Right now, England is swooning over itself. Its favorite meme is "It's Coming Home," which is a reference to a 1996 bop by the band Lightning Seeds about the nation's past soccer glories (actual title: "Three Lions"), and currently drunkenly sung in pubs across the country in true optimism about its chances at the World Cup probably for the first time ever since its lone Cup win in 1966—which is totally against character for a nation that excels in self-defeatedness the way America traffics in self-exceptionalism. And the best mascot of the besotted? Gareth Southgate and his teeny, tiny waistcoats. The England manager and national hero is the source of our actual favorite English meme ("Gareth Southgate Would"), and a nonstop parade of photos of him endeavoring around a soccer pitch in these midriff-baring waistcoats, coquettishly unjacketed. It's even caused a sudden uptick in waistcoat sales and Marks & Spencer, which makes Southgate's and the team's suits, to declare a National Waistcoats Day. Sure, Southgate favors a middle manager's striped tie, he has a large hooked nose, and the last thing he was truly famous for was missing a vital penalty kick when he was an England player in the 1996 World Cup. All that only makes him an even more English sex icon. Here, let us gaze at 10 photos of Southgate's barely-there waistcoats as England takes on Croatia in the 2018 World Cup semifinals.
Yes, give yourself a hand for showing the world the curse-busting power of the most English clothing item ever.
One plus of the waistcoat-only fashion proposition? Arms.
And backs, too.
If you're not wearing a restrictive suit jacket, it allows you to raise your arms up to grip the giant slab head of England's other new cult hero.
"This waistcoat will help contain my raging BDE."
Everyone just looks sloppy next to a man in a small waistcoat.
Do you see that tiny bit of collar straying outside of the line of the waistcoast? That's English for transgression.
Who needs a British passport when you have teeth like that?
We understand those are his credentials hanging around his neck, but doesn't he look like the next Kingsman?
This was taken a decade ago. The waistcoat hasn't yet been freed from the jacket, but you're welcome anyway.
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