Basketball’s Style Icons


Athletes aren’t the first celebrities that come to mind when we consider modern fashion icons. In recent years, though, basketball stars have given us a reason to reconsider.
From LeBron James to Dwayne Wade, NBA players are stepping out in daring styles that are on-trend.

How did this happen? It used to be that basketball stars were known for wearing large jewellery and ill-fitting clothes. Perhaps the modern NBA stars are attending more fashion shows; perhaps the desire for a more individual, fashion-forward look is part of the competitive nature of the athlete; perhaps the marriage of haute couture with hipsterdom is simply too fresh for any wealthy man to resist; any way you slice it, these guys have stepped up their off-court game.

In post-game interviews, at the club and everywhere in between, these guys have individual style that can’t be overlooked. Overwhelmed by the fashion-forward NBA crowd and looking for a few icons to pull from the group, we decided to do a little star gazing to decide, once and for all, which basketball players have the most stylish sense of fashion.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook is in a class of his own when it comes to fashion sense. Regularly snapped in over-the-top prints, boldly coloured frames and trousers that could signal a rescue plane, this guy doesn’t know the meaning of understated.

Controversial and daring, Russell’s style inspiration is an ode to hipsters, golfers and high fashion trends alike. Oklahoma City would do well to put him on the court in his street clothes to serve as a distraction to the opposition.

Westbrook’s style might be daring, but it’s still very on-trend. He could teach the slender, tall men among us a thing or two about fashion.

Let’s be honest, these looks aren’t for everyone. You need a lean, lengthy frame and the right personality to pull off these looks. If you’re bold enough to go there, these outfit choices might just win you some attention and merit points from the ladies.

To get this look, fill your wardrobe with fitted, patterned button-ups, slim trousers in every colour imaginable, bright eye glasses and bold ties.

While some criticize Russell’s style, we commend him for being confident and trendy. These looks could be serious misses if Russell didn’t have an eye for fashion, so let’s applaud him for going the extra mile in defining his individual style.

LeBron James

LeBron’s dapper style is indisputably fashionable. With well-fitted knits, tailored jackets and ties all around, he’s our definition of a well dressed gentleman.

LeBron’s sense of colour and texture makes any outfit choice a sophisticated one. Whether he’s pairing steel with maroon, navy with dove, or multi-toned blues with khaki, he oozes masculinity and class.

Like most NBA players this season, he’s been snapped in the signature hipster frames we’ve come to know and love – or hate, depending on your disposition. Showing us that he knows how to accessorize, without going over the top, we can’t help but adore this well-respected player.

Go ahead, try not to smile when you see LeBron at a fashion show, sitting front row, eyes glued to the runway.

To get his look, you’ll need fitted, light knits in colours like navy, forest green and maroon. Go neutral for your trouser, sticking to grey and beige tones for the most part. Have fun with slip-ons like his suede loafers (above) or go for something like a buckled dress shoe. Don’t forget to layer a contrasting button-up under your light knit, and throw a tie on if you’re feeling so inclined. Stick with classic colours and stay away from trendy tones like coral or neons.

Dwayne Wade

Dwayne Wade has recently been featured in various magazines as a stylish stand-out in the world of basketball. While his choices are typically refined and sophisticated, we love seeing Dwayne in the odd trendy ensemble, and he pulls off almost any high-end look flawlessly.

Capturing our attention – and our hearts – Dwayne goes professor chic in a plaid bow tie with complimenting yellow vest. Looking dapper as ever, he’s decided to go for the nerdy, bold framed glasses that NBA players can’t seem to resist.

Because Dwayne is a fashion chameleon, adapting his wardrobe to trends and for events, it’s hard to emulate his overall style. For that reason, we commend his risk-taking and ability to pull off more looks than the average bear.

If you want to emulate Dwayne, get yourself a steel toned, slim fitted suit and have fun with it. For a sleek look, pair it with a simple black button-up and sunglasses. For a fun look, try a bold button-up or a neutral button-up paired with a bold vest. Find yourself a patterned bow tie that Pee-wee Herman himself couldn’t dream up, and you’re ready to go.

Kevin Durant

Oklahoma City is full of stylish players, and Kevin Durant is no exception. Loving sleek styles and borrowing so much from high fashion runways, he’s a great style icon for any well dressed man. Surprising as it may be, despite his enormous frame, these looks will be easier for the average guy to pull off than most of the others on this list.

Kevin Durant is, simply put, bad ass. I’m sorry, but it’s true. If you’re 6’9” and rocking some of these looks like a runway model, how else can I describe you?

Whether he’s covered in leather or going nerd-chic in a beige suit (above), he looks comfortable and confident. Pairing high end suits with Chuck Taylors and seriously on-trend jewellery, Kevin’s ability to accessorize is what makes his style sense one of our all-time favourites.

Oh, and he’s obviously adopted those geeky frames we’ve been talking about.

If you want to get his style, flip through look books from the likes of Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein. Get yourself a trendy, extremely thin fitting suit in a navy or beige tone. Pair it with a leather jacket, white button-up and a neutral tie one day. Pair it with a simple t-shirt, hand-made bracelets and light beaded necklace the next day. Don’t forget the Chuck Taylors.

Chris Bosh

Rounding off our list is the dapper Chris Bosh. Often looking like he’s been pulled from a Louis Vuitton ad, his style is chic, through and through.

Whether he’s rocking cruise wear with blue suede shoes, suspenders and a tie (above) or his version of the classic suit (below), his clean cuts and classic-meets-haute couture looks are enviable, to say the least.

Bosh isn’t playing around. His designer digs are so well coordinated, it’s hard to imagine that he styles himself. One of the few players to avoid the geek chic glasses we’ve seen so much in the last year, his ode to the classically well-dressed man is consistent and much appreciated.

Maybe you don’t have the money to shell out on Louis Vuitton bags and Armani suits, but you can still get the look.

Image source

Find yourself a textured blazer in a light neutral and pair it with slim trousers in a contrasting tone or with dark denim. Get some fresh white button-ups, a sleek, black tie and call it a day. You can pair this look with leather loafers or lace-ups.

For dressed-down Chris, pair those trousers with a patterned button-up with sneakers that pull one colour from your patterned top. Think, Kanye West on a sane day. Don’t go over the top with your pattern, and keep your sneakers slim-fitted with a crisp, white sole.

The men of the NBA have set the bar for fashion in recent years and we can’t wait to see where they take it in the years to come. 


Keith at 28 Aug 2012

Wade's willingness to wear obviously lensless glasses and that out-of-control exploding pocketsquare spilling out of his chest like hot lava had me shaking my head and impatiently awaiting the return of Shannon Sharpe to my TV screen

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