Monthly Archives: June 2016
Replica jerseys are so prevalent that teams are changing their uniform designs and wearing alternate tops simply to sell them and squeeze more money from fans. This widespread popularity, however, necessitates some NFL-like rules about when, where and how to wear your jersey.
Here, then, are the Fashion Dos and Don’ts for replica jerseys …
1. Beware where you wear. Replica jerseys are always appropriate at the ballpark or softball field. They are fine for the living room or the backyard, as well, though your spouse might not always agree. Sports bars, taverns and pizza joints work, too, depending on your demographics. (See Rule No. 2.) But notevery venue and situation is acceptable.
Do not wear a replica jersey on a date (unless you don’t want to go on another one). Do not wear a replica jersey to a nice restaurant (i.e., one that doesn’t offer unlimited waffle fries). Do not wear a replica jersey to a church, mosque or synagogue. (Ballparks are the only appropriate cathedrals for jerseys.) And never wear a replica jersey to a wedding, unless, of course, that wedding is at a ballpark.
2. Fans of a certain age … Hey, I’m not telling you not to show your support for your favorite team. I’m just saying that when you reach your 30s, your spouse just might be right: You run the risk of looking like a literal closet case when you wear a replica jersey anywhere other than an athletic event. It’s a bit like wearing your old high school letterman’s jacket.
But don’t throw the jerseys away, either, no matter what your spouse says. Given enough decades — say, sometime after you reach 60 — you won’t look like a sad sack in a replica jersey anymore. Instead, you’ll appear refreshingly passionate, hip and years younger.
3. Get the look right. They’re called replicas for a reason: They’re supposed to replicate the actual jerseys that players wear. It’s bad enough having to stare at all those Yankees fans wearing replica jerseys. But for goodness’ sakes, don’t make the rest of us look at Yankees jerseys that aren’t even accurate. The Yankees do not have names on the back of their jerseys! Same goes for old Red Sox road jerseys. There is nothing that makes a fan look more clueless than wearing a jersey with Jeter, Sabathia or Yastrzemski written across the back.
Sheesh, you might as well wear a pink cap with it. (Note: Pink caps are acceptable only when they are part of baseball’s breast cancer awareness initiative, as we saw on Mother’s Day.)
4. Players only. The only thing worse than seeing a player’s name on the back of a Yankees jersey is seeing a fan with his own name on the back of a jersey, as if the wearer is actually eligible for a postseason share. It might be a well-intentioned gesture to give a family member a jersey with the recipient’s name on the back, but to actually wear it in public can make you look like a dork. Just don’t do it. You’re a fan, not a player.
The only time your name should be on the back of a replica jersey is if the last name on your driver’s license is Mauer, Verlander, Cabrera, Ichiro or the name of some other actual player who wears that jersey.
5. Real men wear buttons. Stay classy. Only wear authentic, button-up jerseys. Do not go cheap with a polyester pullover jersey unless you’re buying a Turn Back the Clock jersey from the 1970s and early ’80s. (And if you’re doingthat, why?)
And finally …
6. Know when to say when. Replica jerseys are great, but pairing them with replica pants is going too far. And definitely don’t wear white home pants after Labor Day.
With their bright colors and patterns, women’s cycling jerseys and tops are definitely stylish, fashionable and visible (making you safer in traffic). What makes them truly special, though, is that they’re actually technical clothing pieces with fabrics engineered for specific functions, like wicking, breathing, and sometimes, even blocking the sun’s UV rays.
This makes them much more comfortable and useful than even designer T-shirts. And, they’re way better to ride in than a basic cotton tee that can catch the wind slowing you down like a parachute. Or, get damp and stay damp making you feel uncomfortable.
To help you select the right tops to be ready for all your riding, here are some tips:
Women’s and men’s cuts in jerseys and tops vary. Women’s come in at the waist and flare at the hips for a more natural, flattering fit. Men’s have a box shape, often with a slight taper to the waist. As with all clothing, you’ll want to find the best fit by trying things on.
Most manufacturers offer multiple fits geared toward the different types of riding, so if you can think of how you ride, you can select the right top. There’s casual, relaxed, pro and even urban, club, and race.
The pro fit is contoured and fitted so women who like to ride at speed do not have flapping fabric slowing them down. The sleeves usually have elastic at the hem to keep them in place and the back of the jersey is longer than the front to provide coverage when you’re in an aggressive riding position.
The relaxed fit is often just a roomier version of the pro fit for women who do not like a skin-hugging look or need a little more room. And the casual fit is often similar to a women’s tee and typically lacks the elastic in the sleeves and hem. Designed for a more upright riding position, the front and back are close to, if not the same length. There are also casual jerseys with a crew neck or V-neck style.
All jerseys are made from fabrics that wick moisture to keep you dry, comfy and cooler on warm days. Many tops incorporate different materials in different places to speed cooling, such as mesh sides. There are new specially-treated fabrics that actually increase the cooling sensation (a xylitol treatment is one such technology). Though less common in women’s styles, compression technology is also available for greater muscle support, often in strategic panels but not a full jersey.
Sleeves are another consideration. Fitted jerseys often have raglan sleeves (think baseball jersey) for a nicer fit in motion. A raglan sleeve is shaped like a triangle that starts at the neck and wraps around the shoulder and upper arm. Set-in sleeves are like those of a traditional T-shirt. They start at the shoulder and cover the upperarm. More casual designs might use a cap sleeve, a small, short sleeve that starts at the shoulder and provides coverage to the shoulder but not much more.
Except for the more casual fits, most jerseys have elastic at the waist to help keep it in place and prevent wind blowing beneath. Some also add a gripper to keep the jersey from sliding up over your hips as you change positions, stand to climb, etc.
Women’s jerseys and tops have zippers that make it easy to get them on/off and allow convenient ventilation. Longer zippers let you let in more air, which is handy in warm weather and if you ride in hilly terrain and constantly heat up and cool off over the ups and downs.
A full zip is especially convenient if you wear bib shorts because it means not having to remove your helmet to pull the jersey over your head to take it off. There are also “invisible” zippers that are sewn into the jersey in such a way that they hide when up. This way they don’t interfere with the jersey’s print design.
Many women’s race-style jerseys will have three pockets across the back just like traditional men’s jerseys. However, since women have smaller backs and narrower waists, many manufacturers are putting only two pockets across the back for a better fit, which you may or may not like, since that’s one less pocket to carry your essentials.
Some designers incorporate a hidden rear pocket for an MP3 player, phone or keys. Casual and mountain styles will often have just one hidden zip back pocket that doesn’t scream “biker!” when you stop for some ice cream or wear it to Spin class.
Some jerseys with pockets for MP3 players incorporate a method of headphone cord management. Even more common are reflective accents for safety.
For those who do not want tan lines or are looking more for fashion than function, check out these styles:
Sleeveless Jerseys have the same fit and features as sleeved models but without sleeves.
Halter Tops have completely open backs with no shoulder straps and a built-in shelf bra. You get the fewest tan lines. They’re fitted with a loose hem.
Camis have narrow, sometimes adjustable shoulder straps and a built-in shelf bra. They’re fitted.
Tanks have wide shoulder straps like a traditional sports bra, and may incorporate a built-in shelf bra. They’re fitted in the top and a little looser at the waist. They may have a pocket or two. This is the common style used for triathlon-specific tops.
Shelf Bras are built-in bras that eliminate extra tan lines. These are usually best for small to medium cup sizes. Women with larger busts may still want to wear a sports bra underneath for better support.
Long-Sleeve Jersey Styles
While they’re practical, long-sleeve jerseys for women aren’t all that common. This is because they’re usually too warm for nice-weather riding so they don’t typically get that much use. And, because you can simply wear arm warmers to turn any short-sleeve jersey into a long-sleeve one. A lot of women also wear base layers beneath their short sleeves to get a little extra comfort. Layering means it’s easy to change for the conditions too.
When it comes to identifying teams and fans, few things are more iconic than a baseball jersey. They’re a timeless piece of clothing that combines fashion and team allegiances. But when it comes to buying an MLB jersey, there are a lot of options. These choices can be confusing and, for some, overwhelming.
What’s the difference between an authentic jersey and a replica? Why do some jerseys cost less than $50 while others are cost hundreds? How can you spot a fake? These are some of the questions you should be asking when you consider the jersey you’re going to buy.
Below we highlight some of the most popular types of baseball jerseys and what to look for. If you’re shopping for a specific team, we’ve included some handy links at the end of the article.
Authentic Baseball Jerseys
Presently, authentic baseball jerseys are made by Majestic in the USA. These are just like the ones players wear in MLB games. Made of polyester double-knit material, authentic jerseys are more durable than replica jerseys.
Patches, locker tags and lettering are all sewn directly onto the jersey. Unlike replica jerseys, they also come with sleeve patches and other team-specific patches.
A quick way to identify an authentic jersey versus a replica can be found on the back. Authentic jerseys have an MLB logo sewn on the top-center, just below the neck line.
The latest MLB jerseys use something called Cool Base technology, which is meant to help keep players cool in the summer. It makes the material lighter and offers venting under the armpits. Authentic MLB jerseys have a Cool Base tag.
Knockoff counterfeit jerseys often do not have all the tags. Knockoffs are not licensed by MLB. They can be found much cheaper but aren’t the real thing. It’s similar to buying a faux Gucci bag or a fake Rolex — they have some of the same features but not the prestige.
Authentic MLB jerseys generally cost $175 and up. Sometimes deals can be found when a player is traded. If you see a current player advertised for significantly less, it could be a sign that it’s fake.
Jerseys aren’t sized by the traditional S, M and L and labels. Rather, they’re sized numerically. Here’s what they roughly translate into:
- M – 40
- L – 44
- XL – 48
- XXL – 52
Replica MLB Jerseys
If authentic jerseys are too expensive, replicas are the next best thing. Still fully licensed, they cost a lot less. However, they’re not quite the same quality. Here are some things to expect with replica MLB jerseys
- They are made of less durable fabric.
- Patches and letters are ironed on instead of sewn on.
- They don’t have the MLB logo on the back like authentic jerseys do.
Replica baseball jerseys still let fans show their allegiance. Unless you look closely, there’s really not that much difference. However, replica jerseys cost about half the price.
Batting Practice Jerseys
Batting practice jerseys are worn while players practice their hitting. They’re much plainer than authentic game jerseys, but they’re still fully licensed. Made of lightweight polyester, they have a team logo on the front, the latest versions have Cool Base technology like authentic jerseys do.
Throwback Baseball Jerseys
Throwback baseball jerseys are designed to look like the ones players used to wear. Covering the history of the game, Mitchell & Ness is the exclusive manufacturer of vintage-style jerseys. Each is designed to the exact specifications of the original jerseys, including patches. They’re noted with a Cooperstown Collection tag sewn on to the front.
Throwback jerseys have timeless appeal as they often highlight past greats and fan favorites.
Spotting Fake MLB Jerseys
Collectors should be careful with bootleg or fake MLB jerseys. These are not licensed or official in any way, even if they look legit at first glance. Here are some signs that can help tip you off that a jersey might be fake:
- Poor stitching or materials.
- Lack of proper tags. All authentic jerseys have a tag sewn on the front, normally at the bottom. If there’s no tag, it’s definitely fake.
- The seller is saying the jersey is factory sealed. MLB does not wrap individual jerseys.
- A ridiculously low price.
- If the images provided aren’t very good, ask for higher resolution shots. If the seller doesn’t provide them or dances around the fact, it could mean that they’re hiding something.
- It may sound basic, but sometimes fakes can have major giveaways like spelling mistakes or player names for a team that only uses numbers.
Sometimes people choose to buy bootleg jerseys because of the lower prices. The important thing is that you’re aware of exactly what you’re buying.