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8 Most iconic football manager outfits

4 min read

8 Most iconic football manager outfits
Football managers' outfits are becoming almost as iconic as the coaches themselves, but which eight managers are the most stylish?
In professional football, "dressing for success" has taken a stylish turn. No longer seen in scruffy tracksuits, modern managers opt for formal suits over jogging bottoms on the touchline—and for very good reason.
A sharply-dressed football manager exudes confidence, sophistication and sartorial elegance, regardless of their team's on-field performance. The touchline has become the runway for fashionable football, and the one in charge sets the tone. So who made the ranking for the most iconic football manager looks? 

1. Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola wears a charcoal grey jumper under a black jacket and looks into the distance
Becoming the foremost football manager globally isn't achieved through attire like ripped jeans and a t-shirt. Pep Guardiola's ascent to the pinnacle is not only marked by his managerial success but also by his distinctive fashion flair.
Whether clad in cargo pants and a roll neck jumper or a formal three-piece suit, the Manchester City boss exudes comfort. The consistently triumphant Spaniard effortlessly embraces various styles for any occasion, setting him apart from his counterparts both on the field and beyond.

2. Julian Nagelsmann

Julian Nagelsmann claps, wearing a black polo shirt
Julian Nagelsmann, a prominent figure among the youngest managers in international football, stands out not just for his coaching prowess but also for his impeccable sense of style. At 36 years old, he has showcased a diverse array of eye-catching outfits while managing Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, and his national team. Whether it's cropped trousers and polo shirts or blazers and tweed suits, Nagelsmann's wardrobe reflects a distinctive Eurocentric taste that only a chosen few can effortlessly embody.

3. Gareth Southgate

Continuing with international managers, Gareth Southgate, the England manager, has emerged as an emblem of sartorial excellence. Despite not being the most charismatic figure, the 53-year-old's collection of classic outfits illuminates every touchline, ensuring he remains in the fashion spotlight.
Gareth Southgate in conversation: he is wearing a shirt, waistcoat, and a red, white and blue tie
It's not an exaggeration to claim that Southgate's impeccably tailored three-piece suits have become as much a trademark as his successful brand of football management. His fashion influence is so profound that even Stoke City FC players have sought to emulate the Southgate look. Remarkably, during the 2018 World Cup in Russia, his famous waistcoat became such a style phenomenon that Marks & Spencer ran out of stock. Now, that's the epitome of fashion influence.

4. Paul Tisdale

While managing at the lower echelon of the Football League with League Two Stevenage, Paul Tisdale's fashion sense transcends the confines of his division. At 50, his matchday attire wouldn't look out of place on a Paris catwalk, defying the traditional image of a muddy touchline. Tisdale boasts an extensive collection of suits in an array of styles and colours, often opting for chequered blazers or long formal coats reminiscent of a typical city banker.
"Paul Tisdale's matchday attire wouldn't look out of place on a Paris catwalk"
Recognised as one of football's best-dressed men, Tisdale elevates his ensembles with various accessories, including deer-stalkers and pork pie hats. Occasionally, he even dons a cravat, adding a touch of sensational flair to his distinctive style.

5. Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag shouts, wearing a blue suit and tie and a white shirt
Amidst the current style drought at Manchester United, their exquisitely dressed manager is a beacon of fashion flair. Erik ten Hag faces the formidable task of reviving this slumbering giant, and he's determined to do it with an impeccable sense of style. The 53-year-old Dutchman presents an enigmatic image on matchdays, combining formal woollen coats, skinny trousers, slim-fit shirts, scarves, and accessories.
While he orchestrates the team's revival, Ten Hag ensures that his matchday attire displays a level of detail and sophistication—a quality that hasn't fully translated to his team's performance on the pitch.

6. Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini wears a black suit, embroidered with Manchester City's club badge, and a scarf in the club's white and sky blue colours
Illuminating touchlines across the globe for decades, Roberto Mancini remains a football fashion icon. The enigmatic Italian, a former Manchester City boss, consistently exudes sharp style on the bench, whether in a well-cut suit, blazer, or a classic trench coat, invariably paired with a matching tie.
Recognised for his affinity for scarves, the 58-year-old Mancini now showcases cooler attire as the current coach of Saudi Arabia. By maintaining simplicity, he effortlessly pulls off any look with the famed Italian ease that has become synonymous with his fashion legacy.

7. Scott Parker

While the verdict on Scott Parker's potential as a football manager may be undecided, his unquestionable prowess in sartorial style and individual dress sense speaks volumes. The 42-year-old, currently seeking his next coaching opportunity after departing Belgian side Club Brugge, showcased a wealth of touchline presence during his stints with Fulham and Bournemouth.
"Scott Parker's prowess in sartorial style and individual dress sense speaks volumes"
His repertoire included a stunning array of suits, blazers, coats, and jackets—always smart, always on point. Regardless of the managerial debate, Parker's fashion acumen remains a constant highlight.

8. Malcolm Allison

Malcolm Allison smiles, wearing a football shirt
No article on football fashion can overlook the late, great Malcolm Allison. The West Ham United legend, renowned for managing 18 clubs in four different countries, including Manchester City (twice), is perhaps more celebrated for his iconic statement hats and luxurious fur coats.
During the peak of his fame in the 1970s and 1980s, an era dominated by flares and oversized lapels, 'Big Mal' stood out as a trendsetter. While his distinctive style may not be deemed fashionable today, Allison carried off the bold look like no other, leaving an indelible mark on the football fashion landscape.

The stage for tactics and style

Within the world of football, managers have elevated themselves beyond traditional roles, emerging as bona fide style icons. The remarkable versatility of Pep Guardiola and Julian Nagelsmann's Eurocentric flair exemplify these iconic figures, highlighting the seamless integration of fashion with the beautiful game.
"Managers have elevated themselves beyond traditional roles, emerging as bona fide style icons"
Their choices on the touchline serve as a source of inspiration for fans, offering a glimpse into the evolving culture of football. In doing so, these managers assert that the touchline is not merely a stage for tactics but also a canvas for style.
Banner photo: Many of the most iconic manager outfits involve a stylish suit (credit: Anders Kristensen (Pexels))
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