Sharp skates, SHARPER SUITS
It’s not your standard accessory, but it comes in handy when you work in a Canadian hockey town. However, he’s not going to take credit for any creative genius that found him crowned him one of the team’s three style stars by a local fashion expert.
“I usually wake up from my nap and I don’t want to do my hair,” Lowry said.
Would you expect anything different from a 22-year-old who recently played his 100th NHL game?
Lowry, like every one of his teammates, comes to the rink dressed to the nines. (Like most NHL teams, the Jets enforce a strict dress code.) Many of their ensembles would be right at home on a fashion runway, even if the players themselves might not be.
The Free Press staked out the basement of the MTS Centre recently to get a look at the Jets’ fashion choices as they walked to the dressing room before a home game.
It’s not like the Oscars — there’s no red carpet, no one yelling, “Who are you wearing?” The Jets room is just a short walk down a hallway from where the players park their vehicles.
A few seconds of this is sometimes captured by television cameras prior to a game.
The best-dressed players can even get a thumbs-up from Hockey Night in Canada fashion, uh, maven Don Cherry.
But just because players don’t spend hours posing for the cameras doesn’t mean they don’t put a lot of time and energy into their jackets, trousers and accessories. A designer flies in a couple of times a year to make madeto-measure suits for many of the Jets.
The players’ pre-game attire is the one time they’re able to add some individual flair to what they’re wearing, considering the only differences most of us see are the names and numbers on the back of a jersey and whether they’re wearing a visor or goalie mask.
Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec is generally regarded as one of the team’s classiest dressers. When asked about his attire, several of his teammates said with a shrug, “He’s European.”
Pavelec has seven or eight suits, but he doesn’t merely throw one on and then put it back in the rotation when he’s done. He makes a point of accessorizing with a tie clip, a belt, a watch or a pocket square. Or maybe all four.
“I like to dress nice and feel really good,” he said.
Local designer Lennard Taylor checked out some recent photos the Free Press took of the Jets making their way to the dressing room and offered some fashion analytics.
He took special notice of Pavelec’s attention to detail.
“I like that he’s rocking a bold belt but he’s also rocking the tie clip to balance it out. You’ve got the watch in there as well. It’s just perfect,” he said.
Taylor doesn’t go to many games but there’s no question he’s a fan of the Jets’ off-ice style. Checking out centre Bryan Little’s purple jacket and navy pants, Taylor was effusive in his praise.
“That blazer is fantastic,” he said. “With the nice navy pants, the guy looks sharp. If this is what all the Jets are wearing, we’ve got a very fashionable team.”
(The Free Press didn’t ask Taylor to evaluate the fashion merits of some other accessories players were sporting — black eyes, missing teeth and scars from stray sticks and pucks.)
After scrolling through the shots of virtually all of the players — we weren’t able to see them all, as some arrived prior to our stakeout — Taylor said Little was his fashion MVP.
That news had Pavelec — whom Taylor named as one of his three stars, along with Lowry — laughing his European-style pants off.
“Oh, I wouldn’t say that,” he said, barely able to contain himself. “It was