What’s with the men at the French Open? I don’t mean their play, which, while not exactly setting the world on fire, hasn’t been terrible. I mean the way they look.
Any discussion of men’s style on the courts of Roland-Garros must begin (and, please God) end with Stan Wawrinka. With his stocky physique, pug nose and rough skin, Stan has always had a certain animal magnetism. One of his nicknames is even “Stanimal.” But his bed head and thin plaid shorts that look like boxers, complemented by a polo shirt that does not flatter his chest, suggest nothing so much as a bus-and-truck Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
Honestly, even Roger Federer – known for his sartorial superiority, thanks in part to Anna Wintour – has fallen short, as he did in his match against Stan, with a Nike ensemble that consisted of hot pink shorts and a deep periwinkle shirt. The contrast is too jarring.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal’s fashion sins have been less in his choice of outfit (blue Nike ensemble, meh) than that of accessories. On court, he sports a $750,000 watch that recalls something you purchased at a convenience store while on vacation, having forgot your real watch at home. We’re not talking croc-embossed, rose gold-plated Longines chronometer here but something with an orange grosgrain strap and lots of gears. And why, pray tell, does Rafa need a watch on-court? It’s not like he’s going anywhere. His matches last hours. Plus, tennis stadiums have clocks. So why does he need to wear the watch, except that he’s being paid to wear the watch.
Say this about that: It would go beautifully with Novak Djokovic’s Halloween-in-springtime meme (orange shirt, black shorts, all Uniqlo). Past Nole looks (gray and white, winter 2014; sky blue shirt and white shorts, 2013 French) have charmed, as does his current Peugeot commercial, in which he imagines himself hamstrung in a match against 17th-century royalty. But orange is not the new black.
At least Nole’s keeping his shirt on – so far. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has taken to going topless after a big win, like against Kei Nishikori to advance to the semifinals. These men all have wives and/or girlfriends. You’d think they would say, “You’re going to wear that?”
Guys, guys, save the shirtless, boxers look for your significant others.
And try to strike a balance between less and more.