Cup tie: Gareth Southgate’s lucky polka dot neckwear prompts sales surge | Men’s fashion

Football is a world of superstition – John Terry wore the same pair of shin pads for 10 seasons while Mesut Özil always puts his right boot on first. Gareth Southgate is no exception, because throughout Euro 2020 the England manager has had a lucky tie.

The same knitted polka dot tie has been worn by Southgate at most matches since the middle of June. Notably, the only match he did not wear the tie was England’s 0-0 draw against Scotland, the only time the team have failed to win in the tournament. Southgate wore the tie again for the semi-final against Denmark on Wednesday, and he was backed up by Ian Wright. As a pundit for ITV, the ex-Arsenal player also wore a polka dot tie.

Southgate’s lucky tie is one by the British boutique label Percival, which also makes some of the manager’s suits. Even called Gareth Southgate’s Lucky Tie on the Percival website, it is now available for pre-order, always a sign of an item in demand. Priced at £49, it will ship to customers the week of 9 August. Those who can’t wait that long, and are perhaps keen to wear a lucky tie when watching the final on Sunday, have been sourcing them elsewhere.

John Lewis says sales of its navy polka dot tie doubled in a week, while TM Lewin says tie sales have increased 250% following the semi-final with a navy polka dot style particularly popular.

Sold out overnight after Wednesday’s game, the brand has now restocked with a polka dot style called The Southgate. At Matalan, a £4 polka dot tie also sold out completely after the semi-final.

It means businesses are again capitalising on the Southgate effect, previously seen in 2018 with sales of waistcoats rising after he wore one during the World Cup.

Quick Guide

How do I sign up for sport breaking news alerts?


  • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhones or the Google Play store on Android phones by searching for ‘The Guardian’.
  • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you’re on the most recent version.
  • In the Guardian app, tap the yellow button at the bottom right, then go to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
  • Turn on sport notifications.

Thank you for your feedback.

“Our customers are keen to emulate,” says Rosie Doran, John Lewis’s menswear tailoring buyer. Doran suggests there has been a general move towards smartening up. “Formalwear is increasingly proving popular as they pay homage to our England football manager’s style and ready themselves for the wedding season in the months ahead.”

Southgate is held up as a suit icon in British menswear and Prince William and David Beckham also looked smart in suits and ties at the semi-final. Not all men in public life got the memo, however. The prime minister, Boris Johnson, let the sartorial side down by wearing an England shirt over office attire to watch the match on Wednesday.

One hopes the lucky tie does the trick on Sunday, and that Johnson – likely to be watching again – dresses for the occasion.

Read The Full Story