The plaintive calls have become impossible to ignore: “We need a Fashion Face-off!”
Actually, only two people said that, but I think we can safely assume these desperate voices represent just the tip of the iceberg. So let’s steer this titanic blog into the perilous waters of men’s tennis fashion, shall we?
I have to be honest. It’s tough to do a Face-off without studmuffin Rafa and his debonair pal Roger in the mix. So many men wear clothes that don’t really constitute an outfit. It’s white shorts and a random top. I mean, I get it. Those are my go-to duds, too. But I’d like to think if millions of people were watching me, I’d try a little harder.
But fear not, bloglings. Yesterday, I plowed through online photos and unearthed a reasonable crop of candidates to choose from. (Yes, we’ve switched from a nautical to an agricultural metaphor. Try to keep up.)
Nominee #1: Sumit Nagal
I never heard of him either, but that’s the beauty of the Fashion Face-off. It’s the great equalizer. Ranking means nothing.
True, this isn’t the most outfitty of outfits. Navy shorts and a red top—is that really any different from what I was just complaining about a couple of paragraphs ago? I will argue it is, for the following reasons:
- If you look closely, you’ll see a little dark edging on Nagal’s collar. If the edging were navy, it would definitely elevate this getup to outfit status. I will concede that it looks more black than navy, which, as we all know, would be a fashion faux-pas of the highest order, but maybe that’s a lighting issue affecting only the collar and not the shorts. That could happen, right?
- The red on the underside of his cap matches his shirt.
- The shorts are well cut and more revealing, an excellent trend started by Face-off fave Rafa.
- I like Nagal’s tat sleeve, earring and necklace.
- Nagal is one letter away from Nadal.
So, no, I am definitely not completely contradicting myself.
Nominee #2: Felix Auger-Aliassime
I’m expecting a lot of pushback on this. The Andre Agassi-inspired line of Nike apparel is loud, no doubt about it. And most of the combinations worn at this tournament are, shall we say, ill-advised. This particular one, though, makes the cut, and not just because it’s fun to say Auger-Aliassime. The neutral bluish-gray shorts provide the solid foundation the busy shirt needs, and the shirt’s palette is a bit more muted than the rest of the Agassi line. A solid choice from the rising Canadian star.
Nominee #3: Reilly Opelka
I know, I know. The beard. Just scroll down a bit so his head’s out of the frame…
See? A perfectly nice ensemble. Fila routinely makes our best-dressed list, with clothing that manages to be both classic and eye-catching. The 35th-ranked American looks sharp in the stripes. Now, if only someone would get him a razor…
Well, we did it. We got through an entire Best-Dressed Man post without Rafa or Roger.
Can this year get any stranger?