Big Men’s Fashion: The Jordan Effect

  • 4 min read

Millions of people around the world are tuning into Netflix’s binge-worthy sports docuseries The Last Dance.And now everyone has their opinion on MJ's legacy. Was he really the GOAT (Greatest of All Time)? Was he really the squeaky-clean all around good guy? What the heck is up with his taste in clothing? Read on to find out how you can use the Jordan Effect as a big man to lift your fashion game.

The Jordan Effect

The Last Dance: Jordan continues to steal the show and dominate the ratings

If you've been watching The Last Dance, you’re probably already aware of what the Jordan Effect is. If not, to put it simply, the Jordan Effect refers to the NBA GOAT’s domination of the game of basketball to the extent that he appeared otherworldly (notwithstanding the plotline from the 1996 film oddity Space Jam!). Not only did Jordan take the NBA to new heights, he also pushed the envelope when it came to (big) men’s fashion.

What can the average, non-gravity-defying bigger guy learn from the NBA GOAT?

Fashion Player Haters

The Last Dance: Some critics have called into question MJ's taste (or lack thereof) in suits

Naysayers, like GQ’s Brad Nash, are quick to slam Jordan for his taste in baggy garb. Indeed, Jordan’s signature style of baggy pants, and jackets worn extra-long and extra full have copped some flack recently. However, what the critics neglect to mention is that MJ was not only way ahead of the game on the court, he was also a progenitor of modern men’s fashion. The NBA GOAT’s unique and bold style paved the way for the modern man to be a bit innovative about the shape, cut and fabric of their attire. Yes, at times, his taste in clothing was questionable. However, MJ’s transcendence of fashion norms meant that he was comfortable cultivating his own style, a worthy idol for today’s big man.

Big Men: Be Like Mike

So, what style tips can the average, non-gravity-defying, bigger guy take from the NBA GOAT? Jordan pioneered the wearing of jackets extra-long. This is a good cut for tall guys as it balances their overall proportions. Additionally, wearing low-rise pants gives the impression of a lower waist height which also helps break up the verticality. For big men, a useful fashion tip is to take note of MJ’s affinity for wearing jackets with shoulder pads. These help accentuate and give your shoulder area structure.

MJ paved the way forward for big men's fashion

However, not everything MJ wore is going to work for bigger guys. For instance, even though the GOAT had a penchant for mock neck shirts, just don’t go there. This is only going to hide your neck and make you look stubbier (and therefore bigger).On the flip side, every suit MJ wore was customised for his frame. Paying that little bit extra to have your blazers and jackets tailored will help streamline your belly and have you dominating social and corporate occasions like MJ dominated the backboard.

Bringing back the 90s

The 1990s is fondly remembered by those of us who happened to live through it as a decade of non-conformity. Fashionably speaking, the trends that emerged in the 90s, everything from oversized cargo pants to ripped jeans and the influence of urban culture, are now très chic. Jordan’s predilection for a breezy, individual style showed a willingness to take risks and carve out a unique look. MJ’s sartorial choices in the 90s should be a lesson to big men everywhere that it is okay to curate a wardrobe that suits their personality; to throw out the “rule book” and develop their own signature style.

Jordans and Jeans: Can we kick it?

Is wearing sneakers with jeans a fashion faux pas?

No discussion of Michael “Air” Jordan’s fashion legacy would be complete without mentioning his synonymous range of kicks. With a cult following all of their own and sales totalling in the millions year upon year, Nike Air Jordans have become a ubiquitous pop culture icon that ooze street cred. It was MJ who made the sneaker more than just athletic footwear. His Airness transformed sneakers into an important fashion accessory and status symbol. Nike Air Jordans have been rapped about, portrayed in film, and have even become an investment strategy.

Wearing sneakers with jeans (or even pants) is no longer considered a “dadcore” move. Larger guys can really make Jordans and jeans look good on them by choosing the right colour Jordans and opting for slim fit jeans. A good idea is to accentuate the unique design and colourway of your Nike Air Jordans by choosing to wear really timeless and well-crafted basic pants in neutral colours.

Big men's fashion: How to look large and in charge in any company

So there you have it. Whilst everyone is abuzz about the athletic prowess of the NBA GOAT thanks to The Last Dance; it’s important to recognise what his Airness taught big guys about transcending others’ perceptions by dressing in a way that makes them the true MVPs for any given occasion.