Terry Cousin, 34, played as a professional football player for the Carolina Panthers and other NFL teams. Today you’re more likely to see him in custom made suits than in shoulder pads.

After 12 years in the NFL, Cousins who makes his home in Charlotte was named the 2009 Man of the Year by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Charlotte. He help to raise $38,381 for the organization.

Here’s what he says are his style essentials.


Q. How would you describe your style?

Professional but fun.

Q. Who or what inspires your style?

I don’t see anyone inspiring my style. I’m an artist and I believe that’s what makes my style unique. I grew up with art material in my hand and after that it was a “wrap”. I love to try and create something that’s so simple to everyone and add two or three details and make it my own.

Q. Do you enjoy shopping? If so, where do you like to shop for clothes?

I love shopping but I am very indecisive and slow when it comes to putting my wardrobe together. I guess that’s the artist in me. I like to shop at Nordstrom’s, Kenneth Cole and small men’s boutiques.

Q. What fashion designers do you admire? Why?

I admire Robert Graham. His line is very funky but sophisticated at the same time and it’s very reasonable.

Q. What’s your favorite accessory and why?

Ties/cuff links. I have about 14 pairs of cufflinks. To me they are the finishing touches to any piece of clothing that I wear. Some people say a “man’s shoes can tell you his story”. I say a tie and Cuff Links do that for me.

Q. What item in your wardrobe can’t you live without?

I can’t live without a crisp, clean white dress shirt with French cuffs.

Q. What’s your latest splurge?

I just splurged on over $2500 worth of NIKE gear.

Q. What are the names of grooming products you use?

I use Dr. Miracles for on my locks, shea butter Lotion on my skin and Cocoa Butter Body Wash. Mixed in with a few splashes of Diddy’s cologne UNFORGIVABLE and I’m ready for the evening.

Q. I noticed you have long locks. How long have you been growing your hair?

I’ve been growing my hair since February 2001 but locking since September 2003.

Q. How do you maintain your hair and what products do you use?

My hair stylist Gia at Lockstar Salon maintains my locks but she doesn’t have to do much because I have that “ good hair”. LOL!

Q. What’s your favorite cologne?

BVLGARI. I have about 27 bottles of other colognes I like as well.

Q. What key items do you think every well-dressed man should have?

Every man should have a slamming pair of loafers, dress shoes, a designer belt with a unique buckle, cuff links that are unique enough that you pay attention to and a tooth brush. Also Doublemint gum because no one likes to get hit with the “yuck mouth”.

Style Advice to others:

I believe you should be yourself in whatever you do. Some people may think your style may be weird but that’s just one person. Step out on a limb sometimes and try something not so traditional. And enjoy what you have and rock it with confidence.

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