It’s no secret that Jay Ellis has been one of Hollywood’s favorite pieces of eye candy since he stepped on the scene as Blue on BET’s The Game. Years later, he’s everyone’s favorite boyfriend and budding tech-savvy entrepreneur Lawrence Walker on HBO’s Insecure starring Issa Rae. As the show comes to an end, fans have been in an anxiety-filled tizzy about the fate of Lawrence and Issa as well as observing that Lawrence is noticeably more stylish than before. Ironically, Ellis has been getting in his fashion bag in real life—announcing his partnership with online personal styling and shopping service Stitch Fix. The brand launched its Expert Picks, described as “a series of collaborations with stylish tastemakers,” which for Ellis includes his wardrobe inspiration and data-driven product recommendations through Stitch Fix Freestyle. From your virtual happy hours with colleagues to in-person brunches with your squad, this collection has it all.
The Insecure star shared the scoop on his Stitch Fix collaboration and started by sharing how the partnership was born. “I was really excited when the Stitch Fix team approached me with the opportunity to help launch their Expert Picks series,” he says. “One of the reasons the service resonates with me is that I believe the perfect fit is key, and that’s something Stitch Fix does incredibly well. We also have a shared belief that comfort is crucial. If you’re not comfortable, it doesn’t matter how stylish the clothes are. You have to feel good to look good.”
Jay Ellis’s Stitch Fix Expert Picks collection includes a boldly striped Original Penguin polo, Frame’s dark wash denim, utilitarian outerwear from Nike and his fall must-have favorites New Balance 574s. “I’m all about finding the essentials that I love and then playing around with fresh new prints, patterns and colors, which is something I loved doing for this collaboration,” he explains. “In my Expert Picks shop, you’ll find styles with unexpected patterns like this crane-printed button-down from Penguin or staple items with a pop of color, like this Rockridge sweater. These have classic silhouettes but are infused with details that can instantly elevate your wardrobe.”
The Escape Room actor continued, “There’s a lot of versatility across the items and Stitch Fix really let me embrace my personal style when collaborating on what pieces would be featured in my shop. While jeans, a white tee and sneakers might not be the most groundbreaking combination, I love that Stitch Fix always gets the fit right and one thing I like to do is add a jacket that makes a statement. This bomber from Scotch & Soda completely elevates the vibe. I like my days to be spontaneous, so the perfect outfit to me is one that can take me from grabbing lunch with a friend to a dance party and anything in between.”
When it comes to his character on Insecure, the handsome and up-and-coming techprenuer Lawrence Walker, Ellis’s personal style is a bit different than that of his role. “I think I’m willing to take more risks than Lawrence in terms of fashion, but on a random day he’s usually upscale-casual and I’m usually in something more comfortable,” he laughs in comparison. As fans have seen Lawrence evolve from the first season to the heartthrob he is today, Ellis reminisced on his character’s style evolution throughout five iconic seasons of Insecure. “Well, a job will change everything, won’t it,” he chuckled as he ran through memories of Lawrence’s glow up. “He definitely has matured style-wise. I think he’s found looks that he feels comfortable in and reflect his level of self-care as opposed to early on when he just bummed around in sweats. He’s definitely found a few labels and fashion brands as his go-to’s as well.”
As for his own style evolution, Ellis reflected on his journey through the Hollywood scene since the beginning of his career. “I think it’s ever-evolving. I definitely feel more comfortable taking ‘risks’. I wouldn’t even call them that because I think so much of fashion and style is based on how you feel in the clothes,” he says. “If you feel good, then the fit will look good… for the most part. There are exceptions.” Unlike most of us regular folks, Ellis tells ESSENCE that he doesn’t have any style regrets and takes every mistake as a learning lesson. “If I hadn’t made some of the bad decisions, then I wouldn’t know what a good decision looks like. I just think they’re all lessons learned on what to not do in the future,” he shares.
With the brisk fall chill in the air, ESSENCE asked Ellis for a speed round of the fall must-haves in his closet including a good ole fashioned shirt jacket, much like this one featured in his Stitch Fix shop. “I’m a huge Steve McQueen fan, and a shirt jacket just reminds me of some of the classic motorcycle looks he rocked. Timeless, nonchalant and the ultimate cool. A classic pair of sneakers that can be paired with almost anything this fall. Now that the weather is getting cooler (even in L.A.!) a lightweight crew neck long sleeve is the perfect item to layer on with a T-shirt and jeans.
Want to get a taste of Jay Ellis’ personal style in time for the winter and fall seasons? Browse through the full selection of stylish items featured in Jay Ellis’ Expert Picks collection here!