The new year is usually a point of reinvention for all of us. In the everlasting mission to evolve ourselves, we adopt new diets, new workout regimens, new goals, and new aesthetics. And while we might not think so, even Canada’s most celebrated and decorated athletes seized this month as an opportunity to experiment. Most notably, it’s been a month defined by a collection of fashion statements that have rocked the sports world from NBA entrance tunnels to charity galas. Below, you can find our January fashion round-up and review of the athletes, outfits, and labels that are defining sports culture in Canada to kick off 2023.
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Canadians have been dominating the NBA tunnel walks this season, undoubtedly led by Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Still, his cousin and Utah Jazz shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker can’t be discounted when it comes to NBA fashion. I guess some things just run in the family.
Earlier this month, Nickeil celebrated the NFL playoffs kicking off in style, rocking a pair of olive green cargo pants, “Orange Blaze” Nike Dunks, and a jacket sporting each of the 32 NFL franchises. Sure, there might be a lack of team loyalty going on, but it’s all in service to the fit pic.
Photo courtesy of Gabby Stockard (IG: @gabbystockard)
Canada’s most decorated Olympian kicked off January channelling a mix between Hailey Bieber’s elegant style and the iconic Marilyn Munro dress that Kim Kardashian (controversially) brought to last year’s Met Gala.
Fortunately, Penny’s tailoring from Toronto’s The Tailorette kept her dress in better shape than Kim’s by the end of the night. With daring cuts and stunning alterations made to the original fabric, the dress reflected the boldness that has made Penny one of the country’s most celebrated athletes.
Photo courtesy of Penny Oleksiak (IG: @typicalpen)
The Australian Open may have ended more prematurely than expected for Canadian tennis pro Denis Shapovalov but hopefully being included in our January Top 10 is a good enough consolation prize (sorry Denis, this honour doesn’t come with prize money). Tennis has always been one of the best vehicles for fashion in sports, from Andre Agassi to Nick Kyrgios. Of course, being signed to Nike always helps and Denis proved that here. Sporting a two-tone teal windbreaker and Nike Court Dri Fit Slam Shorts, the tennis star provides not only the blueprint to elite performance gear but an inspiration for your summer athleisure. Photo courtesy of Denis Shapovalov (IG: @denis.shapovalov)
Okay, this isn’t a Canadian athlete. But as a friend of the publication, a Blue Jays All-Star, and a player proudly wearing No. 6 on the back of his jersey, Alek Manoah is an honourary nominee. Plus, how could we not include this moment?
Sometimes, a great outfit is defined by the environment in which it’s dropped and that happens to be the case with Alek’s New Year’s Eve outfit. Wearing a satin floral shirt, black jeans, and white kicks, Manoah is dressed as someone who knows they’re there to look sharp but not steal the show. Why is that? Because that night, he proposed to his longtime partner.
For someone with a larger-than-life personality and style to match, Manoah’s clean, toned-down look helped the moment shine that much brighter.
Photo courtesy of Alek Manoah (IG: @alek_manoah6)
Switching between the hardwood and the broadcast booth is never easy. It’s why so many athletes have managed to balance a successful playing career while entering the media world. But WNBA star Kia Nurse makes the transition look effortless, rocking a black and white checkered skirt paired with black boots and a black turtleneck. Cool, clean, stylishly simple. It’s a grounded look in a sea of outlandish outfits in the basketball world and a statement of Kia’s versatility both on and off the court. Photo courtesy of Muad Issa (IG: @muadems)
Vlad Guerrero Jr.
In 2021, Blue Jays star first-baseman and Montreal-native Vlad Guerrero Jr. signed with Jordan and found his signature style along the way. And despite Vlad’s dominance behind the plate, the biggest star of this pic is the Travis Scott x Jordan Varsity Jacket in Antique Brown.
The jacket features stand-up banded collars and white stripes on the sleeves and the hems, massive “AIR Jordan” lettering adorning the garment on its right chest, and a white “Jumpman” logo embroidered on the left. Combined with Amiri pants and, of course, a pair of clean Jordans to match the jacket, Vladdy is one of the few athletes that could make a luxury outfit so endearing.
Photo courtesy of Vlad Guerrero Jr. (IG: @vladdyjr27)
While stars like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner might moonlight as tastemakers when it comes to “NHL style” (a term that was once quite the oxymoron), that role really goes to the team’s veteran, Mark Giordano. Last year, Giordano partnered with a Toronto-based luxury menswear brand, Atelier Munro, and ever since, he’s unequivocally become the NHL’s best-dressed man. This stunning and subtly-patterned double-breasted suit is elevated so much more by being fully custom-made, something that is both necessary and under-utilized by pro athletes with difficult measurements. I picked this suit because it’s tasteful and timeless – both of which are specialities for Munro – but I could have picked countless looks from Giordano’s gameday tunnel walks. Take notes, Matthews.
Photo courtesy of Atelier Munro (IG: @ateliermunro)
As one of Canada’s most prominent Olympians and an ever-present socialite, celebrating the New Year on a boat sailing off the Miami coast somehow feels like the only possible way for Alysha Newman to ring in 2023. Wearing her go-to Maui Jim sunglasses and a sustainable green dress from Cider, Newman’s outfit offers the perfect degree of accessibility to complement a chartered yacht.
Photo courtesy of Alysha Newman (IG: @alyshanewman)
Felix Auger Aliassime
Appropriately rocking Adidas’ Melbourne Heat RDY Freelift Polo through the sweltering heat in the Australian Open, Felix Auger Aliassime’s on-court aesthetic has quickly become one of the most stylish on the tour. Paired with the vibrant Barricade Mens Tennis Shoe and plain Heat RDY 7-inch Knitted Short, the Canadian star is quickly becoming a stylistic force both on and off the court.
Photo courtesy of Paul Crock (IG: @felixaliassime)
Perhaps not the biggest athlete on this list but Raptors veteran and Canadian Men’s National Team centre Khem Birch might be pulling off the biggest fit of the new year in this all-white Hudson’s Bay combo. Sporting a cable-knit turtleneck and matching bell-bottom pants with a pair of classic black Dr Martens, Birch’s pregame style transcends all laws of fashion, whether it’s “Don’t wear white after Labour Day” or “Never wear bell bottoms, ever.” Khem, don’t sweat it, you’ve earned the pass.
Photo courtesy of Toronto Raptors (IG: @raptors)