It is tournament time, Pose-rs!! Time to huddle around the TV and watch some #1 v. #16 domination, some upsets, some crazy fan in the stands body paint. When watching games, do you ever notice those middle-aged men pacing the sidelines? Yeah, those coach types. Do you ever check out the duds on those angry, sometimes sweaty dudes? Since you’re reeding such a well respected fashion blog, OF COURSE you are taking note! Now let’s take that “do or don’t” assessment of sideline style one step further: is a coach’s personal fashion sense indicative of his team’s success on the court? Are looking good and winning games mutually exclusive? That’s right my friends, time for another sports+fashion Guest Post. Because let’s face it, we are tired of picking teams based solely on the cuteness of their uniforms. REED ON.
March Madness: The time of year when coworkers, classmates and friends fill out brackets and start talking trash about college hoops, has finally arrived. Some have been students of bracketology for years, others are novices. Doesn’t matter. The great thing about the Madness is that you don’t need to know an extensive amount about college basketball to do well predicting tournament games. It wouldn’t be March Madness without the unexpected upsets that not even the most season fan could have seen coming. Between all of the replays, highlights, and mascots, the coaches of these tournament teams really get overlooked. Lucky for you, PoseCity is here to give visual pointers on the men in charge. We think these guy’s styles will give you a clue who to count on moving forward on your bracket. To aid your predictions, we’ve broken down coach style into four categories: The Traditional Powers, The Flash Mob, The Upset-Minded and The ‘We Have Questions’.
The Traditional Powers
A 4-time National Title winner at Duke University as well as this year’s defending champ, “Coach K” brings a solid style to the sidelines. You can almost always find him in a black or navy blazer paired with a solid or classic patterned/striped blue tie. Coach K keeps it classy with 2-button blazers and does not accessorize at all. If you see some sort of pin on his left lapel this march, that is merely his credentials for the arena. His style reflects his personality: successful, humble, yet commanding of attention. Coach K’s consistent style is similar to his team’s dependable performances in March. Count on Duke being there until the end.
A national champion in 2008 at Kansas, success has followed Bill Self all the way through the ranks of college basketball. His style is also very classic, evidenced by his traditional 2-button blazers. However, Self is known to branch out a bit with the occasional olive or brown colored jacket. Bill has a great neck tie palette to work with between the red and blue of KU. Keep an eye on him and the Jayhawks, as they are heavily favored.
John Calipari has been through the coaching ranks and finds himself back in the spotlight at perennial NCAA power Kentucky. Calipari rounds out our power group with yet another classic style. Probably more than Coach K or Bill Self, John mixes up the blazer and tie combo, sometimes going 3-button and patterned. All around, his look is still traditional. Jon Hamm could play him in a feature film (release date yet to be determined, wink). He lets his teams and recruiting do the talking. He’s a fine-looking coach that knows his X’s & O’s about basketball and style.
Power group analysis
We like these coaches because they look good without going over the top. In addition, they know when to unbutton their coats and KEEP them on. Pacing the sidelines all buttoned up in your suit jacket or with just your shirt and tie on just doesn’t look right. With all the movement going on in coaching a game you’ve got to unbutton that blazer, right? Keep these three and their teams front and center on your bracket and television this month.
The Flash Mob – All About The Bling
Without a doubt no one dominates the style headlines of college basketball like Rick Pitino of Louisville. The above graphic is not a compilation. Coach Pitino ACTUALLY changed suits during halftime of a game. Coach Pitino brings his distinct New York swagger to the Blue Grass State. He is always trendy with the latest cut and button styles and is adorned with jewelry (NCAA title ring) and loads of accessories. I’d be willing to bet that his shoes cost more than most other coaches suits. Pitino’s mindset comes across in his style. His fashion choices are just like his team, when they are hot or in style, they seem to be firing on all cylinders. When they are a tick off, they are way off. Pay attention to Louisville this March and see if they are “in style” for a run at the title.
Oh Jay Wright, we want to root for you and your Wildcats but why do you have to go so overboard on the look? We know it is hard to stand out in the saturated Big East Conference but you are going about it in all the wrong ways. He is an accomplished coach that has brought Villanova back on the basketball scene, but he has also brought his own style into question with that as well. Too much coach, too much. We hate to say it but you look like an extra from an episode of The Sopranos. All of the jewelry (rings, bracelets, gaudy watches), funky pocket-square folds and french-cuffed shirts belong in a different spotlight. You are chiseled and good-looking, just tone it down a bit. Let that make the statement. Your styles, like your teams, need more consistency and tradition. We are hoping that both come with maturity. With that said, you are interesting and we’re following you this March and beyond.
Believe it or not that is one of the calmer photos of Frank Martin we could have posted. He is crazy intense during all of his games. His style, “frankly” needs help. He goes wild accessorizing and does not unbutton his jacket during a game. His style (3-4 button jackets, pocket squares, vests, jewelry) is like his team, more about the stand-out piece than the look as a whole. In addition to all that, his suits NEVER fit right. Pay attention to that this March when you watch the Wildcats. Tone it down with the style and demeanor, Coach Martin. You get compared to Vince McMahon for a reason. Keep a lookout for him early as the Wildcats may be gone after the first weekend.
Flash Group Analysis
This group is known more for their own personal styling than their respective programs successes on the court. Common faults in this category include: over-accessorizing, straying from traditional jacket/color/pattern styles, brazen attitudes off the court, buttoned jackets during games, and the most criminal offense, excessive sweating. Tone it down gents! Let your teams do the talking, just look good as the man in charge of your squad.
At the top of our Upset group is Mike Anderson of Missouri. Overlooked in the top heavy Big 12 conference, Mike Anderson has built a solid, stable contender at Missouri. Coach Anderson is always in control of his team and style from the sidelines. His look is unique without going overboard (see tie in photo above). He never loses his cool and has a quiet confidence in his team and his style. Well done coach. Most of you might not recognize him because Mizzou shares a conference with the likes of Kansas and Texas, but watch out for Coach Anderson and the Tigers this year and in many Marches to come.
One of the newer coaches to the NCAA circuit is Josh Pastner of Memphis. Taking over after then head coach John Calipari skipped town to take the job at Kentucky, Pastner brings a young presence to the tournament. At just 33, Pastner can be easily overlooked, not only for being in a second-tier conference (Conference USA) but also for his youth. As a member of the 1997 National Championship Arizona Wildcats team, Pastner learned the game from one of the all-time great coaches Lute Olsen. Perhaps Olsen passed down some wisdom on how to carry oneself on the sidelines because Pastner has it mastered. Interestingly, Pastner’s #12-seeded Tigers open up against his alma-mater #5-seeded Arizona Wildcats in the tourney. Who said soap operas were only during the day? Get a good look at him early because he and Memphis may not be around for long, but then again this IS the upset group.
The elder statesman of the Pac-10 (soon to be PAC-12) Conference, Lorenzo Romar’s biggest fault is simply being the head coach of a university located in Seattle Washington. PAC NW REPRESENT! Romar is a humble coach that lets his players take the spotlight, but damn coach we love you up here! Coach Romar always has a great tie on. Paisley is a tricky print to pull off well, but on Coach Romar it looks modern and appropriate. If he were in a more talked-about media market, more people would know him and recognize his consistent winning. Romar’s teams are as reliable as his clothing choices- and that is something that will not being going out of style anytime soon. Keep an eye on the #7 seeded Huskies opening weekend, they could pull a major upset and coach Romar will look good doing it.
Upset Minded Analysis
The seeds of the following coaches are 7,11, & 12 respectively. Not being traditional NCAA basketball powers and being in overlooked geographic locations have these coaches at a style disadvantage. Like their “power” counterparts, these coaches have the style and coaching know-how, they just lack the institutional pedigree behind them….for now.
We Have Questions
Oy, Bruce Pearl…….where do we start? This should be brief because the photos above make the biggest statement. As a result of this season’s SEC suspension, the sweating, the audacious attitude and the need to always be in the spotlight, Coach Pearl is the leader in this category. Granted, orange is a difficult color to work with, but that does NOT mean you should embrace it to the degree you have. As if the bright orange blazer was not enough, he once showed up at Lady Vols game decked out in orange and silver body paint. Ironically enough, a middle-aged man wearing little more than a headband in public is the least of all fashion crimes committed by Pearl. Success on the court merely breeds a more pompous attitude on and off. Fashion can take NO more! We hope you are eaten by a Wolverine in this year’s tournament Coach Pearl. Come back next year and act/dress your age. College was 30+ years ago. [burn!]
Okay, it could be easy to pick on Bob Huggins in this post. The man has been through ups and downs his personal life, but he is a coach that truly cares for each and every one of his players. We do love Huggy and as aforementioned, it would be easy to mock him and we don’t want to do that…but we do have one question: A track suit coach? Really? When did you stop caring? You used to dress well and put yourself together in great suits. What changed? You are only on this list because of the track suit. You are an elite coach and we just want you to look that way.
Dear Mike Brey…didn’t Mike Krzyzewski teach you anything when you were his assistant at Duke? We don’t question a whole lot with you, just the mock turtleneck. And that is a big question mark on his style file. He always has one on, forgoing ties, let alone a shirt with actual buttons. Yes, this is more of a misdemeanor of a fashion crime, but come on and dress like a grown man, puh-lease. We will teach you to tie a tie coach. Oh well, it is Notre Dame afterall, and it could be worse. Clean it up and put on a shirt and tie, problem solved. We guarantee it will help Notre Dame be taken more seriously as a basketball school.
This group is definitely the most diverse. Each coach is here for a different reason and we dislike, like and are ambivalent about each one… in that order. The biggest criminal in this category is Bruce Pearl bar none. The other two just need a few tweaks and they could have been in contention in our “Upset” group. The answer to all of our questions pose-d to this group is simply “class it up.”
Good luck with your bracket(s) this month. Nothing makes winning even better than looking sharp while doing so. Who wants to watch a haggard looking coach featured in “One Shining Moment 2011?” NOT US! Only here to help, as always.
Enjoy the Madness Pose-rs!
Much love & basketball.
PoseCity & Guest Pose-r xo.
Yeah yeah, a little something called the Golden Globes happened on Sunday. I watched and judged and swigged bubbly. Be patient, you know my thoughts will be made public. However, I went on a sunshiney long weekend trip [hi MCB!] and am going to instead put the GGs on hold and introduce a PoseCity first: Guest Post!
My followers know that I am most interested in fashion as a form of expression, a way to communicate in a way different from spoken and written language. Case in point was my visit to the IMA over the holidays and my delight in seeing the Madeline Albright exhibit featuring accessories as a means of diplomacy during Ms. A’s years as Secretary of State [revisit post here].This idea can be seen in politics, in Hollywood and as I am learning, in the sports world. Crafting a look off the court/field/rink is just as important to the successful marketing of an athlete as his/her skills on the clock. I am a huge fan of the men and women in sports who care about looking good. Money cannot buy happiness, but it sure as shiz can buy some swanky duds!
So imagine my fascination with this year’s uber aesthetically pleasing University of Oregon football team. I am nothing if not a humble bloggie and I certainly know my limits. Therefore, I am turning over continuation of the sports fashion topic to our most revered guest poser, er, poster of the hour. Reed on and enjoy!
Oregon Ducks National Runners-Up, but #1 in fashion.
Hello PoseCity followers: A week ago, as a few of you that reside here in the Rose City might recall, a football game was played in Arizona. It pitted our Ducks of the University of Oregon against the Tigers of Auburn University. As you now know, Auburn won the game and BCS title on a last-second field goal kick. This post has nothing to do with a dissection of the game, but more of a dissection of the fashion and culture of sport between two polar opposite programs.
NW vs. the South / Trend vs. Tradition / Innovation vs. Status Quo / UO vs. AU
Oregon finished behind Auburn on the scoreboard, but is the clear winner in the battle of sports fashion. No other athletic program in the country is more fashion and style oriented than the Oregon Ducks. For those of you that don’t know, UO has the power of the Nike corporation behind it.
Its football program boasts 5 different uniform colors of which the combinations of helmet, jersey, and pants can be arranged in a billion different ways. On this special night, the team received a color combination designed for the BCS title game only. No stage is bigger in college football so why wear what you wore in Pullman WA??? It would be like Tom Hanks wearing his Cast Away wardrobe to the Oscars. The day-glo yellow accents on the lettering and socks simply rocked. The mixture of white and silver worked well and made the yellow really pop. The new uni combo also introduced the numbering on the undershirt sleeves. INNOVATIVE!!!
My favorite portion of the newest uniform are the detailed wings on the shoulder pads. It looks like a detail off of a fashion brand such as Rock & Republic. The type on the uniform is specific to Oregon only and is known as “Belotti Bold” (named after a former coach) and is tapered from top to bottom to accent the muscles of the players from top to bottom to make them more imposing. The Oregon unis are a one of a kind in college football. They make people talk. The talk is sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad, but they serve a purpose. The BCS championship game is to college sports fashion what the Oscars are to red carpet fashion and in my humble opinion the UO unis were somewhere between hardcore traditional in manner of Tom Hanks:
and bat shit crazy (or BSC) like Mickey Rourke:
The Ducks are more like classy Mr. Jamie Foxx:
Totally non-tradtional and yet haven’t gone too far.
All in all, mega-props for arriving in style UO and making Auburn look, well what they are: old, southern and traditional, just like the women at the game sipping on cocktails in dresses and pearls that they bought in 1970. I know if I were a recruit I’d want to go to UO just to see how they would outfit me. Plus, all sorts of free swag from Nike! In sum, Oregon was to Auburn what H&M is to Coldwater Creek.
For more on the Duck unis, go here.
And also be sure to visit the Oregonian photo blog from the BCS National Championship game here.
Until then pose-rs, this is your substitute blogger reminding you that in the world of sports it really isn’t whether you win or lose, but how you look competing.
[End Guest Post, Begin Applause]