Muhammad Ali Was More Than a Fashion Icon (But His Style Packed a Punch)

Muhammad Ali, who died Friday at the age of 74, was known for his footwork in the boxing ring, his charm, his ego, and that killer smile. His style—specifically related to clothing—wasn’t one of the first things he’ll be remembered for. Unlike a lot of modern celebrities, there was just too much else of note about him. Substance outweighed style. And yet, what the man known as “the Greatest” chose to wear was always impeccable, whether that was white high-tops with red laces or a tuxedo with a slim bow tie.

Long before athletes made it part of their business and their brand to look fly, he automatically dressed like someone who knew all eyes were on him. In his prime, he wore sunglasses to press conferences, had a perfect flattop, and ripped the sleeves off his training sweatshirt (this was decades before every dude at Equinox thought to do that). His personality, skill, and willingness to stand up for what he believed in would have made him stand out no matter what. The shiny white satin trunks and the well-cut suits that made him look leaner than a 6-foot-3-inch, 240-pound man should were just a little something extra — and are just one of the many things we’re looking back on as we say goodbye to Ali, who, whether he was a butterfly or a bee, was always dapper. Check out his style in the slideshow above.