05/19/2012 11:28 am ET Updated Jul 19, 2012

A Look Back At The Most Stylish Black Men: 8 Dapper Dons Who Were Made in the Past

Let's face it, men of the former years had exceptional taste. Heading out for a stroll down Madison Avenue called for a double-breasted jacket, titled derby and the cleanest pair of wingtips your closet housed. Refined style came with the territory of being man--it was in your biological makeup -- fashion DNA. And in our humble opinion, the brothers back then added a little something extra to their retro looks.

Who could forget Billy D's dictator mustache? Or Sammy Davis, Jr.'s impeccable suits. Bump the rappers and entertainers of today, it's the unsung style pioneers of yesteryear who wrote the handbook for how a respectable man is supposed to dress.

Dapper dons were made in the 20s and 30s, groomed in the 40s and 50s, paraded their swag throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, and at the brink of the 21st century, cooled down and let the younger fellas live. Join us in celebrating the iconic style of 8 distinguished gentlemen who were made in the past.