Watching sports includes review of uniforms

Published 10:39 am Wednesday, June 26, 2024

By Bonnie Brown



As Tom is getting the itch for football season, he’s been watching a lot of sports.  I can always tell when he’s really ready for football.  He watches reruns of the Ole Miss games.  I’ve been more about observing the sports uniforms.  

Ralph has been busy lately at his sewing machine as he created the look for the 2024 Team USA in the Summer Olympics.  Well, not Ralph himself.  “We’re so proud to dress Team USA,” David Lauren, Ralph Lauren’s chief branding and innovation officer, told CNN recently.  Ralph Lauren has been designing uniforms for the athletes to wear at the opening and closing ceremonies since 2008.

Let’s hope his design is better than that of the 2024 Major League Baseball uniforms designed by Nike.  It seems that the pants were made of thin and partially see-through material.  The players have mixed reviews.  Some think the lighter-weight jerseys “fit better and feel lighter” while other players have compared the new jerseys to “knockoffs from TJ Maxx.”  What, if any, changes in uniforms will next season bring?  

All sports uniforms have changed through the years to some degree.  Think of the basketball pants in the 1970-1980 when the uniform consisted of short shorts and the jerseys were tight.  In 1987, Michael Jordan personally requested from the NBA sports manufacturer Champion to make his shorts in a longer version.  Compare them to the now practically knee-length style and looser jerseys

I’d guess that football uniforms have changed the most, going from fitted pants (no padding) and wool or cotton sweaters to become more protective.  The uniforms have certainly become more colorful, probably when more homes started having color televisions.  The helmets were leather.  I read that the helmets changed to include a nose guard because players were more concerned about protecting their noses rather than their brains.  Funny, not funny.  And there are also visors but I don’t recall seeing a lot of those.  

Court couture has probably had the least changes through the years, except for women who used to play tennis in skirts.  And there is the requirement of Wimbledon’s code of all white.  Probably what caught my eye in writing this article was when I read that the first Wimbledon fashion scandal occurred when Suzanne Lenglen “arrived for her 1919 debut in a low-cut dress and rolled-down stockings; an outfit the London press deemed indecent.”   

Apparently, it wouldn’t have mattered what she wore since from 1921 to 1926, she won 8 Grand Slam titles in singles and 21 in total. Not bad for a lady who set the trend for women’s tennis apparel.  

I have noticed that there has not been a huge change in golf apparel through the years.  It’s required that you wear a collared shirt and long pants in tournament play.  But now the legs of the pants are fitted.  The style is called golf joggers, which are a cross between golf khakis and sweatpants.  And I don’t know when the trend of fitted pants legs came to be, but all the tournament players are wearing them.  

So, while Tom watches the players and keeps tabs on the scores, I look at the outfits.  What else is a girl to do?