Once a year, the most beloved sports stars gather together to honor their own achievements and those of their peers at the ESPY Awards. This event is so exciting in part because of those honors, but also because we get to see all our favorite athletes dressed to the nines.
The 2017 ESPYs took place this past Wednesday, July 12th, in Los Angeles, California at the Microsoft Theater. Retired football star Peyton Manning hosted the event, often switching between coy, playful jokes with his monologues yet keeping the show serious when it needed to be.
With more than 30 awards presented to the top stars in the world of sports, the 25th ESPYs had a bit of everything. Whether you’re more into gymnastics, basketball, football, hockey, or even NASCAR and pro wrestling, the list of stars who showed up to this awards show was immense.
Since the 2017 ESPYs were about the achievements athletes made in 2016, much of the focus was rightfully on last year’s summer Olympics in Rio. The event had a ton of winners, from swimmer Michael Phelps to gymnasts Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, and Gabby Douglas, all of whom were at the show.
First, we’ll delve into some of the night’s biggest winners from this year’s ESPYs. Then we’ll get into the good stuff and talk about who sizzled on the red carpet.
And the Winners Are…
Here’s a list of some of the most prestigious victors at this year’s ESPYs:
• Best Female Tennis Player: Serena Williams
• Best Male Tennis Player: Rodger Federer
• Best WBNA Player: Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks
• Best NBA Player: LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers
• Best NHL Player: Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins
• Best MLB Player: Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
• Best NFL Player: Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers
• Best International Athlete: Usain Bolt
• Best Game: Patriots vs. Falcons at Super Bowl LI
• Best Record-Breaking Performance: Michael Phelps’ Swimming Olympian
• Best Female Athlete: US Gymnastics Olympian Simone Biles
• Best Male Athlete: Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder
There were several honorary award recipients as well. These include:
• Calgary Flames’ Mark Giordano (the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award winner)
• Vin Scully (the Icon Award)
• The Chicago Cubs for their World Series victory (the Best Moment Award)
• U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Israel Del Toro (Pat Tillman Award for Service)
• Jarrius Robertson (Jimmy V Perseverance Award)
• Eunice Kennedy Shriver (the Arthur Ashe Courage Award)
A Style Breakdown …
The stars came out to play in a big way for this year’s show. Athletes and non-athletes alike strutted their stuff on the red carpet. While we’re going to rank who looked best in this week’s Weekly Top 10, for now, let’s focus on who wore what, starting with the two big winners of the night and then focusing on other major names in the world of sports…
The tiny yet fierce athlete was bursting with pride at the ESPYs, as she well should be. Rising to prominence for her amazing five-medal winning streak at last year’s Olympic Games, she reflected on her experiences.
“Ever since Rio it has been an amazing year…” she said at the ESPYs. “I want to thank you all for believing in me.”
Biles looked every bit like Olympic royalty in a blue one-shouldered gown that hit just above her knees. The thick gold belt around her waist and the long angular train of the dress added a touch of elegance to her gold medal-worthy look.
Her simple silver jewelry and matching sparkly cut-out pumps didn’t grab too much attention, letting her dress shine. With simple hair and makeup, Biles was a winner on and off the red carpet.
Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star Russell Westbrook was declared this year’s big winner: The Best Male Athlete. He couldn’t have been more stoked, nor better dressed.
“It’s been an unbelievable journey for me…,” he stated while making some last-minute alterations to his unique outfit. “I want to make sure I look good first.”
Look good he did, stunning critics in a casual button-down short-sleeved black shirt that was unbuttoned to the navel (all the better to show off his large gold necklace). The shirt was loosely tucked into his forest green fitted trousers, which boasted a white waistband and thick stripes on either side.
Westbrook accessorized interestingly in loafers, rounded sunglasses, and an expensive watch on one wrist and a smattering of bracelets on the other.
Skiing star Lindsey Vonn sizzled in an all-black look. Part ice skater, part flapper, the gown featured a black strapless portion with a sweetheart neckline that was covered in glittery feathers. The chest, back, and arms were sheer, decorated with glittery symmetrical triangular details.
Vonn’s stick-straight ponytail, dark eye makeup, and black pumps made her look a bit somber, but this is a great look nonetheless.
Another female athlete sure to land atop many a best-dressed list for the night is Nastia Liukin. Her Zachary the Label red strapless gown fit her in all the right places, clinging at the hips and then splaying out at her feet.
The retired Olympian kept her accessories simple, slicking back her hair behind her ears and down her back so she could showcase her sparkly silver Kimberly McDonald drop earrings.
With her fellow NASCAR driver boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at her side, Danica Patrick was a presence on the ESPYs red carpet. Although the best-known female NASCAR driver didn’t take home any awards at this year’s show, she looked lovely in a white sleeveless skater dress with a modest V-cut and a layered hem.
Patrick kept her hair and makeup au natural (seriously, is she even wearing makeup?) and carried an uncomplicated silver box clutch. Our favorite part of this driver’s look? Her gorgeous gold pumps with circle details.
No ESPYs fashion roundup would be complete without mentioning Orlando Scandrick. He proved that men can wear a tuxedo in almost any color if they have the confidence! His fantastic pink shimmery two-piece tux was a standout in a sea of male athletes in black, gray, and navy blue.
Scandrick paired his brave tux with a white button-down shirt, black bowtie, textured black loafers, and round sunglasses. It may sound like a mishmash on paper, but trust us, it worked beautifully for the NFL star.
Few looks will divide critics more than WWE wrestler Nikki Bella’s ESPYs getup. The semi-retired wrestler is newly engaged to mega-star John Cena. She also recently started a clothing line called Birdiebee with her twin sister, former wrestler Brie Bella.
Nikki sported a look from her new collection at the ESPYs, and it was branded appropriately. Not as appropriate? Bella’s white sports bra-like zip-up crop top and roomy hammer pants (complete with white sports stripes down the sides).
Combining the look with black pumps and slicked-back hair, this athleisure getup at least looked comfortable.
Another Olympian who won it big last year was Aly Raisman. All eyes were on her at the ESPYs in her beautiful strapless black and silver gown. The shimmery silver bodice was heavily detailed and glittering, giving way to bunches of folded and draping black fabric. The moderate leg slit prevented this dress from becoming overwhelming on Raisman’s tiny frame.
The Olympian took the “less is more” approach to accessorizing, wearing a gorgeous glimmering choker, black pumps, some shiny rings, and a smile.
Not to be outdone by her Olympian gymnast friends, Gabby Douglas was also impressive on the ESPYs red carpet. Her dress certainly stood out from the ones Simone Biles and Aly Raisman respectively wore, as Douglas’ was much more form-fitting.
The white spaghetti-strapped floor-length number was punctuated with large black patterns in random patches throughout. Some portions of the gown were silky and others lacy. Douglas kept her hair and makeup simple, wearing a cute up-do with face-framing strands on either side.
Forget gowns! Ayesha Curry is all about the jumpsuit, and we couldn’t love her more for it. The wife of basketballer Stephen Curry, Ayesha nailed it on the red carpet in a long-sleeved, flared-legged beaded jumpsuit. The V-cut was somewhat daring but never inappropriate.
Ayesha kept the rest of her look simple, with a chain necklace, hoop earrings, and black pumps. She left her flowing blonde curls down and wore minimal makeup. This is a style win for sure!
Odell Beckham Jr.
Here’s a look that turned some heads, for better or for worse. Odell Beckham Jr. wore what can only be described as half a suit. The New York Giants wide receiver looked funky in a white suit jacket with three-quarter sleeves. The red lapel detailing matched his white and red t-shirt underneath. He also wore several chain necklaces, including one with a cross on it.
Then there were the bottoms, which cut off just above his knees like shorts. Beckham Jr. certainly plays by his own set of rules, that’s for sure!
In stark contrast to Odell Beckham Jr.’s unique red-carpet look was professional wrestler and TV star John Cena’s conservative style. He kept it old-school and refined in a simple tuxedo in a playful shade of blue. His white-button down and red and gray tie played nicely together, too.
Cena appeared most of the night by the side of his new fiancée Nikki Bella, so we understand why he opted for such a standard look. He probably wanted his future bride’s offbeat ensemble to be the star of the show, which is quite respectable.
Continuing with last year’s Olympic winners, Michael Phelps also rocked the red carpet. With his beautiful wife Nicole Johnson on his arm, the swimmer wouldn’t have had to try hard to look good. Luckily for us, though, he did put some effort into his outfit, which consisted of a pale gray plaid suit.
Phelps paired the interesting choice with a white button-down shirt and light golden tie. It was a little strange that he was wearing sunglasses on the red carpet, but they didn’t detract from his outfit, so it’s all good.
Giving the guys a run for their money was Shaun White. This snowboarding star and two-time Olympic winner may have been wearing just a black suit, but it was how he wore it that won him major style points.
With only a single button of his suit jacket secured and the top buttons of his white undershirt undone, White already looked effortlessly suave. His tinted sunglasses and slicked-back hair just sealed the deal.
Another WWE star who made an appearance at this year’s ESPYs was Mike Mizanin, also known as the Miz. The reality star/actor/wrestler showed up with his wife, fellow wrestler Maryse Ouellet, who looked stunning in a low-cut copper-colored gown.
Mizanin kept his look simple in a smart blue tux jacket with black silk detailing. His black button-down shirt, slacks, and shoes were matchy-matchy, so the touch of blue was a great decision.
There were all shades of blue worn by the guys at the ESPYs, so we couldn’t forget about P.K. Subban’s cool blue tux jacket. The Nashville Predators hockey star looked more like he was going to a summer picnic than a sports awards show in a teal blue and gray patterned jacket and matching button-down vest.
Still, we can’t fault Subban for his creative pick in clothes. His silver tie and light gray linen slacks certainly made him stand out, which is what the ESPYs are all about anyway.
Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye garnered plenty of attention at the ESPYs in his fun getup. Following in the footsteps of a lot of the male athletes’ fashion choices, Bouye donned a bright blue tuxedo jacket adorned with a black floral pattern throughout.
His simple black fitted slacks, bowtie, and shoes kept the look from being too loud. Bouye certainly had one victory at the event, and that was his outfit.
This was another love-it-or-hate-it look, this time courtesy of golfer Chelsea Pezzola. Her getup consisted of a white strapless bodysuit covered in a sheer mesh long-sleeved turtleneck gown. The thigh slit was excessively high, showing off Pezzola’s leg and some of her bodysuit.
Her glittery pumps were a good accessory choice, as was a simple partial updo. That said, we understand why this dress maybe won’t work in some people’s eyes. It’s a departure from the norm, and Pezzola deserves some accolades for taking the risk.
The 20-year-old gymnast Madison Kocian showed up to the ESPYs in a shorter dress than most. Her sparkly black glittery dress was adorned with many ornate details, including silver and gold fleur di lises and sparkly accenting.
The form-fitting but not skintight dress was an interesting choice for sure, but we thought it was a nice pick for the young athlete. Kocian’s towering black strappy shoes, pinned-back hair, and dangling silver earrings completed the ensemble.
Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen also deserves some kudos for her fashion choice at the ESPYs. Her sweeping blue floor-length gown was accentuated with encrusted silver accents across both shoulders and the waist.
We appreciate her nude-colored modesty panel. The barely-there thigh slit and narrow side-cutouts also kept this dress conservative. Arlen wore light makeup and a ponytail to finish her red-carpet look. We wish we could have seen more of her silver pumps, which looked quite pretty! Sadly, they were hidden by her dress.
That wraps up our coverage of the 2017 EPSYs. It certainly was another wonderful year full of fashion hits (and okay, a few misses, too). We already can’t wait until next year’s show to see what the stars will wear then!
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