Notice anything strange about the pictures below?
You could be forgiven for thinking that they’ve come straight from the Instagram of an affluent male fashion blogger. But you’d be wrong. The photos come from none other than Miami Heat’s starting shooting guard, Dwayne Wade. It would be easy to think that Wade is an anomaly, one basketball player of many with an interest in fashion. In fact, you don’t even have to look further than his teammates to find more examples of men inclined to dress not just well, but adventurously. Take, for example, LeBron James’ manbag-cum-purse, pictured below.
Esquire have even written about an entire blog post about a shirt that LeBron James wore to a recent press conference. While its writer isn’t a fan of the shirt, I think it’s a pretty sharp look. And I find it incredibly refreshing to see men in the public eye making an effort to look good. With the exception of David Beckham and Thierry Henry, it’s difficult to think of many footballers who take such good care of themselves.
So why the title? This blog doesn’t talk about fifty of anything. Well, the grey comment is a reference to the fact that trends that have traditionally been seen as synonymous with ‘black culture’ are seeping into ‘white culture’ and vice versa. I’ve previously written about the phenomenon of young white men dressing like the, predominantly African American, members of Odd Future who, in turn, dress like middle aged white men used to in the ’90s.
Although I’ve noticed myself wearing more preppy clothes over the past several months, I’m still keen to embody some of that…swagger (that’s the first and last time I will ever use that word) that guys like James and Wade seem to exude. That swagger (ok, twice) is noticeably absent from many of the men I call my ‘style idols’, like Dallas Green (pictured above).
Under no circumstances does this mean my style is going to transform completely. However, I’ve noticed a slight transition in the way I’ve been mixing things up recently. For example, I’m already planning a trip to JD Sports (my de facto choice for trainers for men) to pick up these bad boys -
It’s tempting to equate dressing well and looking good with playing basketball. After all, it’s traditional for American high school ball players to wear shirts and ties on game day. Maybe being a baller is the key to being fashionable. Then again, maybe not.