My Game-Day Style: Bradley Beal

From YSL to Zara, The St. Louis Native Has an Affinity For Mixing Opulence and Affordability


Bradley Beal gives his mother, Besta, major props for her influence, especially for the two things that have shaped his career and lifestyle—his signature move and his penchant for luxury brands.

“She gave me a jump shot, but also my expensive taste,” says Beal, standing in his closet in McLean, Virginia. “My mom has extremely expensive taste.”

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Proof of Beal’s preference for the finer things in life lies in his closet, where the 6’5” Wizards guard boasts a wide array of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent clothing and accessories. Beal, however, doesn’t shy away from affordable threads or mixing high-end and low-end pieces. After all, for Beal, it’s about the look, not the price tag.

“I fool a lot of people with it,” Beal, 24, says of how he flexes his fashion, combining inexpensive outerwear with Balmain jeans. What may look pricey really isn’t. “I love Zara. They’re economically friendly and have nice jackets. That black leather is my go-to.”


Beal’s style strategy isn’t just about mixing it up; he likes to switch it up too. His game-day choices usually oscillate between sweatshirts and Gucci sneakers, and sleek black suits with Louboutin shoes.

“If we’re playing at home, I must be comfortable. I’ll throw on a Givenchy hoodie and some jeans playing at home. When I’m traveling to Boston, Cleveland, New York and L.A., I’m dressing strictly for business,” Beal says. To send a message to his opponents, Beal uses his style to set the tone. “More than likely [I’m wearing] all black, like a funeral.”

Whether it’s a casual or dressed-up look, Beal’s main focus is on his shoes. “I like to show them off. I wear Balmain jeans because of their fit. They look great with a dope pair of sneakers,” Beal says. “I’m a Nike guy, so I wear a lot of Nike and Jordan retros. They make my outfits stand out and people will see them.”

Kicks have always been a major part of the St. Louis native’s style. And no shoe is more representative of his hometown than the Air Force 1, which Beal rocked as a kid. More than a fashion statement, they became a cultural staple. Nelly, who also hails from the same city, rapped an ode to the sneakers in “Air Force Ones.”

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“It’s a cultural thing down in St. Louis. Some people still dress in baggy Girbaud Jeans and Forces. You can’t tell them nothing. Forces to St. Louis is what New Balance is to D.C.; you can’t have one without the other,” explains Beal, who owns a variety of  Forces ranging from the classic 1982 all-white mid-tops to the 2017 military-inspired Special Field Air Force 1.

Though Beal’s mom and The Lou have had a long-standing impact on his sartorial choices, Beal reveals he has some swag synergy with his teammates Kelly Oubre and John Wall.  

“Kelly’s style wore off on me when it comes to Yves Saint Laurent. He’s like their advocate. He even got me to buy a pair of jeans and a jacket from them. He’s young and wild, but his style fits him. Sometimes I’ll look at him and ask, ‘What were you thinking?’ But it’s just ‘Kellz’ being himself,” he says.

As for Wall, Beal says, “John’s style is outlandish, but we feed off each other’s fashion sense at times. Then he’ll wear some Gucci shoes with fur and the heel out in the back, wear crazy colors. I can’t do that!”

Pop culture also informs Beal’s style. “Blue Cheese” by 2 Chainz and Migos made Beal more brand conscious of Virgil Abloh’s fashion line. “When I heard ‘Blue Cheese in my Off-Whites,’ I was like, wow, now I have two pairs of Off-White jeans and a shirt,” Beal says.

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Although Beal prefers more reserved looks, he appreciates the efforts of others who are more vibrant, like Cam Newton. “Cam will come out looking literally like superman. He’s [245 pounds] and wears tight clothes with wild colors,” he says. “It’s crazy.”

Beal also respects Phoenix Suns second-year guard Devin Booker’s fashion. “D-Book’s style is underrated, bro can really dress. [His swag makes] him able to pull off any look.”

As one of the NBA’s premier shooting guards, Beal has taken his scoring to the next level, averaging a career-high 23.8 points per game and coming off a career-high 51-point effort in a Dec. 5 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. With hopes of guiding the Wizards to Eastern Conference dominance, Beal, in his sixth season, knows the squad has benchmarks it has yet to meet.

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“We have a goal of going to the NBA Finals this year. We were a couple plays away from the Eastern Conference Finals last season, so we are looking to get there this season.”

So far, in addition to the reigning conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, the Eastern Conference has seen the improved play of the Detroit Pistons and the top-seeded Boston Celtics. With the competition increasing around them, Beal doesn’t seem bothered.

“We want a ring just like everyone else, but we know it’s going to take a lot of work. We have our core back with John, Otto [Porter] and myself, so we’re working hard and being leaders,” he says.

Last postseason, Beal scored 38 points in a Game 7 loss to the Celtics during the conference semis. The Wizards are right back in the playoff conversation this season, and Beal is ready to make a deep run, even if it means another Game 7. He’ll be ready, with an outfit to match the energy of the night.

“[Game 7 calls for] all black,” he says. “Everyone will be watching. They’ll know what time it is.”

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Martell Pegues is a Social Moments associate editor at Bleacher Report.

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