HubThreads: Celebrating Boston Street Style
Critics say this city has no style. We’re here to prove them wrong. Welcome to HubThreads, where we chat with the most stylish people we find out and about in Boston. Think you or someone you know has the best street style? Let us know.
People call me B Styles. My last name is Beaman as in Be A Man.
That’s amazing! Tell me more about B Styles. I have a radio show called Fashionknowlogy, with cohosts Antonio Ansaldi and Sunshine, on BASS WZBR 1410 am or thebassradio.com. It’s about fashion and all the things that go along with it. We’re using the show as a vehicle for people in the community to come on and showcase their talents. Sometimes there’s designers that aren’t really out there yet who are looking for an opportunity.
Did you grow up in Boston? Yes I did. I’m originally from Mattapan and now I live in Dorchester, I moved a long way. Different neighborhoods, same situation. I went to college in Connecticut and that’s where I got to see a lot of different styles – preppy kids and the jocks and theater kids and tree huggers, as we called them back then. I started seeing all these different elements and I thought, what would happen if I kind of brought all of these ideas together. So that’s how I do it.
Were you always interested in fashion? I wouldn’t say fashion, I just tried to look cool. I’ve never really considered starting my own clothing line or being in the fashion industry or anything like that. I’m actually the Dean of Students at a charter school and a football coach.
How did you get to be a dean of students? I was a drama major in school. At that time, it wasn’t necessarily the coolest thing for a football player to be doing. It’s a sad state of affairs that we try to section off people. When I was on the field, that was acceptable, but this other thing that I was doing, people didn’t quite understand it. But it’s actually quite enjoyable, when you play football, to have a place where you get a break away from all the football stuff. I enjoyed playing other people and getting into character. But I got my job because I worked at a group home after I graduated from college and that’s when I realized that everyone doesn’t have the same opportunities. I wondered what I could do to help and I found myself working in the school system. It’s a cool job for me. I want my office to be a place where students want to come because I want to talk to them about life and the expectations they have of themselves and the expectations people have of them and if they meet at all. And if they don’t, that’s fine. If you don’t want to go to college, then what’s your plan? Give me the alternate plan. If you can articulate your plan to me, cool, we can make it work. The young people keep you young. And hey, if you come to work everyday and young people give you compliments that goes further than the adult compliments to me because kids are the hardest audience to please.
How did you look cool as a kid? Back then it was, you put on your shell-toe Adidas sneakers with your fat shoelaces with your Levi’s.
Cuff or no cuff? No cuff back then, you let it droop. You’d throw your IZOD shirt on or your Polo shirt on and you’d just keep it fresh with your Kangol hat. I like preppy clothes. Polo has a very clean, classic look and then I throw things in with it that people would say really don’t go together.
Like what? People would say you shouldn’t wear paisley if you’re wearing stripes. But if it looks cool, it looks cool. And it’s probably gonna look cool because everyone said you shouldn’t do it. Everything’s that taboo people are attracted to, right? So that’s how I think of style.
I also like that you’re mixing two different kinds of plaid right now. I break all the rules, all the time. Not purposefully. When I wake up in the morning I never really know what I’m gonna wear, I’m not a planner like that. I do well, but I don’t plan well. It just comes together, however it is, it is. It’s really about me. It’s not really about doing anything that’s going to impress anybody else. If people appreciate it, that’s wonderful. I always say take a compliment.
I bet you get stopped on the street a lot. I do, I do. Like daily.
Do your students copy your style? Some of them over the years have. When I see their Instagram posts or Facebook posts, I’m always like, you guys learned well. The highest form of flattery is imitation. I tell them I want you to take whatever I’ve done and take it to another place, a place where I couldn’t even dream of it being.
Where do you get your clothes? A little bit of everywhere. I do love Ralph Lauren. I like Brooks Brothers. I just discovered these folks from Japan called United Arrows. They designed this jacket. I go to thrift shops often. I like to spend my time finding, looking for things.
Do you have any style icons? Andre from Outkast, Mos Def or Yasiin Bey, his new name. De La Soul had a lot of style influence. I think Donald Glover has a decent style. I like Tyler the Creator. I can appreciate what ASAP Rocky does, I respect what Lil Yachty tries to do in terms of being different. Migos have their own look too. There are a lot of folks out there who have their thing that works for them. A lot of people couldn’t do it and everybody shouldn’t try to do it. We’ve all done something that didn’t quite work. I’ve had outfits in my mind that looked perfect, but when I actually put it on, it looked kind of crazy. We have enough restrictions in our lives, in our style, I don’t think that we should be restricted to any kind of code. If you like a look, work it. We pull from things that we like and we take it to another level. Do what you feel. There’s enough people judging us for other things already.