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Fashion is the goal for the Revolution's Jay Heaps

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This is the "going out" outfit the Style writer Christopher Muther chose for Rev's defensemen Jay Heaps.   Photo Gallery More photos

New England Revolution defender Jay Heaps is understandably nervous when it comes time for the bathing suit segment of a recent fashion shoot at Gillette Stadium.

‘‘I’m just going to throw on some trunks and a T-shirt, right?’’ he confirms in a slightly uneasy voice before changing into the next outfit.

This isn’t the first time that Heaps, a clotheshorse, recovering shopaholic, and the Revolution’s most prolific team member, has agreed to show off his style for the camera. The last time he slipped into a bathing suit for a fashion spread, Heaps discovered that his swimsuit was too petite for his taste. The Brazilian micro-trunks that he was asked to model for the Sports Illustrated for Women bathing suit issue were tailored to show an abundance of skin. Heaps, a compact and easygoing man, is accustomed to displaying a little leg in his line of work. But the trunks exposed a part of his thigh that normally doesn’t see sunlight.

‘‘I lost sleep for a month,’’ he recalls. ‘‘The photos looked terrible. But in the end it was fine. The pictures that they used weren’t too embarrassing.’’

These are the risks you face when you are one of Major League Soccer’s best-dressed players. The 29-year-old Heaps, perhaps the most down-to-earth bon vivant in Boston, is dressed for a laid-back, casual summer afternoon when he arrives for lunch at Les Zygomates a few weeks before the photo shoot. But a closer inspection of his jeans finds that the rinse is perfect and the boot cut falls in ideal proportion to the contour of his shoes. This is not a man who throws on any pair of Gap jeans and runs out the door.

‘‘He likes to shop more than I do,’’ says Heaps’s wife, Danielle. ‘‘He’s crazy when it comes to his jeans. They have to fit just so or he won’t wear them.’’

The Longmeadow native who has played for the Revolution for six seasons has slowly cut back on his jean habit. He’s even reduced his shoe collection, although he still harbors an unnatural predilection for two-tone bucks (Johnston & Murphy are his favorites). He credits Danielle with helping him to rein in his freewheeling retail ways, but a reduction in spending doesn’t equal a reduction in style.

‘‘There are some guys on the team who get really dressed up in suits for games,’’ says Heaps. ‘‘But they always look to me. I’m always coming up with something different . They’re looking to see what kind of shoes I’m going to have on and how the clothes go with the shoes.’’

Yes, soccer players check out each other’s wardrobes before their games. Heaps credits younger sister Katie with schooling him in how to assemble an outfit. Katie Heaps says her brother may have been occasionally teased in high school for his sartorial elegance, however, those who mocked his look would then emulate it.

But despite his fine-tuned sense of style, there is one pitfall that even Heaps can’t avoid.

‘‘It’s tough for soccer players to shop,’’ he says. ‘‘We talk about it in the locker room. Soccer players have big butts and big thighs. Seriously. It’s hard to find pants that fit.’’

WHERE HE SHOPS
National Jean Company, Newton

"Sometimes you end up with jeans that just don’t fit. But I like National Jean Company because they’ll make sure that your jeans fit right.’’

Brooks Brothers, Boston
I think of Brooks Brothers as where my dad would shop, but they’ve got some great suits. The tailor over there knows that I like my pants baggy, so he ended up pulling all the seams on my clothes so there’s a little more flow in them.’’

Afternoon at the beach T-shirt by Johnny Cupcakes, $35 at Johnny Cupcakes. Watch! by Officina del Tempo, $450 at Barneys New York. Bathing suit by Penguin, $52 at Uniform.

Night on the town Sunglasses by Emporio Armani, $170 at Solstice Sunglass Boutique. Hooded sweatshirt by Great China Wall, $990 at Riccardi. Dress shirt by Gucci, $495 at

Neiman Marcus. Tie by Marc Jacobs, $49 at Marc Jacobs.

Evening cocktail party Suit by Hugo Boss, $850, cardigan by Hugo Boss, $195, T-shirt !by Junk Food, $45. All available at Saks Fifth Avenue. Shoes by John Varvatos for Converse,

$95 at Neiman Marcus.

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