We need to talk about the bad suits at the Brownlow

It's now a couple of days after the AFL's night of nights and while much has been written about the "gownlow", the men have escaped largely unscathed.

With the exception of , the anonymous Facebook blogger, having a crack at Essendon's Dyson Heppell and North Melbourne's Ben Brown to "do ya hair", little has been written about the suits worn by players on the night.

It's understandable when, for the most part, they are black, off-the-rack and of your stock-standard tux variety (Jason Johannisen's checked get-up notwithstanding). It's a bit like trying to find a new angle on Derby Day each year (It's hot! It's cold! Everyone wore black ... and white!).

But here's the thing: unlike many of the beautiful gowns, most of the suits were ill-fitting and, frankly, boring as hell.

Fit blokes, ill-fitting suits

There were lapels jutting out at weird geometric angles, jackets that barely buttoned up and pocket linings visible through pants, a sure sign that the thighs are too big for the britches.

I get that footballers have muscular, and therefore not standard sized, bodies.

I get that football is demanding, time-consuming and that fashion may not be your forte, or even in your top 10 on the "to-do" list.

But, gentlemen, the date of the Brownlow is fixed each year. It doesn't just spring up. And going to see the suit guy at 10am on Brownlow Monday just doesn't cut it when the pressure on the wives and partners is stratospheric.

From what I am told, AFL players are also paid pretty handsomely: enough to have a decent suit tailored. You can even wear it again, year after year, like Marc Murphy, who wore his Calibre wedding suit from two years ago and looked pretty good – because it actually fit.


Max Gawn joked on the red carpet to my 3AW colleague Donna Demaio that his Brownlow preparation consisted of "growing his beard for a couple of hours".

Stand-out looks

There were some exceptions. Nathan Jones looked dapper in white MJ Bale - a feat made all the more noble having come off a losing preliminary final not 48 hours earlier. And Joel Selwood got my three votes in BOSS, which dressed several "high profile" (that is good looking, well behaved) players.

If Scott Pendlebury, who was still at training – for the Grand Final – at 3.30pm, still managed to look like a boss in BOSS, then the rest of the guys had no excuse.

The point is, there is a high level (some say too much) scrutiny on what the women wear but very little on the blokes. It's time the tables turned a little, out of respect for the women if not for their players themselves.

After all, many of the women tan, facial, wax and preen for weeks before the big day to look and feel good. Many of them are not there for any other reason than to support their partner. The least the blokes can do in return, despite their obvious efforts on the field all year, is get a suit that fits.