Screen star Jay Ellis believes in taking things step-by-step fashion-wise. “Baby steps,” to be exact.
With his chiseled physique and boy-next-door charm, Ellis is a natural for our men’s fashion feature, rocking this season’s all-white-everything menswear look.
Ellis’ style is “never too complicated or uncomfortable,” and posing for ESSENCE was simple for the actor, who got his start as a model.
His advice for women on upgrading their man’s wardrobe? Start small—socks, underwear—then move to outerwear.
“Pants and shoes should be the last thing to try and get a dude to change,” he says. “That’s where we’re the most attached to our clothes.”
The South Carolina native, who starred in this year’s thriller, Escape Room, has been honing his acting skills since 2008. He broke through in 2013 on BET’s The Game and has captivated us as Issa Rae’s on-again, off-again boyfriend Lawrence Walker on HBO’s Insecure. Now a Hollywood hot commodity, Ellis, 37, will star alongside Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick next year.
As for the fourth season of Insecure, Ellis teases, “When the show comes back on, you know it’s gonna be fire.”
Speaking of having victories, Ellis shares some inspirational advice from his mother: “Be kind. Know what you’re doing inside and out.”
He adds, “I watched my mom graduate from college in her thirties and go on to be COO at a multimillion-dollar bank. She has hustle and work ethic that’s only matched by my dad.”
Shop these essential buys inspired by Jay’s look below!
Photographer: Jasmine Jasseiuo Durhal
Stylist: Avon Dorsey
Groomer: Jhizet Panosian/Forward Artists
Manicurist: Nettie Davis/kenbarboza.com
Set Designer: John Geary/Celestine Agency