Four Style Lessons To Learn from the NBA Right Now

Just because you don’t wear brightly colored fedoras doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from guys like Russell Westbrook.

Four Style Lessons To Learn from the NBA Right Now

Just because you don’t wear brightly colored fedoras doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from guys like Russell Westbrook.

A new NBA season is officially upon us, which means that we’ll finally get to see a LeBron versus Golden State rematch, watch how Kevin Durant adapts to his post-Thunder life in the Bay Area, and, of course, bask, once again, in the oppressive warmth of a Gregg Popovich on-the-court interview. It also means that the men’s fashion world can get back to observing and analyzing the coolest catwalk this side of Milan: the players’ pre and post-game walks between the team bus and the locker room.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “There’s no way I can go full Westbrook and pull off expensive overalls, red leather shirts, and tiger stripes. I’m just not that cool.”

Well, no offense, you’re probably not. But that doesn’t mean you can appropriate many of his—and the league’s—cooler fashion trends and work them into your own daily wardrobe for the sake of lifting your own game.

So we checked in with Megan Ann Wilson, a top-notch stylist for many top NBA players (you’ll find her on social media as @shegotgame), to analyze some of today’s thriving off-court NBA clothing trends, and what the regular guy can learn from them.

1
Embrace Outerwear
with Patterns and Prints

Ted Baker checked double-breasted overcoat
Ted Baker checked double-breasted overcoat, $709 at tedbaker.com

Last year’s NBA winter coat trend can be described in three simple words: camel, camel, and camel. This year, the guys are embracing outer layers with a decidedly different look: coats bearing patches and nature-inspired textured prints. “Victor Oladipo [of the Oklahoma City Thunder] recently wore this amazing jacket with this Aztec-inspired print,” says Wilson. “And you’re seeing guys like DeMarcus Cousins wearing embroidered shirts with florals or nature prints. We’re dealing with earth tones here.”

If you don’t feel comfortable wearing something quite so loud, you can surely pull off something subtler. Wilson suggests going with a bomber jacket with a excellent stitching or low-key prints. “Make it an olive green, a tan, and a chocolate brown. Those three colors you can wear with everything. You can wear with more casual with a t-shirt and jeans. Go to the bar on the weekend, but maybe during the week, as you’re going for drinks or a dinner, you can wear with a button-up shirt.”

Best Life must-haves:

Michael Kors herringbone peacoat

Michael Kors herringbone peacoat, $1,295 at mrporter.com

Freemans Sporting Club shirt jacket

Freemans Sporting Club shirt jacket, $635 at mrporter.com

Todd Snyder olive shearling bomber jacket in merino leather

Todd Snyder olive shearling bomber jacket in merino leather, $1,598 at toddsnyder.com

 

2
Wear Burgundy Anything

Lanvin suit jacket

Lanvin suit jacket, $2,850 at mrporter.com and $750 at mrporter.com

The 2015 to 2016 season was dominated by really light colors—pale blues, pink quartz. This year, we’re seeing darker, more rich fall shades. “When you’re dealing with leather and you’re dealing with wool, and you’re dealing with heavier weight fabrics, sometimes it’s nicer to feel in a really rich color,” says Wilson. “It’s also continuing a ’70s trend of going back to the deeper autumnal shades that were big in the ’70s.”

Burgundy, specifically, is showing up everywhere, especially in coats and suits. “The regular guy can embrace burgundy in a boot, or maybe some wool trousers that are you could wear it with a navy shirt and jacket for the weekend.”

Best Life must-haves:

Edward Green Camden chelsea boots

Edward Green Camden chelsea boots, $1,415 at mrporter.com

Club Monaco cable-knit sweater

Club Monaco cable-knit sweater, $230 at mrporter.com

 

3
Go Throwback with
Some Skater Sneaks

Vans Sk8-Hi Pro

Vans Sk8-Hi Pro, $70 at vans.com

Wildly flashy designer sneakers are so last year. This year? The top hardcourt style pros are wearing decidedly toned-down sneakers. “For a long time it was all about, Here’s my $800 Balenciagas or $1,200 Christian Louboutins,” says Wilson. “Now we’re seeing both the return of things like Vans, that are $50 to $100 a pop that can be customized or that are now coming in all these great collaborations with really great fabrics, in like leathers, even in like a fleece, and all these more heavier weight wools that are great for the fall.”

She recommends the classic Vans Skate High-tops in black and white.

“You can wear them on a more casual day or you can dress it up,” she says. “If you want something more visually interesting, Converse First String does all these really neat textile versions of a Chuck Taylor. That’s another way to kind of upgrade something simple into something that’s a little more special. You can get it in those really cool knits, and maybe build up your burgundy, too, with a cool knit.”

Best Life must-haves:

Todd Snyder + PF Flyers charcoal suede sneaker

Todd Snyder + PF Flyers charcoal suede sneaker, $159 at toddsnyder.com

Gucci Dublin Slip-On Sneaker

Gucci Dublin Slip-On Sneaker, $580 at nordstrom.com

 

4
Dig Out Your
Grungiest Wool Shirts

John Elliott plaid shirt

John Elliott plaid shirt, $250 at mrporter.com

If you think NBA players are starting to party like it’s 1992, you’re not wrong. More and more, says Wilson, we’re seeing guys adopting the grungy, flannel look. Only they’re not just wearing them untucked over a tee-shirt. “A lot of the younger guys, like D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and a lot of these L.A. guys who are getting into that sort of grungy look, but are still pretty clean cut with it,” she says.

One popular look is to simply wear it as a layer. “It really has become, for some guys, a great way to add a layer to a look,” she says. “If they’re too tall, and the shirt doesn’t quite fit, they can always tie it around their waist—that sort of 90s thing.”

And if you want to be really on trend, layer it underneath a stylish, embroidered burgundy bomber, and don’t forget to pair them with your favorite pair of Vans.

Best Life must-haves:

APC Trevor overshirt
APC Trevor overshirt, $295 at eastdane.com

Prada checked wool shirt
Prada checked wool shirt, $1,170 at mrporter.com