Football jerseys have become social and fashion statements

DESCRIPTION: Pro and college team jerseys today are popular pieces of leisure apparel.  With a huge selection of simulated and actual jerseys available, people love wearing them.

Those of use who grew up in the 1970s remember what it was like shopping for replicas of our favorite pro and college team jerseys.  Most of the time, the best we could hope for was a T-shirt silk-screened in a way that made it look something like what our favorite players wore.

These clothing items weren’t that great, and they certainly didn’t look like the actual team jerseys.  Today, kids (and everybody else) have access to the real thing when shopping for college and pro jerseys.  Today, team fans can purchase a colorful jersey from, say, Texas A&M, Penn State, Boston College, the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals and look almost exactly like their favorite players.

For the budget-conscious, team jerseys are available in a more inexpensive material with lettering and numbers that are screened on rather than sewn.  The colors and logos are just as nice, however, as the official team jerseys, and people love wearing these less-expensive clothing items.

Also available from many schools and pro teams are the exact same jerseys worn by the real players.  These are sturdy, well-made pieces, so different from the bland team merchandise that was being offered 30 or 40 years ago.

Back in “the day,” it was mainly teens and pre-teens you found wearing sports jerseys.  Today, these apparel items have become social and fashion statements and can be found on people of all ages.  Some choose a certain team’s jersey for the color alone.  Others – and this includes people with no association with the team – are fans of the university or pro squad.

And, of course, in the city where the team plays, jerseys and other team merchandise are always very popular.  People love to support their favorite team, especially when a big game is coming up.  At those times, you can find folks all over the place in jerseys, caps, sweatshirts, warm-ups and anything else they can get into with their team’s colors and logo on it.

It’s a far cry from the stenciled T-shirts of the 1970s, and indications are that this clothing market segment will continue to grow in upcoming years.

Doug Thomas is a freelance writer interested in The Penn State Room, State College, Pa., retailers of Penn State jerseys and a full line of the university’s merchandise.  Learn more at PennStateRoom.com.

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