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Are Basketball Jerseys Supposed To Fit Tight?

If tight-fitting and compression clothing reduces air resistance and improves muscular recovery, are basketball jerseys supposed to fit tight as well?

Basketball jerseys have a primary purpose of representing a team. It carries the number and surname of a specific player of that team while ensuring its comfort in playing basketball and shooting hoops. While it depends on the wearer how fit they want their jerseys to be, it would be good to know a thing or two about basketball jerseys. Let’s start with understanding, are basketball jerseys supposed to fit tight?

Evolution of Jerseys

Let’s take a look at the history of basketball uniform design and how it’s changed over time.

A throwback as to how it all started, male basketball players wore short-sleeved shirts and baggy shorts, while the female ballplayers wore long-sleeved blouses matching it with long skirts when they played basketball. Imagine that to be still happening today. Thankfully, they considered function over form in the 1920s and redesigned it according to how the game evolved; and opted for a more breathable top and loose fit.

Playing an intense game of basketball produces sweat like crazy, so wool was as the best fabric to absorb the sweat. They made a onesie out of it by making them longer up until the crotch with buttons to secure them in place, just like how babies clothes are secured.

When polyester nylon was invented in the 1930s and jerseys started to get manufactured using the fabric; they learned that it was easier to wash and was more sustainable. From the 1940s up until the 1980s, jerseys followed a form-hugging fit with sleeveless tops and went down to the mid-thigh.

It all changed when Michael Jordan sported a looser fit with shorts reaching the knees. He was such a good basketball player that his fans started to dress up like him. Hence, the original jerseys that are used in NBA today, made up of sweat-wicking polyester nylon fabric, are worn loose and baggy for the bottoms some while preferring a cool, breathable top.

Jerseys as versatile garments

As for its versatility, basketball jerseys are now worn for the sake of fashion as well. For fans to wear their idol’s jerseys are honourable. Collegiate basketball players tend to embody the style of players they look up to, and they seal it by owning jerseys named after the celebrities.

Because of the black mamba, Kobe Bryant’s, sudden death at 41 years old, a surge of orders came about from many manufacturing companies of jerseys 8 and 24. Some would wear it, some would frame it, while some just want to check how big Kobe Bryant’s built was by ordering his own size. For that, jerseys also serve as a souvenir and a display.

Jersey styles

The knitting style used to make these basketball jerseys is how it got its “jersey” name. Considering what the body needs when playing basketball and with keeping in mind environmental friendliness as well, jerseys are often made of fabrics that blend polyester with recycled plastic water bottles. According to Nike, each uniform will need 20 bottles; discarded, reclaimed, melted, and converted into yarn.

How to spot authentic basketball jerseys

NIKE is the official manufacturer for NBA basketball jerseys at the time of this writing since they succeeded Adidas. This information could help you out figuring whether it’s authentic or not and if it’s even worthy of its selling price.

Alternatively, if you’re not looking to get an authentic copy of a famous player’s jersey but are instead looking for your own custom basketball jersey, that’s a great option to represent yourself as well.

In general, basketball jerseys conform to a buyer’s preference. For playing basketball, as long as it’s made of breathable fabric and that its style caters to its primary purpose, loose-fit is just fine. A professional player should understand the consequence, though, as loose clothes do add to air resistance.