I’d say a solid 90 percent of my first impression of a guy is based on what he’s wearing. Chances are if he’s sporting boat shoes, cargo shorts or mandals, I’ll shake my head in dismay and keep walking. But if he’s rockin’ chukka boots, cuffed pants and a patterned button-down, I’ll probably do a double take.
There’s a wealth of well-dressed men in my new home of New York City, and it begs the question — where do they look for their ~daily inspo~? Sure, there are tons of actors, from Clooney to Gosling, who can serve as great fashion inspiration for men. But there’s also a host of hyper-masculine trailblazers — from athletes to rappers — who are more known for their touchdowns and rhymes than the swaggalicious looks they rock on the regular.
Well, it’s about damn time we show those guys some love. Without further adieu, here are 14 of the dopest rapper and athlete superstars that all men can look to for their daily dose of #inspo.
1. ASAP Rocky
ASAP Rocky kills the personal style game, known for mashing up easygoing street-style pieces with more high-end items. When it comes to fashion designers, the rapper knows his ish, as demonstrated in the intense name-dropping he did in “Fashion Killa.” Plus, he looks fly AF in Dior Homme’s new campaign. When he rapped, “Never met a mothaf**ker fresh like me, all these mothaf**kers wanna dress like me,” he wasn’t lying.
2. Russell Westbrook
When he’s not repping his OKC jersey on the basketball court, Russell likes to mix and match some pretty bold outfits. He’s worn everything from an oversized striped poncho to a Canadian tuxedo. The best part is that he takes chances and does what he wants with zero regard for the haters and his less fashionably inclined teammates. And that go-big-or-go-home attitude is exactly what landed him in True Religion’s spring 2015 campaign, so I’d say things are working out pretty well for him. Keep doin’ ya thang, boo.
3. Tom Brady
Look up the term “All American” in the dictionary, and I can 98.4 percent guarantee you’ll see a photo of good ol’ Tom. Though he rarely steps outside the box like the other style icons on this list, the guy knows how to rock the classics like no other. Patterned button-downs, structured jackets and thick-framed glasses are always in his rotation. The all-star QB knows how to layer and match impeccably, but for all we know, that could actually be owed to his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen.
4. Odell Beckham, Jr.
Underneath this wide receiver’s helmet is a precisely dyed blond do that landed him a coveted spot on GQ’s “Most Stylish Men in the World Right Now” list. Off the field and on the red carpet, he’s rocked everything from a purple velvet blazer to a bright red tailored one. And let’s just discuss his thousand-watt smile…He could honestly wear a trash bag and make it fashionable just by flashing those pearly whites.
5. Wiz Khalifa
This rapper and street-style chameleon is just about as fashionable as he is tatted. A fan of the white-on-white trend, Wiz often relies on his go-to pieces: ultra skinny jeans, crazy printed shirts and skate shoes. In regards to his colorful fashion choices, he told Billboard, “I want to be setting trends and doing things that people don’t expect.” That sums it up quite nicely because I don’t think anyone could’ve expected that matching polka-dotted set he wore to the Furious 7 premiere. If you’re looking for a new pair of kicks, peep his collab with Converse.
6. Kevin Durant
When it comes to swagger, Durant’s got plenty, and it’s not just on the basketball court. This three-pointer-draining baller made backpacks the go-to accessory of the moment just by consistently wearing them to post-game conferences. The Golden State forward can often be found rocking oversize geek-chic glasses, funky printed shirts and Balmain jackets. A GQ cover star, Durant has untamable confidence and swag.
7. Shaun White
Let’s take it to the snow, shall we? Professional snowboarder and skateboarder Shaun White is commonly seen in sleek leather jackets and skinny jeans. But he’s also known for his unabashedly quirky fashion choices, like that one time he went shirtless to the 2010 MTV Movie Awards. Or that time he shredded the slopes in leopard-print leggings. The guy’s got guts. And he’s also got a new clothing line at Macy’s, WHT SPACE, that features dope printed shirts and hand-painted leather jackets.
8. David Beckham
Let’s be real… this one’s pretty darn obvious, but how could I resist including this super sculpted, permanently smizing former soccer star? I mean, he wasn’t named People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for no reason. A men’s style icon, Beckham is a living legend of sorts, often found sporting pristinely tailored suits or the perfectly slouched beanie. Plus, he looks as dashing as ever in his spring/summer 2016 campaign with H&M. Take notes, fellas.
9. ASAP Ferg
The ASAP Mob is just too darn fashionable to only include one member in this list. ASAP Ferg is no newbie to the fashion world, owing much of his expertise to his father, who owned a clothing store when Ferg was younger. This rapper’s got his own clothing line, Traplord, and collabs galore, from his Agolde denim capsule collection and his Adidas skateboarding collection to a partnership with Young & Reckless for PacSun. He has the whole layering with jackets thing down to a science, and he never leaves his house without his trusty grills.
10. Victor Cruz
This wide-receiver earned the No. 1 spot on Sport’s Illustrated’s “Fashionable 50” list. As if that’s not impressive enough, he’s also landed multiple brand partnerships from Nike and Givenchy to Hugo Boss, demonstrating his range of appeal and reach. As a Paris Fashion Week attendee, Cruz stole the street-style show, as per usual. His go-to pieces? Sleek bomber jackets, cool graphic T-shirts and only the freshest of kicks.
11. Chris Bosh
At 6’11”, this basketball mogul struggled in the past with finding properly fitted clothing. But now he’s hit his stride, commonly found sporting tailored suits and jeans when he’s not on the court. His favorite accessory is a classic tie, so much so that he even made his own collection of them, dubbed Mr. Nice Tie. Though he doesn’t experiment much with bright colors and patterns, he knows how to pair muted staples to make for one chic, cohesive look.
12. Cristiano Ronaldo
A close second to Beckham for most fashionable and well-groomed soccer stud, Ronaldo knows how to rock a suit. When he’s not dribbling around defenders for Real Madrid or Portugal’s national team, Ronaldo is probably taking photos of his rock-solid quads or modeling luxurious underwear. But when this footy star actually does choose to wear clothes, man can he wear the sh** out of a suit. And his brows are more ~on fleek~ than mine will ever be.
13. Cam Newton
We’ve gotta give credit where it’s due — Newton’s not afraid to be flashy, and that’s something to commend. I mean, what other football star would be ballsy enough to rock a fox tail as an accessory to a post-game conference? The printed Versace pants he wore on the trip to Super Bowl 50 were about as flawless as his end-zone dabs. Though he boasts an alternative personal sense of style, his line for Belk, MADE by Cam Newton, caters to the classic, fashion-forward businessman.
14. Rick Ross
He’s large. He’s in charge. He’s Rick Ross… and there’s no comparing to his personal style. When he finds something he likes, boy does he really commit. Chain necklaces, silk shirts, fresh kicks — you name it, and Ross has enough to clothe a small country. And let’s not forget his absurd collection of sunglasses; seriously, has anyone ever really seen this guys actual eyes? All jokes aside, Ross knows his fashion labels, often wearing the likes of Chanel and Versace.