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Whether you call Henrik Lundqvist a National Hockey League (NHL) all-star, Olympic gold medalist, the best goalie on the globe or the finest fashionisto in the world of hockey, you’D be right.

The New York Rangers star and Vezina Trophy winner, who called White Plains home during his 2005 rookie season, has dazzled with his masterful butterfly style of tending net and record-breaking saves. But his style off the ice has caught many an appreciative eye as well.

Though he dons the Rangers’ bold red, white and blue in the rink, about town he sports far more elegant fare. Lundqvist calls it “well-dressed with an edge.” His closet is lined with collections by the top names in men’s fashion – Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Prada and Tiger of Sweden.

“I love long coats and ties,” he says. “That’s probably what I buy the most.”

But this native Swede wasn’t bred well dressed. Indeed, he says he didn’t give two cents about style until his teen years. Now 30 and at the top of his game – in vocation and in vogue – Lundqvist opts for outfits that make the man.

“I just like wearing clothes that I feel comfortable in and that I can express myself in,” he says.
Today, it’s sharp dark suits and bright white shirts pressed against classic, solid ties. The clothing only complements a complete set of tall, dark and handsome topped with deep blue eyes and a trim, dashing beard. To this reported perfectionist, who likes every stitch in place, an ideal fit trumps a brand name any day.

“For me,” he says, “it’s more important to have a great feel and fit than to have the right brand. When I look at clothes that’s what I look for.”

It’s a style sense that catapulted him to fashion recognition as Sweden’s Best Dressed in 2004 – an honor he never saw coming.

“That surprised me a lot,” he says with a laugh. “I don’t see myself as a great dresser.”
Yet the man makes even his tie clip look like a million bucks.

The key, he says, is confidence – a confidence that stems from a deep sense of self.

“When I wear something that I really like, it makes me feel confident. Sometimes I can wear something that’s not me, or I just don’t like it and that can make me feel uncomfortable. But for the most part, I feel good about my clothes.”

So does the fashion world. After his recognition as a Swedish style icon, People named him one of the “World’s 100 Most Beautiful People” in 2008 and Page Six Magazine deemed him one of the “Top 25 Best Dressed” that same year.

That’s more than could be said for many athletes, much less hockey players. While several NFL sports stars shine with fine fashion and blinding bling, most NHL pros sit on the other end of the spectrum of style sophistication.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Lundqvist says. “A lot of hockey players just don’t care about how they dress. They just want to be comfortable. I respect that, but sometimes I think as a group we could try a little harder.”

For those who aim to heighten their own sense of style – and perhaps boost their own confidence to boot – Lundqvist says no need to delete comfort from the closet. Rather, start by selecting styles suited to you, from personality to waistline.

“Try to figure out what you like, who you are. You need to be comfortable in your clothes to make them look good. But every man should have a black suit and a white shirt in his closet. Start there.”
And hold on to your well-fitting jeans, he adds, but be selective – even sparing – with T-shirts. To take a page from Lundqvist’s book, try a dress shirt with contrast collar.

“Sometimes I throw a T-shirt in the mix but not often,” he says.

If opting for a T-shirt, try one of Lundqvist’s designs from his Crown Collection. Proceeds from the fan-focused line support Garden of Dreams, a nonprofit charity that helps kids facing obstacles realize their ambitions.

No self-inspired formal wear in the collection yet, but time will tell. More Lundqvist looks could only be a good thing.

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