i Editor's Letter: Football and fashion


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The Independent Online


Congratulations to i’s columnist Neil Warnock on his new job at Leeds United, a team close to my heart.

He will need all the support he can get, going to work for Leeds’ unpopular, unpredictable chairman, Ken Bates. Elland Road is not a place for faint hearts. It’s not just the intimidating atmosphere either. As a home fan, I can safely say it is a scene of many a fashion crime. But, it’s scarcely any better at Fulham’s Craven Cottage, my local stadium.

The same could be said about most grounds. So, why am I yammering on about football and fashion? Is it to give me a tenuous London Fashion Week link? No, I kid you not, stadiums used to be places of high fashion: remember the casuals’ trend from the 1980s? Football grounds and shopping malls are where you see ordinary people dressed in everyday wear.

In both, 'leisurewear' is well nigh ubiquitous. You would have to include football shirts in that mix. Jeans, hoodies, trainers and some sort of tracksuit also dominate. So, does Vivienne Westwood have a point in her rant that Britons have never been worse dressed? I am not so sure that the average shopper or match-goer would listen to her on this matter any more than they would on where to get a BOGOF, or Leeds' transfer dealings.

She is the high priestess of the avante-garde and - by definition and price - not for everyone. But, that's not to say she doesn’t have a point. Is style as linked to price as she appears to suggest? I am not sure I have the answer, other than to espouse my view that men have to spend more money on clothes to look good than women. What do you, i's stylish readers, think?