Just a month ago I was watching a Man U match and noted on twitter that the United players all looked sharp stepping off the bus in their matching suits. I wondered why Arsenal doesn’t do that?
And then, against Liverpool, I got my wish. Giroud Instagrammed a photo of himself in a beautiful blue suit, with a just right sized red silk tie, and a perfectly pointed collar on a crisp white shirt. Everyone gushed over this picture and the pre-match video of the players all looking sharp on their way in to the Emirates.
I can’t stress the importance of the size of a man’s tie. A tie should be thin but not too thin, should have no exaggerated shapes, should look great when the coat is unbuttoned, and never (and I mean never) have a knot so fat that it looks like you’re resting your chins on a puffy silk pillow. Giroud’s tie was perfect and, with the nice Arsenal pin on his lapel, the whole ensemble (apart from the disastrous hairstyle) looked great.
And today we know why they were wearing those suits that day against Liverpool: Arsenal have partnered with Lanvin to be Arsenal’s official tailor. The club have released a team photo of all the players (plus Frimpong) wearing the suits and looking quite dapper*.
I love that photo of Arsenal in Lanvin suits so much that I went to the Lanvin web site to check out the clothes. I’m deffo buying the $475 oversized tee shirt with the 20-sided die on the front just as soon as it goes on sale and I can find an internet coupon that works. At least 50% off. If I can get it down to $237.50 I will feel like I got a bargain.
Maybe I was thinking that the players would wear the kind of suits that I can afford. I have had a few suits in my life. None of which cost me more than $1000 and most of which cost closer to $200. But the problem is that if Arsenal walked out in $200 suits they would be a laughing stock
That’s because there’s a sort of cognitive dissonance between Arsenal and our own reality. The players are all from similar social situations as you and I, probably the same class, but we expect them to behave like people from the upper classes. And this is different from the times when Tony Adams and the Tuesday Club used to take over the local boozer for a night on the town. These players are expected to stay straight, be classy at all times, don’t smoke, and drink in moderation. And frankly, I do none of those things. But I guarantee if Wilshere starts boozing it up and smoking on the weekends, there will be plenty of pundits calling him out. It already went down that way.
Meanwhile, we complain about ticket prices, but we expect the players to dress opulently. To a man, none of those players grew up in a household that could afford a $500 tee-shirt much less a bespoke suit from one of the oldest fashion houses in the world. Why do we expect them to dress like that? Because we live through them vicariously.
We buy the shirts with their name on the back because we wish we could play like that guy. And if we could play like that guy, we wish we could play for our favorite team. That’s why a player like van Persie’s betrayal hurts so much more, because we would never do that.
We talk about their girlfriends and how pretty they are because some of us wish we were those women, even going so far as to make your twitter handle “Mrs. Mikel Arteta” or “Mrs. Kieran Gibbs”. They are our princes and princesses.
And we want our princes to wear the nicest suits possible. Perfect red ties, crisp white shirts with pointy collars, silver Arsenal cuff links, and smoothly polished black shoes. Their Cinderella Slippers if you will.