Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Why 1990s Soccer Jerseys are So Big Right Now

By Misty Severi May 15, 2024

Figure 1 Retro soccer shirts are fashion items now

What sports fans wear has not always been fashionable. Sales of replica jerseys and related apparel earn the teams and manufacturers billions every year but that has not always meant that anyone not into sports would be seen dead wearing the clothes on the street. But that is changing.

Now it is not immediately clear whether that person passing you on the sidewalk wearing a vintage Inter Milan jersey knows anything about Italian soccer or whether Lautaro Martinez will sign another contract. They might just like the look and fit of the 1990s-era replica jersey like millions of others worldwide.

Soccer jerseys are enjoying their time in the sun in the world of fashion. The sport itself may be becoming bigger than ever in the US thanks to top players in the domestic league, media attention, and the rise in popularity of sportsbooks in California. And the 1990s jerseys – and clothing inspired by that time – are definitely a hit when it comes to fashion.

Boom Time

There are always a lot of reasons why a certain look becomes fashionable. But with replica soccer jerseys there is also its history to consider. Before the mid to late 1980s very little changed in the way that soccer jerseys looked. Replica sales were not really a thing and nothing much changed from season to season.

That began to change in the late 1980s and by the 1990s teams were changing their jerseys every few years and thinking about style and fit as well as just incorporating colors and traditional motifs. By the end of the 1990s, designers were really going wild and taking their cues from outside of sports. That resulted in some incredible jerseys – ones that are now getting a second life on today’s streets.

All Things 1990s

Anyone who has studied even a tiny amount of clothing history will tell you that fashion is cyclical. Everything comes back into fashion in the end and there will be a lot of Gen X-ers looking at the youth of today and remarking how similar the fashion choices are between then and now.

After a few years of skinny jeans, young people are back to wearing baggier pants and more loose-fitting clothing in general. Designers will always look back to the past for inspiration and many have landed on the 1990s as a fertile place for today’s hottest brands.

Retro and Vintage Looks

Alongside the general loose-fitting clothing, soccer jerseys from the 1990s have been leapt upon as the ideal top for anyone vaguely fashion-conscious. Soccer players generally wore their jerseys loose and flowing in those days and larger sizes tended to be favored by athletes and fans alike.

That fits perfectly with the fashion demands of today’s youth. With some innovative designs – especially for the world of sports – and jerseys representing some of the coolest cities in the world, soccer jerseys combine everything that is currently on brand.

90s Inspired Wear

With 1990s soccer jerseys so in demand, there has been a number of teams reproducing old kits to sell. But if the original jerseys are bought they are likely to come with a high price tag. That is why some designers have started to use the jerseys as inspiration for their own clothing lines.

Rather than copy the 1997 Inter Milan soccer jersey, for example, a designer will use the colors and fit as an inspiration for their own original pieces. That is why we are also seeing a lot of soccer jersey-style tops on the streets. They are not supposed to be official replica jerseys but clothing that is made to look like it is from that period of time.

Instant Street Cred

As we mentioned before, part of the attraction for this current fashion is that there is the relation with a brand. In this case, that means with the team or the city. Some cities will always be regarded as cooler than others and it is not a surprise that a teenager in Iowa might want to wear a Real Madrid jersey.

But the really fashionable have taken that association a step further. Wearing a jersey of one of the successful, European teams is all very well. But being seen with a jersey from a hipster or obscure club that is not as readily available gives the wearer even more street cred as it is essentially a limited edition.

Figure 2 1990s sports jerseys have become collectors’ items

Athletes as Fashion Icons

One final factor behind the surge in popularity of soccer jerseys and 1990s-inspired clothing is that the athletes themselves are now fashion icons. Even back in the 1990s, there were not many players who were able to cross the divide between the sports and celebrity world.

But players like David Beckham started a whole new lifestyle for athletes and now the jerseys they were wearing when they were playing are the ones that are considered the height of street fashion. So, it can be said that there is a link between these globally recognized stars and soccer jerseys.


It is likely that in a few years, fashion will have moved on again and the loose-fitting 1990s soccer jerseys that we see everywhere today will be discarded. But for now, they are very much a fashion staple and a common sight on streets around the world, worn by people who may, or may not, know about the history of the garment.

By Misty Severi

Misty Severi is a content writer for Buzztum Company. She has special interest in SEO Marketing, European and US.

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