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Why was Odell Beckham Jr. dressed like that at the Met Gala?

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Odell Beckham Jr. arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6 in New York.
(Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images)

Odell Beckham Jr. went a bit on the conservative side the last two times he attended the Met Gala, wearing what GQ described as “a pair of handsome tuxes.”

That doesn’t sound like the OBJ we know and love.

This year, the Cleveland Browns receiver made much more of a fashion statement at the annual event Monday in New York, wearing a Thom Browne designer tuxedo with cutoff sleeves and a black, pleated kilt that’s a little longer in back than in front. He completed the look with a black baseball cap and black platform high tops.

Now that’s more like it.

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“The bagpipes didn’t make it in,” Beckham joked to former New York Giants teammate Saquon Barkley, who was an inspiration of sorts for Beckham’s wacky outfit.

Beckham spoke with GQ at his fitting the day before the gala. He talked about winning multiple championships with his new team, his plan to turn the Browns “into the new Patriots” and how second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield is going to be a Hall of Famer.

But the primary focus was fashion. Beckham initially planned to wear shorts with his tuxedo and even had one of Browne’s tailors cut his pant legs during the fitting. But then he started talking about how Barkley had decided to wear shorts as well, and another plan seemed to form.

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GQ wrote: “Even as his pants are transformed into shorts, revealing his Michael Jackson and tiger leg tattoos, Beckham looks longingly at the kilt. Maybe it’s a bit of competition with his old teammate, or just that familiar OBJ risk-taking, but either way, he pulls it from the rack and gives it a long stare. He’s grinning.”

Before Beckham commits to the kilt, though, the tailors start making some changes to the tux, apparently at the three-time Pro Bowler’s request. “We’ve never cut the sleeves off for anyone before,” an employee told Beckham, according to GQ. “Thom wanted you to know that.”

Then he tried on the kilt and decided to go for it. “I just have too much confidence,” Beckham said. “There’s nothing you can say that’s going to hurt my feelings.”

Seems like he pulled off the look quite nicely. He stood out when pictured side by side with Barkley ...

… and even garnered a comparison to a “Major League” legend.

Browne told GQ, “I’m really excited he decided to wear the pleated skirt because it expresses his confidence in being a true individual.”

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That’s definitely true, although Beckham made sure to tell Barkley at the gala, “It ain’t a skirt!”

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii


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