10/07/2018 16:34 BST

Gareth Southgate's Waistcoat Wednesday: How Football Fashion Is Helping Raise Money For Charity

A blood cancer charity is asking you to embrace the waistcoat and donate.

The definition of football fever can include anything from leaving work a minute early to head to the pub or shouting “IT’S COMING HOME” at anyone and anything. 

What you might not have realised however is that this year it also includes taking a keen interest in fashion and in particular, waistcoats.

In honour of the semi-final game between England and Croatia, fans have created ‘Waistcoat Wednesday’ where supporters can follow England Manager Gareth Southgate’s iconic lead by wearing a waistcoat but then also donating to the blood cancer charity Bloodwise.

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Since Gareth Southgate wore his M&S suit, Marks and Spencer reported a whopping 35% spike in the sales of said waistcoat.

Similar to the Meghan Markle effectGareth’s choice of waistcoat has prompted something of a craze, but in doing so has actually resulted in what would appear to be people also helping a charitable cause.

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According to Bloodwise the easiest way to get involved is to wear your waistcoat to work tomorrow, donate and then download and print this charity flyer (perhaps at work) to get others involved.

Adrian Thornton, a Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design and Technology at Manchester Fashion Institute, believes that the creation of Waistcoat Wednesday isn’t just because England are doing so well.

“It has a lot to do with Gareth himself,” explains Thornton. “The way he stands and holds himself in his waistcoat is one of a commanding position yet because of how compassionate he’s being with the teams that have either lost or his own, this typical image of a man in charge has been softened with someone who has empathy for others.

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“The way he doesn’t wear a jacket also gives a sense of accessibility and that everyone can wear one. This has most likely helped influence Waistcoat Wednesday.”

If planning on taking part in Waistcoat Wednesday Thornton left HuffPost UK with this top tip to “leave the last button unfastened”.

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