Soccer kits have moved into that territory more associated with basketball, in that there is an element of cool often seen in streetwear trends. And manufacturers are very much playing up to this fact, providing limited edition tops that say more and more about the culture of the team they represent. They even work in collaborations, as highlighted by this year’s joint effort between Paris Saint Germain and Nike Air Jordan.
Until recently fans of a particular team had to wait two years before their side released a new version of a home or away kit, but brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma pay soccer teams such huge amounts of money to produce their shirts, they now create new designs every season. And most teams even have a third kit. Many common fans are up in arms about this, but for those of us who looking for something stylish and handy for the odd kick around, it just means more choice, and even better, reduced prices come the end of the season!
But bear in mind that there should be some method behind buying your new soccer shirt. The last thing you want is someone asking why you bought one from a particular team without a good answer. A lot of people buy shirts from places they have visited, or because their family heritage goes back to a certain place, limited editions, collaborations, or most commonly because they actually support the team!
The biggest football shirt manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas and Puma are creating tops with a modern fit with sweat-wicking fabrics that work with casual wear like never before, blurring the lines between sports clothing and fashion trends. So if you want a cool statement piece or just something classy to wear for a kick about, there’s a lot of great options out there from the past and present, and here we’ve noted a few that have particularly caught out attention this season.
France – Nike FFF Dri Fit
France proudly sits on top of the world in soccer terms and play a type of football that is pleasing on the eye, classy and a cut above the rest, pretty much like their current away shirt by Nike. Designed with the iconic navy and white stripes that have become synonymous with French design over time, especially more recently by iconic designer Jean Paul Gaultier, it’s a picture of what it is to be French. The top is made with lightweight fabrics that offer excellent breathability, and adorned with the bold red emblem of Les Blues!
PSG – Jordan Fourth
Such has been the success of PSG’s partnership with Jordan, this year they released four shirts! Designed with collectors in mind, it’s a take on their home jersey which features the Nike Swoosh, but coloured black instead of blue, with the Air Jordon imprint. It has a slim fit and also features the three colours of the French flag running vertically down the centre. This is probably one that looks better on the football pitch or stadium than the street, but a modern classic none the less.
Real Madrid Third Replica Soccer Jersey – Adidas
The Spanish are so nuts about football that at times borders on religion, and their capital is home one of the most successful, richest clubs on the planet – Real Madrid. The literal translation for Real in English is Royal, and their players are looked upon as kings of the football pitch. A great team needs a great jersey, such as this classy turqoise third choice top. If features a classic overlapping Adidas collar, and is made from fast wicking fabrics.
Manchester United Away Jersey – Adidas
Manchester United are one of the most successful teams in English football and alongside Real Madrid stand as one of the richest clubs the in world soccer. This is largely down to their global fanbase who buy their shirts every year, which in turn led to Adidas paying $145 Million (AUD) a season just for the right to sell their replica jerseys. This Linen coloured design comes with a crew neck cut, and classic Adidas shoulder stripes, both outlined in black.
Juventus Home Jersey – Adidas
When Juventus broke the bank to bring the world’s biggest star to the club, Christiano Ronaldo, they had to create a great jersey to show they meant business. This stylish home shirt was the result, doing away with Juve’s usual black and white stripes and simply using black and white as a direct contrast, with a thin pink divide running down the middle, a nod to the Turin club’s long and rich history. Commercial versions have a slightly looser fit than the ones the players wear, offering a straiter silhouette, and shirts are also made from recycled polyester for the eco consciouse footballer.
Paris Saint Germain x Air Jordan
If you’re going to be the biggest football club in France, arguably the fashion capital of the world, you’re going to need the look to match the swagger. When PSG announced their new range of kit would be in collabORATION with Air Jordan, the football world turned its head. This Jodan x Paris Saint Germain training top is perfect for those who like to play a bit but want to remain slick-looking on the pitch. It’s made from sweat-wicking fabrics and even has a hidden mesh layer for optimum breathability.
Barcelona Stadium Third – Nike
Catalonians are very touchy when it comes to their beloved team’s shirts. They’ve only been allowed sponsors on their tops for the past 10 seasons, and that had to be ofset by allowing charity Unicef to don their logo also, completely free of charge! Their away kits, however, are always typically Spanish in that they are bold, extremely colourful and at times insane. This Stadium Third kit by Nike is certainly very Barcelona in that it is standout pink, with the yellow and red stripes of the Catalan flag hidden on the back of the collar.
Paris Saint Germain Away – Nike
This really is one of the standout kits of the season, an incredibly simple but eye catching design from the team at Nike, for their poster boys at Paris Saint Germain. Featuring one single button on the collar and a golden Paris badge and logo, it seems almost timeless. It’s made from highly breathable fabrics that keep you cool and dry when on the field, or just light and comfortable if you’re rocking the top with a street look.
Nike Breath PSG
This is one for those who want to make a statement when working out or on the five a side courts. Again it’s Nike, and yes, it’s Paris Saint Germain, but this is altogether less brash and more of a training top than a cheap football jersey. It’s made with lightweight breathable fabrics that are cut to leave shoulder panels, meaning other layers can be worn easily during or post work out without the risk of uncomfortable friction or chafing.
Liverpool Home GK SS – New Balance
Current European Champions Liverpool look set to win their first English title in 30 years this season, wearing a shirt designed by New Balance. Next year they will change over to Nike in a huge deal, which means that this kit is highly sought after. This goalkeeper top uses NB Dry technology for great dryness and breathablity. It’s also a luxurious looking design with its gold logo and badge pressed against dark black fabrics. This one is the jersey of champions.
Internazionale Away – Nike
Milan isn’t just one of the most important cities in the world in terms of fashion, it’s also home to two of the biggest clubs in European football, AC Milan and Internazionale. The latter has recently refound their spark and turned to Nike to make a shirt to match. The end result is this snazzy Away kit, that’s predominantly teal with black logos, as well as accents in black and gold. It’s also made from super lightweight breathable fabrics, and there is something about the fact the sponsor is Pirelli that makes this top quintessentially Italian.
Manchester City Hacienda Away – Nike
The real concept of the year award must go to the team at Nike for their Hacienda kit in collaboration with Manchester City. If you’re not ware of the Hacienda, it was one of the birthplace of House, Techno and Indie music in Manchester in the late 80s and 90s, and is now viewed in near mythical status. The use of fluorescent lines ran throughout the club and it is this that Nike has used as inspiration on this Manchester City Away top. This is definately be one for the collectors and already referred to as a classic, so get your hands on one whilst you can.
FC Bayern Third – Adidas
This shirt is a marriage of two German sporting giants in manufacturer Adidas, and Bavarian soccer superpower, Bayern Munich. It’s the club’s official third shirt, far away from the red and white stripes the club are so closely associated with. Constructed using, soft to touch fabrics that keep you cool and dry when the heat is on, it’s made for the pressures of football but can also work under a more casual street ensemble.
Tottenham Stadium Away – Nike
When Tottenham moved into their brand new state of the art super stadium they needed a snazzy strip to mark the start of a new era. The result was this classy collaboration with Nike, using their traditional navy blue away colours with a modern print across the chest. Nike seem to be most effective in their soccer top designs when they keep in simple, just like they have here for the mighty Spurs.