...but when they get it right, the results can be a thing of beauty that is passed down throughout the years.
Now that the action in Russia is fully underway, our lead designer has unfortunately come down with a severe case of World Cup fever. Thankfully between the cries of “send it to VAR!” and “Ronaldoooo, what a man”, he was more than happy to chat to us about what he believes are the sexiest kit designs that have graced the world stage.
5. Nigeria, 2018
A late entry by the Super Eagles, but a deserved entry none-the-less.
The staggered zigzag design is as cool on the pitch as it is off it. It should come as no surprise that it’s a record breaker - with a staggering 3 million kits sold worldwide. To put this into perspective, that’s more than Manchester United sold for the entirety of 2016 (although I’m not sure why you’d want one of those, get yourself a Stoke City shirt – the height of fashion).
4. England, 1990
They don’t make them like they used to. Yes, I know it’s technically not a World Cup kit, but you can’t deny that it’s beautiful.
I would love to meet the design team that went wild with the overlaid diamond patterns in the late ‘80s. The results of which were often shocking, but they did come out with this classic.
I mean, it was worn by Barney Sumner in the World in Motion video – instant hit.
3. Brazil, 1970
I’ll be honest, I could have chosen a selection of Brazil kits, but I’ve opted for the 1970 edition.
It’s a throwback to the original era of the vibrant samba gold colour, rather the hue seen over recent years.
Maybe it’s because the 1970 tournament was the first to be televised in colour. It could be because it was worn by Pele, Jairzinho and co. Or perhaps it’s because it’s a clear classic. Either way, it’s in my top three.
2. West Germany, 1990
Oh it’s another classic. Unfortunately its the Germans, but you’ve got to give them credit where it’s due.
Their 1990 design was beautifully brave, a strike against the norm. The German’s traditionally stuck with a simple black and white design, but not this time. The red and yellow strikes through and instantly grabs your attention.
Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, the Mercedes Benz, the Bauhaus movement – all German masterpieces with significant cultural contribution, but none as good as this kit.
You can even throw in Nena’s “99 Luftballons”, a brilliant piece of German creative, but it wasn’t worn by Voller, Kilinsmann and Matthaus as they clinched a World Cup trophy, was it?
West Germany one, Beethoven, Benz, Gropius, and Nena, nil.
1. Peru, 1970
What. A. Kit. As I like to say, it’s certainly in good nick.
This masterpiece is effortlessly magnificent - the crisp white cotton pierced solely by the bold diagonal sash and bravely overstated badge. Quite simply, it is the beautiful game’s most beautiful shirt.
It should come as no surprise that this was the beginning of Peru’s glory days, clinching their second Copa America in 1975 and qualifying for the following two World Cup tournaments.
After all, how couldn’t they perform in such a royal strip? Long live the sash.
You may have your own favourite, but just remember this - you’re probably wrong.