Today, there are WAGs for every sport: baseball (Cameron Diaz, formerly Kate Hudson), basketball (Khloe Kardashian), football (Kim Kardashian), and even hockey. (Carrie Underwood, we're talking to you!)
The American invasion was led by one woman, the WAG Queen B – as in (Victoria) Beckham. When she decamped for L.A. with husband David in July 2007, she brought her soccer wife sensibility with her. The onetime Posh Spice has wowed style snobs from coast to coast.
"Though status dressing started with soccer wives, it's spread throughout now, and it really all started with Victoria Beckham," explains Nikki Pennie, the British stylist who's wrangled gowns for everyone from Madonna to Cat Deeley. "They're always on-trend but in a way that suits them."
But how to decipher the real deal from the hangers-on? According to celebrity stylist Ann Caruso, a frock jockey for Liv Tyler, Lucy Liu and Liz Hurley, there are three main categories of sporting wife style.
- "She is exactly like a 'Gossip Girl,'" says Caruso. "She always has the hair and make up done, she loves designer clothing and always wants to spend lots of money."
- Falling under this category at an international level would be English model Alex Curran who is the wife of soccer player Steven Gerrard and has been dubbed the "uber-WAG." Fellow Brit and popstar Jessica Taylor is considered the ultimate cricket WAG, as she is married to top player Kevin Pietersen. Handsome Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta has himself a model WAG in the form of Lorena Bernal.
- Stateside A-Rod's former former (former?) ex Madonna and Eva Longoria Parker riff off the same idea.
- She is more relaxed, confident and low key. She favors designer jeans rather than designer dresses, practices fresh-faced make-up and glossy, ad-worthy shampoo hair but is still body-conscious and bombshell-like.
- Gisele, Carrie Underwood, Hilary Duff, and the amorous A-Rod's current squeeze Diaz all fit the bill.
- "She is all trashy glamour – the too tight and too short moment," says Caruso.
- Embodying this aesthetic are none other than the curve-baring, mini-loving Kardashian sisters who are overly vampy and va-va-voom. Carmelo Anthony's main squeeze, MTV VJ La La Vazquez can also lay claim to this club.
#1: Have the "Right Stuff:"
- "It's all about big sunglasses, jeans that fit well, and the 'it' bag of the moment', says Caruso. (FYI - for fall she predicts the WAG bag will be the Jimmy Choo Tatum.) "They love to put on make up, have long hair, and feel very sexy. No way is this an androgynous, Agyness Deyn look. It's A little bit Jennifer Lopez." (No wonder she and Beckham are such close pals.)
- Pennie adds that this summer, trend-setting WAGs will be sporting one staple: ultra-short, denim hot pants, especially from J Brand. "They'll be wearing them shopping with flats and even in the evening with heels. I saw Gisele in New York running around in them, then the Kardashians and Cheryl Cole."
- All of them are known for pairing high and low-end pieces. "I know a lot of these sporting wives love 'Forever 21'," whispers Pennie. "And they mix things together – you'll see them in Topshop, Zara or Mango clothes and then they'll splurge on accessories like that must-have handbag. I personally will invest in accessories which I will live in and are timeless then buy the rest at Topshop."
- "It's about lifestyle. They go on vacation all the time, even if some are sun-conscious and put self-tanners on," continues Caruso. Think Saint Tropez, the West Indies, or even Costa Rica.
- Today labels from designer to discount are courting WAG endorsement: Longoria Parker and hubby/ b-baller Tony Parker) recently shilled on behalf of London Fog, the Kardashians are co-designing with BCBG (among tons of other licensing deals), and Beckham has a respected eponymous fashion line. The industry has embraced them as much as we have. "At the end of the day, these labels are selling clothes from their stores because of these women," says Pennie.