A fashionable guide to the Premier League

If Mario Ballotelli's departure for Milan left the Premier League a poorer place for displays of capricious randomness and daft haircuts, then Norwich's new striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel has filled that void with his Sonic the Hedgehog inspired sticky-up style (let's not let the brilliant name pass without mention, either).

The haircut

The defining haircut this season, however, will be the extreme side-parting. Jack Wilshere, Gareth Bale and Crystal Palace's Joel Ward all wear versions of a style that's part Steampunk and part Joey from Towie, but it's Scott Parker (Fulham, from Spurs) who defined this as the English player's haircut of choice. RS

Management style

One thing keeps a manager awake before a big game and it's not which formation to play. It's: "Should I wear a suit and tie or the club-branded tracksuit?" Essentially, his choice betrays something about his leadership style; Paul Lambert's commitment to the Aston Villa tracksuit was abandoned for the club's season opener against Arsenal, when he opted for a tie and sweater, intending, perhaps, to portray his confidence (though a suit might have made him look less like a 14-year-old at a family christening). Arsène Wenger, by comparison, appeared to be shrinking by the second in his suit. Arsenal's league woes are visibly evident in their manager's sideline clothing, particularly the ankle-length padded jacket that places his look somewhere between MC Hammer and George the Lonesome Tortoise. The image of Wenger gazing mournfully from the bench, rain sliding down his jacket, pathos emanating from its duvet-like folds, is one of the most haunting images in the modern game. A warning sign for his fellow managers. RS

Special style (mark two)

Ah, Jose. Football rejoiced when the Special One's return was announced in June, and fashion gave a little whoop of delight too. Whatever you think about Mourinho's management style, the man knows how to wear clothes. The mac he wore so well during his first tenure is now – we kid you not – in the Chelsea Museum. His return style has had a slow start – by wearing a standard suit with a club tie he reinforced his allegiance to Chelsea, with little concession to fashion. Give it a few months for a new coat to emerge and, in the mean time, check out Michael Laudrup. The Swansea manager is giving Mourinho a run for his money in style terms, if not results. LC

The away kit

Sure, a team's home kit comes first for most fans, but picking up an alternative in the club shop is a savvy way to a design classic. Arsenal's black-and-purple number last season was a highlight, and Fulham's blue-and-orange colour-blocked style (very Rag & Bone) impressed at the weekend. Man United haven't actually worn their away kit in a competitive match yet – it was classic red for a trip to Swansea – but it's already the style leader. Navy gingham-on-gingham, it's reminiscent of Christopher Kane's now-classic spring/summer 2010 collection, which, of course, is exactly what Van Persie and co will be thinking the first time it gets a run-out. LC

Those Match of the Day shirts

those shirts.' width='460' height='276' class='gu-image'/>Alan Shearer in one of those shirts. Photograph: pixel8000/pixel 8000

The low standards set by the MOTD crew from the waist up raise one question: how hard is it to find a decent shirt? Mark Lawrenson's choices are the source of constant mockery from his fellow MOTD pundits, but the words "fine one to talk" spring to mind. These men are on primetime BBC wages, so why does Alan Shearer insist on white shirts that appear to be translucent? What's Lawrenson's obsession with contrast collars? Still, bad-shirt spotting on MOTD is a national sport itself, and we'd be lost without it. RS

Collars are back

In football fashion, it's all about the detail. Thierry Henry made socks over the knee a trend during his noughties pomp, just as Eric Cantona's collar flip spawned countless Sunday league wannabes in the late 90s. The collar, at least, is back this season – it's on Man United's kit for the first time in 13 years and also on Everton's and Aston Villa's shirts. While Rio Ferdinand has said he won't be popping his collar any time soon, our money's on Danny Welbeck, not averse to fashion if that hair style is anything to go by, paying tribute. LC

Pellegrini's continental style

OK, so he might hail from Chile but Manuel Pellegrini's City have a continental look about them, one that's so hot right now in menswear. Forget Paolo Di Canio's new no-Coke diet regime at Sunderland. Olive oil and balsamic are no doubt on the lunch menu here. Spanish summer signing Jesús Navas is the posterboy for Mediterranean chic. With striking blue eyes and enviable cheek bones, he looks likes a pint-sized David Gandy and, if he ever got bored terrorising teams as he did Newcastle on the weekend, the Dolce & Gabbana catwalk would welcome him with open arms. Pellegrini himself is all swarthy intensity with an impressive mop of hair and Cara-worthy eyebrows. Perfecto. LC

Suarez junior

One the most talked about players of the summer thanks to Arsenal's failed bid to sign him, Liverpool's Suarez displayed characteristic aplomb when he turned up to a potentially hostile home crowd at Anfield on Saturday carrying in his arms a daughter dressed almost entirely in Burberry. The fashion house might be less than pleased with Delfina Suarez's shades of Danniella Westbrook, but she may well be the best-dressed human shield around. RSPowered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Rosie Swash and Lauren Cochrane, for The Guardian on Tuesday 20th August 2013 17.11 Europe/London

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images: © House of Joy Photos, © John Keane