Tuesday, November 24, 2009

NBA Style: Looking Good is REQUIRED

Today's post is from Heather Zeller, founder of the new blog A Glam Slam. Heather blends her love of sports and fashion - part of her bio states: "People have always found it strange that my two favorite things seem to have no connection at all. I can rattle off NBA stats one minute and share my favorite new fashion trends the next. I split my time shopping online designer sample sales while checking on the day’s scores. My two dream jobs are a fashion designer and/or a sideline reporter." I can relate!

NBA style has evolved from short shorts, high socks, and Chuck Taylor’s to baggy shorts, ankle socks, and Air Jordan’s. From Dr. J’s afro and Pistol Pete Maravich’s shaggy ‘do of the 1970’s to Dennis Rodman’s signature pink, blue, green, or yellow hues of the late 1990’s. From Dwayne Wade’s decorative band-aids to Allen Iverson’s black shooting sleeve. From a fashion free-for-all to, gasp, a dress code. Yes, the NBA needed a makeover and in 2005, NBA commissioner, David Stern, implemented a mandatory dress code for all players.

Stern's rules required all players to dress in “business or conservative attire” while arriving to and departing from a game, on the bench while injured, and when conducting official NBA business like media appearances. This change did not come without controversy. The dress code banned fashions often associated with hip-hop culture: jerseys, do-rags, large jewelry, and Timberland-style boots.

But now in its fourth season, who would have thought a dress code would actually improve the players’ fashion sense? A growing list of NBA stars have ditched the hip-hop threads for designer duds, making it just as exciting to see their off-court style as it is to watch them dunk and block shots on the court.

LeBron James, a “fashionisto” in his own right, says: “If you look good, you play good, I’ve always believed that.” (nba.com). With the 2009/2010 season in full swing, A Glam Slam takes a look at those who look good:

Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets, Forward

Carmelo Anthony’s style has certainly evolved since his arrival in the NBA. Thanks to his new stylist, Khalilah Williams-Webb, he often sports more mature, elegant looks. Nowadays, he favors sleek, colorful suits and he’s rarely seen without a pocket square. Perhaps this tie and pocket square are a tribute to his alma-mater, Syracuse University?

Devin Harris - New Jersey Nets, Point Guard

Devin Harris rocks a cool and casual vibe, which has come to be known as his signature style. He often pairs a dressed up top half including a blazer, dress shirt, sweater and tie, with a laid back bottom half, blue jeans. And even Gotham Magazine has taken note, as they’ve deemed him one of “New York City’s 100 Hottest Bachelors.”

Gilbert Arenas – Washington Wizards, Point Guard

Gilbert Arenas always throws his jersey into the stands after a game. And he changes into flashy, yet stylish outfits such as this modern, “inside-out” tuxedo suit. When he’s not wearing high-end fashions, he’s designing them. Arenas has his own line of Adidas footwear.

Chris Paul – New Orleans Hornets, Point Guard

A former “GQ Man of the Year,” Chris Paul is always on point when it comes to his fashion sense. His off-court style includes a mix of casual looks and designer suits. And he’s often seen traveling in style too, with his Louis Vuitton Damier toiletry case.

For more NBA style stars, check out SI.com’s best dressed style gallery.

Check Heather out at A Glam Slam and welcome her to the blogosphere!

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