One of our favorite podcasts/YouTube shows of the past few months comes via the free-flowing discussion on Three Black Guys On a Couch. Hosted by the irrepressibly candid O'Neil Cespedes and featuring a rotating series of special guests (including frequent co-host Rene Wiley), 3BOAC features an inclusive dialogue about manhood, the cultural realities of being black in the U.S., and how we can all just get on the same damn page.
It's a timely encouragement for us to dive headfirst into nuanced spaces that exist between us all (irrespective of ethnicity) by approaching these conversations with a lighthearted, inquisitive, thoughtful attitude.
From discussions on diverse topics like dating, fashion, friendship, and of course, the intricacies of navigating these wild times, there's a little something everybody can get out of 3 Black Guys on a Couch. As Cespedes says, the show is "Celebrating the black experience without any of the dumb shit."
But now let's talk about style.
The 3BGOAC crew is dialed in the LA/NY fashion scene, making them uniquely positioned to independently influence the style zeitgeist. Just 10 episodes in, the show has already featured visits from fashion and culture luminaries like Nick Wooster, Chris Echevarria, Sean Famoso, and L Cardenas.
I relish the series, but damn, I love the threads too.
So, just to get you started, today let's have some fun ranking some of the dope looks we've seen so far on the show, with episode-specific fit battles from my favorite installments of 3 Black Guys on a Couch. And don't forget to keep up with the show, which has been dropping new episodes on the regular. Come for the fits, stay for the conversation, ya'll,
Episode 1: Shaolin Shoes
"It's in our nature to assume without having experienced. It's up to us as humans to engage in the experience so we don't have to make blanket judgments." -Alzo Slade
Let's start with the shoes. Cue up Duel of The Iron Mic, because there's a decapitator-level sneaker-fu battle here between O'Neil's Tom Sachs x Nike General Purpose and Alzo Slade's Air Jordan 1's in turbo green.
I'll take both, thank you.
This is the first episode of the 3BGOAC, and Rene and Alzo lay down the expectations for later installments here with their divergent signature style. Rene holds down nicely with an outfit that you might actually be caught wearing around town, but it's hard to compete with the fireworks happening on the other side of the couch between Alzo's wildly-tongue-in-cheek excellence (look at those optical-illusion-having pants. It's a Goros bird! No, it's a smiley face!) and O'Neil's pink Carharrt overalls flex. Stunning move!
This is one of those Shaolin endings where two masters strike death blows simultaneously. I call this one a draw.
Episode 1 Fit Rankings
- (tie) O'Neil, Alzo
Episode 2: Sailing Away
"I think this new age has dumbed us down. We don't listen anymore. We don't just shut the f— up and listen and then take all the information in, and then mix it up in a pot, and then come to a conclusion." -O'Neil Cespedes
O'Neil is channeling elevated Christopher Cross sailing vibes in this episode with an eccentric combo that shouldn't work, but just does, mainly because of the inspired choice to mix some Visvim Christo sandals with a 90's-era Tommy Hilfiger zip-up that he promises never to wear again about a minute into the show.
Did I mention he's wearing Visvim sandals...and pearls?
Renee once again welcomes us back to the real world, showing off an everyday fit we all can emulate with a sneaky-luxurious Gallery DPT sweatshirt and some ill loafers from Blackstock & Weber, and special guest Gary Sonkur is pulling off a hyper-classy all-black fit that you minimalists can wear every day and feel good about oneself. This might be the only time you'll see somebody get bagged on for wearing Givenchy shoes at the start of a pod, but that's why I love it.
Episode 2 Fit Rankings
- O'Neill - the sandals do it.
- Renee - pretty dope.
- Gary - classy
Episode 9: STAR Trek Enterprise-Level Throwdown
"It's all about how you see that thing. And how you wear it." -Rene Wiley
This episode features Chris Echevarria, Founder and Creative Director of the aforementioned Blackstock & Weber, along with our go-to team of Alzo, Rene, and O'Neil. In terms of outfits, this installment of 3 Black Guys on a Couch is like one of those Star Trek episodes when Spock, Kirk, Bones, and Sulu all get an iconic scene in one action-packed hour.
In a move as smoothly effortless as Spock's Vulcan nerve pinch, Chris is wearing a retro New York Giants hat that seems to be a signature move. (I'm talking about the now-SF-baseball team, this is a football-free zone). Retro gear is rad, but especially when it is understated like this. As for the rest: Massive-cuff selvedge denim with repairs, check. His own dope loafers, check. Raglan-fit sweatshirt in faded green, yes! I'm not sure if those are the holy grail of glasses from Jaques-Marie-Mage, but it doesn't matter. This is the outfit of a mellow-style savant. It's hard to mix East Coast aesthetics with West Coast temps and style schizophrenia, but this is how you do it. Bravo to our clear winner.
Offering an alternative to Chris's highly-logical-yet-maybe-too-much-for-non-Vulcans look, our Captain James T. Cespedes is channeling some inner Steve Zissou in a fit that works for pretty much anybody anywhere. Khakis, Sambas, a chore jacket, and a beanie are solid choices no matter who you are.
Renee and Alzo are the pictures of consistency here, getting their usual solid fits on with characteristic aplomb. But it's always gonna be hard for Bones and Sulu to steal the spotlight from the A-listers.
Episode 9 Fit Rankings:
- Chris - 10/10
- O'Neill - Sambas are a cheat code for anybody
- Renee, Alzo
Episode 10: Enter The Multiverse
"I do believe that taste is a skill that has to be refined and developed— and honed." -Nick Wooster
Talking about his time at Vivienne Westwood in this episode, special guest and vintage aficionado Johnny Valencia says a definitive lesson from his extensive career in fashion is "wear what you want", and as you can see from the looks in Episode 10 of 3BGOAC, these boys are living the credo. When it comes to fits, it's hard to upstage special guest #2, menswear GOAT Nick Wooster, but somehow, Valencia is doing it here with his kilt and bonkers-toe boots, sponsored by Pan the satyr.
There are a lot of big style swings in this episode, and I'll leave it to the eye of the beholder to judge whether what hits and what misses. But remember, sometimes the game isn't about winning or losing— it's about playing hard and putting on a good show. The fits on this episode have a kind of multiverse-spanning nature to them, (and that's not evening taking into account the tattoo-spotting you can do here) but I'm here to rank, so here ya go:
- Wooster Being Wooster. Masculinity at its finest.
- Valencia. That kilt and everything else. I just want to see this outfit in a romcom, where the best friend shows up for a conservative Scottish bachelor party and ends up pounding whiskey shots with the groom's dad by the end of the night.
- O'Neill doing O'Neill things in a No Maintenence cardigan.
- Austin stepping in front of the camera with this camo-giant-logo Yankees hat seems like some kind of subversive genius thing and encapsulates the quantum-physics-level variance of looks on this episode.
Episode 11: Dad Fits
"It was always amazing. It's the world. You just didn't always let it shine through the cracks." -O'Neil Cespedes
How to dress mellow and look Dope. This episode features our Shaq and Penny of hosts (along with special guest Alex Smith) busting off some everyday casual that the dadcore masses can emulate while talking about mainstreamed nerd stuff like AI.
Alex enters the 3BGOAC fray with an elevated down-to-earth fit anybody can pull off, mellow flex-alert here with the Rhude shoes and Off-White denim jacket. O'Neil shows us how to wear a leather biker here (it's all about pairing it with a hoodie), and once again breaks out the style-democratizing Tom Sachs Nikes, a shoe that we've harped on ad nauseam.
Meanwhile, Rene shows us a fit that you could spend 3k on, or 3o dollars on, depending on your flavor.
- Rene just because he deserves some love
Much love to 3BGOAC, keep up the good work.