DeAndre Jordan’s Stylist Courtney Mays on What to Keep and What to Toss

james love paul 2019 mobile
Andrew D. Bernstein/Jason Miller/Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty Images

Line up all the famous men shaping fashion trends today and chances are the majority of them are going to stand well over six feet tall and have action figure abs. NBA pros haven’t always dominated the style conversation, but they certainly are in 2019. Courtney Mays is one of the stylists responsible for that shift. With clients like Chris Paul, Kevin Love and DeAndre Jordan, Mays has helped turn the arena tunnel into a new kind of runway—a place where you can spot the hottest sneakers, sharpest suits and best bags in the game.

Because we know you want to look just as fly as an NBA guy, we’ve asked Mays to answer some of your style questions. This month, she tackles dressing for the cold, what to toss in 2019, and more. Read on, level up.

It's so. damn. cold. How can keep my style on point right now without freezing to death?

Courtney Mays: Layers are key. Invest in a few pairs of thermals. Yes, you'll have on leggings but who cares, you'll be warm, and no one will see them (even though I think the waffle knit is actually super cool). Also, take a style note from LBJ. More often than not, he has on the turtleneck, the hoodie, the denim jacket and the overcoat. Oh, and the scrunchy sock, the beanie and the sunglasses. I’m literally laughing out loud at this list. But he is successful because each layer is well tailored. Fit is key. You don’t have to look messy just because it’s cold.

My favorite trick is adding a denim jacket under a suit or adding a down jacket over a suit for extra warmth. I also love a belted overcoat; it’s cozy and instantly Ralph Lauren approved.

Also, pay attention to your winter accessories. Check out your local army/navy surplus for the endless supply of neon Carhartt beanies and "shackets." Yes, I said shackets. Channel that inner lumberjack!

freemans sporting club
Mr. Porter

Freemans Sporting Club Wool-Blend Shirt Jacket

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One of my goals for 2019 is to up my style game. What should I get rid of and what should I add to my rotation?

TOSS: Graphic tees. Unless there’s a social message or you have an insane vintage collection of band tees, donate the "Kiss Me, I’m Irish" or "Call Me" graphics immediately.

TOSS: Those fabric flower lapel pins. Please! Actually, toss the notion that over-accessorizing your suiting makes you more stylish. If you have the tie bar, no need for the lapel pin. If you have the fun sock, toss the pin and the bar. Suiting should be about great tailoring and the subtle ways we can express our style with an iconic silhouette.

TOSS: Jerseys. (Imagine I’m screaming this… Sorry Adam Silver or whoever is getting the residual income from jersey sales). Don’t be the guy at the game with the Kobe jersey over your button-down because you left work to meet the guys for happy hour and have tickets to the Lakers game. Trust me, jerseys are unacceptable in every situation unless you are, in fact, actually Kobe Bryant and are playing in that NBA game yourself. It’s surprising to me that I see so many 30-and 40-somethings still holding onto this trend. This is not a ’90s rap video! Instead, grab a tee or sweatshirt with the team's vintage logo from the fan store and throw on with your trousers or under your sport-coat instead. Do yourself a favor.

KEEP: Turtlenecks, leather duffels and jewelry. Turtlenecks are a staple for myself and most definitely for my clients. Trust, they read elegant and cool and not like a middle-school class photo. Leather duffels are an elevated way to travel or carry workout gear, sneakers or grooming essentials. Men who can accessorize with a bracelet behind their watch or a thin chain tucked into a sweater say to me they've thought carefully about the details.

ADD: Cool jackets to your repertoire. Here's my list: A teddy-bear style coat for your tactile senses, a denim jacket in an unexpected color, a classic trench coat to get ahead of spring trends, my ultimate favorite, the DB, and a beautiful tuxedo jacket because a cocktail hour is never a bad idea.

$425 / Saturdays NYC

Brian Wool Blazer Black

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I love to express my personality through clothes, but I work in a super conservative office. How can I flex without getting in trouble with HR?

Mays: Great question! The answer is in the tailoring and finding subtle ways to color outside the lines of the navy blue suit aka uniform of corporate America. Try this: Crop (ever so slightly) and add a tailored cuff to your suit pant, then wear a fun sock. Bonus points if the pants are pleated, which is a huge trend right now and so cool. On top, wear a double-breasted jacket instead of that classic notch lapel option.

Is there a casual Friday? Maybe do a printed trouser with your suit jacket. Let’s not get crazy. By printed, I mean, a houndstooth or bold chalk-strip—not your new velvet Palm Angels jogger. Save those for the weekend. Maybe, and this is only if you have a little leeway, try a suit in an unexpected neutral. Camel, olive, and burgundy are my suggestions.

$225 / Topman

Topman Twisted Tailor Green 'Ellroy' Suit

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DON’T of the month: Too small sweatpants!

Joggers can be slim and tailored like a trouser but don't have to look three sizes too small. I don't want to see your knee cap or any other appendages for that matter. Ha!

DO of the month: Fedoras, double denim.

Sorry. I’m still into them. They give that instant style-guy look and complete any outfit. Note: Must be wide brim and stiff. Think: Evan Ross, not Frank Sinatra.

Another idea, embrace the denim on denim trend. It's cool! Make sure your denim fits well and stays sort of monochromatic to master this look.

ray ban
$153 / Ray Ban

The style steal: Ray-Bans

These are my absolute, all-time favorite.

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Best dressed: DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Adams

Shameless plug but DeAndre Jordan is absolutely the modern day Jimi Hendrix. What’s amazing about his style is that it is unlike anyone else in the league. He's not über trendy, nor is his look traditional. He rocks a poncho and Birkenstocks with ease or Chelsea boots and a band tee like a boss. It’s effortless and cool. He's a style icon, and his hat collection is unreal.

I’ve been loving this year's NFL style. Jamal Adams pretty much gets it right all of the time. Bravo! Also, he can just Fedex this coat to LA for my personal collection.

My last save: plaid outerwear, two ways.

I often save style references when putting looks together for my guys or even designing a few pieces. My phone is full of inspiration images. This is all about the details to me. And I love plaid in all forms, but especially on outerwear. 

Give us a shout on Twitter with your style Qs and we’ll consider including them in a future column

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