nerve-racking game of the season for Seahawks receiver Nate Burleson? Seattle's
Dec. 14 showdown with the 49ers. It wasn't the prospect of facing a division
rival that rattled him but rather how he would look when he took his weekly
pregame runway-style strut in front of his teammates in the locker room. The
6-foot, 192-pound Burleson, 25, has a custom-tailored suit in the colors of
each Seahawks opponent that he wears to each game, and as he surveyed his
brand-new red-and-gold, velvet 49ers number--with a butterfly collared
shirt--he thought to himself, It's kind of loud.
As it turned out,
results that day were mixed. The Seahawks, playing sloppily, lost the game, but
Burleson, in his teammates eyes, looked spiffy. "The suit was nice,"
says D.J. Hackett, another wide receiver and Seattle's self-appointed fashion
arbiter. "It wasn't as flashy as you'd think, for red velvet. It had taste
The idea for the
team-colored suits came last summer from Peter Roberti, a tailor at Adrian
Jules Custom Tailors in Rochester, N.Y., where Burleson began getting clothes
last year on the recommendation of former Vikings teammates Sam Cowart and
Keith Newman. "At first I thought, That's kind of extreme," said
Burleson of the suit-of-the-week plan. "But my wife [Atoya] said she liked
And so Burleson
showed up in a single-breasted four-button royal-blue suit for the Seahawks'
opener at Detroit. He sported a purple, sleeveless five-button suit for the
Oct. 22 game against Minnesota. For this Saturday's playoff opener against the
Cowboys, a matchup that was not set until Sunday, Roberti, who has about 75
clients in the four major team sports, had only three days to design and tailor
a suit in Dallas's blue and silver--not that the rushing ever shows. "He's
definitely got it going on," Seahawks corner Jimmy Williams says of
Burleson. "Very debonair. I'm impressed."
That kind of
response is why Burleson plans to continue the practice next season. "Every
weekend I get a compliment," he says. "I think I'm up there with the
best-dressed guys in the league." He's also the only Seahawk who's already
dreading next season's visit to Cleveland. Says the man who prefers vivid hues
to muddy earth tones, "I'm scared to play the Browns."
ON THE VIKINGS
"When you put
that on, you feel like you've got all the swagger in the world," says
Burleson. "It's got the matching top coat and the matching hat. It's a bit
much, but once you actually complete it and put it on--which takes me about 30
minutes--it looks good."
pizzazzy, snazzy one. I told [Roberti] when he was making my suits, I like to
attract a little attention, but I don't want to be that guy that everybody
looks at who's trying to do too much."