When they’re on the court or the field, most athletes have a fairly limited selection when it comes to clothing. Athletes who play individual sports may have a bit more wiggle room, but their attire still has to meet certain guidelines or standards of their respective sport. Athletes who play team sports have even less choice, as they must put on the same jersey as their teammates, with perhaps a neon coloured shoe being the only opportunity to express their personal style.
With so much of their fashion choices restricted due to their sport, athletes make their sartorial time off the field count. Some athletes go the fashionista route and step out at non-game day events looking impeccable and incredibly stylish. Some athletes… not so much. Donning everything from Steve Urkel attire to clothing six sizes too big, certain athletes seem to take off their sportswear and put on the first thing they can find – maybe in the dark.
With multimillion dollar salaries at their disposal, one would think all pro athletes would hire a stylist, or at least recruit a stylish friend to help them on shopping trips. However, the athletes on this list seem to embrace their style choices, whether the public does or not. Everyone knows the old adage that no publicity is bad publicity: the fact that many of these badly dressed athletes receive press attention for their outlandish fashion choices while their more conservatively dressed teammates do not seems to prove that point. To be fair – some of these athletes have received praise from the fashion world due to their unusual choices. However, the real world isn’t the pages of Vogue and their ensembles can seem a little strange to the public eye (and likely to their fellow team mates).
Here are ten athletes with a questionable fashion sense. Beware of letting them loose in any clothing stores – the results may be terrifying.
10 Kevin Durant
Stepping out in everything from camo to floral to polka dots, Durant definitely favors the bold when it comes to his style. He’s even filled in as a style correspondent for GQ magazine (although he only critiqued fellow NBAers) and gave his opinion on several pieces of women’s fashion to Teen Vogue. He’s also known for taking slim fit to an extreme, donning suits that are very, very fitted. The piece de resistance, however, is of course the backpack. The on-court superstar is notorious for lugging his backpack to press conferences, as if he’s on the way back to class after early morning practice in the school gym. He’s so known for this that Nike even added a line of KD backpacks. And not only does he take the backpack– he wears it for the duration of the conference, straps comically perma-fastened. When they’re placed on the background of a bold floral print shirt? There are no words.
9 Steve Nash
Steve Nash is a man of many styles, to the point where it sometimes seems he’s a method actor preparing for a series of increasingly strange roles. There are times when he nails it in a designer suit, playing the Hollywood leading man in an impeccably tailored ensemble. There are other times when he takes a page out of the NBA geek chic manual of style, popping up in a salmon colored v-neck sweater and bow tie (although, crucially, forgetting the NBA geek chic’s necessary glasses). He’s channeled Cristiano Ronaldo by opting for a Louis Vuitton man purse and old Hollywood starlets by donning a luscious fur coat. Who is the real Steve Nash?
8 Brent Burns
Perhaps the most impactful items that Brent Burns could purchase to improve his fashion sense would be grooming tools – a razor, a comb, anything of that sort. The NHL is somewhat infamous for the playoff beard, with many players growing thick, mountain man facial hair at a certain point in the season. However, Burns takes it a step further. He often shows up with hair that appears to have been left uncombed for days on end, and a beard allowed to grow out absolutely unruly, however it wants to go. No trimming strays or shaping for this hockey player. Honorable mention goes to his penchant for all plaid everything. When one thinks of formal wear for men, they often think of suits in navy, black, and pinstripes. The first color or pattern that comes to mind for Burns is consistently plaid. He’s paired a three-piece plaid suit with a toque and bright red shoes. Enough said.
7 Stevan Ridley
Ridley is on this list courtesy of one outfit so insane that you need to see it to believe it. Every single choice in the outfit seems to say “how can I make this more absurd, somehow?” The ensemble in question appeared during an interview Ridley gave prior to the New England Patriots’ playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s go step by step. First of all, he wore a blue onesie. In public. Second, slung across his shoulder is an ode to Kevin Durant in the shape of an orange backpack covered in sparkly studs. Deciding the backpack wasn’t quite enough of a statement accessory, he tossed on a colorful beaded necklace that dangled straight to his crotch. Finally, as shoes are known to make the outfit, take a peek down and acknowledge these three words: Rainbow. Brite. Moonboots. What did Ridley have to say about the outfit when NESN asked? That it was a practical choice – “it’s Boston…this is my stay-warm outfit.” Of course. Moonboots and a onesie are clearly what everyone wears when it gets chilly.
6 Russell Westbrook
Westbrook is one of the main perpetrators of the NBA’s geek chic manual of style, and there is basically nothing he would not wear, and no color/pattern combo that he would not pair. He’s worn shirts in the most ludicrous prints imaginable (fish bait, anyone?) and pants in every color of the rainbow from highlighter yellow to pepto bismol pink. He has the updated Urkel frames in every color under the sun. Seeing what he wears off the court is almost as fun as watching him play.
5 Tim Duncan
While some of the NBA players opt for ultra fitted attire and a sleek, streamlined look, Duncan errs on the side of “I can fit my entire body into one leg of these pants I’m wearing.” Basically nothing that he wears ever fits him properly. He manages to constantly push the NBA’s business casual pre and post game rule to its absolute limits, turning up in baggy jeans and ill-fitting short sleeve button downs. Perhaps he wants a full range of motion in case he’s ever challenged to an impromptu dance off, who knows. Either way, his outfits would improve immensely if he merely bought the right size (yes, he’s tall, but he’s not quite wide enough to require XXXXXL).
4 Paul George
The man owns a fitted polo shirt. Not a bad fashion choice at all, right? You’d be right, if it wasn’t made entirely of leather. George once paired some pink pants with an all-leather shirt and an obsession was born. He’s since paired the same leather shirt with leather pants, worn a leather blazer, and who knows what else is to come. It may very well be a waiting game until Paul George owns the first wardrobe consisting entirely of leather.
3 Ryan Lochte
Lochte has expressed several times that he wants to be a clothing designer, and has interviewed that he will put his efforts into a clothing line once he decides to retire from swimming. If the prospect of a Lochte-crafted clothing line excites you, you may want to take a closer look at just what Ryan Lochte tends to wear. First of all, he’s certainly not shy when it comes to absurdly colourful Speedos, as he’s donned every color from bright green with gold stars to tiger print to fuschia florals. He also notably wore a diamond-encrusted American flag grill to the Olympic medal ceremony (yes, a grill). His love of the bejeweled has extended to suit jackets with bedazzled lapels and backpacks with studs. The piece de resistance is the sneakers. Sparkly green? Check. Catchphrase of ‘Jeah’ scrawled across the back? Check. Toy Story inspired soles with RYAN on one foot and LOCHTE on the other, to perhaps aid him if he gets lost and can’t recall who he is? Check. Brilliant. This is clearly the man you want designing clothing.
2 Dwyane Wade
Though he limits the truly strange to the off season for the most part, Wade has made a lot of weird fashion choices. Who can forget the suit jacket paired with the bizarre cropped flood pants and loafers? The white suit jacket paired with basketball shorts? The all orange walking pumpkin spice latte ensemble? The floral jacket? The comically skinny skinny pants? He’s a superstar on the court, but he clearly needs someone to deal with his wardrobe.
1 Dennis Rodman
Rodman started out looking like a typical basketball player. Then, bit by bit, it began to change. His hair turned a neon orange shade not found anywhere in nature. Then it was a striped pattern, perhaps because he was unable to select a color. Then spotted like a leopard. And then it all erupted. He’s paired a cartoon Santa visits the tiki bar suit (yes, suit. A suit exists in this pattern and he selected it) with stacks of green necklaces and a full face of makeup. He’s paired a tiger printed off the shoulder dress with a yellow feather boa and costume jewelry. He’s paired a fedora with a strappy black bikini crop top. His style has gotten so out of control that it would be impossible to describe every ludicrous choice he’s made.
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