Soccer is just a game, but this, this is fashion.
KNOCKED OUT IN THE GROUP STAGE:
Style: 1/10. Belgium are young and exciting but will have to play out of their skins to win the World Cup. Maybe they should play out of their shirts too.
Originality: 3/10. The crown is unique, but it’s also extremely tacky.
Patriotism: 4/10. So generic. The sort of shirts your school team wore for seven years because it couldn’t afford new ones.
Style: 1. The jagged lines might confuse the opposition, but the fashion critics aren’t fooled.
Originality: 5. There’s original and then there’s being different for the sake of it. This is the latter.
Patriotism: 3. Doesn’t say much about Mexico’s great culture, and isn’t that traditional either.
Style: 2. They look a bit like those baggy t-shirts mum made you wear when you were a kid.
Originality: 1. Plain. So, so plain.
Patriotism: 6. While the massive H on the chest isn’t exactly stylish, it does at least show that the Honduras are proud of their nation, and proud to be at another World Cup.
Style: 4. The fading yellow stripe across the away kit is an issue, and in terms of the home shirt, you expect better from the world champions.
Originality: 3. Could easily be for a Sunday league team (barring the World Cup winners’ star or course).
Patriotism: 3. Where’s the blue gone?!
Style: 2. It’s all a bit ’90s, isn’t it? When it comes to soccer kits, that’s rarely a good thing.
Originality: 4. The design on the shoulders gives it something a bit different.
Patriotism: 4. All three of Ecuador’s main colors just creep onto the home shirt (look as the trim on the sides!)
27. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Style: 2. Seriously, how long are those sleeves?!
Originality: 3. The little stripes on the sleeves are okay, but these are pretty plain otherwise.
Patriotism: 6. The crest has a silhouette of the countries on, which is a nice little bonus.
Style: 4. The triangle under the collar isn’t great, and the kits as a whole look like they’ve been pulled out of the draw from a few years ago.
Originality: 3. Shouldn’t Aussies play in upside down kits anyway? Now that would be original.
Patriotism: 5. Green and gold — check. Navy — huh?!
25. Costa Rica
Style: 4. Is that a bird with a really long neck flying across the shirt? Cannot unsee.
Originality: 5. It has a mutant bird on it.
Patriotism: 3. Unfortunately for Costa Rica, the stork is not their national bird.
Style: 6. Greece have gone for the simple yet classy look, but the tiny collar lets the side down.
Originality: 2. I mean, it’s hardly out there, is it?
Patriotism: 4. Post-match plate smashing would rocket this score up.
23. South Korea
Style: 4. The away kit definitely beats the home one, which looks more like a training top than something for the world’s biggest stage.
Originality: 5. Mostly for the red and blue stripes on the shoulders. We like.
Patriotism: 4. Could have made use of the excellent South Korean flag.
Style: 3. The Italians are supposed to be a fashionable nation, but the panels on the shoulders of the home shirt and the odd collar suggest otherwise.
Originality: 3. The pinstriped away kit is quirky, but is ruined by the trim on the sides.
Patriotism: 7. The classic azurri blue is there, along with occasional glimpses of the Italian flag. These strips’ saving grace.
Style: 4. We didn’t realize Ireland had made the World Cup? Oh, this is Nigeria. The away shirt is a good one though.
Originality: 5. Two-tone green on pinstripes on the home kit give this a little something.
Patriotism: 4. Nicknamed the Super Eagles, Nigeria could have played up to that and created a truly awesome kit. But they didn’t.
Style: 6. So tight it looks like the players might not be able to breathe.
Originality: 3. Uh, there’s some gold on it, I guess?
Patriotism: 5. The sun rays coming out of the crest are a nice touch, but very understated — where’s the PRIDE?!
Style: 6. Unlike some of the other African nations, Algeria have played it pretty safe.
Originality: 4. Like a lot of the Puma kits this summer, they look good, they’re just a bit dull.
Patriotism: 5. The flag makes some form of appearance on the chest, so bonus points for that.
Style: 6. The away kit appears to have come straight out of a Dennis the Menace comic. The home shirt is a belter though.
Originality: 7. The only side inspired by a cartoon character at this year’s tournament. What is the world coming to?
Patriotism: 2. Not a lot. It’s a good job those Germans can play…
Style: 2. Lots that is ugly about these.
Originality: 5. The watermark earns points, but the away strip is very Portugal, isn’t it?
Patriotism: 9. That animal on the front is the Asiatic cheetah, and it is on there to raise awareness of its dwindling numbers in Iran. We love it!
SECOND ROUND LOSERS:
Style: 5. The diagonal slashes on the home strip are neither sensational nor awful. A good shade of yellow.
Originality: 6. Brazil will always be owners of the definitive yellow shirt.
Patriotism: 5. Nothing screams Colombia from these kits, not even the logo.
15. Ivory Coast
Style: 7. The shapes are really nice, even if on the whole these kits are pretty plain. Strong colors help make up for that, though.
Originality: 4. Coulda jazzed it up a bit.
Patriotism: 5. The elephant on the badge is a big plus, but it’s all you really get from from these strips.
Style: 5. The lines down the sides look a bit like an overambitious plastic surgeon has been plotting a makeover.
Originality: 5. Nothing particularly striking but these kits do have a bit of an edge.
Patriotism: 7. All three of the Chile’s main colors appear on each shirt. This is what we like to see.
Style: 5. The two-tone red on the home kit is strong, though we’re unsure on the seemingly ice-inspired away effort.
Originality: 8. The graphic on the red shirt and the twist on stripes on the white one mean these kits do stand out.
Patriotism: 4. Seem to suggest that Russia is defined by ice and snow. Not enough blue on the home shirt.
Style: 5. The home shirt isn’t quite up to the standard of some of Argentina’s classics, but the away top is interesting. Not bad.
Originality: 6. The blue and white stripes are pretty unique in international football, and the different shades used on the away kit are smart.
Patriotism: 7. Like the hosts and fellow South Americans Brazil, Argentina’s kits are iconic, and 2014’s efforts don’t break from tradition.
Style: 8. The Portuguese will look great in either of those shirts as they inevitably knock England out in the quarter-finals.
Originality: 6. The hoops on the home shirt make it one of the best kits of the tournament.
Patriotism: 5. Not enough green to be truly Portuguese, but when Cristiano Ronaldo’s banging the goals in, will they care?
Style: 5. The blue away kit with the checkered trim is great, but the home strip looks a bit too much like a motor racing finishing flag or Grandma’s tablecloth.
Originality: 9. When your kit is this bold, everyone is evidently too scared to copy you.
Patriotism: 6. The colors are all right — this couldn’t belong to anyone but the Croatians.
Style: 6. The red on the sleeves and subtle pattern on the home shirt is great. The tennis ball-style away shirt is a bit of an eyesore though.
Originality: 7. Bright colours and decent graphics while still looking smart on the whole. Solid.
Patriotism: 7. One of the few kits in this year’s World Cup to include the nation’s flag, but the colors are little random.
GONE IN THE QUARTERS:
Style: 8. So, so simple, but these kits look great. Does that red one remind anyone of a certain 1966? We can dream…
Originality: 5. They’re plain, but in the traditional sense. Retro football kits are the way forward.
Patriotism: 7. The three lions are there and large, and these strips hark back to the glory days. Can the team follow suit? Probably not…
Style: 8. Brazil can never really go wrong with their iconic yellow and green strip, and their change options are pretty slick too.
Originality: 7. The trailblazers of the bright yellow kit.
Patriotism: 6. Whack a big samba drum on the front and you’re onto a winner (okay, maybe not).
6. The Netherlands
Style: 7. The shape itself could not be more simple, but it works. The orange is great as ever, the blue strip is a nice concept and the retro crest looks awesome.
Originality: 7. Orange, orange, orange. Also, the darkening chevrons on the away strip will look great in action.
Patriotism: 7. Did we mention the orange?
Style: 8. The tramlines down the sides work well, as do the bits of trim on the sleeves. Points for the neckline too. Actually, it’s all pretty great.
Originality: 6. Stands out with elegance.
Patriotism: 8. What’s the best thing about Switzerland? Well, the flag’s a big plus (sorry, so so sorry). But look, it’s there on the home shirt, and it rocks!
OUT IN THE SEMIS:
Style: 7. The graphics are subtle enough not to be garish while giving the kit an interesting twist — a strong effort!
Originality: 8. It has animals on it. We like animals. Points for you, Cameroon.
Patriotism: 8. The shirts are literally covered in the country’s culture, and all the colours are there too.
Style: 8. The white kit is classic even if a little tennis-esque, while the away top is loud, proud will look stunning on the pitch.
Originality: 8. Basically just because of the away shirt. Nothing like anything else in the competition.
Patriotism: 8. U.S.A. U.S.A. Some stars might have taken this to a 10, but let’s be honest, it would be a bit much.
WORLD CUP FINALISTS:
Style: 9. They might not be that good at football these days (they scraped into the World Cup via the play-offs), but the French sure know their fashion.
Originality: 7. The away kit basically looks like a t-shirt, but it’s different and it works really nicely.
Patriotism: 8. The hoops conjure up the image of the stereotypical Frenchman, with with a subtle twist.
1. Ghana — WORLD CHAMPIONS!
Style: 9. The tribal bit round the collar and sleeves of the home kit is just perfection, and the patterned red number is special too.
Originality: 9. The two kits both make a statement, but are completely different from one another. Just great.
Patriotism: 8. Like the Cameroon strip, the traditional watermarking is brilliant, and incorporates stars to recognise Ghana’s ‘Black Stars’ nickname.
Score: 26/30 The clear leaders. GHANA WIN THE WORLD CUP!!! (of fashion)
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