Beginning a look back at some of our favourite 2019 kits not yet featured on Sartorial.Soccer, we gaze back to this summer’s Women’s World Cup in France and the greatest shirt Nike have ever produced for an England side.
One massive marker of the growing status of the women’s game came with the polyester spree of individual and innovative kits designed specifically for female footballers at the tournament.
For too long, England’s Lionesses and other international women’s sides including USA and Germany had been forced to accept hand-me-down designs from their male counterparts.
Those kits may have been smaller and often had a lower neckline, but were scarcely designed for the female athlete and offered nothing in terms of identity other than the badge to play for.
There will be those who say that national teams should play for the same shirt whether male or female, but the production of individual kits represents progress and gives due respect to the women’s game.
Of the outstanding kits offered up for France 2019, one of the most spectacular was England’s dark red away kit which brought more flair and imagination than Nike has ever shown a Three Lions’ shirt before.
Although worn just once as the Lionesses laboured to victory over Argentina to book their place in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup, the intricate shirts, subtly divided into quarters and embellished with flowers from each of England’s counties, easily became the most popular shirt for fans travelling to France or watching from home.
Baroness Sue Campbell, the Football Association’s director of women’s football, said: “It’s the first time our women’s team have had their own unique and exclusive kits, which is a real marker of progress and an indicator of how much the profile of the women’s game has grown in this country.”
These exceptional England shirts offer a glimpse of the stunning work Nike are capable of and only whet the appetite for more imaginative kits for the men’s national team after a series of plain designs.
Browse through more of our favourite shirt stories from 2019 here – Kit of the Week.