“WHO ARE YA? WHO ARE YA? WHO ARE YA?” Are you the type of man who can pull off the trend for vintage football shirts? Or do they just leave you looking like the average geezer watching a match daan the boozer?
I pose this question because I see that there are now more and more specialist shops and websites selling match-worn rarities going back several decades and setting you back several hundred quid. The scene feels like it could well go the way of trainers – with lots of scope for collecting, trading and investing. And, of course, plenty of opportunity to follow the example of the “sneakerheads” and pay insane amounts of money for something that someone else has already sweated in.
This taste for vintage football shirts has surely surfed in on the wave of retro sportswear. It fits right in with all those oversized ‘80s and ‘90s sweatshirts and outlandish windbreakers that now complement the undercuts and curtains. The general trend and the nostalgia it brings with it is all good fun; but what about this sub-trend for footie kit? Is this something for a stylish chap to dabble in? Or is it all a bit too much polyester?
Well, to help us weigh this one up, let’s return to that importunate question with which we kicked things off. “WHO ARE YA?” This is more than just a celebrated taunt of the terraces; it is, in fact, a question that lies right at the heart of all menswear and men’s style. The relationship between a man and his wardrobe is all about identity, isn’t it? We don’t just judge clothes on their cut and colour, do we? When we decide if we like a garment or not, we’re also taking account of its cultural associations and how we fit in with them. Whether it’s pulling off a classic football shirt or a bright red pair of chinos, who you think you are and how you want to be defined is critical....
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