ON HAMELS: Wool plaid suit ($995), slim-fit shirt ($125), plaid silk tie ($95), and silk pocket square ($30), Boss Black. King of Prussia Mall, 610-992- 1400
ON RIZZO: Gray wool suit ($995), white cotton shirt ($145), striped silk tie ($95), and pocket square ($30), Boss Black. King of Prussia Mall, 610-992-1400
Cole Hamels: One Stylish Southpaw
Cole Hamels insists he does not know much about fashion. But bring up the similarities between wearing a suit and wearing a uniform, and the Phillies pitcher has some worthy sartorial insights. “It’s the fit,” says Hamels. “The uniforms used to be baggy, and now they’re becoming more tailored. In a way, that models and resembles my suits.”
Hamels’s penchant for clean, modern suiting is a direct reflection of his longtime relationship with Hugo Boss—a partnership with a very unlikely beginning. Norman Vosko, who oversees a quintet of Hugo Boss stores from King of Prussia to Short Hills, New Jersey, approached a then 22-year-old Hamels about a wardrobe makeover. It was 2006, and Hamels had just been called up.
With only two suits in his closet—one for a wedding and the other for a funeral, as the cliché goes—Hamels immediately took him up on the idea. “The lifestyle [of the major leagues] is a complete change from being in the minors,” says Hamels. “I thought it was a great opportunity. And meeting Norman—we’ve been able to create a really good friendship. My wardrobe has definitely changed for the better.”
This rapport between athlete and owner—and, in turn, Hugo Boss tailor Giovanni Rizzo—has allowed Hamels to take well-executed wardrobe risks that comfortably straddle the line between fashion-forward and classic, a smart mix of pinstripes and checkered prints offset by colorful ties and pocket squares. His tasteful accessories—Tiffany & Co. cuff links and a Rolex watch—are more about sentiment than style: The links were a present from a family friend for his major-league debut; the watch, a gift from his wife, Heidi, after the Phillies won the World Series in 2008 and Hamels was named Most Valuable Player.
Rizzo describes Hamels’s look as consistent with today’s trends in menswear. Rizzo, whose career began in Italy at the tender age of 10, would know: By 14 he could make a jacket, eventually taking his skills to New York, where he worked at an independently owned tailor shop for nearly two decades.
Besides when traveling with the team, Hamels often wears a suit for various speaking engagements on behalf of The Hamels Foundation. The organization, an endeavor in which Heidi is also involved, promotes education initiatives for inner-city schools through fundraising. The charity’s annual event, a who’s who of Philadelphia athletes and media personalities, raised more than $450,000 this past August.
There is, however, one event at which you will not see Hamels decked out in a suit. Dubbed Diamonds and Denim and run by his foundation, the fundraiser is one for which he happily pushes his suits aside for a night—in favor of a pair of Hugo Boss jeans, of course.