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Football’s Effect On Fashion

Ellie is a Glasgow-based writer who loves to write about a variety of topics including travel, business, finance, DIY, beauty or fashion.


From everchanging kits to athletes and their brand deals, football has always been at the forefront of trends whether most realise it or not.

Football has long held its title as the world’s most influential sport with the world’s most passionate fans. With that comes the trendsetters, the players, the designers, even the personalities on the sideline - commentators and analysts.

Fans admire these big personalities, the younger fans do so to a point where they mimic what the players and biggest names in the industry wear.

From skinny jeans to oversized t-shirts these influencers come into the world of football for the love of the game and often inadvertently become icons.

So since football mania is in full grasp with the Euro 2021 tournament, why not have a look at some of the trends -good and bad- and see just how influential the world’s most popular game has been over the last few years.



A good place to start is hair. Football has been on top of the latest hair trends forever really.

Gareth Bale and his mighty top knot had teenagers across the U.K and Europe skipping their trips to the hairdressers for months, just to then clip the back and sides off.

Even old boys can get into the fun of it all. In 2010 my grandfather -then in his 60’s- grew a soul patch and coloured it in every morning because in his words “David Villa has one, I want to look like David.”

Convincing a man in his 60’s to grow out facial hair that is otherwise synonymous with the American Deep South at that time, now that’s influence.

Everyone wants to look like those who they look up to and because of that football players have a huge amount of power over what the masses do with their hair in the morning.

Here are some more iconic highlights; Zlatan Ibrahimović and his man bun, Ronald’s clean-cut combover, and we could even go all the way back to Gerry Francis and his spikey mullet… but let’s not.



Football can also affect the way we dress, not only with the kits that let us show what team we support but with the clothes the players wear too.

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David Beckham basically embodies brand fashion in football having worked for companies from Adidas to Armani.

He’s as much a model as he is a former football player nowadays. His platform has likely inspired tens of thousands of young people’s dress sense all through the naughties.

Tight-fitting jeans cuffed above the ankles? Baggy short-sleeved button-up shirts with wild patterns and designs on them? Fashion choices that even two years ago would have gotten some strange looks from the majority of people.

But when footballers do it -not even necessarily football players, anyone in sport’s public view- it becomes trendy. All of a sudden everyone is doing it.



People underestimate the power football has in what fans do and do not wear, and that's before you even get to the kits.

You don't just have home and away team kits that get updated every year anymore, there’s so much more with kits made for special occasions, legacy kits and retro kits to keep football fashionistas on their feet.

Retro kits, in particular, have blown up lately, there’s something that everyone seems to love about wearing football tops from days gone by combined with new jeans and sneaks.

The louder design with snowflakes and tie-dye patterns let fans wear their team kits while still wearing something a bit eye-catching and expressive.

Fans don't have to kit up in a team's official merchandise though, football fashion is widespread and offers opportunities for creatives all through the fashion industry.

The Euro 2020 tournament has led to new weird and wonderful fashion items, from premium boxer briefs that proudly display a team's logo to homemade football themed bracelets, there truly is something for everybody.

Football on almost all levels offers inspiration, whether it comes from the players or the designers behind the scenes, the waves of impact that football can have are a sight to see.

Whether you love or hate the sport you will have definitely seen trends that have started in football’s not-so-micro microculture, you may have even unknowingly jumped on a trend yourself that came from football.

So, what’s the next big streetwear trend? Keep your eyes on the Euros - you’ll probably find it there.

© 2021 Ellie Campbell

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