The World Cup gives nations the opportunity to prove themselves not only in football ability, but style as well. We love seeing national identities manifested in the shirts that grace the pitch. The 1990s in particular saw bold experimentation in kits around the world. While some shirts flopped and are perhaps better off in the past, others have seen their style motifs revived in the modern game. Here are our top picks of World Cup kits from the 1990s, our favourite decade in football fashion:
1990 West Germany Home | See our replica
Kicking off our list is the home kit of of the tournament’s champion West German team. This design hallmarked the nation's last World Cup appearance, because they’d return to the 1994 tournament as a unified Germany. The design was a bold departure from traditional all-white German home kits that rarely featured any prints or patterns. The innovative striped pattern of the national flag spreads across the front of the shirt in striking style. A brilliant kit to match a brilliant team!
1990 Italy Home
Next on our list, we highlight the host nation’s home kit; a simple variation on previous Italian kits in the 1980’s, this 1990 shirt is a classic. The Italians were knocked out by Argentina in the Semi-Final but secured a 3rd place finish in the tournament with a 2-1 win over England. This shirt saw plenty of time on the pitch, as Italy used it in all seven of their matches.
1994 Nigeria Home | See our replica
Moving on to the 1994 World Cup, this stylish shirt helped Nigeria burst onto the international football stage. In their first-ever World Cup campaign, the Nigerians stunned audiences by topping their group, but lost their Round of 16 match to a formidable Italian team. The design features a captivating pattern, echoing tribal artwork of indigenous heritage. Fantastic fashion from Nigeria’s World Cup debut!
1994 Romania | See our replica
Probably our most eye-catching design on the list, this 1994 Romania home kit hallmarked one of the greatest underdog campaigns of World Cup history. After losing their opening match 1-4 to Switzerland, the Romanians surged to a surprising 3-1 victory over heavy favourites Colombia. The performance propelled them to finish 1st in their group, and they reached the Quarter-Final stage before bowing out to Sweden.
Known as the Tricolorii or “tricolours,” Romania utilised their distinct colours in a popular Adidas template of the time. Several other countries used this same template in their own World Cup kits, but this variation is our favourite, given the vibrant Romanian flair and captivating story of their 1994 campaign.
1994 Brazil Home | See our replica
Concluding our picks from the 1994 World Cup is this stunning design from the champions of the tournament, Brazil. Known as Amarelinha, or “little yellow one,” Brazilian kits have honoured a heritage of vibrant canary yellow and majestic green colours in their national kits for many years. This 1994 design provides a bold variation on the tradition, with the “CBF” badge appearing in large overlapping prints throughout the body. A classic piece of Brazilian football fashion!
1998 Croatia Home | See our replica
Croatia wore this stylish kit in their first-ever World Cup appearance. They shocked the world by marching to a 3rd place finish in their debut World Cup campaign, immortalising this clever design through fantastic football. The chequered red and white pattern creates an illusion of movement within the fabric, imitating a waving Croatian flag. One of the greatest debut World Cup designs in football history!
1998 Mexico Home | See our replica
Another vibrant creation from the 1990s, this stunning kit from Mexico is among our favourite designs of all time. Mexican legends Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Luis Hernández led their side out of a difficult group stage but were sent home after a 1-2 defeat to Germany in the first knockout game. The captivating print embraces Mexico’s Aztec heritage with bold style. A fantastic shirt to celebrate Mexico on the pitch!
1998 France Away | See our replica
To finish off our list, we chose the away kit from host nation and champions of the 1998 World Cup, France. The French had a superstar team in 1998, and won all seven of their games. Surprisingly, this away kit would only appear on the pitch one time. While we also love the 1998 France home kit, we chose the away shirt as an underrated option that doesn’t get as much love since it didn’t see as much action. Both options are timeless designs from the French, who truly deserve their reputation for great fashion, in football and beyond.
Where to find great retro World Cup kit designs
Did any of these kits catch your eye? We have replicas of each design available at Beautiful 90s. We remake timeless jerseys as closely as possible to the originals. Many of the designs featured here are among our best-sellers that have satisfied customers around the globe. See if one of our replicas is the right fit for you!