Like them or loathe them, the outlandish outfits of Don Cherry and Craig Sager represent a broader fashion frontier for men everywhere.
At a different stage in my life, my husband and I used to go to a lot of formal events. It didn’t take long before I stopped asking him what he was going to wear, because the answer was always either “a suit,” or “a tux.” Sure, he could spice it up a little bit here and there; throw on colorful tie, really cut loose with a vest, sometimes go hog-wild with a bow tie and some funky socks. But, by in large, he didn’t really have all that many options. I, on the other hand, could easily spend weeks trying to decide between long or short, tight or flowy, bright, subdued, or patterned, classic or avante garde, dainty or risqué. For me, everything was a costume party.
But it’s not just formal attire, or even adults. Have you shopped for baby clothes lately? Or kids clothes in general? Girls have options in every color of the rainbow, and styles that range from Diva to down-to-earth. Boys? Mostly earth tones, a few primary colors, a smattering of patterns, and all seemingly designed to not draw attention.
I would think nothing of putting a girl in a shirt with a construction crane on it. But most of us probably wouldn’t put a boy in a brightly colored shirt with flowers and butterflies on it. Girls simply have more options than boys, and it’s because somewhere, someone decided that… Well, that what? That males aren’t creative? (Nature wouldn’t agree, in the animal kingdom, it’s usually the males that have the big plumage and wild decoration.) That males don’t desire options? Can’t be trusted with a complex color palette?
Granted, there are always exceptions. Those artists, you know, are so eccentric, you never know what they’ll wear. And, of course, we all know what the “queer eye” can do to spruce up a suit or a sweet suite. (Please read indignant sarcasm in that biased snark.)
But “manly men?” There are precious few who claim their right to primp and preen with the full spectrum of sartorial expression.
Which is why I love Craig Sager and Don Cherry. These are sports guys. Sports guys are not typically thought of as wildly creative, or artistically expressive, or willing to push the boundaries of what it means to be a “dude.” Sure, you’ll get some “bling” in the form of flashy jewelry and cars, but both of those are linked directly to concepts of wealth that are still, sadly, used to define the value of a man. But Craig and Don, they are cut from their own cloth, and not afraid to show it. I love them for it.
You don’t have to like their outfits, most of the time I think they’re pretty awful. But I just LOVE that they have so much fun getting dressed. That they have a look, and are committing to it with pride and joy.
In a world of drab suits and flannel shirts, these iconic insurgents are forging fashion frontiers for future fellows to shine on! Or, at least, making me happy.
First, Craig Sager. He’s a regular courtside for NBA games, and has some serious flare. All of these photos are taken from a great Tumblr called, simply, Craig Sager’s Suits. It’s worth checking out the rest of them.
I love the stripes on stripes, and I would totally wear this jacket. Granted, I’m not as daring as he is, so I’d put it with jeans and a black t-shirt, dress it up with some knee-high boots. But I’d rock this.
A classic plaid with a bright floral? I like to imagine him saying, “I’ll see you your traditional masculine plaid and raise you a festive feminine floral, now whatcha got?”
Bold. Just B.O.L.D. Don’t like it? Get up and get yourself a snack, because I’m in charge here, and this is what I’m wearing.
This one, I want as a tuxedo. On me? On my husband? Either one. But I love it.
Now, As ballsy as Craig Sager seems, he doesn’t hold a candle to Don Cherry, who’s preening prowess has been memorialized beautifully over at Sports Illustrated. Here are a few stylish shots from their collection.
I’m not gonna lie, I have pants that are pretty much this, only yellow. I love this. If my husband had worn this to our wedding I would have cried tears of joy. (He wore bright red pants, which was awesome!)
Even a classic plaid, in traditionally masculine colors, is set off by a perfect pocket square. Way to make the commitment.
Yes. Just, yes. I mean, no, I don’t like it, but I love that he does, and that he’s not afraid to rock it.
Look. I don’t care how you dress. Honestly, I could do without the color lavender on anyone, but my opinion should mean exactly nothing. If Craig loves his lavender lapels, then he should wear them with pride.
Men, like women, should be able to dress however they want without fear of ridicule. “Real Men,” (yes, I said it, and I was mocking it, in case you missed that,) can wear whatever colors they want. In whatever style they want.
But, for irony, you’ll still usually find me in jeans, a black t-shirt and Converse. Because, unless it’s a costume party, I’m too lazy to do much else.