For decades now, football fans have mirrored their sporting idols with replica shirts, but thanks to the so-called “Gareth Southgate effect”, this World Cup has seen the arrival of an unlikely substitute: the waistcoat.
Courtesy of Marks & Spencer, which has been the official suit supplier to the England team since 2007, the England manager has been sporting a form-fitting waistcoat at every match so far and suddenly, everyone wants one.
So much so, that Marks & Spencer has reported a 35 per cent rise in waistcoat sales, and they’re not the only ones.
While eBay has reported that searches for waistcoats increased by 25 per cent last weekend, tailoring brand TM Lewin tweeted that sales of the garment “were going through the stadium roof.”
Similarly, global fashion search site Lyst told Harpers Bazaar that searches on its platform were up 41 per cent since the start of the World Cup, with someone scouring for a waistcoat every 12 minutes.
Of course, Southgate isn’t the only waistcoat wearer influencing our wardrobes. For years now, trendy men like David Beckham, Tom Hardy, David Gandy and even the Peaky Blinders have adopted the traditional style, and it’s not hard to see why.
Described as the male version of the corset, waistcoats do all the hard work for you, framing the body nicely and giving you the option of wearing them done up, or undone.
It’s no wonder then that supporters are rushing to buy replicas of Southgate’s #luckywaistcoat.
Fancy emulating the style of the England coach yourself? Here’s our roundup of five of the most stylish waistcoats:
M&S Collection Luxury, Navy Tailored Fit Wool Waistcoat, £65, Marks & Spencer
Those wanting to copy Southgate’s look will be pleased to note that the waistcoat from Marks & Spencer’s official FA collection costs just £65. Smart and stylish, it’s finished with a tailored cut that ensures a comfortable fit around the chest and waist. It also features unique button detailing and a slick jacquard lining.
If you want to go all out, you can buy the full replica suit for £265.
Gucci, Slim-Fit Striped Wool and Cotton-Blend Waistcoat, £450, Mr Porter
If you want to turn heads then look no further because this striped number from Gucci is a real showstopper. Designed exclusively for Mr Porter, it’s tailored from a wool and cotton-blend that features thinly striped shades of navy, red and white with a contrasting light-blue satin back panel.
Tailored-Fit Charcoal Grey Wool Waistcoat, £250, Paul Smith
For a more classic take opting for a charcoal style is your best bet as the versatile shade guarantees to go with almost anything in your wardrobe. Made in Italy using a high-twist 100 per cent wool yarn, it’s also crease-resistant and the perfect waistcoat for travelling in. We love the addition of the natural horn buttons and welt pockets.
Farah Navy Kingsley Waistcot, £70, Topman
If you’re looking for a more casual take on the waistcoat this could be the one for you. Designed with a classic fit it’s made from 100 per cent cotton and features a subtle speckled print. It’s also machine washable making it a great option to wear at the pub during matches.
Neutral Dogtooth Super Skinny Fit Waistcoat, £40, Burton
This option from Burton promises that you will still look immaculate even after you’ve taken your jacket off. Tailored with a double breasted fastening, it features a heritage dogtooth design, patterned lining and glossy back with an adjustable strap.
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