For nine seasons, Shemar Moore has played tough-as-nails FBI agent Derek Morgan on CBS’s wildly popular procedural Criminal Minds. But you probably know him best as That Guy Your Girlfriend (And/Or Mom) Is Desperately In Lust With. Part of the reason for Moore’s widespread appeal amongst the fairer sex is that he happens to be one of the most naturally stylish dudes in the game. We asked the 43-year-old to give us the rundown on his fashionable instincts. Take notes.
You’ve got a pretty distinct sense of personal style. Where did that come from?
My mom always had an eye for fashion, whether she knew it or not. She was always original and would put her own combinations of stuff together. But I think fashion really hit me once I got to Hollywood. All of a sudden I had to step my game up because I was going to events and getting my picture taken. I started playing around with stuff I liked to wear, and I went through a phase—especially when I hosted Soul Train for five seasons—where I was trying anything and everything. Some of it worked, and a whole lot of it didn’t. I look back at old pictures and go, “Oh god, where were the fashion police?” But after all that trial and error, I just kind of started to simplify and figure out the styles and designers that I like, and found my own, everyday thing.
We’ve heard a rumour that you actually help to choose all your character’s clothes on Criminal Minds.
My wardrobe departmentprobably doesn’t want me tosay that out loud, but yeah. I’m very picky, even for the simplest things like a pair of jeans or boots. I look at outfits and clothing from all angles, from the way your jacket fits to the height of your high-tops. You can call it vain if you want to, but it matters: the clothes I wear can change my delivery, the way I walk and talk. And because I’m the tough guy of the group, I’ve got to be able to run up and down fire escapes, kick down doors, and feel comfortable in what I’m wearing.
How does Derek Morgan’s wardrobe compare to your own?
Derek Morgan is very similar to Shemar Moore—just not as co-ordinated or put together or flossy. In my own life, I like to have a lot more fun: I dress in different ways, have my ears pierced, wear silver jewelry and accessories, and coordinate my tennis shoes with my hats. When it comes to suits, I like them cut a certain way. I like the flow. I used to look at Michael Jordan, and he made everyone want to be 6’6” because of the way he wore a suit—and, more importantly, the way he moved in a suit. He just had that cool walk. Denzel Washington has his own cool walk, and so does Eddie Murphy. It’s showcased in whatever they have on. Clothes just help determine whatever the swagger for the day is going to be.