It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to talk about fashion on the blog, and I am going to return, as you all knew I would, to talk about the Minnesota Wild.
#mnwild has come up with a team dress code for games since teams don't have to wear suits.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 21, 2020
3 different team-issued, Wild logoed collared shirts that are white and gray, green and black with pants, Parise says.
This way they look presentable and like a team on the way to games
This tweet is like staring into the void, if the void went to a mid-tier private high school, or really liked to golf. I have looked at a lot of hockey player walk-in footage, and I’d like to break it to everyone that whether or not these men are wearing a suit has absolutely no correlation to whether they look “presentable”. It’s possible to look like a total disaster while wearing a suit, and to look sharp as fuck in casual wear. Could they not, at the very least, have gone for a more interesting not-a-suit uniform if the players themselves wanted to dress identically? I endorse matching embroidered leather jackets like they’re collectively starring in a really weird revival of Grease.
To my relief, no one in Toronto seems to be lining up a rack of team-logo polo shirts. In this one thing, Auston Matthews and I are in perfect agreement:
Auston Matthews on a relaxed dress code in the bubble: "I'm really looking forward to it, honestly. It'll be a pretty cool opportunity for guys to express themselves like other leagues are able to. At times, hockey can kind of fall behind as far as that stuff kind of goes."— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 19, 2020
I really love suits, don’t get me wrong—a well-tailored suit is a piece of functional art and a true joy to look at—but fashion should be about expression, and Matthews is right that every other major sports league has the NHL beat in terms of walk-ins as a vehicle for expression. MLB doesn’t appear to have a dress code at all, and while the NBA and NFL both do, theirs use more subjective language (“professional manner” for the NFL, “business casual” for the NBA) as opposed to the NHL’s, which specifies a suit and tie. (I also want to note that dress codes themselves are often used as a way to enforce classist and racist ideas of what is, ah, presentable.) While I don’t expect anyone to knock Serge Ibaka off his Best Dressed Athlete in Toronto throne, I’m hoping for interesting, at the very least. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of guys dressed in sweatpants or jeans or plain tees or even, like the Minnesota Wild, team-logo-embroidered collared shirts (we all choose our choices!), but I’m also sure that some Leafs are going to take the opportunity to show off a more creative side of their style.
Travis Dermott, whose wardrobe seems to be an endless source of weird clothes that absolutely delight me (the man owns bright lilac pants!), started us off with this majestic creation right here. I desperately wish I could see the rest of this outfit, because if he’s paired this with sweatpants and Crocs, he’s going to break my heart. This pattern is ludicrously showy, belongs on upholstery in a Roger Moore-era Bond film, and I would wear it in a hot second. My only quibble is that I’m not sure that a T-shirt is the best way to display a pattern that large and geometric—a short-sleeved button-down shirt would be my suggestion. A placket and buttons would provide more breakup of the pattern itself, so it looks slightly less like wallpaper and more like fabric, and a collar would make it look less like the world’s most glamorous hospital gown. That neckline is doing the situation no favors.
Meanwhile, Matthews is wandering around in a bucket hat like he’s spiritually channeling my grandmother. At least he’s wearing Raptors shorts. I rely on you to nibble around the edges of avant-garde, Auston, go follow Serge’s excellent example and buy yourself a kilt.
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