The NBA Draft’s Best Fashion Moments

If the first round of the NBA Draft was any indication, the league is about to get an injection of some seriously talented and stylish new players. Suits were a must during the proceedings, but we can also tell a lot about each player from their pre-draft portraits which show off more versatile looks. In the order they were selected, we scout the strengths and weaknesses of the newly-minted rookies’ fashion game.

1. Andrew Wiggins
This year’s most hotly-anticipated rookie, Andrew Wiggins, chose a floral-print tux and a classic black bowtie reminiscent of none other than LeBron James for his first official NBA appearance. Perhaps he’s already staking his claim? Note the on-point floral boutonniere.


2. Jabari Parker
Jabari Parker didn’t take too many chances with his outfit, pulling together simple neutral suits for both of his photo opps. However, he does show some individuality with his choices of silk flower boutonnieres, and we love the gold tie bar holding his tie in place at the daft.


3. Joel Embiid
Pick number three, Joel Embiid, ditched his portrait three-piece suit for a simple black-tie look for the draft ceremony. While we’re not complaining, the navy suit was so good we wish he wore it to the podium.


4. Aaron Gordon
For Aaron Gordon, it’s never too early to make a bold statement. He wore a powder-blue two-button suit to the podium, but his style sense came through most in his portrait. Gordon’s polka-dotted bowtie complements the check pattern of his vest perfectly and falls in the same colour family as his cobalt trousers.


5. Dante Exum
This new player has potential. Australian export Dante Exum’s outfit plays by a fairly conservative playbook, perhaps too conservative for his fellow class of 2014. He also makes some rookie mistakes, like doing up both buttons on his grey two-button suit—style rules dictate leaving the bottom button undone at all times.


6. Marcus Smart
While it’d be easy to make puns on Marcus Smart looking, well, smart with his glasses, he’ll fit right in with NBA players who wish they could wear real glasses. He chose a very Kevin Durant navy tux with black lapels, with his college’s insignia hidden in the lining. Smart may not make great cardigan choices (seriously?), but he does show loyalty, and that’s always a good thing.


7. Julius Randle
Seventh pick Julius Randle gives off a distinctly Chris Paul vibe in his portrait shot—he affects CP3’s penchant for collegiate cool with apparent ease. He must also have studied up on Dwight Howard’s suiting game, opting for a light-coloured suit for his draft appearance. The difference? Check out that black detailing on the back of his lapels. Randle might be in a class of his own in no time flat.


8. Nik Stauskas
Canadian native Nik Stauskas gave his fellow draft classmates a lesson in pattern matching. His wide-checked suit jacket may appear a little too much, until you notice the tinier complementary check present on his whip-thin necktie. Not pictured were the brown leather double-monkstraps Stauskas was wearing that night on the prospects’ bus.


9. Noah Vonleh
Bright primary colours work for Noah Vonleh, who doesn’t seem afraid to stand out. He wore a red blazer reminiscent of Steph Curry circa playoffs to his portrait photo, but really blew us away with his fearless cobalt suit out on the podium. The banker’s collar on his shirt, on the other hand, left us comparatively unimpressed.


10. Elfrid Payton

Pick number 10, Elfrid Payton, is one of this year’s most versatile dressers—and may soon have one of the NBA’s most iconic hair styles. Payton had the guts to pull off a shirt with leather elbow patches that matched his bowtie in his behind-the-scenes look, but especially impressed us with an on-trend, double-breasted suit during the ceremony. This once-conservative jacket style has been commandeered by younger men who know style.

11. Doug McDermott
As a future millionaire, Doug McDermott could have put more effort than an American Eagle button-up for his first official NBA portrait. However, he did clean up with a shadow-checked suit on the podium, although, once again, his shirt print appears suspiciously similar to shopping mall fare.


12. Dario Saric
The Croatian 12th pick of the draft looks like a model, pulling off casual shirts (and white pants) like a pro. However, his bowtie ruins his draft outfit, despite a rakish attempt at the no-belt look. His shirt sleeves also appear slightly too short.


13. Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine’s steeze makes us green with envy. It’s clearly his favourite colour, and he pulls it off well—even incorporating a blacker-than-olive two-button suit into his draft outfit. It’s an unconventional hue we would love to see more.


14. T.J. Warren
Poor T.J. Warren. He may be the perfect fit for the Phoenix Suns, but his suit’s sleeves are roughly two inches too short (they should hit just at the first knuckle of his thumbs), and that black collar-black tie combination isn’t doing him any favours. We’re not even going to touch his portrait.


15. Adreian Payne
Fashion can have meaning behind it—just ask Adreian Payne. It turns out one of the most stylish players in this year’s draft was also one of the most honourable. Payne paid tribute to late cancer victim Lacey Holsworth by wearing a pocket round, pants and other details in various shades of pink. He even had “Adreian and Lacey” stitched into the lining of his blazer. That’s doing it right.


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