STYLE AND CULTURE
SPORTS STYLE LEGACY
By Sam Higgins, 6 August 2017
Wimbledon may be done and dusted, the basketball courts empty until October and the football season yet to fully kick off, but there'll still be plenty of sportswear on display when out and about. That's because, for the past couple of seasons, menswear has been poaching the technical designs and reworking them into stylish statement gear. Here are five key sports-inspired pieces that have gone from the playing fields to having mass appeal.
The basketball jersey has been a regular feature in hip-hop style since the golden era of the 90s, with Biggie and Tupac donning the oversized cut to stylishly represent their ends. More recently, the jersey – with its branding and often bold tones – has become a simple remedy for anyone apprehensive about throwing on a vest and showing off their arms during summer, regardless of what team they support.
From its baseball diamond beginnings, the humble cap has found its way in and out of countless sub-cultures – from skater boys to, more recently, the stylish hip-hop elite. And although its core purpose is to shield your eyes from unwanted glare, the cap has become a year-round stylish accessory and not just a summer essential. The basic template has spawned many variations – five-panels and snapbacks to name but two – but out of all of the peaked hats, it's only the baseball cap that has remained a sartorial sure-fire winner.
With shirts being the main focal point of any sporting kit, much of the games’ influential pieces – when infiltrating fashion collections – have focused on catering for your upper half. However, Yeezy Season 3 shone the spotlight on sport's connection to the sometimes-neglected bottom half of your ‘fit, as models (including Lil Yachty) showcased in motocross-flavoured trousers from Kanye’s range. The symmetrical patterning and knee patches on the legs might not offer the padding of the original, but they provide a unique touch of detail that'll shine in a minimal getup.
The traditional cricket jumper is, in essence, a thick, cosy, cable-knit sweater, so working it into your wardrobe doesn’t seem that unnatural. However, its unique, deep-V-neck design has meant it doesn’t offer the wearability of many of its sporting sartorial siblings and instead became a key piece in a very specific preppy-style arsenal. But more recently a new age of streetwear icons and up-and-coming designers have taken the cricket pullover away from the stereotypical off-field pairing of chinos and Oxford shirt and instead begun integrating the knit into their everyday cool-kid kit by playing with proportions and switching up the dye.
In the last year, menswear’s latest sportswear love – the football shirt – has been adopted by celebs who are more likely to call the beautiful game ‘soccer’ and become the muse for designers' retro-inspired SS18 lines. However, its influence is most notable on the pavements outside fashion shows, avid street-stylers showcase their rare finds after no doubt rummaging through the attics of their family homes for countless hours. Just as this fella evidently did – sporting a mid-90s Bayern Munich home shirt outside the SS18 shows.