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2011 NBA Draft Style Analysis: The Suits Finally Fit and Kemba is King

The 2011 installment of the NBA Draft was not given the opportunity to be great. Madison Square Garden, the usual host for festivities, is under renovation so the hopeful rookies had to travel across the Hudson River to Newark and walk the stage at Prudential Center. Bloggers and basketball pundits dismissed the next class of NBA talent as bottom tier. Also, with a lockout looming – will these young men ever see playing time? In 2003, LeBron James’ oversized white ensemble was better suited for a pimp and not the first overall draft pick. His personal style has evolved thanks in part to the dress code, maturity and careful image management. The NBA instituted the dress code in 2005 and it came at the perfect time as menswear was moving towards to the skinny suit and tailored styles thanks to Hedi Slimane at Dior Homme. Fitted or “European” styles began dominating locker rooms along with luxury sneakers and Louis Vuitton everything. Braids began disappearing as Carmelo Anthony shaved his off and Kobe Bryant switched from jerseys pre-game to suits. Players no longer wanted to look like Allen Iverson but now Kanye West’s fashion forward style evolution was to be mimicked. This year’s draft class may not have hit the perfect style notes but it’s clear that with the help of stylists, the new kids are learning how important fit is in a suit. Gone are the days of the LeBron white suit or Jalen Rose’s infamous red atrocity. Without further ado, here’s the best, worst and downright average style grades for the 2011 NBA draft class. It should come as no surprise that a New York kid wins my award for best dressed. Kemba Walker won my respect and fashion gold star last night because he wore a suit that was not only perfectly cut for his body type but because he was able to still let his personal style shine through. Last year, Wesley Johnson’s plaid pants and double-breasted ensemble may have been sartorially inclined but it looked like the outfit wore him, not the other way around. Walker looked both comfortable and cool in the single breasted blue-grey suit. The peaked lapels were in proportion with his shoulders and the jacket was modern without being fussy. Walker was already on my radar for his understated, well-fitting suit at Connecticut’s visit with President Obama after winning the NCAA National Championship. His big heart and great speaking skills makes him a complete player off the court as well – he’s a marketing dream. In fact, he already has endorsement deals in place with Axe and Best Buy without the elusive title of being the number one draft pick. Walker’s accessory choices elevated his look from above average to exquisite. The pocket square in beige with a pink hue picked up the rose gold outsole of his two-tone shoes. The tie bar kept his look clean but added some visual interest on his thin, patterned tie. Even his belt was a leather with a pink undertone to tie it all together. Fellas, when I say the items of your outfit don’t have to match but they have to go, I’m talking about putting an ensemble together like Walker’s. The hues (underlying color) are all in the same family – blue in the primary items and pink in the accessories. Since the colors are all related, they work in harmony. I’m excited to see what Walker brings to Charlotte off the court. According to my favorite Bobcats’ source, Ben Swanson (a.k.a. CardboardGerald), the rookie came to the press conference dressed to impress in Louis Vuitton sneakers. Kemba Walker, you’re on my fashion radar. He’s my early pick for style rookie for the season….if we get a season.

Walker’s swag dominated the night but credit has to be given both to my Canadian countryman Tristan Thompson, as well as Marshon Brooks for sporting full ensembles not just a suit. Thompson (and his personal shopper) found a suit that managed to fit him perfectly without looking snug in the shoulders or short in the sleeves – an issue for a player with a seven feet, two-inch wingspan.The polka dot tie contrasts with the pink tone in the shirt and the paisley pocket square ties it all together.His rose gold watch face is the right shade for his skin tone and the leather watch strap and shoes are the perfect complimentary shade of warm saddle brown – this is how to wear black and brown together. It certainly looked like Thompson dressed to best match his new Cavaliers cap – think he knew something the media didn’t?

In every draft class, there seems to be one player that calls dibs on the bow tie and tries to make it work for him. This year, Marshon Brooks took the honor. The last time a bow tie was worn properly was when James Harden sported his cream ensemble and has since had the neck accessory a signature. Brooks seems to be following Harden’s sartorial example. Brooks was originally drafted by the Celtics before being moved to the Nets, sported another bow tie at his introductory press conference in Newark. For draft night, his two piece grey suit fit in the shoulders and the sleeve length was fine although it could be taken in more in the torso and in arm width to remove some of the bulk – the ill fit was made obvious when he stood up to meet Commissioner Stern. Besides the technical suiting issues, the patterned shirt mixed with the neutral grey suit really make the bow tie the star to the outfit. A good tactic to draw attention up to Brooks’ face and away from the terrible adidas draft caps.

The number one pick in the 2011 NBA Draft was Kyrie Irving out of Duke University and the only thing that streamed first overall about his outfit was his timepiece.Besides the impressive watch, the rest of ensemble was average – decent fitting jacket and shirt, pants could be tailored and the tie was too skinny and poorly knotted. Hopefully fellow rookie Tristan Thompson and veteran NBA fashion plate Baron Davis can help their new teammate take some risks this season.

Speaking of sartorial risks, Kawhi Leonard went for preppy throwback look with white piping on black two button suit. When I originally saw this suit, I immediately thought he belonged on a yacht or perhaps parking cars at the yacht club. The buttons are a bit distracting and the pocket square seems like an afterthought but the piping has grown on me. Keeping the shirt and tie relatively neutral was a smart move so it didn’t distract from the jacket. The fit is decent, but as with many of these young men, the sleeve could be slimmed down. A pop of color or sheen in the pocket square could have upgraded the look and he might want to re-think the braids – no one should take manscaping cues from Udonis Haslem.

Pocket squares have become the new accessory of choice for NBA draftees in recent years and this year, some players either didn’t put enough thought into them (Leonard) or tried too damn hard. It’s important to remember that for these young men, most of their interviews will head and shoulder shots so the pocket square will be shown and having one that looks like a used tissue stuffed in your pocket looks sloppy. The Morris brothers were a great story of the draft, twins going one right after another to different cities for the first time in their young lives. But they had me crying foul all over Twitter as with the pocket square, bigger is not necessarily better as you have a limited space to display your accessory.

Markieff Morris, the slightly older twin and the first to be drafted, thirteenth overall to the Suns, wore a pinstripe suite that looked be right off the rack and ill-fitting on his massive frame. The jacket is too long, the shoulder are bunching and sleeves and pants must be taken in. Also, on a large man a three-piece suit adds bulk, he should have gone for a sleeker silhouette. As for the pocket square, it looks like he found some iridescent Kleenex and stuffed it in his pocket. The fact that you actually see a bulge from the access fabric in the jacket is a terrible look. Remember, it’s a square, not a scarf. While we’re on accessories, white watches, like white sunglasses, often just look cheap and it does not work with his outfit at all.

Marcus Morris, the younger brother by seven minutes, was drafted next to another Western Conference team, the Houston Rockets. Marcus, followed suit almost literally with a pinstripe three-piece suit in black that was looked to fit in the shoulders but not so well elsewhere. Not to be outdone by his brother, upped the pocket square ante as his almost reached his tie knot – far too large. I’m all for flair but the pocket square took over his entire outfit and you became distracted by his accessory and not listen to what the newly minted rookie had to say. Also, if you look the Morris’ brothers wore similar shirt and ties. The best moment from the twin’s draft came from their interview with their mother, who was also in a pinstripe suit, who said she wouldn’t wear either of the adidas draft caps – smart woman.

As for the rest of the draft class, it was nice to see the players put some effort into their attire, the recent explosion of athlete stylists are certainly helping keep the players current. Derrick Williams tried to work with a skinny suit silhouette but didn’t make it. The tailoring was fine but the tie knot didn’t work with the shirt or the tie width. The bright red tie was a nice burst of color, but some more texture would have really made Williams stand out.

Jimmer Fredette came into the draft with plenty of hype thanks to his ridiculous NCAA campaign. While Fredette’s stock dropped a touch on concerns over lack of defensive fundamentals and size, his fashion game could probably use a return to basics. His jacket hit in the wrong spot and Fredette looked like he was sporting a pot belly. The stance on his jacket was a touch high and the cut made him look boxier. Dressing in BYU blue (navy suit, blue tie, blue shirt, blue watch) was a nice nod to his alumna matter but it came off a little dull. Fredette is more modest than most NBA rookies but his giant timepiece and rapping brother give the impression that the young man from upstate New York wants to take a few more risks.

Finally, I have to give points to Jonas Valanciunas, my hometown Toronto Raptors fifth overall draft pick. Most Raptors picks were hoping that local hero Tristan Thompson would have his homecoming on the Air Canada Centre court, but as usual the Raptors went European. Valanciunas went for subtle but well-tailored. The olive-green tie and pattern mixing with a different pocket square elevated the look from basic to interesting. The sleeve length was also on point so kudos to the unknown centre. I’m sure he’ll be a frequent visitor to Yorkville this season, Toronto’s high-end shopping neighbourhood soon.

Overall, this year’s draft class was an improvement over last year’s. The new crop of NBA rookies need to continue to practice and perfect the art of fit and how to dress their frames. Hopefully they’ll start taking more risks and find their own personal style among the NBA trends and Louis Vuitton littered locker rooms. Good luck gentlemen and welcome to the big leagues.

Photos courtesy of ESPN.com, Yahoo Sports and NBA.com.

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Mariano Rivera Suits Back Up For Canali

Baseball, like fashion, is most important in the spring and fall. Spring marks the start of a new calendar year while fall brings a whole new set of layers, fabrics, trends and textures. It may not seem like the most natural fit, but there’s a strong movement towards using athletes for more than just athletic endorsement deals but as models for fashion’s biggest brands.

Mariano Rivera in Yankees' navy and grey for Canali's Spring/Summer 2010 campaign. Photo: Canali.

The Yankees lead the way as the baseball team with most ties to the fashion industry. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have graced the pages of GQ magazine as models, while DKNY  signed a multifaceted deal with the squad this season. The latest man in pinstripes to enter the fashion game is Mariano Rivera. Arguably one of the greatest closers to ever play the game, Rivera modelled for Italian menswear brand Canali for their spring/summer 2010 print advertising campaign.

Mariano Rivera in one of his looks for the Canali fall/winter 2010 ad campaign. Photo: Courtesy Photo, Source: WWD.com.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, Rivera pose for Canali for the fall/winter 2010 advertisements as well. The photographs feature Rivera wearing, of course, trademark Yankee colours, including a navy pinstripe two-button suit, a double-breasted cashmere coat and a gray cashmere-blend jacket. The ensembles are classic, refined and rich – much like the franchise that Rivera has often carried on his forty-year old back. Rivera is the first professional athlete Canali has cast for an advertising campaign. When Canali announced Rivera has a new face of the company in March 2010, they preached a mantra of contemporary elegance on their website and the reasoning behind signing athlete, “he decision to choose a sports star as testimonial for the Spring Summer 2010 campaign accentuates the close ties between Canali and the star system, both in Hollywood and elsewhere, where elegance and excellence, style and performance are shared values.” Apparently the previous campaign was so well received that both parties eagerly agreed to work together for another season.

What would Mariano wear? Photo: New York Times

No word yet how long the deal will continue for, but I’m sure Canali will stay interested as long as Rivera keeps the Yankees in the headlines. The advertisements will run in national as well as regional magazines and newspapers. I have to wonder though, what does Mo wear pre-game, as DKNY is the official outfitter of the Yankees but he poses for Canali. Can one man wear both an American and Italian fashion brand without setting of a style war? It’s hard to know, but it’s safe to say that Mariano’s set up with pinstripes for life, both on and off the field.

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Li-Ning: Original Expansion

The sneaker game is nothing but competitive. Most companies that seem to have their own brand identities, are really just subdivisions of sportswear empires. Converse became infamous teaming up rivals and friends Magic Johnson and Larry Bird for the still relevant Weapon sneaker. But now, Nike owns Converse, turning it more into a fashion brand with collaborations with American designer John Varvatos. Nike moved Dwyane Wade from Converse to Jordan Brand and taking away his signature shoe but making him the new main pitchman for the yearly Jordan release – this season the Jordan 2010. Adidas owns Puma, among other brands, so needless to say, it’s hard to be a new independent brand in the conglomerate market place.

Li-Ning Flagship Store front in Beijing.

Li-Ning Company Limited, is a major “sports brand enterprise” from China, that covers development, research, distribution, manufacturing, marketing, and of course, design. The company focusses on apparel, footwear, accessories and sports equipment. They’ve tapped athletes for sponsorship at home and abroad including the NBA market and are focussing on global expansion and market share.

Baron Davis brings more than the classic Clippers colourway, a smile and a shot to Li-Ning - he brings personality and marketability.

Their list of athletes includes the effervescent Baron Davis. Not only is Baron a great point guard, but a film director, an actor and a well-known fashion plate in the NBA. When Boom Dizzle where’s something new, others take notice. His signature shoe, the BD Doom  came out this season too much buzz and apparently a lot of on court questions from fellow players.

One of the five versions of the Li-Ning BD Doom Signature Shoe and one of the two limited edition Beardman vinyl action figure.

The logo for the shoe is without question, Baron himself – the Beardman, sporting his trademark homeless-chic beard. The shoe came in five different colour ways, all available for sale – something that major brands don’t always offer. LeBron James plays almost nightly in a different colour and style of his LeBron Air Max VII, but very few are available for sale. Baron’s sneaker offered customization with a variety of eyelets and lacing options. It also came with a vinyl figure, picking up on the collectible toy market that is so synonymous with street and sneaker collecting culture. The Beardman is also adorned on apparel like varsity jackets and tees. While it wasn’t the prettiest shoe, it certainly makes a statement – something the company needed to do to assert itself amongst the big sportswear dogs.

Interior of the Li-Ning Store in Portland, Oregon.

Li-Ning has taken this success and propelled it into building their first store front in Portland, Oregon, where the brand’s headquarters are state side. The flagship opened in January 2010 – not far from Nike’s compound in Beaverton, Oregon. With the opening of the store, Champs Sports announced that Li-Ning will be in 80 stores by this summer. Recently, Li-Ning expanded the Portland store and it now spans 2,200 square feet. The company wanted to display more than just their basketball lines and show a full variety of products, especially indoor sports. The showroom and retail store originally opened at 850 square  Clearly, the company is doing something right.

Exterior of the Li-Ning Store in Portland, Oregon.

To really compete with Nike, they need to continue their interesting shoes with viral campaigns, giving consumers something different. As a sneaker fiend, I’m over seeing every Jordan shoe bastardized into a new fusion model. Seeing something new, and not a company that lives in the past trying to capitalize on old classics shows true innovation and fresh ideas. It’s exciting  to see what Li-Ning can bring and if they can continue recruit not only talented but interesting athletes, like Baron Davis and also Shaquille O’Neal, they can create a niche in the massive market. Bring on the Beardman.

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Why Tiger Changed His Stripes

Tiger Wood's epic victory at the Masters in 2005 will forever be cemented in sports fans minds. No surprise that he was wearing his power colour, red.

Tiger Woods is coming back to professional golf on the PGA’s grandest, greenest stage; quel surprise. On Sunday, Tiger’s tight team decided that they would allow him to speak one on one with a select few reporters for a small window of time with no restrictions on questions (allegedly). When word that two interviews, one on ESPN and one on Golf Channel respectively would air in the evening, newsrooms and twitterati began speculating. Would Tiger finally divulge the dirty details of his illicit affairs? Would the public finally know what really happened between him and Elin and the fire hydrant on the morning of Thanksgiving 2009?  But, not to anyone’s surprise, Tiger’s mini-chats gave us no new information or insight into the guarded golfer’s exploits. So why talk? The tone of the interview was all wrong as he did not clarify anything. Tiger’s a heavily focussed golfing machine that’s constantly surrounded by “Team Tiger” who control his public and professional life so it would have given us some insight if he let the public in anymore, and not just coping out to the “it’s a personal matter” excuse. Yes, how many skanky women he gave it to Basian sensation style is very personal, as is the real medical term for the treatment he’s undergoing or his newfound commitment to his marriage and religion, but then don’t tempt the public. Come out and be relentless, red shirt wearing, fist pumping Tiger. Be the bad guy who will win the crowds over with pure links skills – just be a golfer, not a PR feeler. Team Tiger clearly wants to make him back into the king of the courses, and although they fed him the wrong script, they finally got him in the right clothes.

Tiger Woods dressed in attire fit for a golfer, not a Vegas playboy. Finally Team Tiger gets it right.

Team Tiger recently announced that Mr. Woods will change the sponsor logo on his golf club bags from AT&T, a former Tiger sponsor, to the TW Nike logo. TW is the branded clothing line that Nike created for Tiger, who’s been with the company since he turned professional at sixteen years old. Before the mistress debacle, Tiger was the most marketable sports star around the world and had more endorsements than a NASCAR ride. He’s multiracial, successful and so dominating that he makes non-golf enthusiasts care about the PGA. But now, most of his sponsors have bid farewell.

It was a very smart and deliberate move to have Tiger only wear golf gear, or more specifically TW attire, during his interviews. He finally looked like a golfer, not a playboy or recovering addict. The hat he is never seen without on the course, and choosing white rather than black lightens up his face and shows his logo clearly. The moss coloured sweater layered over a celery green polo is sporty but casual – what a regular guy might wear relaxing at the clubhouse after a round of golf. It also is reminiscent of lush courses and of course, the elusive green jacket. Why not subliminally remind fans that Tiger is back to the green by staying in the same colour family? Although Tiger didn’t talk nearly enough about his golf game for a Golf Channel interview and not TMZ or CNN, he at least looked the part.

Tiger looked like a disheveled mess rather than a millionaire athlete at his press conference.

The press conference outfit is even worse from behind - too big, mismatched and sloppy.

The outfit he wore on Sunday evening is a vast improvement from the one he wore to his apologetic press conference in February. Tiger has never had great style, especially off the course. Perhaps because he’s such an unbelievable athlete, he’s going to fall short in other areas where his concentration is not focussed. I may bought his prepared speech if Tiger looked like he put some effort into his overall presentation, as it was after-all, his time to tell his story. But instead, he was one hot mess of a sad man. His jacket is far too big, it needs to hug his shoulder then be tailored to fit him like a glove. It’s also far too long goes well below his behind making him look boxy and short. The lapels on his jacket are far too low and the shirt was boring and over starched. His pants were far too big, too and did not match. A simple suit would have given him structure and power and helped emphasize the key points in his statement. I wanted Tiger to look like he was back in control but instead it looks like his mom picked out his outfit for church. Does the man ever make decisions for himself?

Tiger Wood receives his green jacket from Phil Mickelson in 2005. While the jacket fits horribly, I'd like to see Tiger back in one.

Hopefully Tiger can now put this debacle behind him and focus on his job; being the best golfer on planet Earth! As a sports fan,  I don’t care who he’s bedded, which sexually transmitted diseases he’s caught and how many times his mother whooped his ass – that’s his business. Tiger needs to either put up or shut up at this point, and the first major of the season is a great way to start. My only suggestion is that it’s time to retire red as the power colour – I suggest black, as Tiger may rise to become the Dark Nike Knight of the PGA Tour.

High fives & booty taps,

Megan

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It’s All About The Shoes: Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings hasn’t always done the popular thing but that never seems to bother him, in fact taking the road less traveled seems to fuel him. The point guard, who has “Young Money” tattooed across his back, skipped out on a NCAA scholarship at the University of Arizona and became the first American born player to go to cross the bond and play professional basketball in the EuroLeague. In doing so, Jennings not only got paid by Lottomatica Roma but by Under Armour, who inked the 19 year old to a 2 million dollar contract. Jennings quickly became the face of the brand’s basketball division that’s known for performance apparel, but not footwear. His shoe, the Prototype I and now the II, comes in multiple colourways, but is not yet available for sale. Prep schools are wearing them, but Under Armour continues to keep the drop date for the public under wraps. Since Jennings broke into the league this season, he’s quickly established himself as the front-runner in rookie of the year contest and a leader on a rebuilding Bucks team. The youngest player to score 50, 3 double-doubles, and the Bucks are in the hunt for a play-off spot – ain’t no thang for a young buck.

On Friday night, the 20-year-old Buck returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time since the draft. Let’s flashback to June 2009, when the New York Knicks passed over Jennings #8 and took  Jordan Hill instead. It was no secret that Jennings was upset that he was passed over by a Knick team that needed a solid  point guard, but instead he fell to #10 and the Milwaukee Bucks. #3 wanted to deliver a big game at his first game since the draft, “This one’s going to be a little bit more personal.” And he wasn’t just talking about a personal game mentally, but physically…on his feet.

For the big night, Jennings debuted ANOTHER colourway of his signature Under Armour kicks the Protoype II, that can best be described by perennial court side fan Jay-Z as all-black everything. The kicks came personalized with “MECCA” written on them as an ode to the Garden. However, all the hype seemed too much for Jennings as he only had 3 points in the opening half. But, was it all about the shoes and not the stage?

At half-time, Jennings changed into his usual red and white kicks that are his road staple. He put up 19 points the 2nd half to help lead the Bucks to victory over the lowly Knicks. Jennings even said in the post game “couldn’t make no shots with my first [pair] on. I think it was the shoes.” Do you buy his excuse? I wonder what Under Armour thinks about it his public discounting of his all black pair. Was Jennings intimidated or is it all about the shoes? And would you rock them or has the wait been too long? I think the kicks are nice and I’d wear the the red and white joints on the court, but I find the all black ones give me too much of a LeBron Soldiers’ feel.

High fives & booty taps,

Megan

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Brand-ish: 8103 Clothing

Everyone has vices. One of my most obvious and expensive ones is shopping. So when you combine it with my love of sports, things can get a little hectic for my little Visa card. Streetwear is one of my passions and men have a plethora of options compared to women. The ladies’ gear is starting to set up, but the fellas’ market is massive in comparison. Especially when you look at the t-shirt and cut and sew arena. 10 Deep presented one of the best executed and styled look books in recent years with their Fall/Winter 2009-2010 “Hunt or be Hunted” Collection.  Mishka consistently brings out perfect custom colour New Era caps and cult favorites. And Nike Sportswear constantly impresses with their collabs (I bought this Nike x Grotesk jacket at Nike Sportswear at 21 Mercer – amazing!) I’m going to let my girl boner for these established streetwear brands subside for just a minute to showcase 8103 Clothing, an independent brand out of the land of the Jaguars: Jacksonville, Florida.

8103 Clothing began in 2003 in the sunshine state and call themselves a lifestyle brand that fuses skate and street cultures (my first loves) to come up with interesting, quality and topical apparel. They preach quality, passion and independence as they screen all their shirts in their Florida facility, which you have to respect in this mass manufacturing market. They offer tees, jeans, caps and even limited edition collaborations including rings and chains. I want to focus on their t-shirts as I think that’s their strong suit.

The prints range from sexy and classic, to silver screen heros, and the ubiquitous East Coast vs. West Coast.  But, my two personal favourite prints are the most pertinent now. The first style is their version of what I’m sure is the first of many, Tiger Woods post “sex addiction scandal” tees to drop. It’s simple and bold – JUST DID IT.

I kinda love the slightly tall tee fit  (long shape and sleeves) and it also comes in a crew neck sweater in black. I may get a XXL (mini dress length) in my favourite colourway, purple and white, and rock it with knee-high socks and heels to a PGA event. Though how awesome would it be if the tee came in Tiger final round red? Do you think he wears red boxer when he seals the deal?

The second t-shirt from 8103 Clothing that caught my eye is the ode to the MTV show that is transforming Facebook statuses and club dance moves everywhere…yes, I’m talking about the phenomena that is Jersey Shore.

The t-shirt showcases some of the very best quotations from the boys who creeped all over Seaside Heights and into our hearts. This is a much more fashionable and ironic way to sport your love of all things GTL (gym, tan, laundry for the non-converted) than say a blowout ala Pauly Dee or fluorescent garb from the Shore Store.

Shout outs to the crew at 8103 Clothing for keeping it fun, fresh and local. If you want to pick up some gear you can grab it from their online store. Or, Karmaloop has some special items on their site as well and if you use coupon code SHEGOTGAME you’ll get 20% off. Happy shopping.

High fives & booty taps,

Megan

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Double Trouble: Sir Charles and Stan Van

On TNT last Thursday, Charles Barkley brought out his usual mock neck best to the panel. You’d think he’d dress up for the occasion, considering the extra hour-long show to début the NBA All-Star Reserves.

Kenny, Ernie and the always stylish Chris Webber all wore proper, well-fitting suits. The fabric prints and layering are debatable for some, but at least they weren’t wearing a Hanes t-shirt under an oversized, ill-fitting grey jacket. The whole thing just felt a little Miami Vice to me….minus the polyester (god I hope, because when a big man sweats in unnatural fibre…). TUURRRRRIBLE!

I could chastise Barkley for his awful choice of attire more….but frankly, he’s been doing it for some time. Ever since the Round Mound of Rebound let his waist get bigger than his head, he’s been opting out of the collared shirt and fitted suit get up most of the time. Yes, we all gain weight and Barkley should never be Rajon Rondo thin, but the clothes can give you shape! Sir Charles, you are TNT royalty, why wouldn’t you want to fit the part? It takes a little more work or even, just a very diligent well paid stylist and tailor to give you the shape you want. Suits are made to give you  shape, not try and make you look bigger with an oversized jacket. A good fabric won’t add shine to reflect light and make you look bigger or cling to you in less than desirable spots. The mock top completely cuts off any length to your neck as well, so you get the snowman effect. You become round mounds on top of bigger mounds, and not a human proper shape. And who wants to resemble Frosty the snowman instead of a real live man? (And no, I’m not talking about Frosty ala Clipse).

I was shocked when Barkley was hosting SNL for the second time this past January and he wore *gasp* a real suit AND (slightly dated) tie! It’s a wonder what working with a good stylist will do for you. He looked taller, leaner and younger than he has in years. Though, being in commercials next to modern NBA gods like Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard wouldn’t really enhance your self-image.

The game that TNT was featuring last Thursday was the Boston Celtics visiting the Orlando Magic. Despite Craig Sager’s best blatant attempt at shock value in a suit, it  was Van Gundy’s attire that disturbed me more….HE WAS MATCHING CHARLES BARKLEY! Perhaps all this time SVG has not  been impersonating Ron Jeremy and his famous pornstache, but Sir Charles instead. The only difference was that Stan Van was wearing a black mock neck polo (but done up tight to the neck) and the same ill-fitting grey jacket. Stan, like Charles, used to wear suit and ties and slightly more appropriate outfits. But he has become the sideline model for mock neck shirts and bulky jackets, and sometimes worse, turtle necks! Turtle necks are a husky man’s worse nightmare as it not only cuts of the neck and any length but also gives zero shape, structure of definition. More often than not, the wearer looks like a blob rather than a respected NBA head coach.

Sir Charles and Mr. Van Gundy, I beg of you, review your wardrobes! You’re in HD now so NOTHING is hidden. Embrace your shape and learn to make it work for you, not against you and a widescreen.

And as a quick side note, Kurt Warner wore his own version of the black polo and grey jacket during his retirement press conference. But for some reason, it seemed to work. Maybe it’s because he’s a retiree in Arizona and that outfit seems to scream casual golf course. But mostly, it was because it FITS. Gentlemen, please know your size, not just in your pants but around them as well.

High fives & booty taps,

Megan

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