STYLE STRENGTH: Clean and mean
BEST SHOT: Mustard-colored suits
George Foreman’s shaved head winks and grins and invites you in. Michael Jordan’s says “keep your distance. “But the exfoliated dome of Phoenix Sun Charles Barkley beams a different message: Bald is bad. I’m coming in anyway. In your face, sucker!
With Jordan hanging up his sneaks, Barkley, 30, who makes more than $3 million a year, may be the best player in pro basketball. He is already its premier bad boy—notorious for manhandling opponents and excusing himself; as a role model to kids in a Nike ad. Yet he might, well serve as a fashion example to fellow rounds ballers. “Charles loves things like a mustard suit with a polka-dot shirt,” reports agent Marc Perman. “He never wears ties.” And NBC sportscaster Marv Albert quips, “Charles is dressing better now that he stopped wearing Bud Collins’s hand-me-downs.” At 6’5″ and 260 pounds, Barkley can no more be covered by normal men’s stores than he can by defenders. He gets his suits special-made by Everett Hall, a Washington-based designer. For hanging out, he wears turtlenecks and jeans. On the court, of course, he wears a smirk. “Never been anyone like me,” said Charles. “Never will be.”