If you ever need evidence that you can throw “core” at the end of any word and make it a trend, then fashion meme pages on social media are a good place to start. And this year, the web-manufactured micro-trend they have been peddling is “bloke-core.”
The uniform of adidas sneakers, blue jeans, and a football shirt, which is apparently worn by all “blokey” football fans in the United Kingdom, had become solid gold fashion inspiration. It proved something that football fans, especially those across Europe and the UK, have known for years: Football shirts can be beautiful.
London’s seemingly endless array of independent designers have been mining this inspiration for years: Martine Rose, Liam Hodges, Ahluwalia, paria /FARZANEH, Robyn Lynch, Wales Bonner, Alyssa Marie Groeneveld — they’ve all been at it. But now the big fish are starting to take note.
Balenciaga has been making headlines for its hyper-ironic versions of football shirts. Louis Vuitton’s Equipe polo shirt borrows its design template from classic kits of years gone by. And Yohji Yamamoto even designed Real Madrid’s fourth kit with his adidas Y-3 sublabel.
From high fashion to streetwear to, well, actual football shirts, we’ve compiled some of the best-looking strips from this season to see how they compete.
Over the years, Martine Rose’s fictional football team has had countless kits, each with a different twist. This one is literally twisted, with the sky blue and white stripes reminiscent of Coventry City’s 2000-01 home shirt veering off to one side. Once again, Rose’s expertise in making something exciting from the everyday is on full display.
When you see yellow and black stripes on a shirt, then you know it’s probably one from Borussia Dortmund. Countless teams play in blue or red, but PUMA keeps true to BVB’s bumblebee colors on this shirt for the new season. Bayern Munich may continue to dominate the Bundesliga, but when it comes to having the best kits in Germany’s top league, BVB takes the No. 1 spot. Plus, this one gets extra points as the replica version is made from 100 percent recycled polyester.
Of all the jerseys here, this is probably the worst option for a round on the pitch. A tight-fitting knit with a ’90s-style football shirt added through trompe l’oeil might not be the most practical for a game of five-a-side. But what it lacks in sweat-wicking technology, this shirt more than makes up for with looks. Part of Robyn Lynch’s FW22 collection, the designer took her dad’s Dublin football shirts from the 1990s and early 2000s and scanned them to create the collection’s prints.
Supreme’s relentless weekly product drops have seen the brand put its own spin on pretty much every type of sports apparel, not least of all football. For FW22, it has released an ode to Club Alianza Lima, a Peruvian side founded in 1901 — making it the oldest team to currently be playing in the country’s top division. It’s a niche reference that only a real football nerd will spot immediately.
You might find yourself recognizing the “Panorama” sponsor printed at the center of this spoof football shirt by Études, and that’s because it’s a riff on the Panasonic logo. This jersey might be lacking the breathability needed for a real football shirt, but it does a good job of disguising itself as one.