How The Soccer Kit Has Evolved
It appears as though the link between soccer and fashion is going from strength to strength. As more players look to broaden their business ventures, a never-ending conveyor belt of sponsored underwear and cologne ranges comes along with it. You can’t turn any corner of a department store without being greeted by David Beckham’s signature plastered all over some fancy packaging.
The players of yesteryear long for the way it was ‘back in their day,’ when men were men. They wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of pink Predators. Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, nets almost $30 million per year in endorsements. Who’s laughing now?
But what about on-pitch fashion statements? There aren’t an awful lot of ways to express your individuality when your job requires a uniform by nature. Perhaps that’s why the modern footballer is so extravagant. They’re thinking outside the box.
Take Mathieu Flamini, for example. He wasn’t even given the option of long sleeves or short sleeves. At Arsenal, tradition dictates that the rest of the team wears the same as the captain. And Flamini, bless his heart, really did not want to wear long sleeves. He improvised.
There are a few things that men generally get very wrong, and their matchday attire is one of them. It’s not a fashion parade. But with male grooming becoming increasingly popular, you don’t want to be the sports slob. We’re not saying you need to trim your eyebrows, but at least buy the right sized shirt. Take pride in your appearance, and take pride in your team.
The main area in which footballers can take ownership of their appearance is their hair, which is why we see so much of the weird and wonderful. The multi-colored mohawk. The timeless headband. Even the hair transplant. Think twice before you ask your barber for ‘The Abel Xavier’ though. Facial hair is optional but encouraged.
In a way, players have control over the boots they wear. Or at least they can choose whoever throws the most money at them. But there’s more to shoewear than just aesthetic value. They’re practical. Of course, unless you’re actually playing soccer, you have no use for studs. A quality pair of running shoes will suffice. Don’t bother with traditional retailers, you can find Nike runners online for a fraction of the cost.
Finally, the most important part of your outfit is, of course, the shirt. It’s what identifies you as your team’s supporter. But for the love of all that is holy, don’t be the guy that wears full kit. That is only for children and John Terry. What are some good rules of thumb to follow when picking up this season’s kits? As far as we’re concerned, Adidas is still top dog. Avoid Warrior like the plague, unless you want to look like the title screen of an Atari video game. If a situation does arise when full kit is acceptable, ensure your shirt is tucked elegantly into your shorts. Maximum style points. Just ask Scott Parker if you don’t believe us. Swoon.