Kicking off on July 6, the UEFA Women’s European Championship (LIVE across ESPN networks in the U.S.) will see 16 of the strongest teams in Europe go head to head across 31 games with one of the biggest prizes in football on the line.
But, before then they are also competing for the esteemed honour of being named as our best-dressed nation at the tournament. As ever, strength in depth is key with many entrants fielding at least one and in some cases two incredibly strong outfits for the occasion.
We have run the rule over each different kit registered by every competing nation at Euro 2022 and then ranked them in the form of a bracket that mirrors the format of the tournament itself — from the group stage, through the knockout rounds and all the way to the final.
Home: The Lionesses have made an incredibly strong start as Euro 2022 hosts by releasing a couple of superb kits that positively shimmer — which is fitting as they are both partially inspired by the glint of freshly cut diamonds. The ultra-modern home jersey features a beaming white base embellished with a subtle geometric knit and an iridescent badge that shifts colour from pearlescent pink to purple to turquoise, which manufacturer Nike says is a visual tribute to all the “shining lights” who have advanced the cause of women’s football over the years.
Away: Altogether less subtle but still a work of art in its own right is the England away kit, which is somehow easy on the eye despite being such a vivid colour (which Nike is describing as crimson but a lot of people are seeing as orange). Tradition dictates that England play in red when away from home, but the tone of the Euro 2022 change uniform has been ramped up all the way to a barely sub-neon hue that is certain to dazzle under stadium floodlighting. The dark trim of the collar and sleeves also makes the jersey look even brighter.
Home: While hardly an instant classic, there are a few little flourishes to help the Austria home shirt stand out, including a faint hoop design created in the material by the presence of a custom floral print, hand-drawn by artists at the famous Liberty design studio in London. The single-button collar and new, oversized crest of the Austrian football federation (OFB) are also notable details.
Home: Norway do not have a bespoke kit for their women’s team for Euro 2022, so the Grasshoppers will play in the same design as that worn by the men’s team, which was launched in early April. While ostensibly a plain red football shirt, the knitted detail does feature abstract “mountains” which are subtly embedded into the jersey as a nod to the Scandinavian country’s famously jagged topography.
Her er vår nye bortedrakt 🤩 Drakten henter inspirasjon fra særnorske elementer, med 12 linjer som sammen utgjør formen av en fjord og baugen på et vikingskip. 11 av linjene representerer de 11 spillerne ute på banen, mens den 12. og siste representerer supporterne ❤️🇳🇴 pic.twitter.com/bYudnDxDpg
— Fotballandslaget (@nff_landslag) June 1, 2022
Away: It would appear that a little more imagination has gone into the away jersey, which boasts a large “S” shape sitting atop a field of white — a visual reference to the protruding bow of Viking longships as they cut through the icy fjords. Transitioning from red at the top to blue at the base, the “S” is also made up of a dozen thin pinstripes that are said to represent the XI players on the pitch as well as the proverbial “12th player” — the fans roaring them on from the terraces.
Home: A classic, retro design that harks back to several Northern Ireland kits of the 1980s, particularly the chunky two-tone neckline of the shirt worn by the revered side that reached the 1986 men’s World Cup. However, this is the first-ever kit designed solely for use by the Northern Ireland women’s team, and we can’t help but feel like they missed an opportunity to create something a little more distinctive.
Group winner: England
Eliminated: Austria, Northern Ireland
Home: Germany rarely put a foot wrong when it comes to their kit and the Euro 2022 edition is certainly no exception. The ever-reliable formula is on show once again: a crisp white shirt with patriotic flecks of the black, red and yellow bands that make up the Bundesflagge.
Away: Germany’s away kit is a familiar shade of bottle green that we’ve seen them deploy since the 1950s. Although it is a template design, the traditional verdant hue and jagged tonal print help make it distinctive.
Home: It’s fair to say that there’s nothing particularly egregious about Denmark’s Euro 2022 home kit other than the fact that it is very predictable. Largely indistinguishable from the majority of Danish jerseys since the 1980s, the shirt design lacks panache and consists of a very standard composition: plain red with white chevrons on the sleeves.
Away: There’s not a lot more can be said about the Danes’ away kit either, seeing as it is a straightforward colour reversal of the home shirt. Plain white with red chevrons. Again.
Home: Bright and breezy, just like the colours of the Rojigualda national flag, Spain’s Euro 2022 home shirt is reminiscent of the boxy kit designs of the mid 1990s and early 2000s. It’s perfectly nice, but it’s difficult to get properly excited about.
Away: Using the same template as the Germany away jersey, this pastel-blue version that Spain will wear suffers by comparison. At least it is unlikely that either team will wear their away kit when they meet at the Brentford Community Stadium, let alone both of them.
Home: Finland’s latest batch of kits are, according to Nike, directly inspired by the country’s relationship with nature. That said, what we have here is a plain white shirt with a big blue cross that is near-indistinguishable from the shirt worn by the men’s national side since 2020.
Maajoukkueiden uudet pelipaidat! 🦉 | Nyt halutaan kuulla vain ja ainoastaan totuus. Osallistu kyselyyn tai kerro omin sanoin, mitä mieltä olet uusista pelipaidoista! 💬
— Huuhkajat (@Huuhkajat) May 28, 2022
Away: The Finland alternate kit is far more visually stimulating thanks to its dusky blue tones and a tessellating print that is designed to evoke a Nordic pine forest being viewed from on high by moonlight.
Group winner: Germany
Eliminated: Spain, Denmark
Home: You simply cannot fault the zesty orange of a good Netherlands home kit, and this time the traditional national colours have been lent a stylish contemporary edge with a stripped-back, ultra-clean design.
Away: Netherlands have chosen to use their Euro 2022 away kit to pay homage to the De Stijl art movement that came out of the country in the early 20th century. As such, bright blocks of primary colour speckle the white “canvas” of the shirt to create a suitably abstract aesthetic akin to the masterworks of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian et al.
Home: While the design itself is fairly unostentatious, the new Sweden home shirt is remarkable for the fact that it includes detailed instructions on how to beat the team wearing it — a team who just so happen to be the top-ranked side in Europe right now. In an unprecedented flex of confidence in their own abilities, the label of the jersey features a special 34-page mini dossier titled “How to stop Sweden,” which was written up by the team’s data specialist Anders Eriksson and lists tactics, formations and performance analysis for every individual player.
Away: A smart if slightly formulaic dark-blue template jersey that only really serves to highlight the amount of effort that has gone into making the home kit such an extraordinary one-off.
Home: The Swiss jersey appears to have a flecked “camo” style print all over it but on closer inspection the darker blotches are actually roses that had been hand-drawn by Liberty of London — the same custom floral pattern that appears on several of Puma’s Euro 2022 kits.
Home: As late entrants to the European Championship following Russia’s ejection from the tournament, Portugal have had to stick with their existing kit rather than creating anything new. Their maroon home jersey is an elegant piece of apparel, but we have no choice but to knock off a few style points due to it not being a fresh design.
Away: Also dating from last year, the Portuguese away shirt is a pale teal design that is banded with thick hoops to create a unique look that splits opinion.
Group winner: Sweden
Eliminated: Switzerland, Portugal
Home: The France home shirt for Euro 2022 is a bright, royal blue base which is furnished all over in an ornate floral pattern inspired by neoclassical Gallic art. The famous tricolor of the national flag is completed by the red-and-white trim.
Away: Les Bleues will switch to white-and-pink when needed with their alternative uniform bearing the same neoclassical theme than can be found on their more traditional home kit. The opulent trim that runs along the seams resembles lush flock wallpaper found in stately homes and palaces of the era, while the badges and crest are resplendent in metallic rose gold.
Home: Italy have eschewed the traditional all-over Azzurri blue in favour of a daring checkerboard design made up of panels of the dainty Liberty floral print used on several of Puma’s Euro 2022 offerings. The famous tricolore of the flag is represented on the slimline collar while the modernised Italian Football Federation crest sits proudly on the chest. The chintzy “quilted” appearance has divided opinion among traditionalists but for what it’s worth we rather like it.
Home: The Red Flames will not be wearing red at all at Euro 2022, as the women’s team have been furnished with their first-ever bespoke home kit for the occasion — a nifty little black number that is embellished by a simple red-and-yellow trim.
Away: A colour usually reserved for Belgium third kits and goalkeeper jerseys, the Euro 2022 away shirt is a mottled pale yellow design with fine black detailing. It’s decent, but it also happens to be very similar to that worn by the men’s national team at the 2018 World Cup.
Home: The Iceland kit is similar to the men’s kit in that it consists of a simple blue base accented by a wide stripe in a darker blue that runs down from the national crest, as well as a triangular red collar tab. The key difference is that the tonal stripe is not a solid block of colour and rather made up of the same Liberty floral print that is found across Puma’s new Euro 2022 women’s range.
Group winner: France
Eliminated: Belgium, Iceland
1. Sweden vs. Italy
Italy gave a strong showing with an experimental take on the classic Azzurri jersey, but sadly their tournament comes to a end against a Sweden side that were willing to go the extra mile when it came to the fine details.
2. England vs. Finland
After relying heavily on their nocturnal forest-themed away kit to make it through the group stage, Finland are sent packing thanks to a slick one-two punch from England.
3. France vs. Netherlands
In the most fiercely contested of all the quarterfinals, the Gallic opulence of France’s Euro 2022 kits sees France narrowly pip the patriotic artistic stylings of the Dutch.
4. Germany vs. Norway
The immaculately dressed Germany steamroller into the final four here as an understrength Norway struggle to find a footing in the face of such refined elegance.
1. France vs. Sweden
With their home jersey’s neoclassical panache backed up by the classy colour choice of the away kit, France demonstrate exactly how to beat Sweden in a fairly one-sided affair.
2. Germany vs. England
With Germany still resplendent in their white jersey, set off by the Bundesflagge colours, England’s diamond white just begins to lose its lustre. So a tight tie is decided by the away kits, and green means go (into the final) for Germany.
THIRD PLACE PLAYOFF
Sweden vs. England
There isn’t actually a third place playoff game taking place at UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 but seeing as this is a hypothetical tournament, we see no harm in having a little extra fun and handing out a well-earned bronze medal. Sweden’s rather one-note away kit lets them down, leaving hosts England to go out on a high.
Third place: England
France vs. Germany
And so, from 16 original entrants it all comes down to the final as two of European football’s best and most lavishly decorated nations go head to head.
It’s a score draw when it comes to the home jerseys, with France’s ornate re-imagining of their traditional blue kits cancelled out by Germany’s effortlessly stylish design that is set to be a modern classic.
But the momentum remains with Die Nationalelf as their gorgeous green away kit strikes the decisive blow, and they power through to claim a deserved victory.
12. Northern Ireland