White Linen and Pimp Hats at The Player’s Ball.

Charlie Wison's Hat collection

KBLX Stone Soul Concert-

My button-up and loafers showed that I was aware, but all the same,
the fit showed that I had no idea of exactly how player of a situation
I was getting into…

We were headed to the KBLX Stone Soul Concert; on the bill:
Mint Condition, New Edition, Uncle Charlie Wilson, and the return of
Ronald Isley.

My girlfriend’s mother’s husband was out of the
window of the car, tipping his cap as a sign of his appreciation to
all of the gentlemen in attire that matched the level of playerism
that comes along with the aforementioned list of artists. Every last one of the men
had one of those shnazzy Steve Harvey hats wicker 1930’s Fidora-ish
hats. I didn’t know what to call them, I just thought they were called
a “pimp hat”. Actually, my girlfriend was rocking a similar style
hat… So were lots of other women. Actually, a solid 40% of the crowd
was rocking a “pimp hat”.
Even Ralph Tresvant of New Edition had 1 on! Ralph’s hat was supported
by a linen suit; as well as Bobby Brown and Johnny Gill. By the end of
their set, they each had solid sized sweat stains on their threads.
Their set came to a close, and the small intermission allowed my mind
to wonder and my eyes to people watch: linen suits, or just a linen
shirt or pants separate, was the dress code for about 40% of the male

Now remember who I was at the event to see:
Mint Condition, New Edition, Uncle Charlie Wilson, and the return of
Ronald Isley.

I’ll give you this math equation: Bay Area + ole skool funk concert =
“The Players Ball”.

And now I’ll pose this question:

How old do you have to be before you can rock one of those smoove all
white linen suits?

I was in awe of all the family men that had dreams of being pimps, and
all the pimps- that ended up living that dream family life.

Concord,California isn’t South Beach in Miami, but the heat made the linen suit applicable; I mean it was so hot that I saw a plus sized woman wipe the sweaty back of her legs in between acts. I wish I hadn’t.

But the old heads in linen suits looked cool. So cool. They looked a
lot cooler then the old heads in throw back jerseys. Although, I did
see a James Worthy Lakers jersey and a Ray Lewis jersey from his
Miami U days…both made me halt in a brief moment of honor.
But my crowd scouting lead me to believe linen was the move. There
were alternative colors; the brown linen suits were smooth, the blues
were cool- but the all white linen suit and the brim was both cool and
smooth. Plus a classic.

The white linen suit is a staple at warm weather events in the Black
community. But because of its classic staple- will the white linen
suit ever be played out? Is it played out now? is the white linen suit
what eventually becomes of the white-T wearing brothers of my
So many questions! All I know is, it doesn’t matter how “player” it
is, I wouldn’t want to rock a linen suit if everyone around me was
wearing one…unless I was a member of New Edition, cause they can do
The intermission between sets was over, and following Bobby and the
boys was Uncle Charlie Wilson.

I want to thank Uncle Charlie, he clarified more of my internal
immature male fashion inquires than he will ever know. Uncle Charlie
hit the stage in a number of different outfits, I do believed he
managed to touch every color of the rainbow through his ensembles, and
the color coordinated fits of his band and background dancers,
“Charlie’s Angels”. No comment on the suits and live colors. My
attention was diverted from Uncle Charlie’s blinging orange and purple
rhinestone blazer and shirt combo, when the elder gentleman began
discussing what he has overcome: Colon cancer, drug addiction, and
alcoholism all played a part in making the man that was adoring that
outfit on that stage. And that man wasn’t made by clothes, instead, he
made em. Literally.
Wilson has created a line of fly “pimp hats”, and a portion of the
proceeds from hat sales are dedicated to cancer research, here is a video where he discusses the hats.

Uncle Charlie Wilson’s hat was a little more “player” than any of the
other hats.

And his performance taught me two things about these “players ball”
events…incorporate what everyone else is doing so as to show
knowledge of the classics, while all the while maintaining a strong
personal twist on it so as to remain original. And while at these
“players ball” events, bottom line: have a ball…and I did.