At the NFL draft, many players will wear their first custom suit. Joey Wendt of Joseph’s Custom Clothier, which is based in Naples, Fla., and New York, has worked with many Falcons players and other NFL clients since 1994. Here’s his strategy for what works, and what not to wear.
Many young guys in college haven’t had much experience with dressing for business. They need help deciphering what’s right to wear. A big guy shouldn’t look like he’s wearing a tent. Players shouldn’t try too hard to be creative. Our objective is to fit their physique and match their personality.
Offensive linemen are often jeans-and-T-shirt guys. It’s not like they just stepped out of Miami, so they’ll be more conservative. Defensive backs dress up; defensive ends go a little bolder. Quarterbacks tend to want something that will get noticed, but not way out there. Wide receivers are all over the place. One can be super flashy, and the next one won’t even wear a suit.
To fit an athlete’s disproportionate body, you can’t just go by the measurements. A 49-inch chest and a 34-inch waist require us to chisel the suit from the fabric, to complement his physique and show he is well-built.
In 19 years of dressing players for the NFL draft, my most important job is educating young men to dress for every occasion and to build a wardrobe properly. Every outfit should be flawless, even the knock-about urban look.
Each year I see Falcon clients several times to help organize their closets and plan for the next season. Preparing the personal wardrobe is part of the preparation for the game.
Home games involve more shirts and slacks. Head coach Mike Smith wants them to look professional, but he’s not a three-piece-suit-and-tie guy. Falcons dress up more for away games, rival games or Monday night games. What they wear that day is about business and the work that needs to be done. Clothes will put a player’s psyche on a very serious level. He should look and feel fantastic that day. When Roddy White prepares to face the top cornerback in the NFL, his clothes are part of his mental preparation.
We’re doing a lot of three-piece windowpane suits, with light stripes that form squares like windows on a house. A strong look for the Falcons might be a charcoal suit with a faint red line, set off with a red tie or pocket square, and maybe some red cuff links.
At the NFL draft, when a guy like Mark Ingram looks fantastic, I’ll get 20 texts asking if I dressed him. People pay attention to the details, and that’s what it’s about.
As told to Michelle Hiskey, for the AJC