The Ever-Dynamic Football Shirt
The most recognizable portion of any team’s football kit is their football shirt. The shorts, socks, are relatively nondescript compared with the colorful patterns and lettering that defines the style of the football team. Football fans can also get into the spirit of the game by wearing the shirt from their favorite team while they cheer them on from the stands. Designs change annually, which gives fans and players the opportunity to create new fashions with each new season. The original football shirts were created so players could see teammates easily across wide football pitches. They weren’t highly patterned, but they had distinct colors. Most of the earliest shirts had high collars and buttons or laces down the front. As time passed, the shirts became more creative and unusual. More breathable modern fabrics replaced stiff cotton shirts, and today football shirt designs run the gamut from solid colors to wild computer-generated patterns.
Since each team has two or three different shirts for each season, fans have quite a few options when they want to support their team by wearing a current football shirt. Home shirts, away shirts, and alternate shirts all have very distinct styles and designs. The only unifying element of the different shirts a team wears in a season is that the colors, names, and numbers remain the same.
There is quite a bit of room for flexibility with the style of a football shirt. You can have high collars or no collar at all. Fastenings, such as buttons, are completely optional. The color design ranges from different colored sleeves to wide bands of color on the torso. Usually there is a large team logo on the front of the shirt, and the player’s name is over the player’s number on the back of the shirt. Creativity has become a large part of football shirt design, and there is no end to the interesting patterns and designs used today. Some of the most popular makers of football shirts are Nike, Puma, Umbro, and Adidas. New companies have begun to enter the market recently, and one of the most interesting is Under Armour. Teams will generally sign an agreement with a specific manufacturer, and in return that manufacturer’s logo is featured prominently on the shirt. The idea is that fans will buy other products from the company that is worn by their favorite football hero.
With the FIFA World Cup right around the corner, football interest is at a fever pitch around the world. The different national clubs are beginning to reveal their special football shirts that they will wear during the tournament, and fans are clamoring for a chance to own the latest gear. From Newcastle to Yokohama, new designs are being unveiled, much to the delight of football fans in each country.
Replicas of these new football shirts should become available online and in local sporting goods stores shortly after they are unveiled by the team. The well-dressed football fan will want to watch the World Cup matches wearing the proper football shirt.