The 30 Most Well-Groomed Athletes in Sports
Sports figures are often portrayed as gritty, tough professionals with eye black on and blood on their face. But off the court, field or diamond, they are people, just like you and me. The difference is, however, they need to protect their image and fortunately for them, often have the money to dress like a king or queen.
They say "clothes make the man," but what about the woman? Grooming was long considered a woman's domain, but not any longer. There was a time when being obsessed with your looks would've been considered effeminate, but in today's world where first impressions are everything, it's all about the presentation.
Often, an athlete's image depends on how they represent themselves when they are away from their sport. And that image goes a long way toward making them even more money in endorsements.
So it makes sense (especially dollars and cents) for athletes to look good. In fact, there are teams that require it. For example, players often wear sports coats or suits when travelling. The New York Yankees, as way of another example, have a long-standing policy against facial hair of any kind.
This brings us to a question—does "well groomed" mean no beards? I don't think so. As you will see in this article, a beard can sometimes be an athlete's calling card. And, as George Carlin once told us, "Here's my beard. Ain't it weird? Don't be scared, it's just a beard."
So come along with me as I take a journey through the list of the 30 most well groomed athletes in sports today. But no jacket is required for viewing.
30. Andy Roddick
We start off this list with a man who combines tennis and interesting fashion choices. He is clean-shaven, and even somehow keeps long hair looking messy and well groomed at the same time. Right now, his hair is short and well cropped.
His wife is Brooklyn Decker, so perhaps she keeps him on his fashion toes.
29. Brian Wilson
I told you that a beard doesn't have to be weird—even when it's one that hasn't been shaved for a long time. No one other than Wilson could rock facial hair like this. While there may be a family of four living in that beard, Wilson has helped start a revolution with his look.
Hey, there is even a Twitter account for Wilson's beard: @BeardOfBrian! Meanwhile, the closer for the San Francisco Giants has used that beard to intimidate opponents. It even has a slogan: "Fear the beard."
Admittedly, it has gotten a bit scraggly of late. But I am including it on this list because it is certainly a big part of his look, and has made beards fashionable. As the Giants won the World Series in 2010, everyone started wearing real and fake beards to celebrate.
It's a good look for Brian, even if it may scare his opponents.
28. Joe Cole
27. Sean Avery
Avery is known as a tough-guy hockey player, but off the ice he's a smooth dresser. In fact, Avery has already left his mark in the fashion world, having interned at Vogue, and takes an interest in Coco Chanel.
Avery is also a regular at Fashion Week.
Photo courtesy of SI.com
26. Mike Comrie
Hockey players are known more for broken teeth and bloody knuckles, but off the ice, Comrie wears that "scruff" perfectly and dresses well too. I don't know if he's still dating Hillary Duff, but I've seen him walk down the red carpet with her and he knows how to dress for those events.
He even looks cool sitting casually court-side at an NBA game. He is one of those guys who can wear "scruff" and still look clean.
25. Curtis Granderson
Granderson has taken to New York as few baseball players ever have. Since coming to the Yankees, he has been a home run monster. But he's no monster off the diamond.
Sports Illustrated says he exhibits "first-class fashion," and in New York, they really care about that kind of stuff.
24. Mark Sanchez
Sanchez has taken his lumps as an NFL quarterback in New York, but off the field he is well dressed and well groomed. Under the bright lights of the Big Apple, he'd better be.
While some may think Sanchez will be battling Tim Tebow for the starting job next season (not a chance, in my opinion). but no one questions that he is a clear winner off the field.
In fact, in 2011, Sports Illustrated proclaimed that he may have passed Brady as the "new best-dressed quarterback in the NFL."
23. LaDainian Tomlinson
This great running back may be at the end of his career, but off the field, he is a winner at all times. He is always fashionable and even his facial patch of facial hair is well groomed.
22. Roger Federer
Federer just rallied to win Madrid Open for the third time, but the Swiss tennis pro is always a winner off the court.
His rivalry with Rafael Nadal is considered one of the greatest of all time in the sport. At least he can say he beat him in this list by a few spots.
He looks good even in a casual sweater.
21. Jennie Finch
U.S. softball player Jennie Finch is a media darling as much for her good looks as for her outstanding softball skills. I don't think she actually plays ball in this dress, but I would pay good money to watch.
Photo courtesy of www.businessinsider.com
20. Steve Nash
With Nash, it's all about the hair. He is a future Hall of Famer on the court, but off it, he has always taken pride in the appearance of his hair.
The follically-challenged among us may not understand this, but Nash is confident enough to experiment over the years.
He's rocked the mullet, short hair and long flowing locks and he's even had a buzz cut.
19. Baron Davis
Davis suffered what could be a career-ending injury in the NBA playoffs, but he could start a second career as a model if he wanted to.
He dons some interesting looks, and isn't afraid to go out on a limb at times. He rocks a beard but it always looks neat, even when he grows it out a little more.
Meanwhile, check out that hat. Even an unbuttoned shirt still looks dressy when he wears it.
18. Andrew Bynum
The Lakers center just looks very polished at all times. Courtesy of www.stilettosetsports.com, "he has been unofficially linked to pop and fashion star Rihanna and you know she goes for the put-together metro-men!"
Photo courtesy of http://www.stilettosetsports.com/the-nba-all-star-best-dressed-team/.
17. Amare Stoudemire
16. Kevin Garnett
On the court, Garnett may be prone to throwing the occasional tantrum when he feels a call didn't go his way, but off the court he is always in control.
Maybe it's the shiny, bald head—so well-buffed it's like a mirror—or perhaps it's the way he can go out in a plain, white tee and still look hip.
15. Tony Parker
Parker may have ranked only fifth in MVP voting, but he's one of the top athletes in terms of off-field style. Another one of those guys who can scruff it up with the best of them, he always looks clean, well groomed and stylish.
And having Eva Longoria by his side never hurt his look, either.
14. Kobe Bryant
Michael Jordan recently said that Bryant is the only basketball player who deserves comparisons to him. And while that is a great compliment from arguably the greatest player ever, notice who makes this list. (Of course, Michael no longer plays so he isn't eligible for the list.)
Hey, anyone who can dress in such a goofy get-up must be willing to take some fashion risks. Somehow, he pulls it off.
13. Cristiano Ronaldo
12. Dwayne Wade
Wade not only looks fashionable off the court, check out those accessories.
Photo courtesy of www.businessinsider.com
11. Danica Patrick
10. Carmelo Anthony
Nicknamed "Melo", Anthony is one mellow dude off the basketball court. He even rocked a polka-dot bow tie at the Time 100 gala.
You may see him on the court in cornrows, with all of those tattoos. But he cleans up rather well.
9. Maria Sharapova
Men might wish to put this tennis hottie further up on this list.
8. Rafael Nadal
This Spaniard wins the hearts of women all over the world with his ripped physique and solid fashion choices. Oh, and he's also pretty damn good at tennis.
Although American girls may be uneasy with man-capris, this European made them acceptable. And who can combine jeans with a dressy jacket like him?
7, David Beckham
No best-dressed list would be complete without soccer star David Beckham. Others can bend it, but not like Beckham.
Known more for his fashion sense and his wife than even for his soccer, Beckham always looks first-class when he goes out.
Why doesn't my scruff look as neat as his?
6. Henrik Lundqvist
Lundqvust is one smart dressed hockey player. As Sports Illustrated put it, "This Swede takes his suits and skinny ties seriously. Although the formal attire is a prerequisite for team travel, Lundqvist says he never wears t-shirts and lists Dior, Hugo Boss and Tiger of Sweden among his favorite designers."
That's good enough for me. He makes the cut.
In fact, even his "scruff" looks good. And believe me, that's hard to do.
Photo courtesy of SI.com.
5. LeBron James
Love him or hate him, LeBron James is an MVP on and off the court. On the court, he's a monster but after he hits the showers, his wardrobe never disappoints.
Photo courtesy of www.si.com
4. Derek Jeter
Jeter is a shortstop on the field, but he never stops short of providing a good look off the diamond. He usually arrives to the ballpark in a suit—this is a guy who understands that clothes make the man.
Photo courtesy of www.si.com
3. Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod may belong No.1 on this list, for his look is often so crisp and his face clean-shaven, that he's practically a walking billboard for style away from the ballpark.
That he plays for the team with the classiest uniforms (yes, you may hate the Yankees, but those pinstripes are "Americana" my friend), doesn't exactly hurt his image.
Rodriguez has certainly taken some severe hits to his image with the steroids scandal, but he knows how to rock a good look.
2. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has made as much news over the years for his off-the-field antics as for what he has done on the golf course. While he may no longer be a great golfer, he always makes news.
Tiger Woods grows a beard and it makes the news. Even when he did, it was trimmed very nicely and looked stylish. He dresses impeccably off the golf course too.
When Woods plays golf at the Bridgestone Invitational, the headlines talk about his "bright polos" rather than his game. As Esquire Magazine wrote of Tiger, "With his youth, his physique, and his swagger, Tiger still stands out as one of the best versions of that guy, with or without a putter in his hand."
1. Tom Brady
In my opinion, no athlete personifies style like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Being married to a model does have its perks, but Brady understood fashion and style before he met Gisele.
From his humble beginnings as a sixth round selection in the NFL Draft, to one of the most celebrated QBs ever to play the game, Brady has shown poise on the field and style off it.
When he changes his hari style, as he has frequently throughout the years, it makes almost as much news as does his exploits on the football field.
He and his model wife are the most stylish of the sporting world.
Photo courtesy of People Magazine: http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2012/05/07/tom-brady-hair-new-look-met-gala/