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Total honesty here: I don’t care whatsoever about football. I don’t watch it, and I don’t have a team I follow. I understand the rules (thanks, high school gym class) and I can enjoy watching a game if my dad or brother won’t change the channel, but the outcome has absolutely no effect on my life or happiness. When I go to a Super Bowl party next week — even though I’m from New England, so I should technically be all excited about the Patriots — I’m going to be there exclusively for the snacks.
But there is one thing (aside from the snacks) that makes me wish I cared a little more about football, and that’s how freaking awesome vintage-style football T-shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets look. I don’t know what particular element it is that makes me like them so much. The V-necks, the huge numbers, the double rings on the sleeves? The sparkly illustrations on the sweatshirts? Not sure, but I’m a fan.
I’ve stolen (or wanted to steal) a few from ex-boyfriends and even my dad over the years, and yes, I realize that wearing a shirt repping a team I don’t give two damns about makes me a Poser with a capital P.
In case you are someone who actually cares about the sport and does in fact support a team enough to wear one out of the house without feeling a little bit like a tool, here’s a quick list of the best spots to cop vintage sports shirts online.
This Richmond, Virginia-based vintage shop always has a ton of ‘80s and ‘90s sports gear at the ready. At the moment they have a few starter jackets, varsity jackets, sweatshirts, and T-shirts up for grabs, including the Coca-Cola branded tee shown above.
This Etsy seller has a ridiculously large inventory of cool vintage clothes, including a sizable collection of football tees, both team-specific (there’s a lot of 49ers, Raiders, and Steelers gear at the moment) and some plain three-quarter sleeve shirts with those stripes I love. Everything is modeled on women, but most stuff would definitely work for men, too (there’s a lot of XL here).
Though it also carries some pretty dope concert tees, online men’s vintage shop Rare Vntg almost exclusively sells vintage sports wear, from rare jerseys to deadstock snapback hats. The older, mint condition stuff can get pretty pricey, but you can find T-shirts starting around $30, too.
I mean, duh, but it’s worth pointing out the fact that you’ll have better luck searching for the exact team you want (like maybe the Atlanta Falcons or the New England Patriots) in the “vintage clothing” section of eBay than you will searching by vintage store/seller, as inventory is constantly turning over. At the moment, there’s tons of stuff for both teams starting as low as $10.
While this Seattle-based shop is mostly focused on authentically recreating baseball flannels and jackets, they’ve got a few great football options as well, including heavy-gauge cotton jerseys.