear it with everything”¦ jeans, polos, chinos and all kinds of suits (Wool, Cotton, Linen, Birthday, etc).”

    Tip: Let your accesories do the talking. Niyi’s outfit here is relatively conservative (navy pinstripe suit, pale pink shirt, solid tie)…which leaves the perfect canvas for all those personal touches.

    Tip II: Understanding color is crucial with accesories, especially in the summer. There are certain colors you don’t want in large doses, but look great in small flashes (the bright red of the axe tie bar, the yellow of the square, the orange of the bracelet & watch strap, the green of the cufflinks).

    Tip III: The longer backside of the tie – another quirky touch for a dandy look. Certainly not by accident.

    • Frog cufflinks Vintage
    • Brown suede tassel loafers by Tom Ford
    • Straw hat from the French Market in New Orleans
    • Navy pinstripe suit by Costume National
    • Pink cotton shit by Brooks Brothers
    • Tan linen tie by Ralph Lauren
    • Tie clip Vintage (eBay)
    • Pocket square Handmade
    • Orange watch strap from the Museum of Modern Art
    • Orange coral bracelet from Niyi’s traditional wedding
    • Brown leather belt by Ralph Lauren

    2. Scarf Belt

    “So I wake up super late for work. I’m scrambling to put together a look and brush my teeth at the same time. My pants won’t stay on my waist and I can’t find my belt. I stumble into my wife’s closet and discover her scarf”¦ problem solved”

    Tip: One of the reasons Niyi can pull off such an expressive look is that he understands what’s most important: the fit of his clothing. He is no stranger to the tailor.

    • Grey peak lapel suit
    • Green paisley shirt by Ralph Lauren
    • Pocket square by Billy Reid
    • Orange watch strap from the Museum of Modern Art
    • Orange coral bracelet from Niyi’s traditional wedding
    • Silk scarf (worn as belt) Vintage
    • Black velvet slippers by Stubbs & Wootton

    3. Stick Like a Bee

    “We all have pet peeves. One of my biggest: someone touching my tie. I was once in a line for an event and some idiot, in all his fashion rubric, came up to me and adjusted my tie bar.U can poke on my brooches, you can even pull out my pocket square – that’s cool. But for the love of God, do not touch my tie…nor my tie bar”.

    Tip: Slanting your tie bar can add a little personality.

    Tip II: Guys are wearing just about anything on their lapels these days. I love seeing guys confident enough to wear brooches, especially ones this unique.

    Tip III: Navy leather tassel loafers. Pshhh.

    • Tortoise shades from Street Vendor
    • Peak lapel glenplaid suit jacket by Ben Sherman
    • Peak lapel glenplaid suit trousers by Ben Sherman
    • Blue striped shirt by Burberry
    • Silk pocket square by Ralph Lauren
    • Yellow polka dot linen tie by Brooks Brothers
    • Tie bar by J.Crew
    • Bee pin by Gap
    • Orange watch strap from the Museum of Modern Art
    • Orange coral bracelet from Niyi’s traditional wedding
    • Navy leather tassel loafers by Paul Smith

    4. Get Scrappy

    “I have loads of scrap fabric at my apartment. Being a designer, it comes with the territory. I always try to find a good use for it – neckerchiefs, bracelets (wrist or ankle), pocket squares”¦ whatever.”
    Tip: “Experiment with the resources around you. You never know what you’ll come up with.”
    Tip II: Cheers to the askew necktie.

    • Orange coral bracelet from Niyi’s traditional wedding
    • Orange watch strap from the Museum of Modern Art
    • Tan cotton jacket by Ralph Lauren
    • Pink banker shirt by Rugby
    • Blue paisley tie by JCrew
    • Yellow paisley pocket square by Paul Smith
    • Navy pinstripe linen trousers by Ralph Lauren
    • Scarp fabric as Bracelet
    • Burgundy leather tassel loafers by Brooks Brothers

    Thanks for reading and special thanks to Niyi for participating!

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier


    Photography by Alex Crawford.

    • Charles

      FYI, it says he’s wearing a pink cotton shit :)

    • @Samtor_GQ

      Love you Blog Bro …

    • michelle

      i love it , i love fashion so i look for ways of new styles

    • e.mike.

      that boy niyi still fly.
      go coogs lol.
      keep pressing meh.


    • thomas

      I love his quote –For the longest time I was a minimalist. Crisp gray suits, black ties and dark oxfords. As you can see, I’m quite over that shit.”

      I am in the minimalist mode myself and I’m finding it quite blah! Time to try something with flair and with the confidence to back it! :D

      GG niyi

      Thanks for some great inspirational ideas

    • yimika

      That’s My Cousin(: i love your style teehee<33

    • AD

      Style is personal and obviously he is doing best of what he is doing, but personally I think it’s too many things going on. Trying a bit too hard though. Just personal opinion

    • Hater

      You r going to lose in fantasy…

    • Nikita

      Absolutely love the silk pocket square on the Ben Sherman suit! It wonderfully contrasts the yellow tie, very nicely executed!

    • Anonymous

      I love all the outfits ,but it concerns me,, that maybe short ,sticky men wouldn’t be able to pull some of the looks off. But I love all of the suits!!!

    • owen

      Quick question for Niyi?
      Do you have a blog that I can visit?

    • JKFerguson

      I applaud this guys use of bold colour, print and styling. He nails the fit of most of his clothes, but I find that almost each outfit is ruined or lessened by the over-addition of one or two accessories. The anklerchief? Surf Shells on the belt? Pocket square, Lapel Pin AND Tie pin?! Sometimes less is more.

    • TO

      Niyi- I had to re-go over this one, a lot of great details:)
      I love the patch pocket on the navy pinstripe blazer, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before!

    • Owen

      Best Execution ever on this blog!

    • Muscle Man

      Please do a post for clothing for athletic/muscular guys. (Non suiting) Sure skinny guys look good in suits, that is their best option for looking good – covering up their frame. But if you have the muscles and body frame, you don’t want to hide it under a long sleeve dress shirt and jacket. Mix it up a bit, and give me some ideas other than an Ed Hardy T and True Religion Jeans…….

    • Jide

      Hey Niyi,

      I’m proud of you and you make me proud to say I come from the same place as you. That said, your eccentricity is surprisingly interesting. I’m more the conservative dresser but this makes me wanna tear the roof down! Especially the ensemble with the yellow tie. Great job mehn, u be correct naija man….



    • Jon Paton

      who is this fly guy?

    • Every Man’s Closet

      Wow! Niyi has a seriously talented eye. Thank you for sharing so many different looks. His unique accessorizing is inspiring!

    • anonymous

      awesome post! i love townsend’s photography! I would like to see more of it!

    • Mars

      This is well off the beaten path but i like it! lots of color.

      Dan, how have you escaped any coverage in your hometown (and province)? I couldn’t believe that the Windsor Star covered Cardigan Kid and not the strides you’ve taken…doesn’t make any sense.

    • Yemi & Jazmine

      This is too fly. I don’t think I’m brave enough to pull this off on my own.

    • dre

      doh. style is outrageous. i am dumbfounded

    • Zick


    • sky7i

      Great post! Incidentally, what is Niyi’s height/jacket size/waist/inseam? His lankiness adds an elegance all its own.

    • Rock Mitchell

      Every look on this page WORKS!!!!!!!!

    • Odh

      Swag wow. all swagged out

    • Herbert Morrison

      In a word bredrin: disgusting. I’m still in awe of how u can flip my whole world upside down, again. This is one of the best posts and hands down best guest post hi-ther-to. Niyi, u stay gully; Dan, you did it to them again!!!

    • Mxolisi

      This brother has bucket upon bucket loads of style. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such nuanced eccentricity in one person. I am highly inspired.

    • TO

      Niyi’s the man! Great stuff!

    • J.G.L.

      Love the yellow tie with the white dots… I am going to look for one for myself. Although I would wear it with a blue blazer and khaki pants or something like that… dunno yet LOL.

    • Hanif Castle @NoneLikeNeef

      all of these looks are incredible, this man’s style is beyond smoove. Great post

      Hanif Castle of ACL

    • John Ryan

      Even though I don’t agree with some of the looks, I do love the boldness – this guy is awesome. I’m definitely now in the market for a bright yellow and madras tie. I also love the lapel brooches, too!

      For the love of God, y’all need to stay away from the cargo pants, though. It really doesn’t work.

    • Darren

      Personally not a great fan of any of the looks, just because i’m told that leaving the skinny part of a tie longer is ‘cool’ or that wearing a tie the wrong way around is ‘attention to detail’ etc i’m not buying it, if someone turned up to work like that people would call it ridiculous and the cargo pants are awful!

      On the other hand no disrespect to this guy, if we all had the same taste in fashion, it would incredibly boring, just that i think he goes to far on a few of these looks.

      The tailoring is spot on imo and the idea of using scrap fabric as a pocket square is a good tip!

    • womenlikemenswear

      Oh my word. Do you have a brother?

    • Desmond K

      That orange knit tie is superb!!!

    • luke

      Didn’t GQ say no to ankle bandanas?
      but on him, it looks pretty cool. I don’t know why but it just says I’m cool and you can go to hell.
      wish i had thatmuch swag

    • Chris

      That scarf belt look hurts my brain it’s so good!

    • cam

      Holy $#!* that Ben Sherman suit with yellow tie is a wrap!

    • Michael

      LOVED every look-except the cargo pants. I’m still not hoppin on that shit.