Sideline wear isn’t an official category in the fashion industry, but for soccer fans it is always something that makes a coach stand out. In Major League Soccer, we see a lot of the same coaching outfits that are popular with coaches all over the world. There is the ever-present team track suit — which has become popular among the likes of Orlando City’s Oscar Pareja — the classic suit and tie combo, and just about everything in between.
But there are a few coaches around MLS who have taken their fashion game a step (or in some cases many steps) above the rest. These coaches include Philadelphia’s Jim Curtin, Dallas’s Luchi Gonzalez, (formerly) Toronto’s Gregg Vanney, and of course, our own Giovanni Savarese.
These coaches are in a separate class when it comes to sideline wear. Part of what makes them the most fashionable is their wardrobe versatility. Most coaches find a style and stick to it. These coaches — and more specifically Savarese — have their go-to looks, but mix it up to keep fans guessing and leave opposing coaches jealous.
After 28 matches this season, Gio has blessed us with some great fits. I took the time to track down each and every big fit Gio rocked on the sidelines and will break down some of his best and most versatile looks.
Gio debuted this gem on the sidelines against LAFC on Decision Day. Not everyone can pull off this sweater — many wouldn’t even try. This sweater is tricky because big sweaters like this can make someone seem older than they are. It’s like your grandpa’s favorite sweater. But the rest of Savarese’s outfit tones down the old vibes and makes it a classy and serious look without relying on a suit and tie.
The details that make this combo work are as follows: The light blue shirt that is not buttoned up all of the way makes the sweater pop and also tones down the formality of this ensemble; his big watch, which has the sporty style that gives him a younger vibe; and finally, the pop of color. So far he has kept everything to blues and blacks, but right above his watch is his red beaded bracelet that ties the whole look together.
Wall Street Savarese
It appears Gio loves to mix things up against LAFC because here is another look that only saw the sideline once. Savarese looks like he should be carrying his briefcase to his office on Wall Street. He goes with a light grey suit and a blue shirt that he has unbuttoned a bit. The look says “I’m here to work hard and get the job done,” which gives serious businessman vibes.
Then we look at the detail. The brownish/maroon pocket square adds some variance. Savarese again mixes things up with his watch selection. He goes with a light colored Apple Watch and complements it with another bracelet that adds color.
Casual and Socially Conscious
Throughout the entirety of the MLS is Back Tournament, Savarese went with a much more casual look. He along with many of the other MLS coaches wore the Black Lives Matter shirt designed by the Philadelphia Union’s Warren Creavalle to help raise awareness and demand change for the social injustices happening around the country.
Gio paired the shirt with Adidas track pants. You can almost never go wrong with those. Both the shirt and pants were black, so to make the outfit pop he chose white Nikes with a dash of color. He followed that up with his white Apple Watch and his go-to bracelet that matches the dash of color on his trainers.
The Masked Man
Masks are obviously still essential and, as the pandemic continues, we aren’t getting rid of them any time soon. Gio has worked in his mask perfectly here. He wears his team administered mask, which is green and has the Timbers’ logo all over it. The mask stands out. So what does Savarese do? He goes with a subtle look.
The dark blue suit is a classic, but if you look closely there is a twist. The suit has a bit of texture, making it not your boring blue suit. Savarese goes with a white shirt to complement the suit and is holding a matching notebook (the commitment to the outfit never stops). Last and certainly not least is the belt. This is a big baller belt. You may not see it at first, but this belt takes courage and swagger to pull off.
Winter is Coming
Late November in the Pacific Northwest is not warm by anyone’s measure, especially not a man from Venezuela. Savarese went for layers on layers against FC Dallas. Almost everything he is wearing is colored in the same family of grey. It doesn’t necessarily match, but it works. Grey slacks, sweater, perfectly tied scarf, and beanie. The accessories are both functional and add to the outfit. But the game-changing piece is this excellent jacket.
The jacket is a nice medium grey with hints of lighter grey, creating a checked and textured pattern. The elbow patches tie this together. There is a lot of grey here so he needed some other color incorporated into the fit. The brown elbow patches complement the greys and nothing quite says fall on a rainy day like these colors.
Repping his Team
Soccer and style have a long complicated history. We have see awful outfits from both players and coaches and we have seen players walk down runways at Paris Fashion Week. But there has always been a question of how to incorporate your love for your team with your commitment to fashion. Gio has figured it out and executes it to perfection.
The navy overcoat is magnificent. The white shirt is necessary but doesn't detract from the other pieces. And the matching notebook is on point again. The real curveball comes from the scarf choice. Savarese has set a precedent of wearing scarves throughout his coaching career, so this isn’t too out of the ordinary. He goes with a Timbers scarf that is colorful and detailed, but not over the top. The only reason this works is because the rest of the fit is simple and classy which allows him the chance to spice things up with the scarf.
Sweater Game On-Point
Against the LA Galaxy, Savarese went with his big sweater again. This time he dressed it up. He found complementary slacks to go with the sweater and a big grey scarf for warmth and a classy finish. The choice of shoe is also elegant. The dark brown dress shoes with navy blue is a timeless look.
This look, compared to the earlier use of the sweater, shows the pieces’ versatility and Gio’s creativity.
This is one of Savarese’s best over all looks of the season. Navy on navy on navy with a pocket square-sized dash of red. It’s about as dapper as you can get and Savarese pulls it off with elegant ease. The suit jacket over the matching sweater is a power move. Expect Conde Nast to be reaching out shortly — this fit is GQ worthy.
Big Game Fit
You know what they say: “Look good, feel good, play good.” Gio broke out a top drawer outfit for the Timbers’ last match against the Sounders. Sadly, the win was undone by another goal allowed at the death, but this overcoat is undefeated.
He’s got the brown shoes to complement the coat and his number one scarf to tie it all together. Brian Schmetzer couldn’t dream of coming up with something like this and was probably left scribbling in his notebook about how fly Gio’s look was.
It had to be another outfit that Gio wore against an LA side to close out the list, didn’t it? First, take a look at that pensive pose. Model material. The coat is great and it shows off the nice sweater underneath. The grey slacks go with the whole look and help lead our eyes to the shoes.
This outfit is great before we get to the shoes, but the shoes push it a level above. The outfit is classy, but the shoes throw in a little spice. It’s a combination you might not expect from a middle-aged soccer coach. But here is Savarese, defying all odds again, showing not only his impeccable taste, but also his creativity.