Lightning’s style of clothing ushers in a new era of NHL style – The Athletic

TAMPA, Fla. — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but he had an older sister, Aurore-Annick, and older sisters have a way of making things happen no matter the obstacles. On Bellemare’s 18th birthday, Aurore-Annick decided she needed a makeover.

“She said, ‘All right, enough of your style,’” recalled Bellemare, now center for the Tampa Bay Lightning. “Remember I had long hair for 18 years of my life. There are no pictures and people have no idea…but I grew up with long hair. And my big sister is eight years older than me. She said, ‘Okay, that’s enough.’ She took me to a place (to get my hair cut) She bought me a bunch of turtlenecks and some fancier stuff.

“I remember coming back to school and everyone was like, ‘Oh my God, you look so good now!'”

Bellemare had had a “secret” interest in fashion growing up, but he knew he was lucky for all the clothes his family could afford. He was born in the south of France and his single mother raised four children, which meant that even his hockey equipment was modest.

Bellemare’s budget grew when he started playing professional hockey in Sweden, and his fashion sense blossomed.

“The fashion is pretty high there,” he says. “There’s less judgment about what you wear – for men, in particular.”

Bellemare was very proud to bring back heaps of clothes from Sweden as Christmas presents for his sisters. He developed an eye for size and fit – or so he thought. During his first year in the NHL, he received a warning shot. He wore a suit with skinny pants and no socks.