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The Evolution of Basketball Uniforms

Jun. 04, 2021

The history of basketball uniforms is quite fascinating from a fashion perspective. Some Basketball Uniforms have features that simply don't seem possible, while others look pretty silly. The evolution of basketball team uniforms will make you laugh, cringe and thank the sports fashion gods because you no longer have to run, jump and dunk while sweating profusely in a thick wool sweater.

Basketball Uniforms Through The Ages

Basketball as a sport began to develop in 1891, but men were just playing in street clothes. There were no designated sports uniforms or team uniform styles at the time.

In the early 1900s, a uniform emerged after professional designers created a set of clothing consisting of a fleece T-shirt and long shorts.

By 1920, players found that the long, tight shorts hindered their ability to play well. As a result, the early basketball associations conceived of a new design that would become popular in the next decade: shorter shorts and loose-fitting T-shirts.

In the mid-1930s, shorts became shorter and shirts became longer. This Basketball Jerseys included buttons on the groin to keep the shirt from being lifted up and becoming untidy. In retrospect, this uniform looks rather comical as it resembles a baby's onesie.

Basketball Uniforms

Basketball Uniforms

Finally, in the 1940s and 1950s, basketball teams abandoned heavy wool in favor of more breathable man-made materials. This era introduced polyester-nylon combinations, similar to what we see in professional sports today. Shorts only became shorter, and shirts lost their sleeves. Uniforms were tighter and shorter than ever before. While baseball teams began printing numbers on their uniforms as early as 1916, basketball teams only began numbering their players in the 1950s.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, short, tight uniforms remained popular. Designers popularized these form-fitting uniforms along with the iconic stocking, which had become a style icon of the era.

Everything changed in the 80s. Michael Jordan revolutionized the design of basketball team uniforms by requiring long, loose, relaxed shorts. This marked the end of shorts in basketball.

The 1990s saw the entry of hip-hop style into basketball culture. Rappers wore extremely long, baggy shorts, which became the standard for professional basketball players.


The basketball team's uniforms and outfits are not the only feature of the sport that has gone through many changes. The ball itself has also changed over time. in the late 19th century, the first basketball players used a soccer. It wasn't until the early 20th century that a new ball designed specifically for the sport was produced. It wasn't until 1942 that a basketball of consistent size and shape became available. Today, the standard size of a professional league basketball is 29.5 inches in circumference.

Compared to other popular sports games, basketball is a relatively young sport. Lacrosse is said to have first originated in 1100 AD, while the first baseball game was played in 1846. However, basketball has undergone many changes, shifting every decade as American culture has evolved.

We also have Baseball Uniforms available, so please feel free to contact us if you need them!

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