For die-hard fans of any professional team, supporting your sports squad of choice and flaunting your team spirit often means making serious sacrifices to your sense of style. Oversized jerseys can look sloppy and bulky, adding unnecessary weight to your frame; team colors tend to come in various shades of garish neon, clashing with your wardrobe’s typically sedate palette of taupe, navy and black; and sports memorabilia, on the whole, just can’t seem to get a hang of the concepts of subtlety and minimalism, two elements that are undeniably crucial in achieving that ever-elusive chic status. With all these ways to easily veer of the path of good taste when it comes to cheering on your favorite players, getting dressed in stadium-friendly gear can be a daunting task. So, what’s an athletic gent to do?
Have no fear, with a few minor tweaks, you’ll be representing your team with style to spare.
“Getting dressed in stadium-friendly gear can be a daunting task…”
Show Your True Colors:
This advice seems obvious enough, but is surprisingly often overlooked by more hardcore fans who view this as the wimp’s way out. But don’t let the naysayers get you down, when you look fashion-forward while flawlessly demonstrating your athletic allegiances, we’ll see who gets the last laugh (and the winning touchdown). Sometimes just wearing your team’s colors is enough to broadcast loud and clear exactly where your allegiances lie, especially during playoff season. However, for those whose team of choice have colors that err towards the optically-offensive side of the spectrum (here’s looking at you Lakers, Packers and Seahawks fans), try incorporating those same colors but in gentler tones, like pastels or darker, muted variations.
The Devil is in the Details:
Showing your spirit for most means giant logos, names emblazoned across your back and colors that can range from vibrant red to neon chartreuse, in other words, the exact opposite of understated and demure. But team pride at this volume often comes at the sacrifice of a multitude of more subdued, simple ways you can tell the world who your favorite team is with a whisper rather than a shout. Try mixing in your team’s logos and colors into some of the more minor aspects of your outfit, like your tie, pocket square or cufflinks. The key here is that you’re mixing these elements into an otherwise polished, professional look. These hints of flair give your outfit personality and charm rather than assaulting the eyes of everyone who see you with your mega-fan status.
Upgrade Your Uniform:
For those looking to improve their outfit, but unwilling to sacrifice their favorite player’s jersey on game day, there’s hope for you yet. Try mixing a fitted version of your old Knicks penny or Red Sox tee under a tailored blazer or over a buttondown shirt with the perfect pair of dark denim jeans. Sports jerseys are all the rage on the runway right now, so your demonstration of team spirit won’t seem out of place in the slightest. Alternatively, another nice way to wear your teams logo is to go for either authentic or reproduced vintage-looking pieces. These tees, sweatshirts and jerseys are easy to find on any athletic wear website, and strike a nice, if difficult to achieve, balance between clearly displaying your team loyalty and keeping your look fresh, refined and presentable.
Top It Off:
Sometimes looking good and showing off your favorite team to advantage is as basic as throwing on your coolest fitted cap. Don’t over think it. A basic baseball cap can tie together any look, from schlubby sweatpants to a polished three-piece suit. Whether it’s an inconspicuous logo or the full-blown team name, when worn alone, without the accompanying head-to-toe sports paraphernalia, a hat can be the perfect, subtle nod that lets all of your coworkers know exactly who you’re rooting for in tomorrow night’s match. Plus, baseball caps are no longer purely the faded canvas snapbacks your grandad still wears, but are now also available in fitted styles and luxe fabrics, like leather or snakeskin.
Play the Field:
Last, but not least, a baseball jacket, either new or vintage, is a great, on-trend way to keep your look modern, fly and super jock-friendly. Baseball jackets were everywhere on the men’s Fall/Winter 2013 runways, which means that they’re just starting to hit both high and low-end stores now and can be spotted all over the city and all over the most covetable street style blogs. Keep the rest of your outfit tame and moderately hip so that your jacket looks intentionally sharp rather than old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy. A baseball jacket is an easy compromise between displaying your irrepressible fandom and staying on the cutting-edge of streetwear sophistication. Not to mention, with these radically dipping temperatures, who couldn’t use another layer or two?
To see more of Emily Niland’s illustrations, visit: www.emilyniland.com