Ever since Guy Fawkes’ plot to blow up the houses of parliament, the UK has been a country of subcultures. Whether through religious or political revolution or just youthful rebellion against the mainstream, Britain has been and in some ways, still is, a hotbed of subculture. One of the subcultures is the football casual. Originally connected to football hooliganism, the football casual is an identity to football culture that’s deeply rooted in fashion.FOOTBALL AND FASHION

We can trace football and fashion back to the 1950’s with the teddy boy movement being the first culture to be integrated into British football culture. The associated violence of football matches falls into line with the subculture mentality of “us vs them”.

By the end of 60’s, there was a definite connection between football hooligans and skinheads. This made it very easy for the Police to target potential football hooligans thanks to the distinctive fashion of the skinhead. It caused football fans to forge their own fashion identity.



Football fans didn’t want to be political; they just wanted to love football and love their club. Adopting the mod or skinhead subculture wasn’t a good fit. So they created their own subculture.

The original Football Casual

Most experts agree that the Football Casual, in terms of fashion especially, was born out of Liverpool in the late 70s. At the time, they were one of the best teams in the world, winning the European. Liverpool would often travel Europe supporting their team. It’s on those away days that the football casual was born.

The scousers would travel Europe picking up designer labels. Sergio Tacchini, Lacoste shirts and Polos with  Adidas and Diadora trainers, became a way of showing others you’re a die-hard fan, following your club over land and sea. Soon other northern club fans would pop over to Europe to visit French and German boutiques to pick up brands for the terraces, and soon the subculture was born.

Moving through the 1980’s most clubs had Football fans embracing the football casual culture which each fan group showing preferences for different brands. Even those fans who were not interested in the hooliganism component of the football casual would wear the right designs, so they were recognisable amongst their fans.

The outside perception of the fan culture has always been the violence and antisocial behaviour, but it’s always been more about a sense of belonging. A sense of tribalism and the brands were a way of representing your tribe. Often it was one-upmanship, against rival fans and even amongst your own fans. Who were the best-dressed really mattered.


The removal of terraces and the introduction of all seating stadiums killed the tribal feeling at football matches, but still, 20 and 30-year-old men still feel a sense of connection to the football fan subculture and show it in the clothes they wear.  It’s more than a sense of identity it’s almost a chance to show off. It’s also a way for casuals to pay homage to days gone by with retro casual fashion showing a revival. Here are some of the brands that are hot on the terraces.Stone Island

No self-respecting football casual wardrobe is complete without a Stone Island Coat of sweater. The backbone of football culture from the 90’s this iconic badge remains really popular with the style conscious man.


Fred Perry

Originally adopted by the Skinheads in the late 60s, Fred Perry has been synonymous with fan conscious football fans up and down the UK. It’s been popular for over 50 years. Does that make it the little black dress for the casual?


C.P. Company

This brand has been part of Football terrace culture since the 1990’s. The subtle labelling makes it a favourite for those casuals who want to be stylish and only identifiable to those “in the know”. These days, C.P.Company has become part of the Stone Island family.



One of the original brands adopted by the Liverpool fans in the 1970’s, Lacoste started life as a tennis brand, but the Lacoste polo has become an essential part of the football fan’s wardrobe. Especially for the warmer months.


Lyle & Scott

The gold eagle of Lyle & Scott because popular in the 1990’s and with casual culture taking a distinctively retro turn the brand is seeing a  renaissance, especially the jumpers, which are well made and warm.

Football casuals have had a bad reputation, fully earned in most cases. But violence is no longer a part of the culture; it hasn’t been for 20 years. It’s about a sense of belonging. Modern-day tribalism.  It’s  always been about the clothes you wear, and it still is.

The images in this article are shot by Tessa Bosma and styled by Christian Mpamo.  Model Mark @Touche Models is wearing clothes from VERSACE, KARL KANI, EUREKA SHOES, JUTKA EN RISKA, BELLSTAFF, AVELON, ALPHA INDUSTRIES and LACOSTE.