Fly or Fail is back this week after a brief hiatus, so we've gathered a robust selection of our favorite athletes sporting the good, bad and ugly -- plus everything in between. Let's take a closer look at who wore what off the field in the past month.
Athlete: LeBron James, Miami Heat
Event: Club Compound, Atlanta, Oct. 6
Outfit: It was a matter of time before King James rocked some Givenchy of his own. Like I said before, Givenchy is THE label of choice right now for athletes, musicians and actors alike, many of whom have grabbed this now-infamous shark sweatshirt. I love Givenchy, so it’s hard for me to dis this look. We've all fallen victim to trends and the need to have the “hot” item out there, so I’m gonna cut LeBron some slack. The simple gold chains may channel Jay-Z and the glasses might be getting played at this point, but we all know LeBron can carry a trend if he wants to.
Verdict: Great White FLY.
Athletes: Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
Event: Mr. Pink Ginseng Drink party, Beverly Hills, Oct. 11
Outfit: I was so excited to finally find a picture of Matt Kemp out of a Dodgers uniform to share on Fly or Fail, for the simple reason that the world needs to know how dope of a dresser Matt Kemp is. I’m a sucker for a motorcycle jacket, it’s modern and masculine and adds some edge to Matt’s clean black T-shirt and dark jeans. There are no extra bells and whistles, the zippers and detailing are pretty understated -- just like his only accessory, a simple gold Rolex. He even makes wearing an arm sling look cool. Don’t sleep on Kemp. Whether in a three-piece suit or dressed down, he is always someone guys should take style notes from.
Verdict: Biker FLY.
Athlete: Dominique Cromartie-Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles
Event: Pittsburgh hotel, Oct. 6
Outfit: Wait, shouldn't Dominique be at the "Mr. Pink" party, not Matt Kemp? Anyway -- I’ve learned something about myself since starting this column, and that is I like athletes who are bold enough to wear whatever they want to wear! While I truly cannot endorse this look from a fashion standpoint whatsoever, I give him points for individuality, commitment (pink all the way up to the glasses!) and really just doing his own thing. Maybe he could just clean it up a little and spend some time with a steamer -- everything's a bit wrinkled for my taste. Rodgers-Cromartie is known for being a bit of an individual -- this isn't his first all-pink get-up -- and I’d tell him: Just keep doing your thing and do you! But unfortunately I’m still going to have to give him a failing grade.
Verdict: Pink Panther FAIL.
Athlete: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Event: Pregame, Week 7, St. Louis, Oct. 21
Outfit: Aaron Rodgers is anything but bland on the football field and I wish I could say the same about his sense of style. There really isn’t anything fundamentally wrong with what he has on: The shirt fits, the jeans fit (although the stitching is making me a bit crazy), the sunglasses are OK, and backpacks are back. So there really isn’t much to call out. I’m just bored. He’s a star quarterback, Super Bowl champion, the best of the best. I wish he'd dress like it. Add a little flavor or personality, roll up your sleeves, look tough, add a jacket, try a well-tailored suit -- anything other than a look that screams "I’m hanging at the mall!" At least his hair doesn’t look like this anymore!
Verdict: Game Day FAIL.
Athlete: Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
Game: Cinémoi North American Launch Party, Beverly Hills, Oct. 2
Outfit: Superman has said goodbye Orlando, hello L.A. Now a Laker, does Dwight feel pressure to step up his style game as well? When you’re Howard’s size, dressing is not easy and he could easily make the mistake of going too big and baggy. Luckily this isn’t the case. Howard's choice of a turtleneck is one of menswear’s biggest trends this fall. This might not be for every guy but he still looks masculine, matched with a simple dark pair of jeans. The silhouette looks clean and modern. My biggest critique is that I actually hate the shoes. It’s not the shoe itself -- I’m a fan of a simple loafer -- but no need to wear them in the Gucci G’s. Color-wise, they are too matchy-matchy with the sweater. His outfit would fare better with a chocolate-brown or oxblood. Lastly, Superman wouldn’t be Superman without his Clark Kent glasses.
Verdict: Hollywood FLY.