Russell Westbrook and LeBron James aren’t the only ones stepping out in trendsetting game-day drip. WNBA players like Tamera “Ty” Young and Lexie Brown are also making fierce sartorial selections and it’s high time we recognize them. Thanks to fashion blogs like WSLAM, WNBA Kicks, and LeagueFits, professional female ballers are finally starting to get the coverage they deserve (whether they’re getting the salaries they deserve is a whole ‘nother question) and some are even tapping professionals to curate their game-day looks, which range from skintight bodycons and sparkly heels to chic, androgynous pantsuits paired with colorful kicks.
Below, four WNBA superstars on their signature pre-game swag.
Tamera “Ty” Young, a 32-year-old forward for the Las Vegas Aces, describes her style as ever-evolving, an aesthetic that can’t be put “in a box.” Unless, of course, that box contains some new kicks. The self-admitted sneakerhead owns over 59 pairs in a wide-range of colors and styles, including Air Jordans, Pippens, Pennys, and LeBrons. She’s as comfortable in high end designers as she is in MJ’s, recently pairing a matching Okami shirt and short ensemble with red and silver Raf Simons sneakers ahead of a game. In celebration of Pride (she’s dating Mimi Faust of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta), Young slipped on a “Love Is Uninterrupted” hoodie designed by Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird and a TY1 Gear cap, captioning a snap of the #OOTD, “ʟøṽε ʝ﹩ ʟøṽε.”
When a group of men began trash talking the quality of women’s basketball on Twitter, Lexie Brown of the Minnesota Lynx challenged a male NCAA player to a game of one-on-one to put the issue to bed. Unsurprisingly, the 24-year-old guard schooled him 7-6. But the ability to shut down ignorance with a spin move is just one of the things we love about Brown. We also admire her ability to wear heels anytime day or night, which she likes to pair with tank tops and billowy green cargo pants or boyfriend jeans. “I recently bought a bunch of heels over the last couple of weeks, because I knew I’d be able to wear them,” she tells ELLE.com. “I like to walk in, be cute, and show my personal style, which is never really over the top and simple.”
Described as “humble and hungry” by ESPN, 28-year-old Erica Wheeler of the Indiana Fever is a spitfire on the court, famous for her unrelenting athleticism and full-court press. From Liberty City, Florida, the guard’s androgynous game day outfits are a subtle nod to her roots. One of her favorite brands is Miami-based casual-wear company Don’t Settle, Be Great, which puts motivational quotes on t-shirts and sweatpants. In the picture above, she’s wearing their “1 Out of 144” shirt, a reference to the number of players in the WNBA. “I am one of 144 in one of the best women’s leagues in the world. Respect me!” Wheeler tells ELLE.com. “Doesn’t matter how I got here, but I am here.”
In 2015, Minnesota Lynx forward Seimone Augustus revealed in a personal essay in The Players’ Tribune that she came out to her parents during her junior year of high school (two years, by the way, after landing the coveted Sports Illustrated cover). Her hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she explains in the Tribune essay, is “a wonderful place, but also one… that doesn’t always translate to open minds.” Now 35, the 6-foot-tall, five-time All-Star looks back fondly on growing up in the South, and that pride reflects in her clothing. She even wears her old high school jersey on game days. “Being from the South, we like to be matchy-matchy, so people have to be matching from head to toe,” she tells ELLE.com. “This year I just thought it’d be cool if I celebrated myself and come out with my old jerseys a little bit… [and] celebrate myself.”
Art Design: Mia Feitel