The New York Rangers drop the gloves (and the rest of their equipment) to show off some of this season’s classic suits — and talk a bit about the game they love.
Too-short sleeves, a gaping waistband, an overlong jacket — a bad fit is the quickest way to ruin a good suit. Luckily the New York Rangers were game to help us prove that you can achieve a perfectly tailored look on even the most athletic frames. Here, they show off some of this season’s classic suits and talk about the art of their sport.
by Eric Alt
The Art of the Block
“The feet are the worst place to get hit with a slap shot. I broke my foot about five or six years ago. I haven’t taken any off the teeth yet; I’ve been careful not to put my head in harm’s way. Still, you’ve got to lay your body on the line and just get in the way of the shots. We watch videos to learn other players’ styles, but you can always anticipate a shot — you can just tell when a guy wants to get the puck to the net.”
The Art of the Save
“Some scorers love to go top shelf, over the glove, but as a goalie you can never really be sure a guy is going to do the move he usually does. These guys are so skilled you have to be prepared for anything. It’s all about being patient, seeing who’ll make the first move. The five-hole — the area between a goalie’s leg pads — is considered a weak spot, but I get pretty low and actually try to make the guy go there because it’s easier to close up.”
The Art of the Shoot-Out
35, Left Wing
“It’s different than a breakaway in a game because in a shoot-out you have more time to think about what you’re going to do. Sometimes that hurts the shooter because you don’t use your instincts as much. The easier you keep the shoot-out, the better chance you have. The best thing is if you can read the goalie and then react. I always decide beforehand what I’m going to do. Maybe that’s why I don’t score more.”
The Art of the Pass
“There’s nothing like scoring a goal, but I get just as much of a kick if I can set a guy up and all he has to do is tap the puck in. Passing is a skill you can work on like any other; the key is reading what your opponent is doing. If the defense is pulled back, I want to take the puck in as far as I can to set my winger up, so he can get a shot closer to the net. That’s where chemistry comes in: If the D-man is far back, your winger has to know what to do.”
The Art of the Face-Off
“There’s a lot of reading going on; some guys will switch up their approach depending which side of the ice they’re on or who they’re facing. Things happen so fast, and there are a lot of elements that you can’t control, like the puck taking a bad bounce, so I just try to get in there with my stick as quickly and forcefully as I can and win the draw outright. But you have to be careful not to jump the gun. You only get one warning and you’re out.”
Suit Tip No. 1
If you’ve got a bulky physique, supersleek Italian suits might not be for you. “When you have legs like this, the slim fit just doesn’t work,” says Ranger Scott Gomez. American designers such as Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger offer a more relaxed cut.
Suit Tip No. 2
Tone it down. Bold prints, loud colors, and pleated pants call attention to thick areas such as arms and legs. Stick with solid hues — or a fine pinstripe, which reduces a bulky look by giving the illusion of height.
Suit Tip No. 3
Look for material that has a little stretch to it, such as lightweight wool or cotton blended with about 3 percent stretchy material (the tag will say as much). That way you can avoid splitting the seams. On the flip side, nubby, cumbersome wools or tweeds only add heft.
Suit Tip No. 4
Adding layers under a suit is a simple way to mix up looks, but leave thicker sweaters — such as the heaviest cable knits — to your leaner counterparts. A better bet is a low-ply cashmere — or a vest, which will give a layered look without the bulk of sleeves.