Hip-hop maestro, talented photographer, and Men’s Shop Daily guest editor Thig Nat (short for “Natural”) recently offered us a glimpse into a music/art/charity event that he helped organize and host. Being an after-hours event and taking place at a museum, this was one of those frequent yet potentially perplexing occasions when a tuxedo is too much and a T-shirt won’t cut it.
Keep reading for stellar photos from the night’s proceedings (which included a performance by Thig’s longtime friend and colleague Macklemore) and to see how Mr. Nat struck an ideal balance between decked-out and laid-back.
[Intro photo, and all photos featuring Thig, by Brian Oh.]
[Thig (left) with a Seattle native you may have heard of: Macklemore.
Hear the story behind how these two first met in our Sneakers in Seattle Q&A.]
“Something people may not know about me is my Kenyan heritage. My father was one of Seattle’s first Kenyan immigrants in the ’60s, and my mom came over later, in the ’70s. My connection to Africa has influenced every aspect of my life, from music to eduction to style. Whenever there’s an opportunity for me to use any musical and social influence I have for a cause of personal significance to me, I’m all for it…”
[Thig and his parents.]
“…Recently at the EMP Museum, my band, The Physics, had the privilege of hosting Madaraka Festival with One Vibe Africa, an organization that creates programs through music and art to inspire and empower disadvantaged youth in Kenya. The benefit showcased the music and visual arts that embody the special relationship between Seattle and Africa. Guests caught musical performances from some amazing artists, including a surprise set from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It was an amazing night and a huge honor to be a part of.” —Thig Nat of The Physics
[A sampling of the evenings musical performances—including a surprise set from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Live music photos above by Brady Harvey.]
[Owuor Arunga, legendary trumpeter and One Vibe Africa’s global ambassador. Photos by Ike & Tash.]
“I’m a big believer in dressing for the occasion, so I felt like semi-formal was the way to go for an event like this. I’m usually performing at concert venues or bars, not museums—so somewhere in between black-tie affair and the typical jeans-and-tee ‘fit felt like the right move.”
1) A Night-Out Knit. “I opted for this A.P.C. sweater instead of a button-down or sportcoat. The construction looks more like a sweatshirt, so the dressier cotton/cashmere fabric and dark-grey color are a great counterbalance.”
[Shop: A.P.C. Sweater | All Sweaters]
2) A Step Up from Jeans. “I figured that if I was going for a somewhat formal look, simple black trousers would be a good start. These understated pants are exactly what I needed. They’re technically a ‘skinny’ fit, so I’d recommend going up a size if you’re like me and prefer more of a ‘slim’ look.”
[Shop: Topman Suit Trousers | All Dress Pants]
3) The Doctor is In. “It’s crazy to think that these are some of the most comfortable shoes I own—but they are. The leather is surprisingly soft, and, depending on how you wear them, black Docs go with everything.”
[Shop: Dr. Martens ‘1460’ Boot | All Boots]
4) Golden Rule. “A nice wristwatch is a great complement to any ‘fit. I really dig the simplicity and sophistication of Nixon watches. They’re typically on the more subtle side, design-wise, but blend style and sport really well—at an affordable price point.”
[Shop: Nixon ‘Sentry’ Watch | All Watches]