World Cup: What to Wear When Watching It

philosophers football photo

Image from Philosophers Football

Sic transit. We asked this important question in 2006 when the World Cup for football (soccer) was held in Germany and here we are again still pondering the universe, as the championship moves to South Africa. We know that the teams will be sporting jerseys by Nike made of recycled plastic bottles.

But what about our men, sprawled in front of the t.v. for the next 4 weeks, munching on Fairtrade chips and drinking beer.... The really interesting football shirts seem to be referencing back to South African political events. This shirt by Philosophers Football is a combination of England's colours and those of the Rainbow Nation. It says 'Football's coming home' in Xhosa.

all nations photo

This one eschews the use of all logos, something unique in the sea of corporate brands, and instead shows the colours of all 32 teams. Philosophy Football, calling themselves "sporting outfitters of intellectual distinction" take a somewhat sardonic view of the whole event, also featuring a range of dissenters' tee-shirts, including one that says "Free Nelson Mandela, 11 February 1990."

double bafana photo

Image from Komodo
Komodo holds up their fair trade tradition with a new line of world cup-inspired "fair play" t-shirts. Their vintage-inspired tee-shirts are made of 100% organic cotton, and all of their products are manufactured in family-run fair-trade factories in Nepal. Bafana Bafana (a term of endearment which means 'the Boys') is the national team of South Africa which was banned from FIFA until it became multi-racial in 1992.

taxi stamps photo

Image from susanwoolf

Lots of fans are not going to the games: too far, too scared, too expensive (although ticket package prices are dropping fast). So send a letter: here are stamps designed to explain the numerous hand signals used by South Africans to hail minibus taxis. They are commemorative and in braille for the blind. Called South Africa's "12th official language", millions of commuters use this unspoken, unwritten language to communicate to taxi drivers where they want to go. Each hand sign indicates a specific route.

mars bars photo

Image from popsop

England fans can eat their beloved Mars bars (which are made from sustainable cocoa) in a special wrapping with the red St. George Cross and the Three Lions logo on it. Scottish and Welsh fans of Mars are none too pleased; with the Welsh complaining that "it is worrying they do not acknowledge the fact that Wales is a different country."

wah nails

Image from Wah Nails

Loyal or bored women; here is your pastime. Show your patriotic side by supporting your home team with a set of flag nails, or if you're undecided, mix and match. Or bake patriotic cupcakes. It's all part of the mounting hysteria...

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