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Why did Michael Jordan wear an earring?

Michael Jordan’s single hooped earring first emerged in the early 90’s as his star was approaching it’s highest peak. It can be seen in almost all of Jordan’s most iconic photos, dangling from his left ear. Jordan was his own man, he wore what he wanted and anything he adopted amplified through society due to his iconic status. He was also a savvy brand expert, once the look stuck, he kept it. People wanted to see the MJ they expected.

Even after his retirement, Michael Jordan was frequently seen wearing an earring and for some people it was surprising. In the following article we will have a look at Jordan’s style and why he decided to wear an earring.

Jordan loves earrings and suits them with his style

Michael Jordan loves brutal men’s earrings. The legend prefers congo – earrings in the form of a ring. There are many similar decorations in the star’s jewelry box. On them, you can track the evolution of the athlete’s style. Michael’s left ear at one time was decorated with either a massive circle, a wide Congo earring encrusted with diamonds, or a laconic model of a small diameter. Now the star prefers discreet earrings, but it is impossible not to notice the jewelry.

Using Jordan as an example, you can see that the earrings in the ears give the image of masculinity and even add attractiveness. The former basketball player knows how to successfully combine accessories with outfits: his favorite simple congos look good with sportswear and classic jackets, which Michael loves to wear in everyday life. Jewelry gives the personality a charisma, emphasizing the charm of the star.

Jordan and Charles Barkley

Jordan believes that there is no better gift than earrings. The athlete, who became famous in his youth for his scandalous antics, once even presented earrings to Charles Barkley, a player of the Phoenix Suns, which Jordan’s Bulls competed with. Irreconcilable rivals on the court and friends in everyday life had a great time. Off the basketball court, the athletes communicated well and played golf on weekends. Michael decided to present his friend with a diamond earring worth $20,000 in gratitude for his worthy competition and good company. Barkley gladly accepted the gift, believing that it was a symbol of friendship.

However, Jordan was not driven by good intentions, but by the desire to “neutralize” the opponent. The star admitted that he presented Barkley with an expensive accessory solely so that he would not get in his way during the game. It is not known whether the “trick” worked, or if Jordan managed to turn his luck, but his team defeated the Suns to advance to the next round. Rumor has it that those chic earrings that Michael chose for Charles are to blame. Later, when journalists asked Michael what it was, he replied: “Until the end of the series, Charles will not get in my way, and $20,000 means nothing to me”. Jordan won so much, because he was always working every angle possible. He saw ways to influence the game that no one else could. Barkley, a fierce competitor himself, would always deny the gift had any impact, but then Sir Charles never did win that ring. Maybe he was happy with the gift from the GOAT.

Michael Jordan’s unique style

As a player, he favored a bob cut, a round earring, and baggy shorts. In the 1989 season, Michael was the only basketball player in specially tailored shorts; this trend began with him. And his controversial nature was reflected in clothes, to which there is still an ambiguous attitude.

Michael respected oversize. He considered himself skinny. In the 80s, when Jordan was in college, his style did not stand out. He dressed like a normal student. Closer to the 90s, Michael changed, moving towards the oversized style that was gaining popularity – wide trousers, T-shirts and long jackets. Yes, loose clothing is one of the main symbols of that era, which continues to inspire designers today. There are no brands left on the planet that did not go oversize.

Jordan preferred oversized not because of fashion. “I have always been small, well, thin, to be exact. I hide [the body] with oversized clothes, fabrics that hang down. I always thought I had big feet. Baggy pants make legs look smaller,” Michael said in the 90s.

Oversized clothes accompanied Michael on the basketball court. Baggy shorts and a T-shirt with wide sleeves under the shirt was Jordan’s trademark. 

Baggy suits became the main element of Michael’s wardrobe. At that time, almost everyone wore them. But sometimes Michael chose just extra baggy models.

Michael approached the choice of costumes very responsibly. In his second year in the NBA, he met Chicago tailor Alfonso Burdi, who, at Michael’s request, reshaped suits to make them looser. Alfonso made 5-6 suits a week for a basketball player. Instead of the traditional shirt and tie, Michael sometimes wore a black turtleneck or T-shirt.

Jordan’s style receives discontent

Jordan’s clothing and imagery is admired, criticized or scathingly ridiculed. Tumblr had a very popular account, where they posted pictures of Michael’s different outfits with a hint of lack of taste.

Michael’s clothes may not please or cause laughter, but style is not synonymous with fashion, but an image that distinguishes a person from others, Jordan was really good at that.

Michael constantly sparkled in new suits, but more like an office worker. Nike design legend Tinker Hatfield (he designed the Air Jordan) believes the NBA revolution started with Michael.

In  2005, a dress code appeared at official NBA events: players were forbidden to appear in wide pants and shapeless T-shirts, wear bandanas, massive chains and other “gangsta-style” attributes. Attitudes toward this are starting to loosen under commissioner David Silver, but a clear line can be drawn from modern day style and expression through Allen Iverson, The Fab Five all the way back to Jordan and his often… risky fashion choices. The single hooped earring? That will always remain timeless.