Fashion experts weigh in on World Cup jersey style

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SAO PAULO (AP) - The World Cup uniforms will provide a carnival of color and fashion, from Brazil’s bright yellow jerseys to the Netherlands’ classic orange to Croatia’s red checkered home kit and the superhero-inspired looks of Mexico.

The 2014 tournament, which opens Thursday when Brazil hosts Croatia, features the classics, the creative and the downright outlandish.

The Americans’ new red, white and blue color-block road jerseys - critics say they resemble Domino’s Pizza delivery uniforms - can’t be as bad as the memorable faux denim outfits from 1994. But the vote is still out on how the newest outfit for the Stars and Stripes will go over.

“The USA jersey feels very patriotic,” said Los Angeles designer and stylist Estée Stanley of Estée Stanley Design. “It’s easy to identify the country as the U.S.”

The U.S. isn’t the only nation trying the block style.

“Another stylish direction is the color-blocking or piecing - USA away or Ecuador away or Colombia,” said Tom Julian, men’s fashion director at The Doneger Group, a retail merchandising and consulting firm based in New York.

Then there are the classics.

Brazil will be in the traditional yellow with five stars representing its record five titles.

Several teams are all about understated looks: There are England’s white home jersey and red road kit - like the one players wore in the victorious 1966 final against West Germany - and the traditional blue of Italy with the a crest over the heart in the nation’s tricolor.

They contrast sharply with Croatia, which sports a bombastic home shirt with large red-and-white checks.

Four years ago, Slovenia sported green road jerseys with large yellow zigzags for road games in a look reminiscent of Charlie Brown.

Some teams have gone for subtle patterns that still stand out. El Tri’s lightning bolts on both jerseys will make Mexico fashionable as the team travels around Brazil.

“I am definitely partial to those shirts with daring superhero graphics or shirts that focus on the torso in a dynamic way,” Julian said. “Mexico, very ‘Shazam!’ with the lightning-rod effect - probably my favorite out of all.”

Plenty of supporters are flocking into Brazil wearing the new outfit.

“The jersey’s like a Power Ranger, I like it,” said 28-year-old architect Alan Gonzalez, of Durango, Mexico. He sported the jersey and a sombrero traveling to Sao Paulo via Atlanta with four buddies Tuesday.

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