I'm a fan of the growing ranks of soccer apparel companies peddling their wares to American soccer fans. I don't mean the Nikes and Pumas and adidases of the world; I'm talking about the independent designers making casual wear for those of us for whom the beautiful game is part of our identity. Most of you have no doubt heard of Who Are Ya Designs and Brian Dunseth's Bumpy Pitch. I'm also a big fan of the more graphic design-focused Clean Sheet Co. And now, I'm happy to add Live Breathe Futbol to the list as probably the most fashion-conscious of them all.
Recently, Live Breathe Futbol reached out to me and asked whether I'd like to review some samples on B&RU. I'm glad I agreed. The t-shirts they sent me are sharp and comfortable and have already established themselves in my regular rotation. (Yes, I have a regular t-shirt rotation. You don't?)
I got two shirts to review, the XXI Noir and the Winged Logo Tee, highlighting two of Live Breathe Futbol's logo marks. The Winged Logo is a straight-forward and simple black and red design on a gray shirt. I like it a lot, but it's overshadowed by the beauty of the XXI, which is like a club crest in its own right, combining a roundel with the brand name surrounding a subtle Telstar motif behind the LBF letter mark. Here's a look at both:
Both shirts look great and work soccer very clearly into their visual language. But they aren't so over-the-top that wearing one out to a picnic or other outing with non-soccer fans would force you to answer soccer questions all day. People who are already inclined to notice soccer references will spot your love of the game, and those conversations are always more fun than "Why isn't there more scoring amirite?"
LBF was launched by Philadelphia native Ebun Olaloye on his 21st birthday, in 2010 and has expanded it from t-shirts to a full-fledged fashion brand, including tanks, track jackets, hoodies, hats and scarves. If the t-shirts I received are any indication, the products aren't just sharp looking, they're also well-made and comfortable.
Any time I'm buying something, I like to know that details were paid attention to, and LBF comes through here as well. The shirts are tagless (a very nice touch, since tags suck), and the size/care label adds another element to the shirt, with its own LBF design and a tribute to soccer. It's those kinds touches that turn a nice looking shirt into something a little more special.
These are really nice t-shirts. If you're looking for some soccer-related shirts you can rock just about anywhere, I recommend clicking around on Live Breathe Futbol, whose designs go far beyond their own logo. (I particularly like the Break Ankles Not Hearts and the One Nation Under Futbol, though if you count yourself an admirer of Die Mannschaft, you might prefer the Gotze winner's tee.)
Disclosure: I received two t-shirt samples at no cost for review purposes. I received no financial compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this article are my own, based on my experience.