Football fashion focus – the rise of 90s retro football shirts > Vintage clothing > Fashion
through Joe Zebedee. Posted Tue Jan 25 2022 1:03 PM
Football shirts have had a meteoric rise from casual sportswear to desirable fashion wear, with ‘classic’ football shirts now becoming expensive collectibles.
Openly supporting a football team today is completely acceptable, even wearing shirts in areas where you would advertise that you are a fan of a rival club.
But it wasn’t always like this…so how did we go from the formal era of wearing a suit and hat to watch a game, to sporting a remake of your team’s third kit from the 90s?
You could say that the 1980s were the darkest decade in football. Rampant hooliganism and disasters such as Hillsborough and the Bradford stadium fire have put a black mark against the game in most people’s minds.
Hooliganism became synonymous with gambling. Organized hooligans struck terror into non-spectators who had only heard horror stories of the destruction that could be wrought by warring “corporations”.
These hooligans could be identified by their clothes. Specially selected items, which would not have been worn by a normal fan.
At a time when the world was bigger, going on a trip to Europe was an eye opener for fans. All of a sudden, people found themselves in a world of stylish fashion, which they couldn’t find at home.
Brands such as Sergio Tacchini, Fila and Ellesse were considered treasures brought back from the continent and became badges of prestige and wealth.
Gone were the clunky Doc Martens ankle boots and bomber jackets of skinheads, the expensive style was the new hallmark of hooligans.
The 90s would be a refreshing time for sport, the heyday of hooliganism was over, more money in sport created a more glamorous product. Overall, there was a feel-good factor.
Trendy brands have started manufacturing football shirts to take advantage of the growing demand. During this period Adidas first produced their now very nostalgic kits, featuring large bold stripes.
Nike spotted the opportunity to supply the shirts of iconic Brazilian teams of the time and the popularity of Italian football, gave Fila and Champion a platform to showcase their respective designs.
90s shirts are hugely popular today, with prices ranging from £100 and even more – for the harder-to-get items, which are now considered collectibles.
I started a collection with a few 90s shirts, for context I was born after the 90s so they have no nostalgia. But I like a 90s shirt.
Unlike modern kits, 90s shirts are very comfortable for everyday wear and mostly have more attention to detail (see photos above).
Today, football kits are very different. Materials technology now makes it possible to create lightweight, form-fitting shirts that look like sportswear.
Rather than the baggy shirts of the 90s, made of heavier fabrics. Although in recent years you may have noticed more retro designs on kits.
This is no coincidence or laziness on the designers’ part. Clubs and brands have realized that tapping into fan nostalgia means more sales.
If you can’t get hold of a 90s shirt, don’t worry – companies like Scoredraw will probably have made a repro version.
The clubs themselves may have released their own versions, or done the aforementioned trick to make their new kit look like an iconic kit from yesteryear.
Like the exotic tracksuits worn by fans in the 80s, having an expensive football shirt is a sign of prestige, whether it’s a rare shirt from the 90s or a brand new shirt that sold around the clock. same price.
They’re no longer just for 5-a-side play or going for a run, a complete outfit for every occasion can be built around the right football shirt.