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Fashion experts weigh in on World Cup jersey style



By JANIE McCAULEY

SAO PAULO (AP) - The World Cup uniforms will provide a carnival of color and fashion, from Brazil's bright yellow jerseys to the Netherlands' classic orange to Croatia's red checkered home kit and the superhero-inspired looks of Mexico.

The 2014 tournament, which opens Thursday when Brazil hosts Croatia, features the classics, the creative and the downright outlandish.

The Americans' new red, white and blue color-block road jerseys - critics say they resemble Domino's Pizza delivery uniforms - can't be as bad as the memorable faux denim outfits from 1994. But the vote is still out on how the newest outfit for the Stars and Stripes will go over.

"The USA jersey feels very patriotic," said Los Angeles designer and stylist Estée Stanley of Estée Stanley Design. "It's easy to identify the country as the U.S."

The U.S. isn't the only nation trying the block style.

"Another stylish direction is the color-blocking or piecing - USA away or Ecuador away or Colombia," said Tom Julian, men's fashion director at The Doneger Group, a retail merchandising and consulting firm based in New York.

Then there are the classics.

Brazil will be in the traditional yellow with five stars representing its record five titles.

Several teams are all about understated looks: There are England's white home jersey and red road kit - like the one players wore in the victorious 1966 final against West Germany - and the traditional blue of Italy with the a crest over the heart in the nation's tricolor.

They contrast sharply with Croatia, which sports a bombastic home shirt with large red-and-white checks.

Four years ago, Slovenia sported green road jerseys with large yellow zigzags for road games in a look reminiscent of Charlie Brown.

Some teams have gone for subtle patterns that still stand out. El Tri's lightning bolts on both jerseys will make Mexico fashionable as the team travels around Brazil.

"I am definitely partial to those shirts with daring superhero graphics or shirts that focus on the torso in a dynamic way," Julian said. "Mexico, very 'Shazam!' with the lightning-rod effect - probably my favorite out of all."

Plenty of supporters are flocking into Brazil wearing the new outfit.

"The jersey's like a Power Ranger, I like it," said 28-year-old architect Alan Gonzalez, of Durango, Mexico. He sported the jersey and a sombrero traveling to Sao Paulo via Atlanta with four buddies Tuesday.

Cameroon's forest-green, art-inspired jersey with the look of etchings makes a bold statement for the small African nation.

In the 2004 African Cup of Nations, Cameroon briefly used a track-style unitard. The one-piece outfit with green shirt and red shorts was quickly banned by FIFA before the 2006 World Cup.

The current kit is generating some positive attention.

"The Cameroon jersey is the cutest and most fashionable with an Ikat print," Stanley said.

And, of course, there's the attention to figure-flattering cuts and prints for some of the world's fittest athletes - who are known to celebrate a goal by flashing their rock-hard abdominals.

"The modified Henley - Brazil - is the most body conscious right now and represents the influence of the rock 'n' roll dresser. ... Netherlands away is very torso-enhancing," Julian said. "In activewear, color is an important part of the story, and it's great to see the brights well represented - from yellow and orange to green and red."

Some countries have nicknames based off their kits: France is known as Les Bleus after its classic navy home top. The Netherlands wears orange because it's the royal color - and are nicknamed "Oranje" because of it.

Chile's red home jersey with a blue collar and narrow white stripes down both sides of the neck should bode well for those looking to show off some flair in Brazil and beyond.

Julian calls Costa Rica's look, featuring almost a backward checkmark across the chest, "very space-age superhero" and Nigeria's two-toned green tops with subtle vertical stripes "very green villain."

"Soccer jersey styles are typical and expected with crewneck and polo shirt silhouettes," Julian said. "But the "Johnny collar" style - Chile home - is definitely on trend and a modern silhouette for today's active guy."

Join the discussion

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Moreira June 14 2014 at 2:54 PM

I care and the 90% the people in the Word cares. The best game ever. The only game competing World wide once every four years. The American hand football does not have near the popularity of the word football around all the world. All the Americans should be proud of their team representig USA in the real "World Cup". Please apretiate your team.

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2 replies
John Moreira June 14 2014 at 7:53 PM

Soccer sucks only pole smokers and soccer moms care about it.

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1 reply
luigi1947 John June 14 2014 at 9:00 PM

trolls should remain under their rocks till the games are over. has it ever occurred to you that the rest of the world doesn't care about your sports either

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fabiolenoir Moreira June 15 2014 at 8:53 AM

Also, games like baseball, footbal, ice hocky are only popular in US and not around the world.

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1 reply
borntalent fabiolenoir June 16 2014 at 10:04 AM

Are you on drugs? Hockey is bigger in Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, etc.. than in the USA.
Also, baseball is HUGE in Dominican Republic, Japan, Venezuela, Cuba...

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oh_come_on June 14 2014 at 12:25 PM

Looks like a gay pride rally

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Randy June 14 2014 at 12:39 PM

Why all the hype for an event the majority of the US could care less about - yet AOL neglects the news the corrupt, inept at every level obama administration is busier playing golf in Palm Springs and pandering to the hollywierd elites for "campaign funds" all on the taxpayers dime????? Guess the leftist loons of AOL operate under the delusion the people who click onto their website have no knowledge of TRUE sources of news that matters while they distract the brain dead left with baubles, smoke and mirrors.

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Socho Ekon June 14 2014 at 1:27 PM

Who the hell cares about the world cup... the media keeps trying to pimp this as the Olympics or something. The only people who play soccer in the US as suburban douches that have mommies who won't let them play a real sport.

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2 replies
Moreira Socho Ekon June 14 2014 at 3:01 PM

Believe it or not the media is making big monies with the World Cup. The Games are folowed and watched by all countries in the World. What does not happened with the American Football.

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1 reply
oh_come_on Moreira June 14 2014 at 7:15 PM

Yea watched by all the LOOSER COUNTRIES

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luigi1947 Socho Ekon June 14 2014 at 4:20 PM

with all due respect, you have NO clue what you are talking about. why don't you spend a month in a soccer training camp and we will see what kind of douch bag YOU are.in the mean time, please show our National Team the respect they deserve

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vbrown419 June 14 2014 at 10:22 PM

The "midia" is making a big deal out of it because 3.2 BILLION people watched the World Cup in 2010, and that is big business.Of course, they are all residents of the "loser" countries, as someone here wrote, Didn't you all noticed Google logo lately? Click on it and you'll see the game schedule. Yes, it's that big. The soccer moms are right - they are trying to catch up with a sport that the rest of the world enjoys.

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John June 14 2014 at 7:52 PM

Woe These soccer fans show you how to look like a complete flamer. They make the flaming queens in pride parades look tame compared to them.

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1 reply
luigi1947 John June 14 2014 at 9:04 PM

ever seen any of your so-called foot ball fans?????

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1 reply
fabiolenoir luigi1947 June 15 2014 at 8:57 AM

Yes, most of the football funs are drunk and high on drugs.

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Harry June 15 2014 at 12:36 AM

Wasn't that Dennis Rodman on the cover page?

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Sparky5229 June 15 2014 at 5:40 AM

Not interested in Soccer .

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1 reply
fabiolenoir Sparky5229 June 15 2014 at 8:53 AM

Then don't watch it. No one forced you

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1 reply
borntalent fabiolenoir June 16 2014 at 10:08 AM

How do you know if anyone forced hi to watch it?

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