Casuals Fashion: The Top Five Brands

by Karl Hofer.

The football Casuals; much has been written about them and their influence on fashion and music over the past few decades. Here BOBBY gives you the five finest fashion brands that UK football fans have embraced since the 70’s:



5. Pringle

The high end golf brand was readily adopted by the football Casual and the iconic diamond pattern became a feature at football games all over the country in the 80’s. They were serious players in the leisure and sportswear market, a fact confirmed by their sponsorship of top British golfers Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie. Perhaps the first luxury knitwear brand in the world, Robert Pringle founded the company in the Scottish borders in 1815 and over the years it expanded around the globe.


4. Ralph Lauren

This is a brand that has evolved from one that originally catered for the elite classes to one that is now the preferred fashion choice of Mexican drug traffikers. Ralph Lauren was brought to the masses by young working-class men watching football matches at the weekend and the cut of the design coupled with the simplicity of the shirts saw their popularity rocket.

That phenomenal popularity led to an explosion of fakes of inferior quality during the 90’s – but the true Casual connoisseur could tell ‘a moody Ralph’ from a mile off.


 3. Burberry / Aquascutum

Hitting it’s peak in the early to mid 80’s, Burberry and Aquascutum went from the Royal courtyards of Buckingham Palace to football terraces across the country. It’s important to note that at that time Burberry didn’t manufacture baseball caps. People that wear Burberry and Aquascutum caps are not to be confused with the stylish casuals of yesteryear. They are a late 90’s phenomena worn by petty thieves and chavs (or ‘neds’ for the Scottish among you) and are a badge of the not-to-be-trusted.

In recent years Burberry has successfully turned around the Chav-like reputation that it had acquired by removing the brand’s iconic check-pattern from all but 10% of the company’s products and re-branding itself with advertisement campagns in GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Tatler, and Harper’s Bazaar.


2. Stone Island

The Stone Island jacket is such a common sight in every football hooliganism based film – such as Green Street Hooligans and The Football Factory – it is now regarded as the uniform of the new breed of Football Casual.  The adoption of high end designer clothes has always been a driving force behind casual fashion, the exclusivity of certain clothing and one up-man-ship drove fans to seek out the latest and the best that fashion labels had to offer.


1. Adidas

Right from the off Adidas has always been popular among casuals. The original Forest Hills came in white and gold and the shoe had various incarnations between 1979 and 1983. Forest Hill re-issues have been coming out since 1999 and their classic style still stands the test of time. Originally designed as a tennis shoe they still look as eye catching on the high street today as they did on the terraces in the 80’s. Other Adidas trainers that were embraced by the casual movement include the Samba, Trimm Trabb, LA Trainer, Grand Slam, Stockholm, Dublin and Handball Special.


Five Things A Man Should Never Wear if He’s Over 35

by Karl Hofer.

There comes a time in a man’s life when shopping for clothes suddenly becomes quite a stressful experience.

Perhaps it hasn’t hit you yet, but if you’re in your 30’s it is only a matter of time before it does. And when it does it can be quite a shock…

Not sure what I’m talking about? OK, has the following ever happened to you;

You’ve walked into your favourite shop to pick up some new jeans or a shirt perhaps and immediately your first thought is: “Why is it so loud in here..?”

Then you notice the cut-down denim shorts and outlandish tops on display; an uncomfortable feeling takes hold of you, a quick glance around and you realise you’re the oldest person in the shop. By at least 20 years.

Things then plummet to undiscovered depths as before you can make your exit the friendly shop assistant asks you if you’re “looking for something for your son..?”

If anything like that has happened to you then its time to reevaluate the contents of your wardrobe, you are now officially old.

Don’t panic! BOBBY is here to help you make the necessary modifications, effortlessly and with grace, saving you from potential style suicide.

First things first; what NOT to wear.

When you make the transition from your 20s into your 30s and beyond, it’s important your wardrobe evolves with you. There are some things that you may have been able to pull off at a party that you’ll look ridiculous trying to pull off now. It’s just part of getting old – a fact of life – and you need to deal with it.

So in an effort to help you not look like you’re desperately clinging on to your youth with every sinew of your being, take careful note of the following five items that no man should ever wear after they reach 35.

blog_winter_dress_M5. Shorts in Winter –

While wearing shorts long past the end of Summer may have been something that made you look cool when you were in your early twenties, it doesn’t make you look tough or “laid back” after you’ve hit your thirties. The truth is at your age you’re probably risking extreme hypothermia or other cold weather related illnesses.

Whenever I see a grown man wearing shorts in the freezing cold I immediately think one of two things; either this guy has been kicked out by his wife and he’s reduced to wearing the clothes he walked out in, including his crappy old Navy cargo shorts – or- here is someone still clinging onto University life as a so called ‘mature student’ who should clearly know better at his age.

Now, neither of those things may be true, but you probably don’t want people making similar assumptions about you. In short (pardon the pun), if other people are wearing hats, gloves and scarves, you should at least be wearing long trousers.

 tshirt-slogans-24. Funny Slogan T-Shirts –

You know the shirts I’m talking about; ones emblazoned with witty efforts such as “Save Water: Drink Beer!” or  “FBI: Female Body Inspector”. There’s just no place for this nonsense anymore, we’ve all grown up and you should too.

OK, I appreciate sometimes these are gifts from relatives and such like, but that doesn’t mean you have to wear them, does it…?

Invariably these T-shirts are sold from stalls in the middle of busy shopping centres or online as most ‘shops’ wont stock them. There’s a reason for that.

Maybe (that’s just ‘maybe’) a student can pull off wearing a T-shirt that reads “Blink if you want me” or “I fuck on the first date” – but a man who’s starting to go gray…?!? Dear God, no…

BrightShoes_224x224-13. Bright Trainers –

Adults can wear trainers with colours on them, that’s fine. But not too wild unless you work as a kids entertainer. The rule of thumb here is ‘less is more’.

Remember; nothing looks more tragic than Timmy Mallett inspired clothing, and Timmy is all the proof you need that there’s something about a 40-year-old guy wearing a pair of electric yellow trainers with neon green laces that doesn’t quite look right.

Saggy 2. Sagged Jeans –

A slight on the world of fashion, this abomination has been here for too long now – I’m talking jeans which fall way below a man’s waist.

Unless you’re currently signed to Def Jam Records, pull your effing pants up!

Young people are often blissfully unaware of the fact that they look like morons (not that that’s any excuse for it). But with age comes wisdom – and having reached maturity you should know better.

The image of a 30-something year-old with sagged jeans on is one that scars the imagination. The trick here is to invest in a pair of jeans that actually fit properly. Surprisingly, you’ll find yourself looking younger and less like a total muppet.

Bush Departs The White House

Yeah, that’s what YOU look like…

1. Crocs –

This is perhaps the biggest sin of all. Let’s be clear here; they are convenient and easy to wash for a reason – unless you’re prepubescent, elderly or mentally deranged, you have zero excuse for wearing Crocs.

If you see a man wearing Crocs, you have BOBBY’S permission to take them off his feet and beat him to death with them.

They are shoes for children, no right-minded adult should purchase coloured blocky footwear. For a grown man to wear Crocs on his feet is tantamount to telling people you’re allergic to sex.

Of course if you find that you are still able to make friends despite wearing Crocs you could always take it to the lowest level possible and add socks to the equation, like the ever popular former President pictured here has…


Coming Soon: What Men Over 35 Should be Wearing…



STYLE ICON – Johan Cruyff


I remember with total clarity the moment I decided Johan Cruyff was the coolest bloke on the planet.

It was during the World Cup in 1974, and The Daily Mirror had been dispatched to visit him for a profile piece. Cruyff had just performed his legendary Cruyff Turn, the most audacious dribbling trick of all time, and the world’s press had dubbed him “Pythagoras in boots” because of his style, philosophy and massive footballing brain.

I don’t even remember what he said. But I do remember every little detail of the picture.

As you do between crucial World Cup matches, Cruyff decided not on extra training under the cruel German sun, but instead opted for a relaxed game of cards, a ciggie and a bumper glass of iced Martini Rosso.

Holland’s George Best wore a low-cut, plain black V-neck jumper, worn with nothing underneath, and a giant pair of porn star sunglasses.

Legs astride a bar stool covered in cards and piles of money, he wore cream flares and black leather flip flops, while a rectangular silver pendant hung nonchalantly from a chunky silver chain. But the accessory that topped them all was a fat, white continental ciggie, elegantly dangling from the corner of his couldn’t-care-less mouth.

If Adidas did Steve McQueen, this man was it. Cruyff was Richard Ashcroft while he was still in nappies. And just like the way Cruyff played the game, he made it look so, well, effortless. Never mind total football: this guy was total cool.CruyffStyleIcon

Holland may well have ended up the perennial under-achievers in ‘74, but in the style stakes, JC was untouchable.

There was commercial worth in this, and so it was that five years later in 1979, while playing in Barcelona, Cruyff teamed up with Italian designer Emilio Lazzarini and released his own clothing label, Cruyff Sports. Their bread and butter were classic sneakers, although there were also a few dodgy shell suits, worn by Marco Van Basten and Denis Bergkamp (but please don’t hold that against him).

Over the following years, Cruyff nailed the Burberry trench coat look, totally owned the black polo neck – never easy unless you’re a black jazz pianist or a secret agent – made oversized man bags musthaves and was the only man ever to wear an Adidas tracksuit top zipped down to midships with a bare chest underneath and not look like a drug dealer. Hell, he even looked good in floral shirts and flares the size of yachting sails.

But the pinnacle was when he opened the Cruyff Shoetique in Amsterdam. That’s right, not boutique, but Shoe-tique.

Selling premium, hand-made Italian loafers in luxe materials like lizard skin and with genuine silver clasps, they’re the most stylish item designed by any footballer, ever. Rare as rocking horse manure, they occasionally pop up on ebay and are known to reduce grown men of a certain age to tears.

Mark Powell is a Soho tailor par excellence.