England is on the cusp of pulling off the unthinkable – making it through to a World Cup final. Against all odds, it looks like football is actually coming home. Being firm believers in the power of dressing well, we're putting this fortuitous turn of events down to one thing: Gareth Southgate's waistcoat.
The England manager has become a bonafide national treasure, with his now trademark navy blue waistcoat has become an icon of its own volition. During each match, Mr Southgate has been on the touchline looking calm, collected and undeniably cool in his single breasted style, so much so that today has been christened Waistcoat Wednesday. Thousands of fans are set to follow in his lead, hoping that their lucky tailoring will manifest in an England win. As for Mr Southgate himself – he'll no doubt be coaching that little bit harder now that we've offered him a lifetime's supply of waistcoats if we win tonight's match. If you're planning to join in and don your own waistcoat, here's a quick guide on how to get it right.
Make sure your waistcoat fits perfectly
Your waistcoat should fit like a goalies glove. You want it to hug without clinging, while retaining enough room to manoeuvre. Admittedly, having an ex-footballer’s physique will help here, but in any case the right fit will leave you looking trim. If you’re finding it difficult to choose between two sizes, opt for the larger and use the back adjuster to get a closer fit.
Go for a grey or blue waistcoat
Now don’t get us wrong – here at Sir Plus we’re big fans of a brightly-coloured waistcoat. But as Mr Southgate has rightly judged, the touchline isn’t the place for bold yellows and blues. When wearing a waistcoat in a less formal setting – and especially when going without a jacket – stick to neutral tones that are slightly lighter than your bottom hand.
Master smart casual
Regardless of tonight’s result, Mr Southgate deserves a trophy for his mastering the smart-casual dress code without falling into the tailoring and denim trap – a combination which never ends well. Always stick with formal trousers, a smart shirt and leather shoes, even if you’re going jacket-less. Mr Southgate has even opted for a patterned tie, though we’d recommend he also keeps a pocket square handy in case of any Gazza moments.
Always leave the last button undone
A common mistake that not even Mr Southgate is immune to. When wearing a waistcoat - whether single or double breasted – always leave your last button undone. Why? It’s one of those traditions that has a few explanations, which we’ve delved into here.