It's incredible to think that it hasn't even been two months since Michael Clarke retired from cricket. Yet the former Australian captain has lost none of the style that defined him throughout his sporting career. And what a career it was.
A century on Test debut (both at home and away). 28 Test centuries. Two World Cup wins. A four-time winner of the Allan Border Medal. Series victories across the world. Two memorable Ashes whitewashes. And then his annus mirabilis of 2012, scoring four double-tons in 12 months (including a 329 not out) enroute to 1595 Test runs for the year at a phenomenal average of 106.33.
He was a captain of intent and a player of outright talent. And it only made sense that success followed Clarke away from the wicket as well. The former Aussie skipper oozed a sense of style uncommon among elite athletes. He was (and still is) regarded as one of Australian sport's most stylish people.
In the comfort zone
Gone are the early days of the peroxide-blond hair, diamond earring, and visible tattoos. The current Clarke is a sharp suit-wearing, happily-married father-to-be. Like he usually did out in the middle, he has found what works for him and is happy with it.
"I think a lot of my likes have come from travelling around the world, playing cricket and seeing different countries, different styles," Clarke told 51698009 from Sydney's flagship Hugo Boss store. "I think I've probably just got a bit of a mixture of the different places that I've been lucky enough to travel to.
"I don't think I have a particular style. I've always enjoyed the dressing up part - wearing a beautiful suit. But also the casual - around the house or going to the beach, I don't mind that style as well."
It seems retirement hasn't blunted Clarke's quest for sartorial excellence. Whether it be pulling on a 'Made To Measure' Hugo Boss ensemble or the latest Hublot watch, the runs may have dried up but the style certainly hasn't.
"I enjoy the feeling of putting on a beautiful suit," Clarke says with a confident smile. "I think you notice the difference, you feel comfortable. And like a lot of things in life, if you feel good about it you really enjoy it."
Asked where he gets his influences or inspiration for his dapper dress sense, the one-time No.1 batsman in the world doesn't miss a beat.
"I think we're very lucky, in Sydney in particular, that you get to see and are around so much style. You pick up little tips everywhere you go."
It seems he hasn't lost a bit of that competitive edge that made him such a fighter on the field.
"I think Sydney leads the way in this country for style."