Shopping for World Cup jerseys in Hong Kong
It's time to show your true colours by pulling on your favourite team's shirt
If there is ever a time when it's fashionable to wear a national team shirt, it's during a World Cup. For the genuine article, retail chain Futbol Trend (futboltrend.com; tel: 2295 0268) has strips for 26 of the 32 teams at the tournament, but as numbers are limited for some countries they won't all appear on the website.
An instant name and number printing service is available at all three branches (Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Central) and takes 45 minutes during non-peak hours. The company also sells autographed shirts and other items, including a Pele-autographed Brazil top and Cristiano Ronaldo-autographed boots, which both come with a certificate.
Prokicker (prokicker.com.hk tel: 2369 7822) has shirts from 17 teams. Manager Hugo Hong says the most popular are Germany, Japan, Spain and Italy. Andrea Pirlo and Keisuke Honda are among the most sought-after names.
Many pundits see Belgium as the dark horses in Brazil. Unfortunately, there is no distributor of the team's shirts in Hong Kong. The Mong Kok shop has, however, made an effort to import shirts so fans of Belgian players such as Eden Hazard and Vincent Kompany won't be disappointed. Printing takes less than 15 minutes.
Another equally efficient shop is SFALO (sfalo.com; tel: 2398 0004).
The company has stores in Mong Kok, Wan Chai, Lok Fu and Kwun Tong. It stocks vintage shirts and has monthly promotions.
The deal for May, announced on its Facebook page, is buy-two-get-one-free. A 2009 England strip comes free with the purchase of one of five 2014 World Cup shirts and one of the selected five national strips from 2008, which together cost HK$899.
Other places to buy strips include Kitroom (kitroomsports.com; tel: 2443 0434), which has online sales, and Freekick Sport Company, tel: 2171 4228.
We do not approve of counterfeits, but if your budget is limited, the Ladies Market (Tung Choi Street) in Mong Kok and the Temple Street Night Market in Yau Ma Tei have stalls with walls of colourful shirts at an affordable price - especially if you are good at bargaining.
If you're after something more creative, why not design your own shirt? Wearing a one-of-a-kind creation with a witty slogan, a caricature of your favourite player or some rival-baiting quip is going to be more rewarding than being one of those people who takes the well-trodden path to fandom by wandering around in a shirt with the name of a man you've never met on your back. Knock up a design and get it to a T-shirt printer for a cheap and interesting take on your country of choice.
MALLiD (mallid.com; tel: 8112 0185), which stands for The Mall for Ideas, specialises in DIY T-shirts and uniforms. Just like Each You Design (eachyoudesign.com; tel: 2185 8923) and Topprint2000 (topprint2000.com; tel: 6994 3485), MALLiD is very flexible. You can also make customised caps and badges too.
The best part? They cost you less than counterfeit strips and allow you to stand out from the crowd while still showing your colours.