Here’s Why Jake Arrieta and J.J. Watt Wear the Same Brand of Dress Shirt

Mizzen+Main adds another stylish athlete to its bench

Life is good for Jake Arrieta these days. The famously bearded Chicago Cubs pitcher not only boasted an earned run average of 0.75 after the 2015 All-Star break, but he also took home the National League Cy Young Award following the season. He also has some really nice shirts in his closet at home—as a new video that just hit the web makes clear. (Scroll down to watch it.)

The two-minute promo is for Mizzen+Main, an apparel brand with something of a cult following among professional athletes. "Jake is a longtime customer and friend," company founder and CEO Kevin Lavelle told Adweek. "Ian Desmond of the Washington Nationals introduced Jake to Mizzen+Main in early 2014, and he's been wearing the brand ever since."

Lavelle's got the sort of problems most marketers would kill for. Over 200 professional athletes wear the shirts he makes—not because he pays them to but because the jocks dig them. Mizzen+Main combines high-tech performance fabric with traditional styling to create a $125 dress shirt that wicks away sweat, doesn't wrinkle and flexes with the wearer's movement. It goes without saying that dudes with torsos bigger than some home refrigerators would take to such a garment.

Mizzen+Main's popularity with big-name athletes has historically been a word-of-mouth thing. As recently as last summer, Lavelle didn't have enough in the kitty to pay for a big-name endorsement deal. Instead, he took to social media to publicize pros he noticed were wearing his threads. But things are clearly looking up for the four-year-old brand. Mizzen+Main signed Houston Texans' 6-foot-6, 290-pound defensive end J.J. Watt last year. Now it's Arrieta's turn to play.

In the video (shot by JerSean Golatt with photography by Richard Ross), Arrieta talks about his wife and kids, his pitching, and generally struts around looking like his attractive self. (Arrieta made Fox Sports' list of best-looking players a few years back.)

What's interesting is that the pitcher doesn't mention the brand at all. That omission was deliberate.

"Mizzen+Main has never been about prominent or aggressive branding," Lavelle said. "This is something that sets us apart from other brands, especially ones that work with athletes. It's more about showing some Main Men in their elements and how Mizzen+Main fits in their lives."

Lavelle said that his shirts are going to be fitting more lives pretty soon: videos starring CrossFit champ Jason Khalipa and tennis pro John Isner in the coming weeks.