I recently asked Alex from, Everybody Loves You, to do a guest post for me. I know you all love hearing my take on fashion…but I wanted to hear a man’s perspective on sports/fashion world and I knew you would too! Thanks, Alex!
The NBA season ended recently with the vilified Lebron James and the Miami Heat winning the championship. Despite a delayed start due to a labor stoppage, the year
was filled with spectacular plays, dramatic storylines and most importantly – awesome
They say professional basketball players are the most recognizable and marketable stars
due their faces and body language being much more visible than those in the other big
three professional sports. This intense individual spotlight has really allowed the public
to get a more intimate sense of these athletes – for better or for worse. Ten years ago,
Allen Iverson was the poster-boy for a hip-hop thug image the NBA ultimately decided
to legislate against due to believing it was bad for business.
After a downward spiral of popularity, the NBA enacted a dress code as a
countermeasure to all the baggy jeans and extra long white-tees. Coincidentally, the
hip-hop costume was in the midst of an overhaul as label-conscience rappers looked
more towards the boardroom and the fashion runway than the projects for style
inspiration. This look matured further by embracing the underground skateboard and
backpack culture. This hybrid street-fashion aesthetic was on full display this past NBA
season as superstars turned the walk from the team bus to the locker room into a Paris
runway. These and the post-game podium interview outfits were so fashion-forward
and ostentatious that it’s almost mind-boggling that they’re the choice of athletes
typically associated with proto-masculinity.
Personally, I love it. Though Charles Barley tried to tell me long ago that athletes are
not role models, I disagree. Dwyane Wade went so HAM this past year that I voted for
his pink pants to win regular season MVP. Lebron James nearly matched his superstar
teammate and actually carried a purse on national television. A purse! If he can stride
with one of those and still keep his head held high, then I can’t feel any shame walking
down Carson Street with a Jack Spade canvas tote. Scoring leader Kevin Durant dressed
like the perfect cross between Steve Urkel and Stefan Urquelle. Russell Westbrook
wore go-to-hell polo shirts and glasses with no lenses. Along with the cultural force
that is Kanye West, these dudes, who also just happen to be gigantic black men, are the
epitome of inimitable personal style. Amare Stoudemire may have taken it a little far
with his frayed denim vest, but I’m still not hatin’.
Does this mean you should dress exclusively like a hipster English butler? No. But it does
go to show that being a man and having noticeable style aren’t mutually exclusive. Sure,
a fitted polo shirt and a pair of tailored chinos will still be your go-to outfit for most
occasions. But that polo doesn’t have to be navy. It can be pink, lemon, or tangerine
tango. You can throw a pair of bright-striped socks or multi-colored checkerboard Vans
into your style rotation. Small touches like this will add some spice to your look and
make women (and yes, some dudes) take notice.