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Fashion In The NBA



Snappy dressing among the game’s elite


The NBA’s premier fashionistas treat every pre-game arrival as a personal runway show, taking the chance to showcase unique dressing styles that change from game to game. This aligns well with the recently-implemented rule change that now allows players to wear any shoes of their choosing, rather than shoes in black, white or their team colors. This advance will allow players to express their personalities in on-court situations, just as they have yearned to do for decades.


Shoes: Rules in the past only allowed shoes that were mainly white or black, with accents in team colors. This was famously highlighted by the inaugural Air Jordans, but things could not be more different today with the assortment of player editions and special colorways that have become a large part of the NBA culture. 


Socks: Before the rule change, players relied on socks to display their individuality. High socks used to be all the rage in the early days of the NBA, before low-cut ‘no show’ socks took over around the turn of the millennium, with black ones being popularized by Michigan’s famed ‘Fab Five’ class of freshmen. Nowadays, high socks are back in fashion again. These are not the plain ones favored by your grandpa however, with more flashy designs than you could ever imagine.


Shorts: Just like the socks, shorts fashion has come full cycle. Short shorts were once the norm for the simple reason of functionality, but style and swagger took precedence as players began to don long, baggy shorts, again inspired by the ‘Fab Five’ as well as streetball culture. With players who are more informed about physical training methods today, it seems that shorter shorts are beginning to return, with several NBA style icons eager to showcase the results of their training regimes.


Hair: The other bodily extremity is a prime choice for fashion choices, given its high visibility. There have also been a number of trends over the years, from the eye-popping afros of yesteryear to the bald heads and headbands popular in the 90s. Nowadays, rich facial hair is all the rage as players eagerly grow beards and mustaches in keeping up with the times.