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Match Fitness: Back in action

Meredith snags the style spotlight upon the team’s return to Century Link Field

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Sounders FC Digital

As a man walking through the desert, having gone as far as he can without water, comes upon a pristine oasis — the answer to his prayers — so have I been blessed with ‘fit pics when I thought I could go no longer without them.

A month is a really long time to go without a Sounders home game, so even if — much like the game itself — there wasn’t all that much to really get excited about, it was great to just be back. Leading the sartorial line this time out was Bryan Meredith (pictured above). I’ve talked before about how being a sharp dresser is practically part of the job description for the Sounders back-up ‘keepers (shouts to Trey Muse and the sharp suit he was rocking on Saturday), but Meredith continues to clearly be a guy who puts real thought and preparation into his gameday look.

This look isn’t the flashiest or most exciting look Meredith’s ever put together, but it’s really solid. You can do a lot worse when the summer sun is shining and you’ve got to look good than to channel serious ‘60s cool dude vibes. The geometric patterned shirt and Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses are moves that just about anyone can pull off. You don’t necessarily need the exact shirt or sunglasses, but you can find less expensive versions from other brands pretty easily. The style of the sunglasses — again, these are specifically Ray-Ban Clubmasters — are a really cool, classic style that stand out without being really out there. It doesn’t hurt that he and I both have a pair. The most interesting thing about this look, for me, is that Meredith stays being one of a very select group of people who can consistently pull off a fedora. If you think you might be in that group, I’d recommend doing what you can to ape Meredith’s approach. Don’t pair the hat with a graphic tee and a hoodie, do put as much thought into making it a part of your outfit as you would a tie with a suit. Make sure that the hat fits within the color scheme of your outfit, make sure it’s proportionate to both your head and the rest of your accessories, and once it’s on your head push it back a little bit for that final touch of nonchalance.

I really enjoy that, with this photo taken holistically, it kind of looks like Meredith’s the manager for a couple of young up-and-coming musicians on their way to their first gig. For their part, Danny Leyva and Alfonso Ocampo-Chavez look alright here. Honestly, I’m excited at the fact that they’re here at all. Leyva seems like he may have a sort of uniform for himself, based on his two appearances in this column so far, with a pair of slacks and a white button-up being his go-to look. It’s a short-sleeved shirt this time around instead of a long-sleeved one, but it’s pretty similar. He and AOC both look sharp, they look like they belong, but I might need to send them a garment steamer to take care of some of those wrinkles and creases. The particular creases in Leyva’s shirt might actually suggest that it’s brand new, but that’s neither here nor there.

What follows, now, is a series of outfits that are more similar than they are different. There’s ... not a ton to get excited about with these looks.

Handwalla Bwana
Sounders FC Digital

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on Handwalla Bwana here. It’s not a bad look, and I don’t want to dunk on the guy. He seems nice, and he’s got a lot of potential, but this outfit is frankly boring. There are lots and lots of shirts that you can wear untucked and unbuttoned with your favorite pair of jeans, and they’re not spread-collared dress shirts. It’s a good shade of blue on him, and the fit is decent, slim but still somewhat relaxed. The shirt would look just fine with a suit, or tucked into a pair of slacks, but I think we all know that he can do better than this. I hope we get to see it sooner than later.

Henry Wingo
Sounders FC Digital

Henry Wingo also got in on the untucked, long-sleeved button-up trend. His shirt’s not necessarily bad, but it’s kind of weird. He’s a professional athlete. Dressing for his body might not always be the easiest with broad shoulders and muscular legs, but the proportions of this shirt are not great. The fit is loose, maybe a ‘classic’ or ‘straight’ fit shirt that leaves a lot of room through the chest and abdomen, but it seems oddly wide at the waist, and the sleeves are both billowy and a little bit too long. I do like the stripes and contrast collar on the shirt, though. It’s not all bad, but like with Bwana I know Wingo to be capable of much better. If he wants, I’m available for consultations.

Kim Kee-hee
Sounders FC Digital

Finally, like a breath of fresh air, is Kim Kee-hee. There may not be a player on this team who is better at perfectly executing a simple outfit through styling and fit. He is truly a world-class dresser. The stripes are a perfect thickness, providing a weight to the shirt and making a bold pattern statement without needing a wacky print. The fit is easy, perfectly hanging off of his shoulders and draping over his torso. The sleeves are full, but in an intentional way with the cuffs still fitting snuggly around his wrists in a way that allows the sleeves to end just where his wrist meets his hand and sitting on top of his watch rather than falling over it.

I’m still not sure who the best-dressed player on the team is, but Kee-hee is definitely the person whose style is most broadly adoptable.

It feels good to be back, and thankfully we won’t have to spend so long apart from here on out. I’ll see you all again in a couple of weeks when the boys welcome Atlanta to Century Link. We should see a pretty full-strength squad, and with it some strong looks.

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