Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and her new WNBA team put on a full-court fashion show and the social media reaction is shocking .H

Angel Reese and her new WNBA cohort present full-court fashion

 

Angel Reese arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Ever since I saw the photos of Baltimore native and Louisiana State University star Angel Reese gliding into the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the WNBA draft, I’ve been singing Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero” — both in my head and also out loud (Sorry, people in the bagel line this morning.)

Younger readers might not recognize Reese’s luminous, metallic-accented draped dress as homage to Turner’s character in “Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome,” but it’s appropriately regal and authoritative. It’s simultaneously giving classic Hollywood noir heroine and absolute boss. And I believe that for Reese, as well as for Caitlin Clark and the other young women who were drafted Monday, it was a sartorial mission statement of purpose and adulthood.

Also, it’s just really fun!

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I, for one, am a fan of over-the-top sartorial expression for burgeoning sports stars, and not just because I’m a woman who enjoys a cape. I love this bit of youthful fun in between the rigors of a collegiate career and the never-ending stress of a professional one. Very soon, these women are going to be full-time players, juggling not only the fate of their teams, but of an entire sport and league’s bid to be taken seriously. That’s a lot. So for just this moment, put on that couture and STRUT, ladies. Or not. It’s all you.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Celeste Taylor arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024 in New York City.

 

Celeste Taylor arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Jordan Horston poses for a photo on the Orange Carpet prior to the 2023 WNBA Draft at Spring Studios on April 10, 2023 in New York City.

Jordan Horston poses for a photo on the Orange Carpet prior to the 2023

WNBA Draft at Spring Studios on April 10, 2023, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

It’s different from the men’s NBA, whose athletes, on average, are walking that carpet right into millionaire status, and can enjoy this glittery moment as a sign of monied things to come. Even the 30th-picked NBA player signed for about $2 million in 2023, as compared to top WNBA pick Clark, who will make $76,535 in her first year for the Indiana Fever.

While the disparity raised my blood pressure, I’m aware of the stone cold facts of the difference between the revenue that the NBA and WNBA bring in, as well as the differences in their viewership. That’s why all of the eyes that Reese and Clark bring to women’s basketball is positive. Will they make more than the typical 22-year-old? For sure. Are they typical? Nah.


Didi Richards of the New York Liberty, draftee Zia Cooke, and draftee Aliyah Boston pose for a photo on the Orange Carpet prior to the 2023 WNBA Draft at Spring Studios on April 10, 2023 in New York City.Didi Richards of the New York Liberty, draftee Zia Cooke, and draftee Aliyah Boston pose for a photo on the Orange Carpet prior to the 2023 WNBA Draft at Spring Studios on April 10, 2023, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Before I break down my favorite outfits, let me shut down anyone who labels my focus on how very successful and athletic women dress in public as misogyny. The dudes in the NBA set the very fashion-focused tone. My late husband and I used to watch the soon-to-be drafted athletes’ red carpet arrivals and found it to be a lot like the Oscars, only with many more purple three-piece suits and gold spike-encrusted shoes. Everyone gets to be hot and sparkly.

Having said that, let’s see some fierce pictures.
Angel Reese poses with WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected seventh overall pick by the Chicago Sky during the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Angel Reese, Chicago Sky: Bayou Barbie’s chainmail-esque outfit, designed by New York’s Bronx and Banco, suggests Grace Jones at Studio 54 on her way to riding a dragon to extinguish her haters. It speaks to both athletic heft and personal humanity, just like her.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Caitlin Clark arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever: The number one draft pick and recent Saturday Night Live participant was as unflappable in head-to-toe Prada as she is on the court. I wish she’d worn a little bit of color, but you have to do what works for you, and the neutral shirt and skirt with a pop of rhinestone presented elevated tomboy. She is who she is and she looked great. And her blowout — is that a silk press? A flat iron? — was top-notch.
Cameron Brink arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Cameron Brink, Los Angeles Spark: This black and white number, with a sassy cutout at the waist, had a lower section that was more split than skirt, and as a short dumpy 52-year-old I am envious and delighted. If I were tall, young and muscular, The Baltimore Banner newsroom and the produce aisle at Target would have to deal with me. Go, lady.
Aaliyah Edwards arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Aaliyah Edwards, Washington Mystics: Washington is the closest WNBA team to Baltimore, so I’ve claimed her as my new hometown favorite. Her look — flawless off-white fringe with a basketball-shaped Judith Leiber clutch — was both understated and flashy. It’s aspirational.
Kamilla Cardoso arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Kamilla Cardoso, Chicago Sky: Reese’s Gamecocks teammate, who will join her, entered the pros in what I like to call executive glam, a deep red power suit on bare skin with a simple black clutch. Brilliant.
Alissa Pili arrives prior to the 2024 WNBA Draft at Brooklyn Academy of Music on April 15, 2024, in New York City. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Alissa Pili, Minnesota Lynx: The Alaskan native and University of Utah Ute player had one of the more eye-catching looks, with a skirt that gave tribute to her Samoan heritage. And her updo gave Sexy Lady Heat Miser. She’s too much! And yet, just enough.

Once these stars begin playing, you’ll be mostly seeing them in team uniforms. But I hope that every once in a while there’s a bit of fringe here, a crystal there. They can handle anything, like the bosses they are.

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