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The dilemmas of jerseys for fans

Do you love them, hate them, or love to hate them?

MLS: Fan Celebration Event D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve been celebrating jerseys this week with the aptly-named jersey week on SB Nation, but I need to bring it down for a second and admit something: I don’t buy jerseys.

I adore many jerseys on an aesthetic basis, but after one time I bought a bunch of random MLS jerseys on clearance at an outlet mall and found they all fit extremely differently (in other words, also very badly), I haven’t bought one since.

For me, the problems with jerseys are threefold:

They are expensive

Who decided a jersey should cost like $80? Who decided some jerseys with the bells and whistles retail for over $100? I have to say, I wish everyone would stop buying these incredibly pricy jerseys to bring the outrageous prices down.

Store Paris Saint Germain - Collection Air Jordan
This one probably costs $200
Photo by Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Some of this is on me, I grew up with not a lot of money and as someone with a family now I generally don’t splurge on myself. When I want soccer gear I usually buy a T-shirt, it costs a fraction of the price for a jersey. But yeah, the first roadblock is the price, and even when I really like a jersey, I look at the price tag and wince, putting it back.

The fit is weird

Another part that is more a “me” problem, but jerseys these days look rough on fans who do not have the body type of elite players. I have curves in spots where players don’t, and it looks ridiculous — the bust is stretched, sometimes the length is all off, often it’s way too tight and one time I found my arm didn’t fit in the sleeves. That last one’s a problem I never encountered in any shirt, so that’s on the jersey, really.

One problem for women in particular with fan jerseys is for a long time apparel makers would only sell women’s cuts with deep v-necks. V-necks can be good, but many women don’t want to show everything off at the soccer game. Let’s just say the apparel makers aren’t great at making jerseys that fit normal people or women, and I fit into both categories and therefore struggle to look right. Why pay a fortune to look bad, am I right?

Does it look cool?

Finally, the dilemma I have with jerseys, even if I find one that fits and am willing to shell out for it, is whether I look cool enough to pull it off. Since I mostly go to games as a journalist, obviously I don’t wear any team gear at games, which is totally fine, I’m happy to dress more professionally while working.

Street Style : Day Two - Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019 Photo by Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

But that leaves the rest of the time, and am I cool enough to hang out at home wearing a random jersey? I guess not, because I don’t do it!


So am I speaking truth or just a cheapskate with a bundle of neuroses? Again, I get why jerseys are popular and why so many fans buy them and wear them to games, and I like to look at a lot of jerseys. But they just don’t work for me. Let me know what you think in the comments below.