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The Style of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Style of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. : The Reason Why

In honor of his birthday, we are discussing the style choices of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Despite his remarkable advancements in society, King did not expect to become a famous civil activist leader. He reluctantly attended a meeting that was planning a boycott. During that meeting, he was voted in as president due to the rest of the constituents not volunteering. Consequently, the rest was history.

Understanding the role he took on, King knew how important it was to dress the part. King and his counterparts were majority photographed in suits and ties to combat societal judgement. This was in juxtaposition to the reality of the commoner dressed in workwear. On the contrast, protesters wore their Sunday’s best. This was a strategic play as it would present better in the media. The philosophy of remaining dapper and pristine was at the forefront of the revolution. This included tuxedo suits, slacks, collar shirts and etc.

However, that philosophy dissolved for certain situations. Hence, King knew there were moments where dressing casual was imperative to win over the crowds. On occasions, Martin would be seen wearing jeans. Despite that, Mr. King had an affinity with his 18k gold karat Rolex Datejust. That was a sentimental item that he viewed as a way to identify with other powerful men. In 2014, Coretta loaned it to an exhibition in Atlanta, along with his glasses and a transistor radio he carried to stay on top of the news.

In Conclusion

The style of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. strategically comprised of exquisite tailoring, dapper suits with clean lines and on occasion casual denim. His style was intentional, as he understood the importance of looking the part at all times. This strategy faired well with overcoming outsider judgment and looking aesthetically pleasing for the evening news. Above all, MLK was more than a well-dressed man. He stayed committed to his beliefs long enough to see positive change that affected us all. Til this very day, we all experience a by product of what he stood for. With much gratitude, Happy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

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