Style runs in circles. Better yet, it rounds the bases. Each generation has its moment with athletic garments. Every decade a time where sports provide looks on-and-off the field.
We're roughly 10 years past when throwback jerseys landed, exploded, and ultimately became a laughable parody of sound sartorial decision making. In many respects, it was one of sportswear's finest moments. Sales hummed along and we were paying respect to (sometimes) forgotten American legends. Nothing wrong with that, right? Yes, of course there was. Sizes reached comical mass. And, dudes found it acceptable to sport name and numbered shirts in scenarios better suited to a clean collared shirt. (Let's not get into the Jay-Z button-up horror era now though). Don't let the excesses of the throwback era cloud your view of jerseys.
In the '90s, jerseys were common. Neither super stylish, nor frowned upon, the team garments of my youth shifted seamlessly from licensed Starter apparel to replica Champion NBA jerseys. We had, as well, a stirling collection of Nike college basketball gear. This was the era of Michigan's mighty Fab 5, Iverson's Hoyas, and Carter's Tarheels. Hip-hop and sports were colliding properly, and the first generation of athletes raised on boom bap and Southern bass did wonders for fashionable cross-pollination. A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg even made sports gear part of a proper personal style.
We're back to that point. The homogenous looks of the last 5 or so years are falling by the wayside. Menswear's fans are embracing sneakers. Street cats are feeling comfortable in trousers that fit. Sports jerseys are seeing a neat resurgence.
Collaborations have helped. Palace's meeting of the minds with Umbro was an exercise in perfection, balancing nostalgia and hitting the contemporary zeitgeist. The current love affair with Mitchell &Ness & Ebbets Field Flannels is aiding the cause too, with brands like Garbstore finding space and time to resuscitate lost sporting stories through brilliantly replicated historical pieces. Supreme has gifted us with some winners as well, most notably the recent play on the classic Cincinnati Bengals top. People of all stripes are thinking it fine to wear jerseys again. And, regardless of sport the jersey is working across niches and through different sectors of the fashion market. We're not, thank god, afraid of being a little brash and turning that misguided love of animal prints and bright colors into a classic approach to bold logos.
The jersey is back.
But, instead of consuming every outfit, the garment now flows harmoniously with individual looks and needs. And, rather than generate disdainful looks, we now appreciate and champion the classic silhouettes. So slide into home. Allow your inner athlete to show off a little.