Megan on Sporting Gents: Who Rules Athlete Fashion, Footballers or Ballers?

The 2010 edition of the FIFA World Cup has come and gone with the red and yellow clad Spanish team taking home the Louis Vuitton encased trophy. The players exhibited flare on field, but their off pitch style game was just as exciting. The England team arrived in amazingly tailored grey suits while Team USA came head to toe in vintage inspired Nike Sportswear.

On the sidelines, Joachim Low favored the flattering but understated v-neck and blazer combination. David Beckham looked slick sitting out in a tonal pant and vest look. Fashion and team branding went hand in hand on all sides of the pitch in South Africa to truly translate soccer’s sartorial sense.

When I was in New York City this June, I attended Steve Nash’s Showdown in Chinatown. It’s an event that partners NBA stars with professional soccer players and media personalities for a game in downtown NYC. After seeing how many of the NBA stars brought their style game to the field, I was left wondering – who are the better dressed athletes: basketball or soccer players?

Soccer players seem to have the consensus victory among fans thanks to their WAG wives (Victoria Beckham’s designs show at NY Fashion Week) and direct access to European designers. Phoenix Sun Jared Dudley agrees, “I say soccer players, Europeans get more fashion”. His personal fashion mantra: “…no bright colours, no baggy clothes, those are out….Italian style, fitted to your body”.

This past NBA season, players embraced tailored silhouettes and preppy styles more often seen on the runways than courtside. But is their game at the same level as their sports rivals? NBA players tend to stay away from “Eurotrash” soccer fashion – speedos and embellished t-shirts favored by players like Cristiano Ronaldo. Players like James Harden, Baron Davis, and Steve Nash bring European tailoring with American classic standards like sneakers and plaid to the league. A valiant style effort that I hope continues this season among veterans as well as first year players, who mostly came correct at this year’s draft.

Are there any athletes that you model your wardrobe around when you shop at Gotstyle? Let me know here or on Twitter.

Megan Wilson is the NBA fashion and style writer for Nothing Easy as well as an Assignment Editor at The Score. She also works as a fashion stylist and personal shopper and maintains a blog on sports and style called She Got Game. You can reach her

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