The Ray Barretto look

Lord Leigh ParkThis weekend I was DJing at the Funky Butt Club, and decided I wanted to go for a Ray Barretto look. Barretto is the Puerto Rican percussionist most famous for ‘El Watusi’, a huge crossover hit in 1963.

Ray’s ‘look’ was kind of conservative but funky. Streetwise but studious. Like the music professor he was, or like that vibe Spike Lee tried to get by wearing outlandish specs in ‘Do the Right Thing’.

I’d bought these spec frames in a vintage clothing store in Brooklyn, and paired it up with a topping of Royal Crown hair pomade, charity shop chinos (£3), cheap (but hand made) red penny loafers, and my loudest ‘Loud’ Mambo shirt.

I nearly ditched this shirt a year or so ago, figuring I’d never wear it again, but I thought it was too much of a work of art to get rid of. And here I am wearing it a year later.

Apparently, Mambo has discontinued the Loud Shirt range, arguing that its core market is 16-25 year old surfer dudes. They argue that the Loud Shirt is normally worn by slightly overweight , middle-aged rugby league fans.

How right they are!


~ by Lord Leigh Park on April 20, 2011.

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