Find out how the Seattle Storm guard’s style has changed since he entered the league in 2002.
After a thrilling run of WNBA Semi-Finals, the Seattle Storm suffered a loss to the Las Vegas Aces. As the team’s star players begin to plan their offseason, the entire league bids farewell to goaltender Sue Bird. With players wearing retro jerseys, everyone celebrates the legend and her 21-year career. Bird has been a star player since entering the league in 2002 – she has played in 13 WNBA All-Star Games, 5 Olympic competitions and set new records each season. In Bird’s legacy, she also led the charge in making the league cooler by bringing a more street-inspired style each season.
A student of Bird’s style, she’s instantly recognizable on the pitch for her long, slicked-back brunette hair, which has been the player’s signature since her teenage years. The evolution of Bird’s supremely confident approach to pre-game fashion improves with each season in the league and reflects important aspects of Bird’s personal life, such as when she was officially released in 2017. Fans can look back on Bird’s style to understand his departure from traditional styles and his journey to find his true swag through powerful androgynous styles, eye-catching patterns and rare pairs of sneakers.
2002: Sue Bird entered the league with the Seattle Storm as the first overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft. Attracting attention in her college career while playing for the University of Connecticut, Bird had a clear sense of how she wants to present herself as a professional athlete. Bird wears popular fashion trends from the early 2000s with asymmetrical tops, crinkle cotton basics and striped patterns. Although Bird had tied his hair for games since his teenage years, his hair was generally shorter in his early seasons in the league.
2004 : After competing in his first Olympic Games in 2004, Bird is off to a solid season with the Seattle Storm. While battling to advance to the WNBA Western Conference Finals, she broke her nose in the first half blocking Minnesota’s Teresa Edwards. Bird decides to play the first two games against the Sacramento Monarchs while wearing a face mask to protect his broken nose. To show their support, fans wear nose bandage stickers that say “Sue Bird” and create an epic fan-style moment.
2007: Bird first played for Russia on Dynamo Moscow in the 2004–05 WNBA offseason and returned to the same team for the 2005–06 offseason. She helps her team reach the Russian championship and the EuroLeague women’s qualifiers. Back in Russia for the 2006-2007 offseason, Bird played for the Spartak Moscow team with Diana Taurasi. Bird’s frequent stints in Europe add an urban edge to her style, and she’s seen in faded jeans and embellished graphic tees.
2010: The Seattle Storm win their second WNBA championship title with Bird’s help on the team. Bird also helped his team win the FIBA World Cup, fueling fan enthusiasm for the legendary guard. Bird’s 2010 style includes jeans, but she’s starting to pair them with more mature tops like cardigans and button-up shirts. She wears heels after winning the championship and also stays comfortable in Toms during pre-game moments. Her signature accessories include a watch with a brown leather strap and ultra-sleek tied-back hair.
2013: After an impressive win at the 2012 Olympics, Bird decided to sit out the 2013 WNBA season due to upcoming knee surgery. The Seattle Storm is forced to play her first full season with Bird, but she manages to cheer her team on from the sidelines. Bird is starting to get more experimental with her wardrobe, introducing bright white jeans and strappy sandals. During these years, Bird’s wardrobe includes lots of brown colors and a neutral color palette. After wrapping up a tour of Europe, it looks like Bird can make any sports uniform super cool.
2015 : 2015 marks Bird’s 13th season as a Seattle Storm guard and her 9th WNBA All-Star appearance, signaling her growing legacy as a player. Bird keeps her wardrobe fairly simple, returning to pairs of neutral-colored skinny jeans, plain cotton tops and pairs of high-top Converse sneakers. In addition to a longer hairstyle, Bird is introducing blazers into her pre-game outfits, which is a precursor to the over-the-top blazers she’s been wearing this season.
2018: Bird suffers another broken nose after being accidentally hit in the face with teammate Breanna Stewart’s elbow, bringing Bird’s masked look back into the game. Off the court, Bird begins incorporating leather jackets , varsity jackets and brightly colored graphic tees, all of which are elements of his current style. Throughout the season, Bird is also seen in several pairs of the new OFF-WHITE x Nike trainers, like this pair of black Zoom Fly trainers. Her style is also beginning to push towards modern and androgynous styles instead of following conventional fashion trends.
2019: Prior to the announcement of Bird’s engagement to Megan Rapinoe in 2020, she made frequent appearances with the football powerhouse by her side. Bird begins to wear more pairs of Nike Dunks, Nike Blazers and other sneakers in his growing collection. Missing part of the season after undergoing another knee surgery, his off-court fashion is starting to incorporate an even sportier edge with classic track jackets and patterned tops. It’s hard to imagine Bird without all the eye-catching designs that have defined his best pre-game looks over the past few seasons.
2021: Bird is increasing its presence at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by becoming the flag bearer for Team USA. As COVID-19 regulations increase, Bird becomes one of the first players to incorporate masks in a stylish way that color coordinates with each of his pre-game looks. While it’s unconfirmed if Bird was working with a stylist during the 2021 season, she quickly cemented her reputation as one of the most forward-thinking players in the league. She incorporates rare sneakers, funky colors and designer brands like Gucci and CELINE into her wardrobe.
2022: Partnership with stylist Courtney Mays, Bird found his best style in his final season with the Seattle Storm. She started going viral online for her head-to-toe outfits in unusual patterns, dramatic color blocking and oversized structured blazers. Throughout the season, her must-have accessory becomes tinted sunglasses. His sneakers have become even rarer as more and more media outlets start paying attention to Bird’s growing reputation. After winning four WNBA championships, Bird helped the Seattle Storm advance to the semifinals in his final season.
WNBA reporter Kirsten Chen writes a lifestyle and fashion column for WNBA.com throughout the season and can be reached on Twitter via @hotgothwriter. The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the WNBA or its clubs.