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Why Cashmere Is A Winning Look For a Boss On The Bench

There can be no doubt that cashmere is a classy material and offers a stylish look, but often there is an emphasis only on women’s clothing. True, a cardigan or skirt in cashmere looks great and a pashmina is a magical year-round garment. But sometimes it can help men who want to be extremely fashionable.

Of course, this will matter more for some men than others, but some chaps are forever in the public eye and their sartorial choices will get commented on a lot, sometimes as much as what they actually do in their day jobs or personal lives.

Take football managers. The Daily Telegraph noted that there are perhaps three styles of dress for Saturday afternoons on the bench. One is the dressed-down tracksuit look of a Jurgen Klopp. Then there is the club blazer and overcoat of a Sean Dyche or a David Moyes. But the third is a “pure class” modern look.

Describing this group, epitomised by the likes of Jose Mourinho, it said: “They wear austere, neatly put-together medleys of greys, blacks and whites, whether that's a bespoke Italian suit or a cashmere jumper and wool trousers.” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is considered part of this group.

The context of these comments might appear a little odd. They arose in an interview with Arteta, who dresses in a very stylish manner but admits to superstitiously not changing his clothes since early February, when Arsenal last lost a game. It may be stretching things to say men’s pure cashmere jumpers are a lucky charm, but then again, they don’t seem to be doing any harm.

Some might think it inappropriate to devote so much attention to what a man is wearing when the most important thing about him is that the football club he coaches is currently top of the league. But perhaps the likes of David Beckham have taught us a big lesson; that those who gain fame while running round outdoors wearing shorts can still rock stylish fashion looks afterwards.

Perhaps it comes from the concept of the ‘alpha male’, which matters in an era when the old class system has faded and footballers are no longer paid modest wages to spend 15-20 years of their life doing something other than blue collar jobs (England’s 1950s winger Tom Finney, for instance, was known as the ‘Preston Plumber’ because of his other trade). 

Then again, maybe it’s just that Beckham, due to being married to a Spice Girl and fashion designer who loves a bit of cashmere herself (as revealed by Hello’s paps this week) was a game changer. Either way, things are different now to the 50s, when famous footballers didn’t marry pop stars, except for Billy Wright.   

Nowadays, footballers will not be fixing taps and pipes but living in homes with multiple bathrooms, giving them a sense of status way beyond what those of years gone by enjoyed. Mikel Arteta will have experienced this himself in his playing days in the 2000s before becoming one of those stylishly-dressed coaches. 

Of course, football managers are far from the only men who will be seen out and about, have high status jobs or bulging bank accounts. They have been late arrivals in the world of high fashion. But, as cashmere-clad bosses such as Mikel Arteta know only too well, being stylish and staying on top right now is what matters most.

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