Kispert talks about NBA dress code changes and fashion influences.
We are spotlighting the myriad voices redefining what it means to be stylish in the nation’s capital — from designers and stylists to entrepreneurs and athletes whose unique stories and perspectives shape bold visions. Check out our full Curators of Style roundup in the May issue here.
On the court, Corey Kispert cuts a nice figure. A college star at Gonzaga, the versatile 6-foot-6-inch forward has been growing into a stalwart for the Wizards, who selected him 15th overall in the 2021 draft. His defense, movement and elite shooting skills, inside and outside the arc, demand notice. He ended his second season in the District averaging about 11 points, 3 rebounds and an assist a game. In early April, he dropped a career-high 29 points against the Knicks. He’s turning heads off the court, too, with a classically crisp look. We caught up with Kispert to talk style on and off the court.
District Fray: How do you describe your style?
Corey Kispert: The phrase that would describe my style best is “double take.” I don’t want to wear anything eye-popping, eye-catching. But if you saw me walking around, showing my style, you would look and have to look again. Understated but with a nice fit, nice details.
Players regularly share their gametime arrival looks on social media. Why do you think style has become so important in the NBA?
The credit first goes to the league for relaxing the dress code and letting guys wear what they want to express their style. Before, the only time you would see a player would be in uniform. Now, players have a chance to give fans a glimpse into what they’re like as a person. We’re not just athletes. We’re people with genuine interests outside of our sport. That’s why you see players really put their best foot forward in the walk-ins.
Speaking of, what about shoes?
The dress code on the floor hasn’t loosened up. It’s pretty strict about logos and sizes and bands and sleeves. So, shoes are definitely a centerpiece, whether you’re wearing your signature shoes or someone’s that you’ve looked up to for a long time.
Do you look to other players for inspiration?
Kevin Love has great style. Jayson Tatum does a really good job, too. And my teammate Kristaps Porziņģis has some of the best suits I’ve ever seen.
How has D.C. influenced your style?
D.C.’s unlike any other city in the country. It’s a very powerful, influential place, but it doesn’t always feel like it. I grew up in a suburb of Seattle, went to college in Spokane, so I’m used to a small-town vibe. D.C. kind of has that. But the government has a big impact here on style. You see lots of formal, polished attire. I wear workout gear a lot, so D.C. has been a great place to dress up a little. I really enjoy it.
Thinking of that evolution, what’s next?
I’ve been surveying the field when it comes to my style, but I’m thinking about honing in on certain brands that I really like. I love the stuff at Twenty Montréal. Athleisure is big for me, finding good sweats I can wear in the summer. I want to hone my style and stick to it this next year.
Check out some of Kispert’s looks on his Instagram @ckis24.
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