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In athletics, comfort and performance are the true game winners. With long winning streaks behind them, casual classics like the sweatshirt, the polo, and sneakers arrived on the scene trailing glory.

Like five-pocket jeans, white tees, and sweatshirts, sneakers are utterly ubiquitous in contemporary casual style. They’ve found their way not just into the rebel’s wardrobe but into every home.

Most of us have at least one pair from the holy trifecta of sneaker makers (Nike, Adidas, and Converse) sitting by our front door.

For well-made versions, look to Japan. Brands like Shoes Like PotteryJunya WatanabePRAS, and Moonstar have opened a space for careful artisanship in athletic footwear.

Born on the French tennis court, the polo shirt didn’t get its definitive name until Ralph Lauren reimagined the shirt in the early ‘70s, making it the cornerstone of his young brand. Breezy and occasionally brash, the polo is a mainstream fashion icon that’s made a comfortable home in the underground. Be aware that certain colours have deeply problematic associations.

PoloLacosteFred Perry, and Ben Sherman make the most popular versions of the shirt, but Sunspel and Andersen-Andersen beat them at their own game.

It didn’t take long for sweatshirt manufacturers to add a hood to their designs. It was quickly adopted by those who regularly trained outdoors or sat on the sidelines in the fall or winter months. Even if you don’t ever use the hood, a well-made hoodie (particularly one with a zip) is an absolutely essential component in relaxed and rebellious styles.

Serious contenders include Canada’s Reigning Champ, America’s Velva Sheen, Germany’s Merz b. Schwanen, Japan’s The Strike Gold and Iron Heart.

An alternative to the itchy woolen sweaters athletes once practiced in, the sweatshirt has been a lynchpin in casual looks for the better part of a century.

Sweatshirt pioneers like Champion and Russell Athletic are still great choices.

If you’re looking for a cut above, check out brands like The Strike GoldTodd SnyderCushman, Knickerbocker, and Merz b. Schwanen.

Once an important part of teenage courtship rituals, the varsity jacket is in the midst of a massive revival. Whether you’re slipping it over your or your sweetheart’s shoulders, amplify the gesture by going for a good one.

Dehen1920 has been making varsity jackets for the better part of a century, and they still make one of the best, with Golden Bear nipping at their heels. For the true showstopper, try Nine Lives.

Like the players who first adopted the hooped shirt as their uniform in the nineteenth century, the hard-wearing jersey can take a proper beating. The white collar proves that rugby is a gentleman’s sport, even if, as Churchill said, it is played by “hooligans”.

Ralph LaurenJ. CrewJ. Press might be the first brands that come to mind, but our tough-as-nails favourites come from Rowing Blazers and Carhartt WIP.

Once reserved for ballparks, the baseball cap cleared the bleachers and landed in the middle of main street. It has become standard headwear for all those looking for either shade or anonymity, and it remains one of our favorite ways of displaying our team (or brand) spirit.

If you want to stand out from the ballgame crowd, a hat from Ebbet’s FieldH.W. Dog & CoReal McCoy’s, or Mr. Fatman will do the trick.

First made for rowing on the smooth waters that flow through Henley-on-Thames, the henley will keep you cool in every sense of the word. For our money, the buttonable placket represents a massive style upgrade over the simpler crew neck. Essential for layer-lovers.

Merz b. Schwanen take first place with theirs, with HomespunWarehouse / DubbleworksTodd Snyder, and Freenote following close behind.

Designed for well-heeled golfers, the harrington wended its way into the rebel’s wardrobe thanks to its adoption by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.

Dean wore a Drizzler by McGregor (they no longer make a version). Best to opt for either the original G9 from Baracuta or the absolute hole-in-one version of the golf jacket from Private White V.C..


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    Rebel Essentials » Sportswear

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