This wasn’t the first time we’ve been on the news, but Morning Blend is a really fun show in the Naples area, and we were excited to be a part of it! Check out Joey’s appearance here!
In case it isn’t obvious from our blog and our Facebook page, we’re kind of big on football here at Joseph’s. And this is the time of year when we’re most excited about it: just as the preseason starts! Preseason means football on television again for the first time in months! It also means that in just a few weeks, those wonderful, cozy Sundays spent in front of the TV with friends and family watching America’s favorite game will be here again. What does any of this have to do with us, custom suit designers? Well, for one thing, a lot of our customers are NFL players and people associated with the League. Which is a big reason football season is so exciting for us, especially based, as we are, in the hometown of the defending Super Bowl Champions! But another fantastic pastime is returning along with the football season: the pre-game shows and their commentators, who are always, ALWAYS decked out in top-of-the-line suits and accessories.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: just because a suit cost a lot or was made by a great company doesn’t automatically mean it looks good or that you’re wearing it right! With that in mind, let’s take a look at the “big three” NFL pre-game broadcasts and their lineup of sartorially-minded sportscasters.
CBS – The NFL Today
CBS’ broadcast has the feel of being the most old-fashioned of the three. While FOX, being FOX, is somewhat flashier, and NBC is full-on epic, complete with a John Williams-penned opening theme, CBS still feels like the broadcasts from the halcyon days of the Steelers and 49ers in the ’70s and ’80s (somewhere out there, a Baby Boomer Packers fan is rolling their eyes). And their lineup of hosts is no exception. Featuring the always stalwart Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino and James Brown, the group is perked up by “The Chin” himself, Bill Cowher, and the always energetic and hilarious Shannon Sharpe. This is reflected in the way they dress:
Nice, all of them, but a little “run-of-the-mill broadcaster” in some cases. Esiason and Brown could pass for Senators. Marino spices it up a little with unusual ties. This works sometimes, like in this picture, where the seemingly mismatched colors work with the pale blue undershirt. Other times, not so much.
But check out Coach Cowher, who seems to have embraced the power of the pinstripe wholeheartedly. For a guy best known for this…
He certainly cleans up well:
But the winner on CBS?
Shannon Sharpe take elements that would look garish and over-the-top on many people, and makes them WORK. Mostly because he carries himself with a comfortable, happy, easy confidence. If he felt awkward, he’d look awkward. As is, he just looks classically flashy and suave. And pocket squares can make an outfit all on their own, but only if they’re used right. Sharpe uses them right, picking the right suits to add them to, and the right colors of squares to add. Just look at this guy!
We cannot stress this enough, all the money and tailoring in the world doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have the confidence and swagger to make it a part of you, like a second skin. Sharpe does this in spades.
FOX – The NFL on Fox
FOX, flashy as it is with its orchestral hard rock theme and big, yellow graphics, would seem to be the perfect place for a bevy of Shannon Sharpes. Instead, they have a group of more old-school names…
But they dress a lot flashier than their opposite numbers at CBS. Colorful ties abound, as does a spectrum of suit colors, through blacks, blues, greys and even a touch of violet. Some with pinstripes, some without, some with pocket squares, some without… The experimentation looks great on the very, very tall Howie Long, who towers over everyone but Michael Strahan. A three-piece black suit with a pale violet pocket square and tie? Up-scale flashiness. Nice. But the crew cut isn’t doing him any favors. Strahan has the same kind of comfortableness with color and style experimenting. They both work, really, so it’s a tie here.
NBC – Football Night in America
Ah, NBC. Poor NBC. It’s getting torn a new one for its Olympic coverage right now, and the golden days of Must See TV are long gone. But say what you will about the occasionally awkward Faith Hill intro sequence, NBC Sunday Night Football is probably the slickest sports production on TV right now, and the pre-game show is no exception. Headlined by Bob Costas, the analyst team is an unusual mix of sportscasters, former players and coaches of extremely varied ages and styles.
Really, all of them do it well. Costas, despite his small frame, always wears great color combos and well-tailored suits for his build. Rodney Harrison has a lot of fun with his suits, bounding between traditional and blindingly unusual from week-to-week, and Tony Dungy and Dan Patrick are always sartorially solid, dressed perfectly every week. So who wins this round? The guy who isn’t there yet.
Hines Ward will be joining Football Night in America this season, and a quick look at some of the more fantastic suits he’s worn over the years tells us he’ll be bringing a Sharpe-like fun and confident tone to the show.
Atlantic City, January 1920… The Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited the manufacturing, sale and consumption of alcohol and, in the process, gave rise to a new wave of organized crime led by “gentlemen” wearing luxurious, impeccably accessorized wardrobes… The Roaring Twenties, improbably, a platform of men’s fashion today!
For those with a flair for fashion and not really amazed by most popular TV shows nowadays, following the life of a historical sartorialist is pure eye candy. Add sex, gangsters, dandies, revelers, moonshine runners, gunplay and racketeering, and you have an exceptional show: “Boardwalk Empire.”
As you can tell by now, we are obsessed with clothing… Custom clothing, to be exact. And immediately after watching the first show, we knew Sir Thompson was one of us. Praise is due to John Dunn, custom designer of the show’s suits, for transporting us back in time. A time that experienced probably the most changes in everyday life, especially fashion, that, with help of technological development, facilitated the introduction of new fabrics and closures. Natural fabrics like cotton and wool were the most predominant of the era, with silk still being highly desirable and still yet highly unattainable. What was not unattainable was the impeccably tailored gangster look. These gentlemen did not hold anything back (if you watch the show, you know what “anything” means) as far as fashion. We were blown away by colors, patterns and accessories of the highly fashionable time.
We are sure the real life Enoch Johnson (whom “Nucky” Thompson is based on), knew one should never compromise their style, and that a very well-suited man can literally reach for the stars. His TV proxy, Mr. Thompson, being the central character of the show, is a vivid example of what power means in terms of fashion… The power suit, completely mastered!
We cannot fail to recognize the construction of the suit, which is extraordinary. Leaving the long jacket on morning suits and tail coats behind and adapting a shorter, higher-waisted and smaller lapelled suit. The pants were also more tailored, although not tapered, and also shortened, providing some socks picking and began to be cuffed at the bottom. A sumptuous three-piece suit was a gentleman’s must.
Accessorizing was also a must, and the gentlemen of the ’20s were masters in this department. Handkerchiefs, cufflinks, platinum watch chains, shirts with collar pins, top hats/homburg (obviously only for the upper class gents), two toned wingtips and pattern combinations that will leave many of us allured.
In short, the sartorial gentleman of the 1920s, which “Boardwalk Empire” almost worships, was a gentleman who was fearless in his dress, displaying some of the most fantastical combination of colors and style possible while laying the groundwork for all of the beautiful colors and fashions we wear today.