Fashion tips for the locked-out hockey player

Patrick Johnston
October 29 2012 12:56PM


Like Fernando told us, it's more important to look good than to feel good.

With a little help from Alexandra Grant of Vancouver fashion blog To Vogue or Bust, we've got some advice for players who have lost access to their team-provided style experts (in the Canucks case, that roll is filled by Manny Malhotra). Booking ice time at the local public arena can be a scary enough experience, but dealing with the hordes of fans who will be scrutinizing your every public move - possibly even trying to join you in everything you do - it all can get a little scary. You want to look professional and sharp.

So for any professional, locked out hockey players reading this - we're here to help (well Alex really, I only asked some questions).

During a lockout, you can't practise at Rogers Arena so it's off to the public rinks for either public skating sessions or trying to book your own ice times. Having the prying eyes of hockey fans on you, without the filter of the usual PR flacks can be super intimidating. But if you can keep your cool and stay focused, fashion-wise, it'll all be ok.


Alfie clearly didn't worry about what to wear before visiting these minor hockey players.

For the dedicated players who want to keep their fashion game (and their bodies) in tip-top shape - a practical yet stylish look will withstand the leagues of fans and the onslaught of camera flashes that they are likely to encounter at a public (eek!) rink. Players should work a few fall-apropos style elements over top of their workout gear to be camera-ready: a sumptuous cashmere scarf, a lightweight military-style parka or a merino shawl cardigan will all make a subtle style statement without impeding the practicality of their outfit.

Of course, making a style statement might become a challenge for some players. Their paycheques aren't rolling in, so what to do? It's pretty safe to assume that the Luongos and Bieskas of the world had the foresight to stow away the cool millions they've made over the past few seasons, but have the other guys? For players who are now beginning to feel the pinch, they need not despair quite yet: from H&M to Vancouver’s recently unveiled Topshop, the city is brimming with bargain buys for its down-and-out NHL players.

What players need right now is a wardrobe chock-full of casual yet pulled-together looks as they make their rounds about town, so stocking up on rich-hued cardigans, basic Ts and well-cut pants from one of the city’s fast fashion locales will give players the most bang for their buck.


Is that really the image you want to convey, Sid? Get thee to H&M or Uniclo!

That bang will be especially important at the ever-present PA press conference. In these tension-laden moments, it’s absolutely critical that players bring their A-game fashion-wise—looking unkempt isn’t exactly conducive to being taken seriously (just ask Gary Bettman).

The trick is to keep it simple with a slight twist: a perfectly tailored blazer paired with well-cut dark jeans (think no bunching around the ankles or sagging in the bottom) is pulled-together yet also a bit basic, so adding a subtly printed pocket scarf or a pair of on-trend coloured socks peeking out below cuffed jeans will make a discrete style impact.

People notice when the players dress up for these events and it shows how seriously you are taking things. Think, "Oh, look at Sidney, he's saved his best suit for this one...now he really means it!

It's also worth considering what the colours you choose convey about your mood and attitude. Whether or not you believe in colour therapy, at this point, it could only help locked-out players. If the aim is to elicit sympathy, steer clear of in-your-face colours like cardinal red or magenta—opt for colours that imbue a tranquil vibe (like almost all shades of blue), or better yet, go for green tones. Green is said to inspire feelings of harmony and sympathy, and what’s more, it’s an on-trend colour for fall. From touches of mint to evergreen, players might just be able to use colour to their advantage in the lockout dispute.


Music brought them together. Or shopping. Oh, religion? Well they dress nice, too.

And always remember fellas that shopping can keep you sane.

In case you weren’t aware of this well-guarded secret, many women love to shop. Clothes, new skates, jewellery, jerseys, accessories, hockey bags, shoes...usually, there’s no limit to the fairer sex's shopping stamina. What’s more, some ladies not only love to shop for themselves, but they love to shop for their men as well—it’s a dress-up hobby ingrained into the psyches of some from years of playing in a very particular way with their Barbie and Mario dolls:

If players really can’t shake the blues on their own, my last word of advice would be to just hand over the reins to their WAGS and indulge in a little couples' retail therapy.

They may not be on the ice, but at the very least, players can still look good. 

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Patrick Johnston is a Vancouver journalist. In addition to regular contributions here at Canucks Army, his work has appeared in The Province, Hockey Now and on the CBC. Check out his blog and other writing at http://johnstonwrites.wordpress.com or follow him on twitter: @risingaction
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