There's no question that this year's VMA host is one of the best-dressed men to ever step in front of the media's cameras. Diddy uses a myriad of methods to preserve his sexy. Just know though that he doesn't do it alone — he has a team to help him stay as fly as a fully fueled Learjet, and among those who've served the dapper rapper is stylist extraordinaire Mike "B." Bogard. Mike worked with Diddy for 11 years before stepping off recently to start his own company, Bogard Management and Consulting LLC, where he does personal styling and even some ghost designing for clients that include Usher, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony. Here Mike B. gives his insight into the former Puff Daddy's rules for dressing for a major event.
Diddy's 10 Fashion Commandments:
Pressure Breeds Creativity - When you're Sean "Diddy" Combs, you really don't have to make up your mind about what you're going to wear until the last minute. For last year's VMAs, Diddy didn't pick out his black-and-white outfit until 20 minutes before he and Mase stepped out onto his yacht. Even then, he wasn't sure. "I never had much time when I was working with him," Bogard said.
It's All About The Options - No wonder Diddy can't make up his mind. He carries enough articles of clothing in his wardrobe to cover an entire basketball team. When Mike B. was in his camp, the main requirement was to give the baddest Bad Boy plenty of options. Mike would have to lug between 10 and 12 different outfits that ranged from "young boy fresh" (jeans and a fly tee) to "grown and sexy." Fifteen to 25 pairs of sunglasses and maybe 15 to 25 pairs of shoes were also a must, ranging from a classic hard-bottom shoe to the latest kicks. Which brings us to commandment 2.5.: Make sure all his wares are there. "Even if you don't think he'll want it, bring it anyway," Bogard said.
Be The One And Only - It doesn't matter if it's a pair of boxers, Diddy doesn't want to look like anyone else at a major shindig. Combs makes sure he has on an outfit and jewelry specifically designed for him. When it comes to footwear, the shoes have to be exclusive to him, or at least an early version not hitting shelves for several months.
The Next Man Does Not Exist - When Diddy's at a red-carpet event, he's bound to run into his well-dressed contemporaries, such as Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Kanye West and even Farnsworth Bentley, but he's never worried about who Mr. Blackwell or some newspaper tabloid is going to give props to. "There was no competition for us," Mike B. said. "We the flyest dudes out. With my style and Puff's style and intuition and the way we put it together — finding the piece people would be scared to wear — it was a wrap."
It Does Matter If It's Black Or White - "He don't really do pastel colors, he's not a Kanye West type of dude," Bogard said. Diddy is more of a Darth Vader/ storm trooper kind of guy. He loves all black or all white. According to Bogard, Diddy associates black with power and feels white is the center of attention. Combs guarantees that in most instances, white will light up any venue.
Waves Are Enough - Diddy doesn't like to overdo it by throwing on a hat all the time. If he's wearing something like jeans and a tee, you might see a fitted ball cap. But if he's rocking a suit, a lot of times he's cool with letting people get "seasick" by looking at the waves in his hair, Mike B. said. That is, unless he's going for the Rat Pack look and wants to wear a short-brimmed fedora.
Don't Do The Doo - Mike B. says you will never see Diddy come out to a function rocking just a doo-rag on his head. A doo-rag must be covered by a fitted cap or not worn at all. "The only time you'll see Puff with just a doo-rag on his head is when his barber just finished cutting his hair and he's getting dressed," Bogard said. "You gotta let them waves lay right."
Know How To Navigate Your Thermostat - Even though Diddy has more jewels than Mr. T and Slick Rick combined, he's not going to wear them all at once. When you go to a well-publicized function, you have to know how to accessorize your ice. Sometimes you don't want to go too frosty, like if you have on a suit. "When he wears a suit, he might just throw on a nice pinky ring, nice watch and some earrings and cufflinks," Bogard said. "I call that 'a two-piece and a biscuit.' A lot of guys can't get that value meal. They have to start off at the dollar menu and get one piece at a time." However, "if he's onstage wearing his young-drug-dealer-fresh look, he might get gaudy."
Don't Let It All Hang Out - When Diddy rolls into an ultra-swank soiree, he'll throw on a suit and you'd better believe that he's seen a tailor before anyone has seen him in his threads. A major no-no is wearing a suit too baggy, but even worse than that is wearing a suit too tight. Diddy might lose some of his cool if he were spotted getting his Shemar Moore on with something extremely form-fitting.
Know Your Design - Diddy was hollering about diamonds being forever way before Kanye West. There's a method to his iced-out ways too. When he hollas at Jacob the Jeweler to help with the design of his shines, he really takes measures to ensure he not only has the right color, but the right clarity and cut.