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Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook has gotten a great deal of attention in recent years for his wild fashion sense. At various events and press conferences, he's sported colorful printed shirts, a knight's armor, and a 10-year-old's freshest polo and trousers. Westbrook rarely looks sensible, or even in possession of a coherent look, but he knows how to make a statement.
Yet, even by his own standards, his outfit for this Sunday's Teen Choice Awards was on another level. As you can see in the photo above from Westbrook's own Instagram page, he sported a bold-print tunic and white drop-crotch capri pants, because that's how an NBA player has to introduce a Demi Lovato performance. His caption for the photo explained it best:
Teenchoice special!!! #whynot#donthateonthebrodie #ayeeeee
Yes, "#whynot" indeed! We're certainly not going to be able to explain why.
Jokes aside, Westbrook's attempts at fashion icon status place him in a long line of celebrities focused on pushing the sartorial envelope. The difference is that those who've succeeded in occupying that role tend to do so because they do something replicable for normal humans, even if it just involves wearing bold pants in a socially acceptable fit or suggesting new ways of wearing a sport jacket. Westbrook, in contrast, seems like someone without any clear idea of what he wants to do — he combines bizarre pieces just because he can.
The result is that Westbrook frequently looks terrible from even the most charitable perspectives. However, his willingness to mess around also means he comes across as far more confrontational than a genuine style icon. He's not developing new looks for the broader culture as much as he's challenging the world to accept him.