Fashion: Pt 1, McFederer
It’s that time of the year again when Tennis Nation goes into hibernation, and the players go to the Maldives. So I think time is right for me to dedicate some of my blogging energy towards combining the two passions of my life – tennis and fashion – into what I call “Ftennis” (Silent “F”), for a bit of light hearted entertainment. And what better way to start than with a McFederer post.
It must be said that McFederer’s contribution to Ftennis cannot be understated. The trend in his choice of outfits over the last few years has divided Ftennis into seasons – early hard courts (the Australian Open to Miami), the clay season (culminating in Roland Garros, and whatever grass tournament/s that follows straight after), Wimbledon, the US Hard Courts (Toronto – I know it’s in Canada, and Cincy, quite often just a colour variation of the Wimbledon outfit), the US Open day/night outfits, and the indoor season (Madrid and Bercy, with a colour variation of the same style for the year-end Masters Cup).
From a more macro perspective, the McFederer Ftennis times can be roughly divided into three eras – the fashionistically unconscious era (up until Masters Cup 2004), the Tee era (2005 through to US Open 2006) and the Polo Era (Madrid 2006 onwards). And like all fashionistas and fashionistos, McFederer has had his fair share of fashion hits and misses. So here are some of the notable mentions from days gone by.
The Tee Era
US Open 05: The Coolest Shoes and Bandana Combo
I loved the way McFed and Nike tried to spice up a fairly routine outfit with a retro yellow bandana. The colour combination of yellow, blue and white worked well together. Extra brownie points for the blue shoes with a matching yellow swoosh. This is one of the first outfits from McFed that I’ve actually liked.
But I lied, the first outfit of Federer’s that I’ve ever liked was Wimbledon 2005. Incidentally, that tournament also marked the beginning of the trophy shoes with the gold shoe laces. But more on Wimbledon fashion later.
US Open 06: Federer beats Roddick in tennis… and Ftennis
In truth, there was nothing that special about Federer’s US Open 2006 outfit. But the combination of the blue tee, the crisp white shorts and bandana made it as classy and effortless as his tennis was during those two weeks.
And does anyone remember what Roddick was wearing in the final? Never been a fan of Lacoste.
Australian Open 2006: As good as Fluro gets…
Strangely enough, this is actually one of my favourite outfits from any era. While I don’t like the overall fit, this ensemble sported what is – in my opinion – the best bandana Federer’s ever worn. Generally I’m not a huge fan of fluro, but something about this Happy Green at the Happy Slam on a Sobbing Fed just popped.
The Tee Era Flop
Australian Open 2005: It-was-okay-until-he-turned-around
As the title stated – it wasn’t too bad from the front, but then… Either Nike went bonkers or Mirka washed it with the Wimbledon shirts, but the tie dye at the back was just a crime against humanity.
Other Misses: Roland Garros 05 and 06 – they tried to make me go to rehab I said “No, no, no.” It got a lot better after Federer became the posterboy for Gillette and felt obliged to shave more regularly.
The Polo Era
A good call by Nike to market McFederer almost exclusively in polos these days. The style suits his figure, it suits his personality, and it suits his retro-ballet-dancing-tennis. I’m a fan, of the polos and the guy in them. But even so, McFed’s still had his share of hits and misses.
The Polo Era Hits
Madrid 2006: the Dawning of a New Era
Unless I’m missing something deadly obvious, Federer only started to wear polos exclusively at the Madrid Masters in 2006, and what a nice polo that was – simple, classic, but more significantly, it was the consolidation of the McFederer image. He wore a grey-and-yellow variation for Masters Cup 2006 that was a little “meh.” But I did and still do love this style.
2007 Australian Open: best colour combo
Baby blue just works well on McFederer, and this is perhaps one of his best polos. Not the most conspicuous bandana, wristband or shorts, but the polo itself was busy enough for the entire outfit to work. Very nice.
2007 US Open, Night: Darth Federer means business
Since the blue sack Federer wore against Hewitt in the finals of the 2004 US Open, fashionastically (and tenniswise too) he has done everything right at Flushing Meadows. But even by those standards, the US Open outfit last year simply excelled. My first reaction upon seeing it was somewhere along the lines of “are you fudging serious?” And like all good fashion, a lot of people either loved it or hated it.
I personally floved it and the sheer audacity of dressing top to toe in black. Federer’s ensemble spelt “b.u.s.i.n.e.s.s”. It wasn’t an outfit for the fun and games, nor was it for pretenders and impersonators. It was an outfit for the top dog, the epitome of Darth Federer, and it took class, confidence, and a certain degree of cockiness to pull it off. Did I mention this is my all time fave?
Madrid/Bercy 2008: simplicity with a twist
A bit of a nautical feel with this outfit, I loved the contrasting black stripe down the front. Is it just me or are Federer’s shorts getting a lot shorter than they were before? One of these days, the guy’s going to walk onto court in a pair of hot pants.
Brownie points for switching to black socks in Bercy. I love black socks.
Now that I think about it, the US Open 2007 Day outfit was also quite gorgeous. I have a thing for white shorts, and it also was a lovely shade of blue.
Shanghai 2007: just when I thought Federer had stopped experimenting with colours after the US Open, he came up with this classic. The blood red polo looked stunning – his best Masters Cup outfit to date.