Whether you used to play football yourself or are a seasoned Football Manager legend who has taken a non-league outfit to consecutive Champions League titles, you’re probably aware of the adage that “there are two types of managers: those that wear suits and those that wear tracksuits.”

And while that probably rings true when it comes to management styles, it doesn’t quite cover the eclectic types of touchline drip we’ve come accustomed to over the years. Just as managers switch up the tactics based on their opposition, they may have a different outfit for different occasions. Rainy Tuesday night in Stoke? Keep it cozy, kitted out in a matching tracksuit. European nights at the Santiago Bernabeau? Fix up, look sharp in a three-piece suit. So varied is the football manager’s wardrobe, that I’d even venture so far as to say they have the best style in all of sports — hands down.

Most legendary managers have a go-to look they have become known for over the years. Think Italian managers in inch-perfect, tailored suits or British managers that look like they just raided the club’s gift shop (Tony Pulis, I’m looking at you). Overall, though, there are five major archetypes when it comes to touchline style.

The Tracksuit Manager

football-manager-style-roundup-02
Getty Images / Alex Livesey
football-manager-style-roundup-11
Getty Images / Tony Marshall

The tracksuit manager is the prototypical football manager. He was there before the glitz and glam of modern day football and will be there long after it’s all come crashing down. Just because the matching tracksuit and gift shop cap emanate a DGAF attitude, doesn’t mean this manager doesn’t give a fuck about performances on the pitch. Tony Pulis and his uncompromising defensive football come to mind, as do Jürgen Klopp and the chain-smoking Maurizio Sarri.

Suit up, look sharp

football-manager-style-roundup-03
Getty Images / Michael Regan
football-manager-style-roundup-06
Getty Images / Marco Luzzani

This manager is busy most Tuesday and Wednesday nights, navigating European football’s elite in a bid to win the Champions League. Where the tracksuit manager only cares about the football on the pitch, the suit-wearing manager understands that football is much more than just a game and dresses accordingly. Fabio Capello is almost never seen without a three-piece, while their tailored suits are probably the only reason Antonio Conte and Diego Simeone haven’t popped a blood vessel.

Puffer a la Arsené

football-manager-style-roundup-04
Getty Images / Bryn Lennon
football-manager-style-roundup-05
Getty Images / Shaun Botterill

It’s perhaps unfair that Arsené Wenger — the second greatest manager in Premier League history – has become known for his oversized puffers (and the hilarious struggle to zip them up), when he has given so much to the game. Not only is Monsieur Wenger an honorary member of the Order of the British Empire, his 2003-04 Arsenal team managed to win the Premier League while going undefeated — a feat that remains unmatched. Oversized puffer jackets weren’t as mainstream when Arsené was rocking them on the touchline but, as ESPN points out, luxury brands have started emulating Wenger’s style, making the manager a trendsetter of the highest order.

The Casual

football-manager-style-roundup-12
Getty Images / Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC
football-manager-style-roundup-08
Getty Images / Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts

Football’s casual style has been covered at length by Highsnobiety in the past and it seems elements of the uniform have slowly permeated managers’ touchline style. This archetype is usually personified by younger managers such as Julian Nagelsmann or Mikel Arteta, who have an eye for what’s cool and aren’t afraid to stray from the tried and trusted. Don’t get it twisted though — as much as they look like one of the lads, they’re still the boss man at the end of the day.

The Don

football-manager-style-roundup-10
Getty Images / TF-Images
football-manager-style-roundup-09
Getty Images / Laurence Griffiths

Our final archetype mixes the hard-nosed, suit-wearing type with those that like to experiment a little on the touchline. Think an experimental camel or trench coat on Champions League nights or a Stone Island sweater matched with more formal bottoms. German national team coach Jogi Löw is the poster boy for this style, while Guardiola is also known for his penchant for getting a fit off.

What To Read Next

  • Spencer Phipps photo

    Spencer Phipps Says Save the Fucking World (& Have Fun Doing It)

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    15 White Sneakers You Need in Your Rotation

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    These Classic Sneakers Should Be in Every Wardrobe

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Forget 5-Inch Inseams, Our Shorts Are Reaching 3/4 Length Territory

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Shorts Are Getting Even Shorter This Summer

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    The Timeless Nature of Levi's® 501® Jean

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.