Football managers aren’t an obvious source of trend or style inspiration. At best they look neat, well-fitted and expensively attired but fairly safe, like Pep Guardiola. At worst, they’re wearing ill-fitting retro tracksuits with their socks tucked in. Martin O Neill.
The majority tend to lie somewhere in between, mixing up suits with bad manager jackets in an effort to look smart and stay warm at the same time.
This season however has seen a new approach catching on amongst European football’s elite number ones. And it comes in the form of the V-neck cardigan.
From Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp to the normally less sartorially-inclined Arsene Wenger and David Moyes, it's been an ever present amongst Europe's Premier clubs for a little while now. Worn under a suit, it has the advantage of adding another layer of touchline warmth, while retaining a level of smartness that’s more becoming of men in their position, power and profile than a nylon sponsor-emblazoned puffer jacket.
It also adds a bit of texture and even character to the more traditional touchline suit look. Jose Mourinho has shown a lot of faith in his knit zip-ups and polos which can do the same job, if more casually than the cardy.
Given they’re men over 40, there’s another rather attractive pay-off of course to having a knit layer between shirt and jacket - it hides any gut overhang that can start to poke through a poplin shirt of its own accord, resulting in a tight, creased and occasionally titty look. Sam Allardyce, take note.
The Suggestion: Try this Hackett Fine Guage Cardigan, £155, which is thin enough to fit under sleeves without bunching up and won't look out of place sitting under a high-quality suit jacket.