Remember when style and sport were mutually exclusive things? When athletes turned up to awards nights dressed in black tie and black tie only, and any deviation from the rule would ruffle the feathers of traditionalists?
Well, we can officially say sayonara to those days - and the 2019 ESPY Awards, which took place in Los Angeles overnight, well and truly confirmed that. Watching the likes of Dwayne Wade and the NHL’s PK Subban make their way down the red carpet dressed in head to toe designer fits, it felt impossible to remember a time when the big leagues and luxury didn’t cross pollinate.
Like, can you recall a Spring 2020 runway Russell Westbrook (and his chest) didn’t attend?
Needless to say, it’s a positive development for those of us who enjoy spectating these two S-words. Namely, because the unbridled self confidence every sporting professional seems to possess means they’re also fairly brave when it comes to taking risks in the styling department.
You only need to look as far as the Prada bib Odell Beckham Jr. paraded at the ESPYs to see what we mean.
And while not everything here is wearable in a ‘normal person’ context, the style on show at the 2019 ESPYs isn’t to be overlooked. In fact, there’s something even the most conservative dressers among us can take away from these elite men and their elite fits.
Here, we break down five of our favourite looks - and how we plan to replicate them.
Malcolm Jenkins - The Embellished Shoulder
Just when we thought we’d seen every trick in the tailoring book, the Philadelphia Eagles player serves up something completely unique - shoulder panels decorated in a mismatched oriental print.
While we’re pretty sure this is a custom design job, it certainly gives us something to aspire to in the statement blazer department. From now on, we’ll be looking to decorate our shoulders in any way we can.
Odell Beckham Jr. - The Prada Co-ord
We are here for the preppy moment Odell is currently having, and in no way is it better captured than this schoolboy-esque Prada combo. While the crisp white shirt dresses it up, we think this two-piece would look equally impressive on its own.
Also, the emergence of the kangaroo pouch pocket as a practical styling feature isn’t to go unnoticed. We wonder what kind of amenities the Cleveland receiver had packed for the night?
PK Subban - Yeehaw Luxe
Between the wide-legged pants and the ten-gallon hat, this has got to be one of our favourite looks from the evening. It’s a masterclass in how to rock a cowboy hat without looking like an actual cowboy. Boys, take notes.
Saquon Barkley - Workman Glam
Here, the running back (and winner of the ESPYs Breakthrough Athlete Award) shows us how to rep a workman’s jacket without looking too casual (taking notes, Kanye?)
But while the jacket is fancy, the soft pink tint of Barkley’s spectacles tops this outfit off with clout. Not that he needs any assistance in the clout department, of course.
Von Miller - The Shorts Suit
The Denver Broncos linebacker really turned on the heat with this pink two-piece shorts suit, tying it all together with the assistance of a nice black fedora.
We love that the bottom half of this outfit could moonlight as a pair of boardshorts. You know, should the opportunity to go for a splash present itself post-event.
Words: Amy Campbell