NBA Style: The League’s Best Dressed Players
October 25th, 2016
Today is a day that many hoops fans have been waiting for, ever since Lebron and the Cavs ruined the best season of all time for Steph and the Warriors, in one of the most exciting and storied seasons in recent history. Well, the NBA is back tonight!!
As former players turned menswear enthusiasts, we appreciate every part of the game, including the custom tailoring worn by the league’s best players who have become more than atheletic role models, but style icons and fashion influencers in their own right.
As we get ready to screen the Cavs/Knicks opening game tonight, I thought we’d count down the TOP TEN PLAYS OFF-THE-COURT from the unforgettable 2015/16 season. For the record, I put these in order of the best-dressed players in the league (in my opinion) – those who bring it consistently, clearly enjoy developping their sense of style, and rarely fall victim to the advice of their “stylists”.
What’s most important here is that these gentleman are not only changing the game on the court, they’re also influencing men all around the world to bring back classic tailoring and present themselves with the pride, respect and dignity of a bygone era when men conducted themselves with manners, elegance and purpose.
For each look below, we also hand-picked a bespoke menswear fabric that is very similar in nature, so you can order each look personally tailored for you in a few clicks :)
1. Lebron James
LBJ is the best dressed player in the league, hands down. In fact, I would even say that he stands out more off the court than he does on the court (where he is arguably the best player of all time). Lebron knows the importance of preparation, takes the responsibility very seriously, and always sets the tone for his teammates from the moment he steps into the arena. Here he is showing up to the NBA finals (down 0-2) in a classic menswear fabric that traditionally evokes confidence, strength and purpose; a charcoal windowpane with peak lapels.
2. Chris Paul
Chris Paul has a bit of an advantage since he can fit into most ready-to-wear brands, but he still commisions custom garments most of the time – as seen by this emerald green number. You know we appreciate a clean, minimal, suit & sneakers combo with the right understated accesories (classic hat, pocket squarte, watch, bracelet, ring). Like his assist-to-turnover ratio, consistency is the key with CP3’s style.
3. Russel Westbrook
I have to be honest, our editorial director Wes had some influence on my rankings here… Personally, I’ve seen Westbrook take a few too many silly risks (both on the court and off). But that’s also why it works. His high-risk/high-reward style is true to him, so you know it’s authentic. He’s just as unapologetic off the court as he is on the court. The guy goes all in for life. Of course, not all of his fits hit the mark, but he brings everything he’s got and always makes a splash… A double-breasted oversized glenplaid suit in a luxury textured fabric, for example, tells you that he’s here to entertain – which he always does.
4. Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade is also not afraid to take some risks, but he handles it with more restraint than Westbrook. Lately Father Time has been maturing his style and toning down some of the affectations (like his famous lapel flowers, polka dot patterns, colorful cardigans, chunky non-prescription eyeglasses, etc). DWade ultimately understands the importance of fit and tailoring, then has a little more fun with his accesoiries – like this tie, pocket square and collar pin combo for example.
5. Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh would have been higher up on this list, but he only played half a season last year. This guy really understands fit and what good tailoring can do for him. He has one of the lankiest bodies in the league, but his bespoke tailoring always puts him in proportion. Looking at this photo, for example, you wouldn’t be able to tell he’s a wirey 6’11”. Bosh also has the best jacket & trouser combinations in the league, often preferring a tasteful pairing of fabrics over a matching suit. This gray tweed jacket and black trouser look is only a small example of the well-curated, versatile wardrobe that CB4 has invested in over the years.
6. Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler is a sleeper in the NBA style game. For a guy who is a very difficult fit, he shows incredible versatility in his style, from cool casual looks to sharply cut bespoke suits. His brother-in-law is our friend Browne Andrews who is also a wicked stylist, so that could have something to do with it… Here Chandler proves, once again, that bespoke classics are the foundation of great long-term wardrobe, no matter your body type.
7. Carmelo Anthony
When Wes interviewed Melo three years ago, he mentioned that his main style inspiration was Frank Sinatra. Well, Frank would be proud here. A slim black suit is a wardrobe essential that can act like a blank canvas for both formal and casual occassions. Here Melo hits ’em with the high/low: an essential black suit with a black tee, classic fedora, and slim hightop sneakers to elevate a simple look to superstar level.
8. James Harden
James Harden accepted the player’s choice MVP award in a sleek custom-tailored burgundy suit, white band collar shirt, and a clean pair of lowtop sneakers. I don’t think there is a player, or an outfit, that summarizes the evolution of the game (and the culture of the game) more than The Beard.
9. Mike Conley
Mike Conley keeps his style simple, effective and understated – just like his game. That’s the key to developing your sense of style; staying true to who you are and leaning into what works well for you. What’s most important is feeling comfortable and confident in your approach and most of the time, less is more. That’s an important lesson for anyone newly discovering #menswear.
10. Kobe Bryant
Again, Wes influencing my rankings here… The guy loves Kobe and the Lakers franchise. I get it, it was his big year, he went out on 60, etc, etc. What I like about Kobe is that he’s kind of an old head. He’s from the Jordan era, mentally. Kobe never fell into the trap of the overly slim/skinny menswear trend – he’s always kept it old-school and classic in proportion. This photo is a perfect example of how a camel coat can be a fundamental part of your long-term wardrobe…and let’s be honest, nobody knows the fundamentals like the Black Mamba.
Man, How Things Have Changed…
Just so you’re fully aware of how far this “classic menswear movement” has come over the past decade or so, take a look at how some of these guys were dressing 12-13 years ago:
Look. At. Those. Suits.
Thanks, as always, for reading. Who you got tonight??
Yours in style,
Photos by Google, Intagram & Getty Images