Dear Donald Glover

A formal thank you for your style

Words: Nhlanhla Masemola | Images: Getty

A little housekeeping: Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) is a rapper, actor, singer, producer, sketch comedian, stand-up comedian, DJ, screenwriter, director, movie star, showrunner, and, last but not least, a “hot dad”. It's highly likely you’ve seen his face on a talk show, sharing a screen with Rihanna on Guava Island or strutting down one red carpet or another as the most stylish guest. He’s a busy man and 2018 was an especially big year:

  • Glover landed his first number one on the Billboard 100 with This Is America.
  • His turn playing Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story won him rave reviews and spurned fun rumours of a possible spin-off.
  • He managed to make time to write a splendid second season of Atlanta, the pivotal award-winning TV show that became an instant hit since debuting in 2016.

And then came 2019, which saw Glover starring as Simba in The Lion King remake alongside Beyoncé (...and a talented cast of people who aren't Beyoncé). It’s safe to say he’s having an enduring “moment”. However, this love letter isn’t about him, it’s about something infinitely more important – his style.


Please consider this a formal thank you letter for giving my eyes and sartorial taste buds the splendour of your sharp dress sense. I’d like to profess my admiration with this touching dedication to some of your most striking outfits (pray tell, where do you find the inspiration?). From your expert use of colour to your ability to pull off elegant tailoring better than most, I’m in awe.

I’ve noticed that you used to be concerned with white T-shirts, standard black-tie ensembles and the amusing checked shirt. Now you’ve been infected with a sense of adventure that embraces contemporary trends while leaving space to set new ones. Some may wince and scoff at your eclectic mix of prints, colours and fits. Me? I’m simply spellbound that you embrace such with open arms.


I admire your new penchant for florals and distinctly remember your floral-patterned dinner jacket worn at the 2017 Met Gala. It takes a certain chutzpah to dress a man in floral-print silk pyjamas and alligator loafers and you pull it off with ease. If I own several yachts in the near future or find myself on an international press tour for an upcoming indie film, I’m stealing this look.


Like many men, Glover used to stick to “safe” colour choices such as navy, black and white. This year, you’ve convinced him to dabble in the refreshing vibrancy of red, yellow and bright green. A moment for how well you match skin tones to clothing colour palettes.


Gradually, we’ve noticed that for red carpet appearances, Glover has let go of penguin suits in favour of tonal and patterned suits. I especially enjoy the double-breasted details, the complementing brogues and the scandalous decision to entirely forgo conventional shirts.


On the red carpet, ever your playground, you prove that monochrome can indeed be formal. I appreciate your decision to don a silk shirt instead of a white dress shirt – and some extra points for adding sex appeal by letting Glover’s chest hair breathe. I also commend you for pushing the bounds of what a suit can look like. I stan.


A round of applause for your appreciation of 70s retro styling. This Bottega Veneta outfit, in particular, evokes the cool, free-spiritedness of that era. The slim trousers look modern yet comfortable. The cashmere collared sweater brings the look together by blending a sweater and an open-shirt neckline into one impressive piece. You must be proud. 

Furthermore, your smart use of suede is worth lauding. Thank you for your masterclass in how to pull off larger jackets, like this suede beauty from Ermenegildo Zegna Couture. You bring it into 2019 by streamlining the rest of the outfit with slim trousers, a fitted white tee, handsome leather boots and an accessory or two.

Lastly, that beard. Its rugged allure may be a point of contention, but I adore it nevertheless, perhaps all the more.

I eagerly await whatever else you have in store for us.

A fan and admirer

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