Fashion’s new celeb-approved athleisure trend

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We may only just be getting over Tenniscore but that’s no reason to head to the changing rooms just yet as there’s a new athleisure trend on the block: the football jersey. From our Instagram feeds to the Cosmo UK offices, we’ve been spying even the most feminine of fashion girlies donning a football shirt – if only in the name of style. Whether repping the new season kit with jeans or pairing a vintage design with a satin slip skirt, consider us firmly in our Sporty Spice era.

So, where has the latest in a long line of micro trends come from? The line between sportswear and fashion is becoming increasingly blurred. Clothing that was once confined to the gym now effortlessly doubles for coffee dates with the girls, weekend errand running and even laidback holiday dressing thanks to trend-led activewear labels like Alo Yoga and Adanola. Athleisure has certainly earned its place in the fashion-sphere, coming far from its track pants and high-top beginnings.

Theo El-Kattan and Henry McNeill, founders of online marketplace Known Source agree. “There’s been an increased focus on football capsules amongst big brands. From the Adidas x Wales Bonner sambas to the Nike x Martine Rose capsule for last year’s Women’s World Cup – the overlap is real,” they tell Cosmopolitan UK. Even outside of collabs, bright football jerseys stole the show in Balenciaga’s 2023 resort collection, which was otherwise made up of dark colours and blocky suits.

balenciaga football jersey on 2023 resort collection runway

Gallery Stock

Balenciaga’s 2023 Resort Collection

balenciaga red football jersey on resort collection 2023 runway

Gallery Stock

From football’s influence on fashion, the input is just as prevalent the other way. “Not only are football clubs also releasing lifestyle merchandise, but teams now have creative directors in-house. Crystal Palace last year became the first Premier League club to hire a creative director,” Theo and Henry continue, referring to Kenny Annan-Jonathan’s appointment in the newly created role.

As for how to make the trend work IRL, as in *not* on a football pitch or runway? Our fave celebs have been sporting (sorry, we couldn’t resist) various vintage football shirts. Dua Lipa was one of the first to jump on the trend, with multiple football jerseys in regular rotation. The most recent being a red and pink retro jersey. But rather than showing her support for any sports team, the jersey is actually merch for her latest album, Radical Optimism. Does it get more iconic than being your own cheerleader? We think not.

Elsewhere, Kim Kardashian has been seen stepping out in a red Roma jersey, Addison Rae repping Brazil with an oversized shirt, and Hailey Beiber going for a chic black football jersey with cycling shorts. Consider us well and truly influenced.

kim kardashian in red football jersery

MEGA//Getty Images

addison rae in brazil football jersey

Bellocqimages/Bauer-Griffin//Getty Images

And not forgetting Taylor Swift, who has made football shirts part of her off-duty uniform, especially when supporting boyf Travis Kelce.

As per usual, celeb style has trickled down to the masses, with high-street retailers and even independent businesses seeing a rise in sales for football jerseys. Hardly surprising considering it makes up a large part of another celeb-fave trend: ‘blokecore’. Comprised of baggy silhouettes, oversized tailoring, and classically ‘masculine’ pieces, blokecore has its roots firmly planted in British football culture. Plus, I’ll take any excuse to look back at David Beckham in his prime for *cough* fashion inspo *cough*.

But this may be one trend that can’t be traced back to the widespread influence of the Kardashians as there’s no denying the effect the Lionesses have had. According to the BBC, there are now twice as many female football teams registered in the UK compared to seven years ago, and a staggering 1,500 new teams were registered the season after the Lionesses won the 2022 Euros. This uptick in girls joining grassroots clubs means the humble football kit is becoming a national uniform, and we can expect to see a whole lot more of it now this year’s Euros are in full swing.

The football jersey trend also offers a refreshing opportunity to champion second-hand shopping amongst the plethora of micro trends encouraging the fast fashion norm. Look to resale sights like Vinted and Depop to cop a vibrant vintage jersey without having to take part in any environmental foul play. As Theo and Henry explain, “Every kit tells its own unique story and has its own place in history. And don’t forget about the designs – a lot of them are works of art, and it’s nice to see them getting the appreciation they deserve.” Hard agree.

Whether you’re just getting into the sport, are a dedicated fan, or simply enjoy the aesthetics of the trend (guilty!), there’s no better time to invest in a football jersey.

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Pair any of these vintage numbers with your fave sambas, or the hottest new Adidas X Wales Bonner collab and you’ll be just about ready to hit the beer garden and explain the offside rule to anyone willing to listen.

Headshot of Amy May Ellis

Amy May Ellis (she/her) is the SEO Executive for Cosmopolitan UK, Women’s Health UK, Men’s Health UK, and Runner’s World UK. Her love for all things beauty, fashion, and wellness are evident in her work with these lifestyle and fitness brands. Providing content recommendations for everything from new gut health supplements to the latest fashion trend, Amy has a keen eye for detail and loves to spot trends before they fully flourish.
  Follow her on Instagram or find her on LinkedIn.


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