If there’s one thing cooler than supporting the plucky underdog, it’s being associated with massive, never-ending, state-funded, corporate-behemoth success. Nothing says “get out of my way, little guy, I’m taking this right to the top!” like a sleek Real Madrid top. Ideal for power-lunches.
Stylist Will Barnes says: “This is a classy top. The lack of design elaboration means the Adidas branding and club crest become the details, a strong piece of minimalist design.”
It’s the shirt Diego Maradona wore when he became a legend in Italy. The footballing equivalent of the sword St George used to slay the dragon or the trousers Oliver Reed repeatedly soiled while drinking himself to death. Look at that Mars logo. Look at it. Glorious.
Will says: “Proof that all a football shirt needs is a non-ridiculous collar and a sponsor with a great font. Simple, elegant and evocative of a time when football still had a soul.”
Can you hear that, friends? The faint sound of hooves at a gallop, drawing closer. And borne aloft on the horse’s back it’s… football! It’s coming home! It’s really coming home!
Will says: “This is basically what people see when they close their eyes and think ‘England kit’. A powerful, totemic piece of sporting merchandise.”
As a rule British people are funny looking and tepid in temperament. Argentinians on the other hand are devastatingly good-looking like Dani Osvaldo and also straight-up terrifying like Walter Samuel. We’d do well to embody those kind of qualities. Thanks to this absolutely legendary shirt we can.
Will Barnes: “Vertical stripes are thinning, which is probably why Diego Maradona liked them so much. I don’t normally like round crew necks but it really works here.”
Sometimes you just have to make a statement. And next Friday that statement should be “I’m down with niche Italian football teams and understand that hyper-gaudy 90s design is very much back on trend.”
Will says: “This shirt feels like the weird modern art prints displayed on the walls of my local McDonald’s. But in a good way.”
You sit down. Everyone at the table’s looking at you. They’ve clocked it. “What’s the shirt, mate?” You raise one eyebrow, coyly. “Scotland…” They exchange confused glances. “1990…” Gasps. “Away.” You sup your pint in the stunned silence. “It’s… nice,” they say. “Really nice.” Being smugly esoteric is objectively terrible, but it feels oh so good.
Will says: “This kit is amazing. There’s so much going on there isn’t even a logical place to start. It’s almost like the designer of this kit couldn’t decide which of their three designs they liked best so put them all on one top.”
St Pauli are LGBT-friendly, anti-corporate, have-a-go-heroes whose supporters campaign on progressive issues and fundraise for worthy causes. Wearing this is like sewing a right-on patch to your bag, only it’s a football shirt, so it’s actually cool.
Will says: “This shirt was made to be accessorized with a bleached mullet and a porn-tache, anything less and you’re not doing it justice. Everything about this thing is wrong and weirdly, it makes it strangely right.”
A safe choice. You could wear this extremely tasteful shirt to a BBQ or one of those attendance-is-mandatory corporate trust-building weekends and no one would bat an eyelid.
Will says: “One word sums this kit up: Silky. England’s kit designers should take a long hard look at this and take some influence. The flag sleeve detailing is inspirational.”
An international festival of light
Dinner in a decommissioned 1967 underground carriage
Half-price brunch and a HUGE fried chicken burger