STYLE. GROOMING. INSPIRATION. ADVICE.
Coolest European kits ever
By Matt Glazebrook, 9 June 2016
We've already ranked the summer’s big soccer shirts from a style perspective, but how do the 2016 crop stack up against the all-time giants of the European footy-fashion game? Let's find out, shall we?
Having won the 1976 tournament in the most brass-necked fashion imaginable (Antonín Panenka's famous gentle-chip-down-the-middle penalty), holders Czechoslovakia turned up four years later in a suitably swagnificent team uniform. Audaciously wide collars, natty red-and-blue piping and a compulsory handlebar moustache for all players. Czech us out, they (probably) said.
Danish apparel company Hummel made some extremely strong footy shirts during the 80s, but none were better than the kits they decked out their own national side in. The attack-minded, very cool 'Danish Dynamite' team of the era is regarded as one the greatest never to have won a major championship – and it's certainly a travesty that this super-slick, chevron-detailed shirt wasn’t pictured with the Henri Delaunay trophy sitting proudly in front of it.
There are few cooler sights – on or off a football pitch – than the formidable French midfield foursome of Michel Platini, Luis Fernandez, Alain Giresse and Jean Tigana strolling around imperiously with adidas shirts untucked (the better to show off the bold blue colour scheme, subtle red-and-white stripes and giant cockerel motif) secure in the knowledge they’re about to win their home tournament while looking really ace.
We've already anointed Belgium's away jersey the most stylish shirt of the summer, but is it the Red Devils' best effort ever? Both the home and away versions of their 1984 top have something to say about that, adorned, as they were, with a bizarre but strangely enjoyable argyle tricolour design across the chest. With a centrepiece that striking, adidas wisely left everything else – barring a simple trefoil logo – to the imagination.
Outlandish at the time, the Holland 1988 strip has since become revered as a soccer style landmark and a streetwear classic in its own right. With a 'must be bright orange' starting requirement, the adidas designers would be forgiven for keeping the sartorial flourishes to minimum. Instead, they added geometric patterns, a graduated colour scheme and some crazy-fresh orange short shorts – pushing Ruud Gullit's hair and Marco Van Basten's final-winning volley into second and third place in our list of coolest things about that particular Dutch team.
No frills, flourishes or fancy-dan detailing for Portugal in 2000. Instead, Luís Figo led his team to the semi-finals in an austere Nike top that made the most of its sophisticated burgundy and gold colourway by keeping the styling basic and the fit boxy.