Editor's note: Welcome to the second installment of "Fly or Fail," a regular column in which our fashion expert, Samantha Rubin, rates athlete style off the field.
For this week's "Fly or Fail," we head back to NYC for the end of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and take a quick trip abroad to check out the U.S. Open men's champ. Which athletes were lucky (or unlucky) enough to catch my discerning eye? Find out below ...
Athlete: J.R. Smith, Knicks
Event: John Bartlett Runway Show, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, NYC, Sept. 11
Outfit: I'm not sure what's going on with the basketball players and their shrunken sleeves lately, but it seems like J.R. took a page out of Kris Humphries' style book! For a tall guy, the proportion of J.R.'s sleeves here is just not right, and is more age-appropriate for my 8-year-old nephew. The other major thing that stands out to me here is that he's at a John Bartlett show wearing a Comme des Garçons sweater. In the fashion world that is a major no-no, especially when being photographed! I like the choice of black jeans and shoes, which keep the whole look monochromatic and pulled together. J.R. also keeps the accessories minimal, wearing two discreet bracelets. If you are going to rock man jewels, keep ’em to a minimum like J.R.
Verdict: Know your designers FAIL.
Athlete: David Beckham, Galaxy
Event: Y-3 10th Anniversary Collection, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, NYC, Sept. 9
Outfit: Stylistically Becks can do no wrong. Here, he shows us how the T-shirt x jeans combo should be worn: basic and simple, with no graphics and no bells and whistles. The fit of the T-shirt is key -- snug enough in the arms to hit above the elbow for a cleaner silhouette. It's also perfectly worn-in, with the looseness around the neck creating a "lived-in" effect. A simple style trick to create this look is to just take a quick tug at the neck of your tee. Becks' black jeans are a lighter shade, which balances out the shirt and doesn't look too matchy-matchy. He adds a simple brown belt to break up the black-on-black outfit, but his best accessories are no doubt his sleeves: no need for anything else.
Verdict: Front-row FLY.
Athlete: Mark Sanchez, NY Jets
Event: Breitling and Mark Sanchez Host MNF Kick-Off Event, NYC, Sept. 10
Outfit: I find myself constantly disappointed by Mark Sanchez, and I don't mean on the football field. Living in NYC and being surrounded by fashion has not made an impact on this QB's style and unfortunately this look has me yawning. Mark is young and handsome and I feel he's aged by the whole look. The suit does nothing to compliment his body -- it's a bit too large in the shoulders, arms and body -- and creates a baggy silhouette. I'm distracted by the looseness of the shirt and wish it was a slimmer fit, as well. He could have benefited from wearing a tie to pull the look together and also add some color. The light-gray suit and light-blue shirt create a drab combo more befitting a hedge-fund manager. The problem with Mark is that his clothes show no personality. The only accessory he chose was a Breitling watch. Maybe Eva Longoria will introduce him to the importance of a stylist. We can only hope.
Verdict: Gang Gray FAIL.
Athlete: Andy Murray, tennis
Event: Burberry Prorsum show, London Fashion Week, Sept. 17
Outfit: Andy Murray has had a golden, Grand Slam summer. So how does his style hold up to these achievements? I'd say he fares pretty well. While not the most exciting look, this is one that most men will be able to pull off. What works is that the fit is perfect; fit, fit, fit -- yes, I'm a broken record! The jeans are straight and slim, not tight, and the length hits slightly below the ankle so there is no extra bagginess. I also like the dark wash paired with the lighter gray sweater to give some contrast. The sweater is slim and hugs his body enough without constricting his athletic build. I like the choice of a V-neck sweater with a collared shirt underneath, which gives a less restrictive and more casual feel. And lastly, any man's best accessory is a beautiful woman: Andy's girlfriend Kim Sears looks chic in Burberry, as well.
Verdict: Grand Slam FLY.
Athlete: Kris Humphries, Nets
Event: GQ, Chrysler & John Varvatos Celebrate the Launch of 2013 Chrysler 300C, NYC, Sept. 11
Outfit: Kris teaches us all an important style lesson: If you are uncomfortable in what you are wearing, you will be uncomfortable, period! Kris is not known for his fashion acumen, and this look has a more directional feel -- which is another way of saying, he left himself in the hands of a stylist. The wrong hands, it seems. The shirt -- and specifically, the short sleeves -- seems a bit shrunken for his large frame, creating a really strange proportion. I'd prefer a long sleeve casually rolled up to around his elbow. He seems restricted by the buttoned collar and the pin seems a bit too feminine and out of place. The positive? I do like the fit of the trouser and the simple lace-up shoe. To sum it up, I'm actually more disappointed in the stylist than in Kris. He should have just said NO!
Verdict: Stylist FAIL.