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Basketball coaches are held to a higher sartorial standard than coaches of other sports: In the NBA, it’s actually a league rule that coaches attend games in collared shirts and a sports coat, But the simple requirement doesn’t mean every courtside skipper looks sharp. Like running a solid motion offense, wearing a good suit and wearing it well requires planning, vision, and an attention to detail. Here’s a look at some of the best—and most notoriously—dressed collegiate and professional basketball coaches of all time. There’s a lot to learn from each of these team leaders. —Matt Wolfe
Not only the inventor of basketball, Naismith was the game’s first style icon. Look at how a well-fitted waistcoat—not too baggy, not too tight—streamlines his portly physique.
Coach K’s choice in suits matches his coaching: simple, straightforward, impeccable. It’s fitted close to his body so that it doesn’t look baggy, but with enough fabric that it doesn’t bunch, even when Krzyzewski throws one of his little fits.
Coach Wooden once famously said, “it isn't what you do, but how you do it." Here, Wooden does it very strong indeed, making sure a prominent accessory—his trademark eyeglasses—matches perfectly with his suit.
The legendary coach of the Princeton Tigers, Carril eschewed power suits in favor of tweed, making him appear less like a traditional basketball coach than a tenured mathematics professor. He also made a consistently strong case for a bowtie as a viable neckwear alternative.
There’s a lot to praise here, but we’ll start with two words: pocket square. A little splash of color in a sea of dark fabric puts him into the Final Four of stylishness.
As with most vertical lines, pinstripes favor big men, like former player Scott. Notice how Scott chooses a suit with subtle lines. If you go too bold, you start looking like Al Capone.
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