Fashion offers creative outlet in the professional world

Henry Schleizer, co-opinions editor

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I’m back. A year ago, my first article about fashion came out. Other than the fact that I’ve started wearing more sneakers instead of boots and started wearing more maroon, nothing has changed. However, this year, the roots of my fashion choices became more and more evident.

I really love sports broadcasting, and the world of sports journalism is filled with vibrant personalities. Being a ride or die sports fanatic for basically as long as I have been alive, I grew up watching uber colorful personalities like the late Craig Sager, Ernie Johnson and many more. Not only are Sager and Johnson some of the most respected and professional broadcasters in the business, they both found unique ways to carve out things that people would affiliate them with. That was fashion. Sager with blazers and suits even more colorful than his personality, and Johnson with bowties.

Since I was exposed to sports, I knew I wanted to be a broadcaster. I wanted to be behind the mic, I needed to create my own cutout. I wanted to wear the fun suits, and wear the clothes that Craig Sager wore. I wanted to take pride in the small details of the outfit like Ernie Johnson. What I discovered was that fashion has the power to build your personality to a whole new level.

I first took notice of the attention that my clothes caused this fall. As I walked up to the press box above John Davis Stadium, I don’t know who said it, but somebody blurted out, “Nice blazer Schleizer!” I like to think that was a compliment, but even if it wasn’t, that phrase reassured the idea that fashion really does make a difference. Not only did it force somebody to take notice, but it made them feel something. Whether that was a compliment or a sarcastic insult, it made that person pay attention, and if nobody is critiquing or noticing you, you are doing something wrong.

Throughout high school, I have had a specific sense of style that I have stuck by. The Sager influence from when I was young resonates, as I love vibrant colors. Specifically, for anything that requires me to look professional, I am going to have a bit of fun. That means lots of colors, and no black suits.

What this has done for me has gone beyond just trying to look nice. My fashion has helped me build my brand. It has given me an extra confidence boost in the booth, and it has also allowed me to spread my name around a bit. The doors that my fashion choices have helped open are ones that I never could have imagined. Most importantly, the clothes I wear when I broadcast have turned into part of the picture that defines who I am as a journalist.

I never got to meet Craig Sager. If I could ever tell him anything, I would thank him. I would thank him for not being afraid to be himself and showing that through his clothes, because that inspired me to be who I was not just in the booth, but anywhere. I can still meet Ernie Johnson, but if I don’t ever get the chance to say it in person, thanks for showing me what self expression is, Ernie. You have no idea how much it has affected me.

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