The Qatar World Cup kicks off this weekend, and there is only one question everyone is asking: wtf will we wear? The thought of creating a showstopping lewk for a few pints at the pub or coordinating to include red and white each week, quite frankly, is too much pressure. The Euros last summer influenced TikTok trends that were copying off-pitch style. The likes ranged from bleach blonde Phil Foden buzzcuts to be dyed at home, to sales of Victoria Beckham-esque bedazzled ‘England’ baby tees on Depop, which ended up going for thrice the price. So, what could possibly be in store for the World Cup?
In anticipation, we take a look at the sports’ most fashionable contenders and encourage you to wholeheartedly recreate the best looks this football season has to offer. So, take a seat and rest assured that you’ll enjoy the game in style, because we have you covered.
1. David Beckham
To kick things off, we head back to prime 00s David Beckham. Before he began a career of Calvin Klein ads, 2001 Becks gave us some serious streetwear inspiration. Is anyone else seeing Channing Tatum in Step Up? The star buzzed off what the newspapers called the “short Becks and sides” in favour of a new look, perhaps to start afresh after the 1998 World Cup upset. Although this bald era did not last long and he grew into the long, blonde elasticated-headband player we all know and love, the experiment held some of his best outfits. He embraced his slogan tees and avoided a DDD (double denim disaster) with a cool swagger and crisp white sneakers. So grab a pair of Adidas and some super oversized jeans for the early days Beckham-casual look.
2. Hector Bellerin
TikTok’s newest obsession, and rightly so, is Hector Bellerin, who in his recent transfer to FC Barcelona has pulled some of the coolest off-pitch on-trend outfits. The new style star has been seen in lilac crochet vests and pearls for example, as well as Burberry scarves and trench coats. The defender dons trendy pieces with timeless classics in a clear pursuit to become the most decorated and fashionable footy player. Bellerin recently told his previous club Arsenal that he “thinks it’s cool for people to see me not only as a footballer but as someone who has an impact on fashion as well”. An Adidas cap and orange sunnies with a fresh white tee are the basis for your Bellerin-inspired World Cup fit, then, add a pair of baggy slacks and a bomber, and you’re set to play ball with the best of them.
3. Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Sheffield-born Dominic Calvert-Lewin is happy to dress up the archaic form of masculinity in football, that being the sports player with a traditionally macho sense of dress. The Everton striker does not plan on adhering to the outdated attitudes anymore, and told GQ “I am more than happy to be a standard-bearer for new flamboyance”, and proceeded to pose in a collarless Gucci coat-cum-dress number. Calvert-Lewin experiments with his style, frequently working with stylist Harry Lambert, who is also known for dressing Harry Styles. The relationship has secured him front row at fashion shows and the front cover of fashion magazines like Homme+ and GQ Hype. For your Calvert-Lewin look, pop on a patterned suit or an oversized dress, and embrace the way football is moving forward.
Considered one of the best players in the world, Ronaldo can really afford to do whatever he wants with his fashion. His bag now is mainly luxury brands and labels, but we’re going to throw it back to when he joined Manchester United in 2003, when 00s fashion clouded any plans to drape himself in high-end style. At the tender age of 18 years-old, Ronaldo regularly wore a baby blue Nike sports tees and tartan t-shirts with well-fit jeans — and he pulled the brave look off quite successfully may we add. His style encompassed a great era for the young Portuguese forward, one that can be recreated by scouring the pages of Depop as 00s ‘blokecore’ comes back. Just add a healthy scoop of hair gel and sparkling stud earrings to top off your Ronaldo get-up this World Cup.
5. Tom Davies
Liverpool-born Tom Davies pushes style boundaries at Everton with fellow player Dominic Calvert-Lewin, in what is proving to be quite the fashion-forward football club. Davies boasts interests of music, photography and most importantly fashion aside from his football career, exuding a cool vibe in every field he ventures into. The midfielder usually goes for some form of streetwear, but his best looks have been seen in his journey into luxury. What fans called a ‘bathrobe’ at the Michael Kors NYFW show in 2020, was in fact an elegant £2200 Gucci coat with a pair of purple heels and krawatte. Create your own version of the UK player taking on New York, or delve into his street style with an adidas cap and comfy tee: it’s up to you.
6. Thierry Henry
Former Arsenal striker turned coach and pundit Thierry Henry gives us a hit of nostalgia with these throwback pics plucked from the depths of his stylish youth. Pictured with former midfielder Patrick Vieira, the French footballers can be seen posing fresh-faced with their hands placed delicately on the ball. The photoshoot inspires us to don some vintage sportswear, and conduct an impromptu photoshoot with our besties. So put on your oversized red collared sweater and steal a pair of your dad’s old jeans as an ode to the style icons of the past.
7. Mo Salah
The Egyptian striker Mo Salah posed for GQ in January this year as the magazine’s cover star, talking all things fame and football at Liverpool. But for the sideline shoot styled by Jon Tietz, the vintage-inspired outfits are enough to get us whipping out our teeny tiny shorts in the middle of winter. Bandanas round the brow and bucket hats; tank tops and tucked in socks: we want that just got-off practice look. Salah’s attire is elevated by a tweed blazer that he appears to have just thrown on, proving we can join our local club this World Cup, and head to the pub straight after with that post-game Mo-inspired glow.
8. Ian Wright
Signature baker-boy cap, glasses and a gold tooth make Ian Wright one of the most dapper footballers to grace the field. Bypassing the standard suit, Wright opts for the likes of jeans, a blazer and Gucci loafers, which feels more fashion savvy than the classic three-piece footballers usually tend to favour on special occasions. For example, when Wright started his career he would turn up in the likes of pinstripe trousers, leather jackets and baseball caps, much to the displeasure of then-boss Terry Venables. Grab your baker-boy cap and head to a good old English cafe pre-game, and fill up on some proper geezer grub in your denim jeans and suit jacket with a pocket-square.
9. Marcus Rashford
One of football’s greatest players, Marcus Rashford, has used his platform to fight against child poverty. The Manchester United player’s social activism found him celebrating his MBE with a bespoke Burberry outfit created for him by the brands Chief Creative Officer Ricardo Tisci. Growing up working class in Manchester himself, Rashford worked with Burberry in anticipation to receive the award by distributing 200,000 meals across 11,000 charities in the UK, a continuation of his efforts to tackle social inequality. His work was officially recognised at Windsor Castle as he received the MBE, proving the work alongside Burberry goes beyond just dressing him for the occasion. In a morning coat with a Burberry-printed shawl, double-breasted waistcoat and derby shoes, Rashford inspires us to do what we can alongside the game, supporting the communities and charities that continuously work hard around the sport.
10. Jude Bellingham
In a collaboration with Gucci, Adidas hand picked some of the best footballers to sport the upcoming collection, including Jude Bellingham. At the age of 19, the midfielder was chosen amongst Paul Pogba, David Alaba and Serge Gnabry to launch the FW22 range. There were well-researched pieces that paid homage to the ‘Casuals’ in a subsection of football culture, like the release of the Adidas X Gucci Gazelles. The young player injects some vibrancy into the collection, wearing a white jacket and pinstripe shirt with matching shorts and knee socks splattered with the luxury brands logos. Get your hands on the Bellingham-brand mania look by shopping the collection yourself, or investing in the classic Gazelle trainer. Make sure to top off with a bucket hat for the ultimate collab drip.