The world of fashion and sport often collide and one of the greatest examples of athletes’ love for fashion is pre-match fits. Before every match or game, the cameras are pointed at the players as they arrive at the stadium, creating a virtual fashion runway for the players as they enter.
These pre-game fashion runways have become a forum for athletes to flaunt their personal style. No one has shown these fits off more than GQ. If GQ sees a fire outfit they will make sure they share it with all of their followers. Recently, NWSL players have been featured in the lead-up to their games.
GQ Sports put up a poll on their Instagram Stories to have fans choose the pre-game outfit they liked more between Megan Rapinoe and Tziarra King before OL Reign’s match against the Chicago Red Stars. They highlighted the NWSL again ahead of the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Final, asking fans to vote for NJ/NY Gotham FC or Portland Thorns FC and featured various fits worn by the likes of Midge Purce and Sophia Smith.
The Thorns have only played five matches but the players have already given us a glimpse into their commitment to pre-match drip and everyone turned it up a notch for the Challenge Cup Final.
Crystal Dunn rocked a splendid golden jacket over a shirt that read “Icon” because Dunn is in fact an icon — only she could pull that off. Bella Bixby gave everyone a lesson in layering. Her shirt, sweatshirt and pants were all muted blacks and greys but she accented that with an army green beanie and some sky blue (pun intended) Jordans.
We have also seen great statement pieces like Marissa Everett’s fuzzy jacket. Madison Pogarch and Christen Westphal, among others, have gone with the local and stylish Portland Gear pieces to represent the 503.
The U.S. and Canadian internationals have had much less time to leave their style mark because they missed the first two matches of the Challenge Cup. We all know their quality on the pitch and we know Dunn is going to also bring the sauce off it.
One player who played every match for the Thorns was Kelli Hubly. She may have solidified a starting center back role alongside Becky Sauerbrunn with her dominant defensive performances throughout the Challenge Cup. She was one of the most consistent performers on the pitch and she consistently brought quality fits off it.
Hubly brought fire and versatility pre-match. She advocated for much-needed change in this country with her “Shoot hoops... Not people” graphic tee ahead of the Thorns’ Cascadia clash with OL Reign.
Hubly also repped fellow defender Meghan Klingenberg’s company ‘re-inc’ ahead of the Thorns’ first match of the Challenge Cup and layered a fluffy brown coat over the top.
The outfit that really set Hubly apart and lands her as the ‘Stumptown Streetwear Champ’ favorite heading into the first match of the regular season is her Challenge Cup Final look. The baggy ‘Off-White’ sweatshirt is a show stopper and an absolute style grail. Hubly oozed confidence when she showed up to Providence Park and she looked like she already had the Challenge Cup in the bag before a ball was even kicked.
Throughout the season I will be keeping track of the pre-match outfits. If you spot one that you think needs mentioning share it with @grantlittle09 or @StumptownFooty.
The goal is to give out three awards at the end of the season and the winners will be up to the fans. The first award will be the MVP award or ‘Most Versatile Performance.’ This award will be given to the player that has shown the most stylistic range over the course of the season. The second title is ‘The Holy Grail’ award given to the player with the best single outfit of the season. The final, and most prestigious award, is the ‘Stumptown Streetwear Champ’ for the most fashionable player over the course of the 2021 season.
Is Hubly the favorite heading into the season? Share your predictions for each award in the comments below.