Terry Cousin, 34, played football for the Carolina Panthers and a half dozen other NFL teams during his 12-year career. Today, the former cornerback is more likely to be found in designer suits than in shoulder pads.

Cousin, who now makes his home in the Qcity, was named 2009 Man of the Year by Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Charlotte. He helped 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?
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, Kenneth Cole and small men’s boutiques.

Q. What fashion designers do you admire?
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?
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 $2,500 worth of NIKE gear.

Q. What grooming products do you use?
I use Dr. Miracles 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 locks?
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 is 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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