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STYLE NEWS

Coolest kits: 2014

By Matt Glazebrook, 4 June 2014

We've shown you our pick of the most stylish kits ever, but now it's time to see how 2014's versions stack up. As ever, it's a bit of a mixed bag: England's dull all-white effort is reminiscent of a 50s public school PE kit; Japan are offering an eye-wateringly high-vis away top; and Colombia have leapt aboard the social-media bandwagon with an on-shirt hashtag. 

On the plus side, there's Mexico, with its retro 80s zig-zags making it the hipster's choice. Italy have gone all sharp and sophisticated with a cheeky Italian flag detail on the inner collar, while Iran have stuck a bloody great cheetah on their shirts. Grrr! 

But, we hear you ask, which tops are the very best? Well, we've only gone and ranked them.

coolest kits: 2014

Picture: FIFA

5 Argentina

Their home top stays classic with early 80s three-stripe Adidas styling and a nice black colour contrasting with the lovely pale blue stripes. But Argentina's away top is a real beauty: horizontal stripes of varying shades of progressively deeper blue, like an upside-down swimming pool.

coolest kits: 2014

Picture: FIFA

4 Ghana

Ghana's plain white first choice kit isn't much to write home about, but their brilliant red change strip is a whole different ball game. As a rule, shiny watermarks on footy tops are a bit naff and early 90s, but the Black Stars have thrown so much at theirs – zig-zags, stars, team names, nicknames – that they've elevated the humble footy top to an exciting new level of ravey, summery fun.

coolest kits: 2014

Picture: FIFA

3 Honduras

So, which country do you support? I don’t know – shall we have a look at the great big H on the breast pocket of your shirt and have a guess? Honduras' alphabet-inspired design is so gloriously simple yet effective, it’s a wonder no one else thought to try it.

coolest kits: 2014

Picture: FIFA

2 France

As with all Nike kits at this tournament, France's follows a template of big block colours and oh-so-tasteful traditional styling. What elevates les Bleus’ version is the lush, vintage-feeling dark blue of the shirt, contrasting elegantly with white shorts and red socks. 

coolest kits: 2014

Picture: FIFA

1 Germany

Gone are the days when Germany were a ruthlessly efficient major tournament-winning machine (lately they're more apt to make a relaxed, freewheeling journey to the semi-finals) but they've already secured one major trophy in 2014: best kit at the World Cup. The home version is classic white, with a funky, geometric arrow design in shades of red, orange and gold. The away kit veers more classical, with red and black hoops that evoke Brazilian club giants Flamengo. Sehr gut. 

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