Some manufacturers like to make their shirts a little baggy, some like to make them skin-tight, and others sort of fall in-between.
Buying a new football shirt is never an easy task, especially when sizing is concerned. But there are ways to be sure to get the right fit.
The most obvious advice is to go and try it on in the club shop before any purchase, as you’ll never know what size fits your body shape perfectly until it’s actually on you.
That said, sometimes it’s not that easy to get to the clubshop, especially as the global reach of football gets ever more global. If you’re buying from an online store, or from a club’s online shop, be sure to check their sizing guide. If they don’t have one, ask for one – they should be able to sort this out for you, and will definitely head off any potential worries or problems later on. Remember these shirts are not particularly made with fashion in mind, but more the gym or 5-a-side pitch – the fit will be quite different from a normal t-shirt.
Next, make a note of the manufacturer. Some, like Italian brand Kappa, prefer to make their sizes on the small size, so you’ll definitely benefit from going up a few sizes before buying. Sizing can get confusing if your team has recently changed manufacturers too, such as this tweet from an Aston Villa fan after buying the new Kappa pre-match shirt compared to the Luke Roper home shirt the year before:
Just ridiculous. pic.twitter.com/RtFZEhA8du— Harry (@HarryWR19) July 24, 2019
Ask around – follow hashtags on Twitter & Instagram for your team at kit launch time. See what other people are saying, and look at pictures to get an idea of who’s buying what, and what will look good on you.
Another thing to check is what type of shirt you’re buying. A lot of clubs lately are selling things like ‘Elite Fit‘, ‘Authentic‘ and ‘Vapor‘ shirts – these can differ in what materials are used, what type of fit they can be, and the overall quality. They’re mainly tight fitted shirts, close to the ‘Player Issue’ ones you can find on second hand and vintage football shirt websites. It basically means these are the shirts that players will have been wearing, and as they’re pro athletes, their bodies will be vastly different to you and I. So be warned! I went for a Player Issue shirt once, and it very nearly cut off the circulation in my arms! Very different to the big baggy shirts of the late 90s and early 00s.
Lastly, if you order a shirt online, or get one without trying it on first, be sure to keep everything – leave the tags on when it arrives, don’t throw away any receipts, and keep as much packaging as you can, as chances are you might have to send it back for a refund.