Goal! The rise of blokecore and football fashion
Sporty fits to keep you looking stylish and slick, on and off the pitch
words Sophie Lou Wilson
Football and fashion go hand in hand. Friendships are forged and fights break out depending on the colour of the shirt you're wearing. But Britain's favourite sport is often associated more with lairy shouting and spilt beer than it is with style icons. Until now. The once derided style worn by lads smashing down pints at their local boozer has become a diverse and expansive fashion trend in its own right. Aptly coined ‘blokecore’, its staples include vintage football shirts, shell jackets and sweater vests.
Footie fans get a bad rep. Violence and bigotry often plagues football fanaticism – just cast your mind back to the chaotic, and at times frightening, energy of the Men’s Euros in 2021. But while drunken antics make headlines, last summer revealed the power of football to unite people from all walks of life when England’s women’s team finally brought it home.
Conversations about diversity in football are happening more and more, and the aesthetic no longer feels like it exclusively belongs to white male fans. It’s been reclaimed by women, people of colour, and the LGBTQ+ community. Clothes are often worn with a sense of irony, too: the quintessentially British trend references patriotic themes, but it’s pulled off with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. It’s true also that many elements of the blokecore aesthetics originate from Jamaican Rude Boy culture as it collided with the London punk scene in the 70s, so amplifying those roots today is all the more important.
Artists like Slowthai and Lava La Rue are modern proponents of the trend, often wear sports jackets, sweatpants and Fred Perry shirts. The look also brings to mind the Britpop era, specifically the 1996 charity football match between Oasis and Blur.
Fashion, too, is taking notice of our footie fanaticism: from Marcus Rashford for Burberry, to Jack Grealish for Gucci. Balenciaga and Martine Rose have made direct reference to the football jersey on recent runways and in capsule collections, Palace was tapped for a Juventus collab, and Armani’s sub-brand EA7 develops kits for the Napoli team. Admiral Sporting Goods Co, the heritage British brand that reimagines and elevates classic sportswear of times gone by, recently launched its AW22 collection titled Jumpers for Goalposts. Its campaign celebrates the traditions and rituals of kicking a ball about the park, and was shot in South London’s Hilly Fields – where Arsenal legend Ian Wright would have honed his skills.
We could attribute the 2022 comeback to the Euros win, the Jubilee weekend, or the 90s/00s revival, but it's just as likely down to the simple fact that these clothes are comfy and casual. If they're cool too, which they are, then that's an added bonus. So, without further ado, here’s how to nail the football casual blokecore look that everyone's going crazy over right now.
Embroidered Logo Stretch Cotton T-shirt
We're kicking off our roundup with Balenciaga's understated striped cotton T-shirt. It's a staple of the new season that celebrates sporty style through luxe hoodies, track pants, and bucket hats, giving football casual a high fashion update. This tee is crafted using materials that limit the amount of chemicals and wastewater involved in the production process so snap it up even if the only team you support is Balenciaga FC.
STAR OF TRACK AND FIELD
Logo Embroidered Shell Jacket
Adidas are on winning streak with collabs, partnering with the freshest talent as well as global super brands. British Jamaican menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner is an ongoing fav, with the latest collection of bright sportswear, football jerseys and super short patterned shorts dropping in June this year. Wear to embrace your inner 70s football icon.
THE CLASSIC SWEATSHIRT
Pangaia 365 Sweatshirt
Pangaia's extra soft organic cotton sweatshirt is designed for all seasons. The versatile and climate positive piece is perfect for throwing on over your football kit or taking to match days when there's an autumn chill in the air. You really can’t go wrong with a classic navy sweatshirt, especially when the dye is created using a recycled water system. Now that's what we call winning style.
Bootcut Distressed Organic Jeans
Blokecore and casual denim go together like a game of footie in the park on a sunny day. Acne's slouchy faded jeans exude a couldn't-care-less attitude. They're extra long and crafted from organic cotton. Pair yours with a vintage football shirt or knitted sweater vest to grab a pre-match pint and gain some serious streetwear cred.
Stone Island Jacket
Stone Island needs little introduction. The cult streetwear brand was first adopted by British football fans in the 80s as they followed their teams around Europe for the European Cup Games. It's ruled the UK's subcultural style scene ever since. This classic shirt jacket is simple and versatile with the subtle branding of the iconic Compass motif aligning its wearer with a lineage of diehard fans of football and fashion alike.
Carhartt Canvas Baseball Cap
It's not a question of whether to wear a hat, but rather which hat to wear. Any blokecore aficionado knows that there are only three options: baseball cap, bucket hat or beanie. This classic black cap from cult workwear brand Carhartt complements the rest of your outfit no matter the colours of the team you're supporting.
Fred Perry Polo Shirt
The Fred Perry shirt has long been synonymous with football fashion. While starting out as a tennis brand, the label is better known for its popularity among football and music fans. It's had a rocky road in the past, adopted by violent fans and racist skinheads, but its casual, gender neutral polo shirts remain a stone cold classic of British fashion.
The North Face Bucket Hat
Beloved by children and ravers alike, the bucket hat trend is here to stay. Blokecore is infused with references to 90s youth culture, from free parties to football. This two-tone hat from outdoor brand The North Face is stylish and durable. So keep dancing to the beat of the 90s revival and pair with baggy jeans and a sport jacket.
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