Cristiano Ronaldo is not one for subtlety. On the field, he’s known for outrageous moves and free-kicks that arc like meteors. Off the field, he rocks fashion-forward looks that few others could pull off, like the blue python-skin jacket he brought for this shoot.
But there is a method to his brashness. His bold play intimidates opponents, and his bold style exudes assertiveness. “The most important thing is wearing what helps you feel confident,” says Ronaldo, whose favourite designers include Dsquared2 and Dolce & Gabbana. “Wear what you like, not what fashion dictates. I try to be true to myself. Of course, your style changes and evolves. It becomes more refined as you get older, but your taste remains the same.
“One thing that is very important to me now is quality. I like clothes that have been well made and use top-quality materials. I have always liked colours – and still do.” That approach extends to his new underwear line, CR7, which uses a blend of 95 per cent cotton and 5 per cent Lycra. Some styles feature 100 per cent microfibre. “When I get dressed, I like to feel good from the first thing I put on to the last,” he says. “Foundations are very important.”
To launch the line, Ronaldo teamed up with New York City designer Richard Chai and Danish boutique brand JBS, which has 75 years of experience making underwear. Richard, who founded his own label and has also collaborated with Filson and Original Penguin, wanted to create something uniquely Ronaldo – sporty, bold, creative. So he travelled to Spain and watched Ronaldo’s club, Real Madrid, play against Sevilla. “Cris scored a hat-trick in a wild 7-3 win. That’s the energy and athleticism I want the brand to explore,” says Richard.
In the CR7 collection, you’ll see bright colour blocks, sporty designs, dynamic prints and technical details, like contrast bindings and ombre shading on the waistbands.
“The average guy wants more than just basics now,” says Richard. Some of it is practical: You should wear trunks or briefs with skinny jeans or Euro-cut chinos. But underwear is also another way to express your style,” he adds. “You could be wearing a conservative suit with a bold pair of trunks underneath.” Steal these other tips to score still more accessory points.
Tip #1: Belief Bling
Ronaldo has often been spotted wearing a rosary-bead necklace. Donning jewellery that holds spiritual or personal meaning, whether it’s religious or nostalgic – like a memento from a trip – is one way to express your personality, says Megan Collins of the men’s fashion website Style Girlfriend. “Women wear baubles that hold no sentimental attachment at all; they simply add interest to an outfit. But men wearing accessories for accessories’ sake is still taboo. Accessories with a backstory always score extra style points.”
Tip #2: Steve Jobs 2.0
Apple’s late head honcho wore a daily uniform of jeans and black mock turtleneck – an example of finding your look and sticking with it. But an upgrade to that approach is to find a look you like and then purchase it in every colour. This approach works for jeans, chinos, jackets, shoes and sneakers alike. Ronaldo extends it to aviator-style sunglasses. He sports classic metal frames as well as white and red plastic versions. “Whatever makes getting dressed well in the morning easier,” Megan says.
Tip #3: Wabi Sabi Wrist Candy
Wabi sabi is a Japanese expression that refers to the beauty in imperfections. Ronaldo, a brand partner with Tag Heuer, has a big-time watch collection. To balance the perfect movements, precise numbering and shiny metal, he often wears a simple leather bracelet. “If you’re rocking a chunky watch, then you need to contrast it on your other wrist,” advises Megan. “You don’t want your jingling jewellery to make an entrance before you do.”