Sunday, April 17, 2011


Starting the 2005-2006 of the NBA basketball season, the NBA instituted a mandatory dress code where players actively involved in team or league business had to wear collared dress shirts or turtlenecks with dress slacks, dress jeans, or khakis paired with appropriate shoes and socks. Senior Vice President of Player Development for the NBA, Michael Bantom said, "The dress code was part of a larger discussion about the business of basketball, the players' role in it and projecting a positive image."

Gone are the days when the professional athletes would buy dress shirts and slacks in bulk such as the convenient custom shop Elevee in Van Nuys. "True to their competitive nature, once they started dressing up...they started competing with each other to see who could dress the best," Bantom adds. LET THE COMPETING BEGIN...

Top NBA players of the game found this rule change as an opportunity to show their fashionable side by hiring stylists for themselves. Many of the guys actually enjoy fashion and found this as a form of expression away from their daily uniform work attire. According to a Sports Illustrated poll of the best fashion sense off court, 137 NBA players named Dwyane Wade as best dressed, with Kobe Bryant in second, and Lebron James in third.

4. Chris Paul
5. Carmelo Anthony
6. Kevin Garnett
7. Juwan Howard
8. Ray Allen
9. Keyon Dooling
10. Zaza Pachulia
11. Steve Nash
12. Dwight Howard
13. Amar'e Stoudemire
14. Derek Fisher
15. Jarrett Jack

You can see these guys gracing the covers of men's style handbooks like GQ and Esquire, even sitting front row at fashion shows alongside Vogue's Anna Wintour. It's common for them to have fashion side projects and brand endorsements aside from the usual basketball shoes. Jermaine O'Neal from the Celtics just launched a menswear line called Le Jaunty. Knicks' player Amar'e Stoudemire is collaborating on a women's collection with popular fashion designer Rachel Roy. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers is partnering with Nubeo to create a line of ridiculously expensive watches.

To each man comes a certain fashion aesthetic that clearly defines him. Wade's style is Gucci/Ralph Lauren. Bryant gets his clothes custom made, but Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana are his favorites. Wade and Odom stylist Calyann Barnett along with Bryant's stylist Paige Geran both swear by Tom Ford suits and George Esquivel shoes.

These professional players have more than just a career to uphold, now it's all about what they can bring to the fashion world. Whether it's on or off the court, the competitiveness of the NBA runs in their veins.

You Just Do You, Imma Do Me


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