Fashion forward: England team tackle style convention

·3 min read
<span>Photograph: Cindy Ord/WireImage</span>
Photograph: Cindy Ord/WireImage

England’s first match in the Euro 2020 tournament isn’t until Sunday afternoon, but the fashion crowd are already focused on the team’s attacking threat – specifically Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the 24-year-old Everton striker. Calvert-Lewin may be rated by football fans for his goals, but with his off-duty looks he’s gaining a reputation as England’s premier fashion plate.

Cavert-Lewin now shares a stylist – Harry Lambert – with Harry Styles. But his personal style has stood out for a few years. If footballers, broadly speaking, tend to stick to ripped jeans, tight T-shirts and logoed washbags, Calvert-Lewin wears more obscure labels and experiments with silhouettes. His Instagram page features high-fashion brands such as Balenciaga, Vetements, Casablanca and Gucci, and even some Chanel sunglasses.

Calvert-Lewin’s profile in the fashion world began to grow in February 2020 when he attended New York fashion week with his friend and Everton colleague Tom Davies. The duo went to shows by designers including Michael Kors, wearing oversized tailoring. “I felt like clapping when I saw the picture of him and Tom looking like real young men experimenting with fashion and really asserting their identity through their clothes,” said Felicia Pennant, features editor at matchesfashion.com.

Phil Foden
Phil Foden has been nicknamed ‘the Stockport Gazza’ due to comparisons to Gascoigne’s Euro 96 hair. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Dan Sandison, the head of brand at the football magazine Mundial, said: “They [Calvert-Lewin and Davies] seem clued-up on what’s happening in menswear, and confident enough to express themselves.

“I think that’s a difficult thing for a footballer. You’re in the spotlight 24/7, so when you get off the pitch, the easy thing to do is to try and do what everyone else is doing and to fade into the background a bit.”

The striker could now be seen as England’s answer to Héctor Bellerín, the Arsenal rightback who is probably the most fashionable player in the Premier League. Bellerín has collaborated with H&M on a sustainable collection and appeared on the catwalk for Louis Vuitton. Calvert-Lewin is catching up.

Calvert-Lewin is not the only style talking point in the England camp. Much has been made of Gareth Southgate’s decision to lose the waistcoat for the England game against Romania last week, replacing it with a polo shirt. Fans on social media were not keen, with one calling it a “sartorial travesty”.

Phil Foden’s decision to bleach his hair has been greeted more positively. He has been dubbed “the Stockport Gazza”, due to comparisons with Paul Gascoigne’s hair in Euro 96. His colleagues are less convinced. “Not too many are as brave as me,” he said this week. “They like their hairstyles as they are.” England fans may be a bit more experimental. If Foden performs on the pitch, expect to spot Stockport Gazzas nationwide this summer.