Whether it’s Russell Westbrook in bright paisley at a press conference or Dwyane Wade collaborating with yet another menswear brand, our attention has been mostly off-court lately when it comes to basketball style. (Then again, in-action they’re all dressed eerily similarly.)
But although the pros all have to wear matching tech-y uniforms when they step on the court, there’s no reason that your on-court accoutrements can’t have a little extra stylishness. So we rounded up some of the most dapper sports gear on the market to elevate your pickup-hoops-related handsomeness to the next level.
Your days of organized sports are most likely behind you. (Save for an office softball league walk-on or two.)
But that doesn’t mean you can’t relive the glory with a few hours of roundball, pigskin or doubles squash every so often. And with ballparks, courts and fields everywhere alive with the spirit of summer, there’s no better time than now to get out there and mix it up a little this weekend.
LeBron James picked up his fourth NBA MVP trophy over the weekend, wearing a suit as equally spectacular as his feat: a well-cut navy kit featuring a Cucinelli-esque 1.5-breasted jacket with peak lapels (and an unfussy usage of pocket square to boot).
It’s advanced coursework in NBA suiting and shows a marked maturity over the louder, more adventurous stuff we’re seeing at postgame press conferences from the youngsters these days. But James’s style maturation didn’t happen overnight. Looking at the past five years of LeBron’s MVP-dom (stretching back to his stay golden years in Cleveland), the guy has come a long way.
Tomorrow at 6:24pm, 20 horses will line up at the track gates of Churchill Downs. Two minutes later, one of those horses will win the Kentucky Derby.
And when it does, there will be a tiny, nameless man in a brightly patterned jersey strapped to its back with a grin from ear to ear.
The ultimate second banana to the animals they ride, jockeys don’t get much of the glory for the big race. But what they’re often most remembered for are the flashy colors on their backs—uniforms known as “silks” that are steeped in sartorial tradition. So in honor of the weekend’s festivities, we’re taking a closer look at the mystery behind the race-day attire of these compact athletes.
With the Masters set to tee off tomorrow, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the legacy and style of its cofounder, golf legend and all-around dapper Southern gent Bobby Jones.
He lived a life of mythic proportion by dominating the game of golf while never even going pro—by profession, he was a lawyer, and golf was his very serious hobby—all while wearing a tie and tweed trousers.
He won the four major tournaments of his day by age 28, “retired” from golf and went on to codesign America’s most prestigious golf course (Augusta National) and cofound the game’s most prestigious tournament (the Masters) all in his backyard (Atlanta). His style was as fluid as his swing: silk ties tucked into his shirts, cricket sweaters, three-piece suits. Stuff that puts our modern-day tech-fabric-wrapped players to shame. To really understand it, you’ll have to see it for yourself...
Introducing Kempt’s March Madness bracket, wherein we pit the most iconic college basketball coaches against one another in an attempt to finally nail down who’s the most stylish of them all.
As you’d expect, it takes more than just sporting a pocket square or one nice blazer every so often to be named one of the most stylish college coaches of all time—everyone looks at least halfway decent in a suit and tie.
We were looking for coaches with a distinct through-line of personal style—and since most of these guys spent decades and multiple trend cycles on the sidelines, it usually came down to one iconic item they’d never given up. John Wooden’s thick-rimmed glasses, Bob Knight’s red sweaters or even Jerry Tarkanian’s “chew towel”—that sort of thing. Even if the pattern or cut of their sport jacket changed, that item didn’t. Which meant a guy like Jim Boeheim just missed the cut, because you might not even recognize his surgeon-cuffed look of today as the same guy who wore this in the 1970s. (Also just missing the cut: Gary Williams and his signature sweatiness.)
But there were plenty to choose from, and we just managed to cut the field down to the Sweet 16—which is where we’ll begin today, and continue to narrow down as the week progresses.
When it comes to sports watches, there are a lot to choose from (especially if you’re brave enough to dive into the vintage market), but we’ve always been partial to chronographs—and lately we’ve been warming up to the recently on-trend black-ion-plated kind.
Which is why we were excited to see Citizen unveil this all-black chrono as part of their new Drive line—a sporty update on their solar-powered Eco-Drive watches you’ve surely recognized on the wrists of finance-types everywhere. Here’s what else you need to know.
The Story: The HTM 2.0 ups the sportiness ante of Citizen’s battle-tested solar technology—which for all intents and purposes is similar to your typical automatic timepieces, but you don’t have to wear this one every day to keep it ticking (as long as it’s getting some sort of light, so don’t just stick it in a drawer). Plus the understated-yet-readable 40 mm case is a nice departure from most oversized chronographs on the market these days.
Who to Channel: A ’70s race car driver; a budding industrialist with a penchant for extreme sporting; a punctual person.
When to Wear It: The all-black watch lends itself to just about every occasion—which is why the look has been gaining favor in menswear circles. Wear it with anything from a suit to driving gloves. (Preferably both.)
Think of This As: A black leather moto-jacket for your wrist—that you can get away with wearing into a boardroom.
In fact, we’d like to applaud their commitment to letting themselves go. Take a moment to peer into Brent Burns’s thicket of tangled wilderness. It’s at the same time magnificent and horrifying—the man looks like he’s spent the entire off-season running with a pack of wolves. It’s an impressive feat, seeing as hockey players are already considered some of the gruffest athletes out there.
Given what happened to the bishop, though, we decided to call upon teaching pro and 18-year PGA member Tom Gleeton, director of golf operations at the Country Club of Waterbury in central Connecticut, to get us up to speed on some fall golf essentials.
Andre Agassi was never afraid of a little pressure.
When he was 9 years old, his father pit him against NFL legend Jim Brown in a $10,000 tennis match at a Las Vegas country club. Brown initially thought the challenge was a joke, though it’s safe to say the pro shop got a lot less funny when Andre’s father, Emmanuel B. Aghassian, a retired Iranian boxer, put up the family home as collateral. That is, he literally bet the house that his pre-tween boy could take two out of three sets from the best athlete of all time.
Andre won in straight sets—6-3, 6-3, 6-2—the third of which paid double.
Eleven years later, Agassi, now an unmitigated international sensation, sauntered onto center court at Roland Garros to compete in the first Grand Slam final of his career. This time, though, the pressure was of a different, and far more gruesome, sort: Agassi’s iconic, tri-tone lion’s mane mullet was in fact a wig.
Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx, Palm Springs, CA, 1954
It may prove a bit tricky to duck out of the office this week for a twilight round of golf, given that we’re coming off a 10-day Fourth of July sabbatical. To tide you over, we now present, in no particular order, 18 photos of style icons spoiling a perfectly good walk.
Just as we’ve been noticing the T-shirt-and-blazer look having a moment on the streets of Florence and Milan, this caught our eye...
Ex-Portugal soccer star Luís Figo, in the stands for the Portugal-Czech Republic match at Euro 2012, rocking a national team soccer jersey, jeans and a navy blazer. High degree of difficulty here—we could see a lot of US soccer dorks messing this up—but Figo managed to pull off the look with ease.
It helps when you have world-class hair. And bone structure.
Now that our celebration of baseball has drawn to a close, we thought we’d turn our attention to golf—specifically one bygone golfer by the name of Sam Snead. (“Slammin’ Sammy” to his friends.)
He was a giant in the pre-Arnold Palmer days, but we’re more interested in his remarkable faculty with bright red polos and straw hats. He was already color-blocking 60 years ago, and there’s more than a few things the gentlemen of today could learn from the man. Starting with those polos...
With the game tied at 20 in overtime of last night’s Sugar Bowl, Michigan’s 241-pound placekicker lumbered onto the field with the swagger of Denis Lemieux and the biker ’stache of Goose Gossage: decidedly un-kicker-like.
That is, until he drilled a 37-yard field goal dead center through the uprights to win the game.
This was likely Brendan Gibbons’s second greatest moment on the football field. The first came back in high school, when he kicked an 80-yard punt before saving a touchdown by nearly decapitating the returner.