European sportswear has long been a staple of youth culture, whether it be the influences of Rene Lacoste or Fred Perry, who through their own personal preference of tennis comfort created two of the most iconic and recognisable polo shirts in the world, or 80s tennis stars Boris Becker and John McEnroe who with their allegiance to Fila and Sergio Tacchini respectively, introduced European sportswear to a British audience.
Scores of English football fans, especially teenagers, would travel across Europe to watch their teams overseas, pillaging their way through high streets and bringing European sports brands back in abundance, giving a whole new life to the clothing originally designed with sport in mind, thus spawning the birth of the ‘Casual.’
The casual movement saw interest in European sportswear peak and evolve from sportswear to streetwear. The phenomenon would sweep the nation, originally starting in Northern cities such as Liverpool, before spawning across the country.
Brands such as Fila, Lacoste, Sergio Tacchini and Ellesse would become the preferred choice for the casual to don.
Over time, the casual image has evolved to include brands such as Stone Island, Burberry and CP Company (brands which we today would associate with the modern-day casual.
Despite the new additions to preferred casual labels, the key elements of the 80s casual movement were track tops, knitted jumpers, polo shirts, corduroy trousers and wedge haircuts, (all of which you can find here at Vintage Folk!!, except the haircut, I mean, I could try but probably wouldn’t do a great job.)