There’s a fashion show going on at every National Football League game.
In professional sports, perception is invaluable.
When it comes to fashion in the NFL, clothes can sometimes make the man.
In the NFL, it’s a common sight for players such as Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to wear custom suits to post-game news conferences or just to the games in general.
Prescott isn’t alone. The majority of the players in the league look dapper before and after games.
“I’ve got suits from Jay Lombardo and Thomas Marchitelli (from the Gentleman’s Playbook),” said Prescott. “Usually, I buy my suits from them and they tell me how I should wear it. Every now and then I’ll mix it up.”
Second-year Cowboys safety Kavon Frazier, the self-described best dressed player in the NFL, brings an edge to the fashion game.
“I have to make a statement. I’m the best dressed NFL player. Every-game swag,” Frazier said. “Sometimes I go classy, sometimes I go flashy. I don’t think anyone switches it up as good as I do.
“I’m waiting for it to get cold to bring out the classy.”
Playing at home versus the road alters Frazier’s approach to his outfits.
“At home games, I bring out my best. On the road, we have to wear the suit longer, so sometimes I have to go more for comfort,” Frazier said. “It’s still going to look good.”
Who is Frazier’s competition around the league or in the Cowboys’ locker room?
“In the league, probably Cam Newton. He’s probably up there. He does have the hats. I don’t think he’s close to me,” Frazier said. “In the locker room, Orlando (Scandrick) or Terrance Williams. They both have a little swag. I’m still No. 1.”
Football is a game. Pro football is a business and there’s something to be said for dressing for success.
“We understand that it’s important to their careers,” said Jay Lombardo of Lombardo Custom Apparel in Dallas. “It creates images for them. They’re bigger than life. It’s important for them to have that consistency.”
Lombardi knows the thought process for fashion in pro sports. He’s been around 30 years and dressed a lot of athletes and coaches.
“We’ve been around so long that we used to do Tom Landry’s clothes. We’ve always had quarterbacks. We had Troy Aikman, Roger Staubach, Tony Romo and now Dak,” Lombardo said. “We’ve always been in association with the Cowboys, Tyron Smith and a lot of guys on the team.
“We also sponsored the (Dallas) Mavericks for over 20 years. We used to set up Don Nelson. He is a good friend of the store. Avery Johnson is a good friend also. And of course Rick Carlisle.”
Prescott has a bow-tie collection that is done by Lombardo.
The bow ties carry their own special message. Prescott uses them to raise money for the fight against cancer.
“All the money from those ties is going to my foundation with Fight, Finish, Faith,” Prescott said. “Obviously, I love ties and this is a good way to raise money and awareness.”
Prescott unveils a new tie every week of the season that can be seen at dakties.com.
Some players, such as Cowboys fullback Keith Smith, spend less time and money choosing their suits.
“Sometimes, I don’t put a lot of time into my game ’fits because I don’t like spending a lot of money on suits and stuff,” said Smith. “I like to mix and match stuff though.
“I’ll be at Zara a lot. They have a lot of cool, fashionable choices.”
One size or style doesn’t fit all.
Lombardo recalled the cases of Olympic champion Michael Johnson and former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl lineman Nate Newton.
“Our suits range from under $1,000 to the sky. We’ve had some exotic fabrics that you can do, like special cashmere,” Lombardo said. “I once made Michael Johnson, the Olympic champion, a black suit that was lined in 24-karat gold for when he won his gold medals at the Olympics. That (suit) ended up in Planet Hollywood. That was probably the most expensive ever.”
Then there was the case of Newton, who played at 6-foot-3, 318-plus pounds. Sometimes much heavier.
“Nate Newton was very, very tough,” Lombardo said. “We also did Yao Ming (7-foot-6, 311 pounds), the real tall guy.
“We get them from all around the country.”
Drew Davison and David Humphrey contributed to this report