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craig sager talks about his suits

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 craig sager talks about his suits
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Craig Sager Suits - NBA Sideline Suits Worn by Craig Sager - Esquire

Q+A: TNT's Craig Sager Explains His Sideline Suits
Apr 30 By Kurt Soller at 3:45PM

[pic - click to view]

True, there is now a Tumblr devoted to the glory of the bright, brash, borderline crazy suits that Craig Sager wears while reporting from the NBA sidelines on TBS and TNT. And this happened before the playoffs, that special time of year when Sager, who's been on television since the seventies, likes to pull off his most eye-catching looks. We've often wondered where this particular type of boldness stems from, so we were thrilled when he took a break from Clippers practice in Memphis on Monday to explain his wardrobe, once and for all. From a childhood spent subverting yearbook dress codes, to the number of suits he has in his closet (including those few he's retired), Sager shares his whole sartorial history with The Style Blog.

Esquire: My only real question is, did you always dress like this?

Craig Sager: I grew up in Batavia, Illinois, a small town out in the corn fields, west of Chicago. It was boring. For our senior picture, they said, "black or navy blazer." And I thought, Why do I want to look like everybody else? I was a big fan of The Monkees, and I had this electric blue nehru jacket, like one Micky would wear. So I wore that and showed up and they said, "We told you: a blue or black sportcoat." I argued that it was actually blue, created a little controversy. But, now, you look at the yearbook and everyone looks exactly the same. Except for me.

ESQ: I bet that's not the first time you've been pressured to tone it down.

CS: After I graduated from Northwestern, I was down in Florida where I wanted to get a job on television, and had to do a résumé tape. I didn't have anything to wear, so I went over to this Goodwill place and found this beautiful blue, yellow, and white seersucker jacket. I wore that and memorized the weather and they told me I did a great job. And then they said, "But you can't wear clothes like that. Our cameras can't adjust." You mean to say I'm in Florida and I can't wear bright clothes? Then I was at CNN, down in Atlanta, and they were trying to show you didn't have to be in New York to be taken seriously. Man, it was boring. I'm doing sports. And I'd start wandering off, wearing brighter stuff and then they'd reign me in. And then I'd get off my leash a bit again. Finally, when I was doing games, out on the road, I started buying things and could have more fun.

ESQ: What's the method to your madness?

CS: The city, the season, the weather, it all matters. Like, last week, we didn't know where we were going. If The Clippers got home court advantage, Los Angeles. But also maybe Miami or Chicago. So I laid out seven outfits, then found out I'd be in Memphis or Denver. I had to do some adjusting.

[pic - click to view]

ESQ: Tell me more about these adjustments.

CS: I ran into OJ Mayo, here in Memphis, and he asked what I was going to wear. I told him I had a couple ideas, including this real, real bright, Beale Street electric blue. I was planning to save it, but he told me it was Game One, and that I had to bring it. Then I went and saw the Lansky Brothers, where Elvis used to get his clothes made. Turns out they still have the material that Elvis wore for his "Jailhouse Rock" cover — black with a pink hickory stripes and a black velvet collar. They're making that for me now, and I'm going to wear it on Wednesday. You couldn't wear that in any other city, but it's perfect for Memphis.

ESQ: Do you have a lot of your wardrobe made, or are there stores in which you prefer to shop?

CS: Most of it is off the rack. I really like Stanley Korshak in Dallas, and in Miami, there's my favorite Neiman Marcus. Isaia has a lot of really bright colors, and the Stefano Ricci shirts are great. I'm a 44 Long, so you'd be surprised by how much I get off the rack. All my shoes are from Friedman's, in Atlanta. They stock shoes in any kind of animal — crocodile, ostrich, you name it. When Steve Irwin got k!lled by that stingray, I had a pair made from that. I call them The Revenge of Steve Irwin. Green, with kind of a seaweed kick to it. They're the most comfortable shoes I've ever had. And when it rains, it feels like you're sliding across the street.

ESQ: How often do you buy new clothes?

CS: Continuously. Somebody came over once and counted my suits, and got up to 135. For this playoff run here, I have no idea how many new ones I'll buy. It'll be about 20 games, and I'll probably buy five or eight, maybe a couple of others. If I've worn something before, I'll change the buttons or wear a different shirt. People say I never wear the same thing twice, but I'm not that egotistical. They just haven't seen me wear the same thing twice. I try not to wear the same thing through the course of the season, though.

ESQ: What if you put something on that doesn't play well for the television cameras?

CS: The only one they made me take off was at the All-Star game — a double silk from Versace. Gorgeous! Beautiful! But when the cameras came on, it just illuminated. Stephon Marbury said it looked like ones of those car reflector shields. I retired that one, and it's now hanging at Jocks N Jills, a bar in Atlanta. It was one of the most expensive things I've bought, and I wore it for like 45 seconds. Often, the cameramen like my clothes: If I'm doing baseball and talking about the wind blowing, I'm easy to pick out in the stands. I don’t do it to bring attention to myself, or to be like a school crossing guard, though. Just to have fun.

ESQ: Are the players often giving you sh-t like that?

CS: Sometimes they have fun with it. Kevin Garnett asked, recently, "How come you never have any comebacks?" He's always a connoisseur about what I'm wearing. He once told me that I should burn everything I was wearing. I think it was an Isaia pink-and-white checked sport coat, a striped shirt, and polka-dot tie, then red pants and red crocodile shoes. He just thought it was the worst.

[video - click to view]

ESQ: Whose style, from the league, do you like the best?

CS: The one guy I can't come close to competing with is Walt Frazier. Walt wears more animals than most zoos have. I was watching yesterday, and I swear to God that Kobe Bryant had the exact same blue suit on that I wore.

ESQ: Do you ever dress to egg certain players on?

CS: Well, Shaq was always really meticulous about what I would wear. I would deliver him shoes all the time, actually, from Friedman's to Orlanda or even Los Angeles. But if I showed up wearing, say, mustard-colored ostrich shoes and a crocodile belt, he'd say, "No, your shoes and belt have to match." They have to be the same color and the same animal.

ESQ: And who helps you pick the clothes out?

CS: I buy it and pick it out all myself. Sometimes, before a trip, I'll ask my seven-year-old daughter, Riley, "Which tie do you like better?" Then I'll wear the one she picks, even if I like a different one.

ESQ: Is there anything you refuse to wear?

CS: Um... I dunno. Maybe not. I'm not gonna wear a dress or something.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Craig Sager

Last edited by Fearless Genius; 05-01-2012 at 01:07 PM..
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Unread 3 years agoclass of '05 - away - #2
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When Steve Irwin got k!lled by that stingray, I had a pair made from that.

Why don't we have any sager smileys?

this should do
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They stock shoes in any kind of animal — crocodile, ostrich, you name it. When Steve Irwin got k!lled by that stingray, I had a pair made from that. I call them The Revenge of Steve Irwin. Green, with kind of a seaweed kick to it. They're the most comfortable shoes I've ever had. And when it rains, it feels like you're sliding across the street.

PETA going to k!ll em revenge of steve irwin
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good read.

freshest cat in the arena
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