The Raps City Social is an annual charity event where, to the best of my knowledge, one pays a lot of money for a ticket and you may or may not get to wear novelty props and take photos with a forlorn looking (what else is new) Bruno Caboclo. There’s also the infamous rookie karaoke competition. All proceeds from the night support the MLSE Foundation.
Much like the Oscars and Grammys, big-ticket events like these were what the mechanics of the criticism machine was built on. Indeed, if a gala event falls on a weeknight and there’s no one there to judge the outfits, did it even happen? So I present to you the official, Raptors Republic Outfit Power Rankings of your 2017-2018 Toronto Raptors (who were present).
To keep things concise there are only two categories and they are Look or Long Shot. A Look is an outfit that can be daring, a biiit of a stretch, but above all, one that’s been pulled off. A Long Shot is unfortunate, and the opposite. Try to suspend your player favoritism as you peruse these rankings as, regrettably, moral character and basketball talent do not always translate into style, or more generally, clothes that fit.
First up we’ve got the Bench Dad and new, Actual Dad, C.J. Miles. What I like about C.J.’s choice here is that he has instantly made himself about eleven feet tall. Miles is a modest 6’4” but the wide, vertical stripes of this reverse Freddy Krueger jacket have made him larger than life. I don’t want to take any wild stabs into your dreams or mine (Freddy Krueger—get it?) but the fabric also looks to be, dare I say, velvet?
Rating: Don’t go to sleep because this assured Look is here to slay.
DeMar DeRozan and Alfonzo McKinnie
Next up we’ve got the Raptors squad leader and an overwhelmed intern from Google. DeRozan kept it casual but elegant in a black button-up that my fingers are ghost grazing the fabric of and it feels as soft as the air they are actually touching. I could take or leave the hat but I like the implication that DeMar was probably busy with being a franchise leader and threw it on last minute. McKinnie on the other hand likely had a lot of time to figure out what he was going to wear and still chose a t-shirt from a mall kiosk.
Rating: Look to DeMar, always. This might as well be a tall tee cause it’s a Long Shot for me, Alfonzo.
Leader of the pack, over here! McKinnie could take a page out of Delon’s book, which is still a casual tale but has just enough emphasis on the plot points of intrigue. Please note the perfect visible slice of shirt sleeve tugged out just so from inside his leather jacket at the wrist. It’s all about understated details here. But let me overstate that I basically have this same jacket and that I am thrilled for us, Delon!
Rating: A Look done the Wright way.
Heaven called and it’s letting one angel stay out past curfew. Fred looks stunning and is probably the only person qualified to have the twinkle on his understated, personal brand chain match the one in his eye. Unfortunately that’s all I can say about this photo because if I look at it any longer I’m going to hyperventilate.
Rating: Look, no further.
I’m happy to report that my early inclinations of OG’s on-court short length preference would translate to personal style, because we’ve got a fashionista on our hands. I love the motorcycle meets Blade Runner meets vintage black denim of the lower half meeting if NASCAR sponsored a rugby league of street wear brands of the top. I almost didn’t see that OG had a casual hand on his phone because it’s merging into his sweater.
Rating: A Look but replace the two o’s with the wide emoji eyes.
Just when you thought it was getting a little too casual, here comes K-Low looking so put together that even the DJ forgot what he was doing back there. If there was ever a case to prove the old adage, “It’s always better to be overdressed” here it is, effortlessly. So what if he’s still adapting to the new system, passing seems a little overrated when faced with a lapel like that.
Rating: Endless, open Looks.
Powell brought… a basketball? Can somebody get our guy a coffee and let him know that he can take the night off work, just this once?
Rating: His faraway look says it all—Long Shot, also maybe narcolepsy?
Pascal Siakam and Jakob Poeltl
While I like that these newly minted BFFs are into doing everything together, I don’t love that they’ve acquired the services of the same, shoddy tailor and both went for “last dudes on the wall at the dance”. Also, a little bit, “pajamas”.
Rating: A double Long Shot, but what a combined wingspan.