Football fans have long been at the forefront of casual fashion and over the years, they have created a counter culture all of their own: the football Casuals. Here are ten of the finest fashion brands that football fans have called their own in recent decades: Presenting the top ten casual football fan fashions.
10. Lyle & Scott
Popular with football supporters during the eighties, Lyle and Scot has become a must-have label amongst trendy terrace folk over the last few years. Established in 1874 by William Lyle and Walker Scott, they borrowed £1,300 to form the small knitwear company that originally produced high quality hosiery and underwear. Lyle & Scott were also partly responsible for a boom in Y Fronts during the 1930s. The brand is now a far cry from it’s modest roots and a staple of modern British fashion.
9. Ralph Lauren
The Ralph Lauren shirt hasn’t changed much since Casual’s started wearing them in the eighties. There are variations of the logo but the people of Ralph Lauren have employed the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’” school of thought with the cut of the design. A brand originally catering for the elite classes, Ralph Lauren was bought to the masses by young men watching footy matches at the weekend. The phenomenal popularity and relative simplicity of the shirts spawned thousands of fakes of inferior quality during the nineties but the true Casual connoisseur could tell those from a mile off.
Synonymous with ‘well to do’ style, Burberry and Aquascutum went from the courtyard of Buckingham palace to football grounds across the country and was at its height on the terraces in 83/84 — at that time they didn’t manufacture baseball caps. Burberry and Aquascutum caps bring a reputation to football terraces all of their own, they were very much a late 90s phenomena worn by snotty herberts and ageing hoolies with little personal style. Not to be confused with the stylish casuals of yesteryear.
The high quality golf brand was taken in by the football Casual and the iconic diamond pattern became a feature at football games across the country. Founded on the Scottish boarders in 1815 by Robert Pringle it became one of the first luxury knitwear brands in the world and expanded through Europe, the US and Japan through the 19th and 20th centur
More information at www.pringlescotland.com.
6. Fred Perry Shirt
The Fred Perry shirt has been synonymous with football fashion since the birth of the Casual, though the brand has gone through some pretty turbulent times. Fred Perry was popular from the late 70s until 1981, but from then on, up until about two or three years ago no Casual would be seen dead in it. Wearing a Fred Perry polo in the UK in the 80s (unless you were a skinhead) was a major mistake and a Casual Faux Pas.
Bjorn Borghas to be the ultimate tennis legend and his amazing period of success winning Wimbledon five times saw legions of football fans dress like their tennis heroes. The premium prices of Italian brands bought about serious one-upmanship between fans and rival fans.
4. Sergio Tacchini
The premium 80s Italian sportswear was born out of the rivalry of John McEnroe and Borg. Casuals switched on to Wimbledon to see two very high profile sporting legends step out in Tacchini and Fila. McEnroe had five different polos and track tops during his time with Tacchini and Casuals wore them in many different colours. Imagine the rivalry of Oasis and Blur and this may give some indication of what these two tennis players did for 80s fashion.
3. Stone Island Jacket
Making an appearance in almost every football fan related film of the last 10 years, the Stone Island jacket is seen as the uniform of the new breed of Football Casual. Although the casual fashion of football fans is ever changing, the adoption of high end designer clothes has always been a factor. The exclusivity of clothing and one up-man-ship drove fans to seek out the best in fashion labels.
The Lacoste logo was first worn by tennis legend René Lacoste. René entered the legend of tennis when he and his team-mates “The Musketeers”, stole the Davis Cup away from the Americans for the first time, in 1927 and again in 1928. Spanning all generations of football fan, the Lacoste shirt has been reworked by football fans for decades. Unlike other brands who looked to cash in on their name in the 90s Lacoste have kept their premium cool.
1. Adidas Trainers- Forest Hills
Adidas was popular among casuals from the start: The original Forest Hills came in white and gold and the shoe had various incarnations between 1979 and 1983. Forest Hill re-issues have been coming out since 1999 and prove their classic style has stood the test of time. Originally designed as a tennis shoe they still look as eye catching on the high street today as they did on the terraces in the eighties. Other Adidas trainers that were embraced by the casual movement include the Trimm Trabb, Grand Slam, LA Trainer, Dublin, Stockholm, Samba, Handball Special.