by friskytuna Caption: Victoria Beckham (left) with husband David
It was down to my efforts to not deny myself new experiences, regardless of my personal reservations, that I found myself accepting an invitation to the Real Madrid football match against Getafe later this month.
Sadly, my thoughts did not immediately run to ponder who would win but rather what I was going to wear for the occasion. Now, I have never been someone who has felt that enjoying clothes, and putting an outfit together, is akin to some feminist betrayal So, I was not ashamed that this was my first thought. Admittedly, my mind would not have drifted so quickly if I had any interest in football.
However, to pull myself back from this cliché and stereotypical depiction, I can say that these thoughts of clothing did soon transgress into a serious contemplation of WAGS.
WAGS, meaning Wives and Girlfriends, was a term coined during the 2006 World Cup in Germany. During this period, the British media became obsessed with the various activities and styling of the England team’s wives and girlfriends. The constant presence of the team’s partners led to criticism that the WAGS were distracting team members from the competition. Indeed, they were even partially blamed for England’s defeat.
Meanwhile, the tabloid press’ focus on the WAGS’ fashion choices, spurred a debate regarding the commercial and consumerist aspirations that this group of women promoted.
I remember being interested in the debate at the time and thought it would be fun to revisit it. Moreover, considering that I myself would be gracing the stands for a match in which football betting website Bet365 has Real Madrid the firm favourite at 2/11 – if admittedly not as a WAG – I decided it would be worth looking back to Germany 2006 for some fashion inspiration.
Whilst, I know WAG fashion has moved on, I was still shocked by just how garish and tacky the outfits were. Although I am aware that the 2000s in general was not a kind era when it came to fashion, I was especially shocked to see Victoria Beckham, she of the £30 million ‘simple and elegant’ fashion empire, clad in skin-tight t-shirts, splattered with brands and smothered by her vast extensions.
It appeared, upon further examination, that every WAG in 2006 had been vacuum-packed into their respective outfits, which were all blatantly branded. Throw in excessively large sunglasses, an alarming amount of white denim and an abundance of towering heels – regardless of the style of the rest of the outfit – and you have the originating look of WAG fashion.
To be honest, it wasn’t the dated nature of the looks that annoyed me, but just how uncomfortable they all looked. Whilst I am all for dressing up, I never felt the need to squeeze and contort myself into anything for the sake of it.
And that is exactly what WAGS promote; style overall. This riles me considerably as practicality should always come first.
Therefore, whilst I am going to dress up for my football debut, I am not going to be clambering the steps of the stands in stilettos or be afraid to sit down for fear of my stomach blasting my top apart. It seems that being a WAG is not just my BAG.