The Perfect Playoffs Mix, Inspired By Rihanna

Red carpets these days seem a little, shall we say…scripted? Long gone are the surprises of a Björk or a Lara Flynn Boyle Halloween-costume-meets-gown—or even a Sharon Stone “I-bought-half-of-this-at-the-Gap” moment. Now all there is to look at is your standard gown showdown. Beautiful, but sometimes a little boring.

Somehow, someway, basketball games (of all things) have become the best place for star style in the red carpet’s stead. Perhaps it’s not surprising—the stadium is where you go to not only have nachos, but to willingly pay $10 for beer that’ll get warm before you finish it. It’s also the place where bad gal RiRi—all-around fox, singer, CFDA winner, and someone ITG loves so much that we named a conference room after her—gets the chance to wear a Céline dress with trainers to a Clippers game. Another winner: when she wore a windbreaker, athletic shorts, and strappy, single-soled sandals that match her White Out pedicure. Scroll through enough courtside paparazzi shots and you’ll see a trend emerge: expensive shoes with workout gear; runway gowns with retro sneakers. Like high-low dressing, just a little bit more extreme. And with the playoffs coming up, consider it a call to action—or to athleisure.

And finally, for your enjoyment, please play this song while you read the rest of this story.

Outfit(s): There are two paths to decide between here—dressing up or wearing your usual workout garb in a dressed-up way. Mix in opposite-leaning shoes to contradict the outfit above it. A big, colorful sneaker is a good choice for a dress, as is a glam heel for men’s shorts and a jacket. Both options are better than an oversized hoodie and jeans, really.

Lipstick, Etc: Be like Ri and choose a lipstick that stands out against a mostly naked face—bonus points for a longwear formula that’ll hold up to game food. From there, add a tad of liquid liner for good measure or choose to focus on bushy, drawn-in brows.

Snacks: Order according to Instagram. LOL, kidding. Eat what you want.

Jewelry: Pile it on—chokers look even bolder when doubled up, and hoops are almost too obvious. There you have it. Now take your talents down to the comments.

—Claire Knebl

Photos of Rihanna via Getty. Clothing and accessories photographed by Tom Newton. Traveling cross-country for the Playoffs? Don’t forget the Five Cool Things to fly with.

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