There's a rise in fusion between lifestyle clothing and football, with an increase in the number of brands and retailers offering football fans the lifestyle clothing of their dreams. Grown adults struggle to pull off their club's kits (full kit wankers anyone?) so lifestyle based clothing is ideal for getting away with still wearing football clothing without getting a bit of slack from their partner or mates.
Art of Football
One of the independent brands leading the way in football lifestyle clothing is Art of Football; an idea that came about whilst watching the epic Manchester City title win (you know the one... AGUEEERROOOOOO!). Art of Football wanted to immortalise that moment and many others in t-shirts and clothing that fans could wear with pride.
We were lucky enough to get our hands on some Art of Football gear to review.
I'm going to get straight to the point; the packaging was a pure joy. I know how weird, slightly sad and obscene that sounds - it's only packaging, right? Trust me, though, Art of Football have put a lot of effort into getting their packaging right and it works.
The gear is delivered in a high-quality cardboard sleeve, which upon opening reveals a spectacular football wrapping paper. The print is vintage football newspaper cuttings, with a cutting title 'CURB THE HOOLIGANS' a particular highlight.
Each item is individually wrapped and boxed, which I will say is a bit tedious when you get more than one item. On the whole, though, the packaging is superb and proof that a little bit of quality and going the extra mile with your packaging can make a huge difference.
When you look at the packaging, you know that the Art of Football Gear is going to be of the highest standard; you're not disappointed.
The t-shirts are crisp, clean and comfortable to wear. The high-quality materials mean that they sit softly on your skin and do not irritate it like some piece of poor quality.
The jumpers are equally nice to wear; nice and thick, keeping you warm on those winter matchdays. The inside lining is as soft as anything and doesn't wear after a number of washes.
Lastly, the quality of the print is second to none. You can instantly see the levels of expertise that have gone into both the design and print and you really appreciate the attention to detail on the design. The print does not fade after washing, which is all you can ask for really.
The range of prints and gear available at Art of Football is superb; with pieces for fans of almost every club or country.
There's t-shirts of Pele, Bergkamp, George Best, Zidane and co in their The Artists collection, whilst 50 Years of Hurt documents English football's painful wait for an international trophy with some of the country's finest moments, including Beckham's Greece free-kick and Gazza's dentist chair celebration.
Art of Football is fantastic; high quality, a wide range of prints and passionate about the greatest moments in football. Their online shop is at http://art-of-football.com/ and the last Christmas delivery date is Tuesday the 20th of December, 2016.
In Bed With Maradona Editor-in-Chief