Yes, it’s all about Gareth Southgate, England’s team manager in his natty waistcoat, worn throughout the tournament. You can see him in it punching the air when England scores a penalty, clenching both fists as Harry Kane scores a goal and waving his arms to encourage the fans to shout louder and longer, “INGERLAND!”
In doing so he has set a new sartorial tend. Yes, folks, the waistcoat is apparently back and not just as part of a traditional three-piece suit or the waiter’s outfit in an upmarket cocktail bar.
If what you wear makes you stand out on the touchline, Southgate has succeeded. Less formal than a full suit but still formal with a shirt and tie the waistcoat sets the outfit up perfectly. Southgate has dressed to impress and even if England loses on July 11th his style will have made the waistcoat cool again.
As England do their final training sessions ahead of the semi-final against Croatia they can reflect on an amazing World Cup so far, getting through the group stages and the knockout stages and even winning their first successful penalty shootout in four World Cups over Colombia and then Sweden, restoring confidence to the team and fans alike.
Waistcoats suggest a degree of seriousness supported by professionalism and, yes, a degree of formality but doing away with the jacket that normally accompanies it suggests ‘sleeves rolled up’, and a workmanlike approach.
That’s what England will need on “Waistcoat Wednesday” and hopefully Gareth Southgate’s inspiration (and his waistcoat) will lead the team to success.