Updated: Sep 28
Football is more than just a game; it's a global phenomenon that transcends borders and cultures. In addition to showcasing their skills on the pitch, footballers have become fashion icons, using their off-field style to create and enhance their personal brands. In this article, we'll dive into the fascinating world of fashion and style in football and explore how it influences a player's personal brand.
The changing landscape of women's football fashion
Women's kits nowadays are designed for the female body, but that hasn't always been the case. The fashion of football outfits have changed a lot since the early 1900's - going from wearing baggy shorts and shirts to the female fits of today.
It all started at the end of the 1800's, when the British Women's Football Team, including Nettie Honeyball, began to play. They played in big baggy bloomers, long sleeved shirts, bonnets and neckties. Their football boots were modified ankle high shoes, still heavy and sturdy.
When more teams were created, the shirts began to have simple designs in order to distinguish the teams from each other. These were mostly one-colored and striped designs.
Gradually, the kits started to bear resemblance to those of the men's teams: more synthetic and breathable shirts and shorts, thick socks, studded boots and no more hats.
For a long time, there was a lack of budget and funding - which meant women had to play in men's kits. Luckily, since the start of the 21st century, the women's shirts and shorts have become more fitted and streamlined. At first, these designs were women's fit versions of those of the men's, but since 2019 apparel companies like Nike and Adidas started to listen to the wishes of female players and started designing different types of shirts for women.
Fashion and style as part of a personal brand
How players are dressed on the field have become more and more important. It has even become an inspiration to some fashion designers, using football's aesthetics in their catwalk looks. The beautiful designs and comfortable clothes make that athletes can perform better on the pitch and have more beautiful pictures to use to present their image.
And however it is really great that the kits are more aligned with the day-to-day fashion, they are still all the same for every individual players in the team.
So what if all your team mates wear the same outfit, what makes you stand out? How do people recognize you when they see every player wearing the same shorts and shirts? What makes them say: hi that is ....!
The thing that makes you unique is your personal style and the fashion details that go with it. Look at Megan Rapinoe for example. Her unique hairstyle makes her stand out from everyone else. Everyone knows Marta - not only because she is phenomenal on the pitch, but also because she wears red lipstick when playing. Or what do you think about Hayley Raso's hair ribbon?
How does someone's personal style and fashion contribute to their personal brand?
In a previous blog, we have talked about the importance of personal branding. We explained that a personal brand is what other people say about you, and that every person has one. It is what sets you apart from others and what makes you unique. Your style and fashion are as big of a part of that image as your personality, interests and actions.
Of course, the influence of fashion and style on a personal brand go beyond what a player shows on the pitch. A player's daily appearance and the style that go with it are as much of an influence. This includes hairstyles, type of clothes, make-up, colors, accessories etc.
So in what ways do these contribute to your personal brand?
1. Visual Identity: Personal style and fashion choices create a distinctive visual identity that sets an individual apart from others. Whether it's a signature hairstyle, a penchant for bright colors, or a preference for classic elegance, these elements become instantly recognizable to the public.
2. Consistency: A consistent personal style reinforces the image that an individual wants to portray. This consistency helps people remember and associate specific fashion choices with that person. Over time, it becomes a key component of their personal brand.
3. Authenticity: Personal style and fashion are vehicles for self-expression. When an individual's fashion choices align with their personality, values, and beliefs, it conveys authenticity. An authentic personal style is relatable and resonates with the audience, strengthening the personal brand.
4. Recognition and Memorability: Unique fashion choices make an individual memorable. In a crowded field, whether it's entertainment, sports, or business, being recognizable and memorable can be a powerful asset for one's personal brand.
5. Storytelling: Fashion can tell a story. This could be through designs created and based on player's experiences, something we will talk more about later in this article, but also because it reflects different chapters of a person's life and personal journey. By curating their style intentionally, individuals can use fashion to tell a compelling narrative that enhances their personal brand.
6. Alignment with Brand Values: Personal style can align with an individual's personal brand values. For example, someone who promotes sustainability may choose eco-friendly clothing, while a trailblazer may opt for cutting-edge, avant-garde fashion. These choices reinforce their brand message. Take Jasmyne Spencer for example. She is very conscious about her carbon footprint and wears secondhand and eco-friendly clothes. She even started her own fashion brand!
7. Engagement and Relatability: Fashion can create engagement and relatability with the audience. When individuals showcase their fashion choices on social media or in public appearances, it allows their followers to connect on a personal level, enhancing the personal brand's relatability.
8. Impact on Confidence: Dressing in a way that reflects one's personal style can boost confidence. A confident appearance can translate into a confident personal brand, attracting opportunities and followers.
9. Legacy: In some cases, an individual's fashion choices become a part of their legacy. Icons like Audrey Hepburn, James Dean, or David Bowie are remembered not only for their talents but also for their distinctive fashion legacies.
How does a person's style offer them business opportunities
Your personal style can also create business opportunities, whether it is a new sponsorship, becoming an influencer or starting your own fashion brand.
Over time, individuals may develop associations with specific brand or designers because of how a player dresses. If someone always wears the same style of clothes, wears the same sort of accessories or has a unique and specific way to present herself, people will consider that as a key part of the individual. This could automatically be associated with certain brands representing the same style.
Some players become trendsetters and their fashion choices can influence wider trends. Their fans and followers might want to wear the same style, which makes them a very interesting person for a partnership. Brands want to be associated with the player and stimulate their audience to buy their products.
Some players use their position and their love for fashion to create their own fashion brand. It is a way to earn money and to do something you like. But it is also a way to communicate a story. Whether it is you own story, like Jamia Fields, or communicating the essence of a social cause like Jasmyne Spencer.
Jamia Field is an American soccer player who created her fashion brand Stoic Los Angeles (STOLA). It is a high fashion streetwear brand with a strong message. The meaning behind the brand is enduring pain and hardship. She uses parts of her personal journey when designing her clothes and every collection has a message based on those experiences. Stoic Los Angeles shows Jamia's love for fashion, her personal style, her story and it gives people the opportunity to engage and relate with her and her clothes.
We have already mentioned her name earlier in this article. Jasmyne Spencer is a professional soccer player at Angel City FC who created her own brand called JAS IT UP. It is a sustainable lifestyle brand, created with the mission to educate and inspire people to lead an eco-conscious and socially aware lifestyle. Jasmyne's passion for the environment and desire to advocate for people of all backgrounds and socio-economic status has lead to Jas It Up's growth into a sustainable lifestyle brand.
In essence, personal style and fashion are outward expressions of an individual's inner self, values, and identity. When these elements are well-crafted and consistently projected, they become integral to the individual's personal brand, influencing how they are perceived by the public and their professional peers.