Disclaimer: I understand my decision to broach upon a subject as hallowed as professional sports in the context of such (perceived) frivolity as fashion guarantees I will die alone, as no heterosexual male is ever going to speak to me again. I have come to terms with the consequences of my actions, and while I do not seek to make a martyr of myself, I hope that my plight will attest to my devotion to your wardrobes.
American’s historical favorite past-time merges with its present favorite past-time (trying to look like a supermodel) when it comes to Major League Baseball’s penchant for traditional silhouettes and monochromatic outfits. Journalists and scouts will judge a pitcher’s windup based on mechanics and delivery, while all I can do is sit back and admire how tall and skinny they look. When you dress in one color from head to toe, not only do you look stylish and sophisticated, but you’re visually creating a continuous line — which any fashion expert will tell you is the secret to looking longer and leaner. Monochromatic outfits are timeless and chic, and when done right, a fabulous opportunity to accessorize your face off.
Basketball: Who wears short shorts?
I’m sorry, is that a non-rhetorical question? If so, I’d have to say Larry Bird and Magic Johnson circa 1985.
The evolution of shorts in the National Basketball League is a fascinating lesson in visual perspective. If you are 6’9” and wear shorts so short they would make Beyonce blush, your frame is going to look even larger in comparison. Flash forward to 2011 where players are sporting looks that are anything but short. No, Rajon Rondo wasn’t shrunk by a wizard during pre-game warmup. His shorts are just really long and baggy.
The real world lesson is this: be aware of perspective. If you’re squeezing into a size 4 when you’re really a size 8, the sight of you busting at the seams is going to make you appear to be a size 12. If you’re an XXS and donning a size XXL, you’re going to look like you got eaten by your clothes, and life’s too short to play the victim.
Football: That’s a Tight End, alright!
Ask any seasoned sports junkie about NFL mandated attire and they’ll ultimately give you some long-winded explanation about “… maximizing inertia while sustaining foot speed.” I would argue NFL uniforms are the ultimate manifestation of aesthetic philosophy.
According to Nietzsche’s concept of “Self Stylization” individuals should seek to (I’m heavily paraphrasing here) highlight the positive aspects of the character while re-interpreting or masking the perceived negative. While I doubt our friend Friedrich gave a hoot about football or fashion, that doesn’t make his principles any less applicable to both:
All football players have amazing legs: a combination of good genes or possibly because they spend so much time hopping through tires during agility drills. What is certain is they capitalize on this positive by wearing such tight little hot pants. Unfortunately, the highly publicized issue of steroids has done nothing but reinforce the fact that body issues are just as prevalent in the world of professional sports as they are elsewhere. Football players cope with these esteem issues by wearing shoulder pads under their jerseys to look more like a macho man, just as a girl who is self-conscious about retaining fluid under stress might adopt a figure-flattering A-line skirt. It’s about making the best of what we have while learning to love… shall we say our “less marketable” parts.
Hockey: What the puck, bra?!
Fresh off my Boston bandwagon ride, I’ll be the first to admit I don’t know very much about hockey. Frankly, watching the Bruins battle for the cup left me with a lot of questions – namely, why are hockey players so angry? After many sleepless nights, I’ve come up with two reasons:
First, the majority of NHL players started out dreaming of becoming Olympic figure skaters and continue to be consumed with bitterness over having been forced by fate to settle for a professional hockey career.
The second, of course, is they’re all wearing the same shoes (skates)! If the Stanley Cup Finals were a high school prom, things would have really gotten bloody. The lack of artistic expression and individuality on ice is a cold, hard reminder that if you follow the crowd, you end up looking exactly like everybody else, hence “fashion zombies.” Dare to be different, and even if you end up on the “Worst Dressed” list, it’s still a great ice breaker at parties.
Photo by amatern