For the Love of the Style Game

SOMETIMES THE MOST UNLIKELY OF PAIRS ARE THE MOST COMPATIBLE

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Snow is on the ground for many of us, but thankfully, two critical rites of spring are around the corner. New York Fashion Week – and Spring Training. You might not think so, but it actually makes perfect sense to be a big fan of both. Here’s why:

1. Everyone wears a uniform. Whether it’s regulation MLB or all black and a pair of rag & bone boots, knowing what you’re going to wear lets you focus on your job. And that uniform has to change periodically to keep up with the times. (There’s a whole site, Uni Watch, dedicated to those changes in sports.)

2. We style our uniforms to express our individuality. Two editors in black suits at NYFW won’t look the same. Just as a single roll of the skinny pant leg says, “I’m cool, I’m relaxed, and I break the rules,” small uniform adjustments in baseball telegraph larger messages. Most notable is the visible stirrup – which says, “I honor history. Tradition matters. I plan to win or die trying.” – versus long pants cascading over the shoes like a pair of pajamas. That says, “See you at the 40/40 Club.”

3. Style is democratic. Baseball is the only sport where managers suit up like the rest of the team. Your position doesn’t drive what you wear. To me, it communicates that we’re all in this together and the same things matter to all of us. At Rue, everyone falls in love with a trend and we start to look alike. (Right now, spot us in sequins for day and ankle boots.) Thanks to a host of iterations, from high to low, we can all be in the fashion trenches together.

4. Hair is powerful. That’s why blowout bars will be filled to capacity at NYFW. A single-button cashmere coat with a chignon says one thing – with a pompadour, the message is completely different. In baseball, unlike the full helmet–wearing sports, players convey powerful messages with their hair. The Red Sox Johnny Damon had long hair, which said, “I’m a rebel. I’m going to win – but I plan to have fun doing it.” Versus the Yankees Damon, whose shorn hair said, “I’m serious. And I cave to authority.” (Disclaimer – this writer is a Red Sox fan.)

5. Style is superstitious. And so is baseball. Both are laden with rituals. Pre-show, post-show. The players eat the same thing before every game (from pigs in a blanket at Michael Kors to Wade Boggs’ chicken, which earned him the nickname “Chicken Man”). Designers take the same bow or non-bow. Players ascend the stairs from the dugout with the same shuffle. Maybe it’s because both know how lucky they are to be doing something so cool – and no one wants to jinx it.

So, with such a crucial season ahead of us, it’s time to decide. Will you be buying tickets? Livestreaming at work? Are you fair-weather or all the way in? If you’re in, gear up and get ready to put your heart on the line.

By Rachel Solomon, Associate Creative Director

How are you gearing up for Spring Training and NYFW? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet us at @ruelala.

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January 9, 2013