The celebrity of LeBron James – on (and off) the court – is unmatched. The Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player is what the industry calls a ‘free agent’; letting him control his own professional interests. And it’s this kind of autonomy that makes James a force in his own right; both in the NBA and as a fashionisto.
Breaking It Down
It’s hard to find a common style theme for James. Like a chameleon, the sportsman reinvents his look; rocking an urban prep look front row at fashion week (the fact he attends already says something) or donning a fedora and black long coat forming part of the mystery Mod squad.
A big guy, James knows fit is important too, cutting it sharp in suits, blazers and raw denim that look made for him; chances are, the jeans are made from him.
James is an American and takes pride in the country’s fashion gift to the world – preppy style. Attending fashion week, a black jersey with contrast collar and red arm bands accentuate the sports vibe (of a non-basketball kind) for everyday wear. Worn over khaki chinos and leather chukka boots, it’s a classic polo look that is timeless and masculine.
At night, the foolproof khaki is moved up top, styled as a cotton blazer over a crisp white shirt – with all the trimmings. Typically, James isn’t a colour man, so accessories – bow tie, pocket square and watch band – are black, reaffirming his penchant for muted prep.
Darting through the NBA halls, James adopts an off-duty, cool style. Very much Mod-inspired, the fedora hat – always in felt, sits perched over a clean cut leather bomber, relaxed tee and dark selvedge denim for a touch of dishevelled Fifties.
Other times, the chesterfield coat in plush wool adds some softness to the hard, slim lines of the outerwear; mixed in with a dark blue chambray shirt and club collar, trousers, gold cuff and matching lapel pin. A leather weekend bag with gold zip ties in the metallics nicely, ensuring this Mod has his style gang in line.
Looking more the Italian gent than American b-baller, James’ slick suiting gets the Euro makeover with a roll neck sweater replacing traditional shirting. The key to maintaining sophistication is sticking to neutral colours (navy or black) and opting for a three-piece with matching waistcoat.
The tonal hues blend the roll neck in nicely and the higher neck adds a streamline affect to James’ broadness; especially in black. The openness of the look works best with peak lapels and little-to-no accessories; except for shades, in (again) black – with a matte finish for more class.
James is patriotic to blue through his taste for sneaker and shirt coordination. The masculine colour addresses sheeny, leather hi-tops in a royal blue, under a grainy, short sleeve shirt in washed-out denim for something more natural.
For more expressive moments, paint-splattered sneakers in fifty shades of blue match up with motley blue shirting in long sleeves; buttoned-up the neck and no tie. Leaving the shirt untucked accentuates the blue layers; adding in a pair of block-coloured chinos or raw denim jeans to break up the matchy-matchy.
Key James Fashion Items
Suits: Peak lapel blue from Balenciaga and black three-piece from Dolce & Gabbana.
Coats: Chesterfield top coat from Givenchy and leather jacket from Club Monaco.
Tops: Roll neck sweater from Reiss or Dolce & Gabbana, long sleeve jersey from Ralph Lauren, button shirt (and tie) from Tom Ford and Levis chambray.
Bottoms: Khaki chinos from A.P.C, and selvedge denim from Bottega Veneta or Simon Miller.
Shoes: Customised sneakers from Balenciaga, leather lace-ups from Berluti and John Lobb.
Accessories: Gold metal cuff from Acne Studios, fedora hat from Borsalino and eyewear from Mykita.