Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

How To Identify Classic Football Shirts

Posted on February 02, 2021 by Kumar Vishnu

If you are interested in getting vintage football kits to round out your collection, then you might put a lot of stock in how genuine your purchases actually are. Even if you don’t mind re-creations or remakes of old retro football shirts that are no longer in production, you usually still want them to look accurate and have an authenticity behind the design, especially if you are paying quite a lot to get hold of one.


Sometimes the materials of vintage football kits make them obviously real or fake. It can be hard to sum this up in a single explanation because every kit is different, and certain countries have used different materials at different times, but a lot of modern recreations won’t use the same materials as older kits. If you buy a classic football kit, but it feels softer and more modern, then it is probably a re-creation of the classic kit.

For reproductions, this isn’t a bad thing: unless you specifically want authentic classic football shirts from real games or championships, this can make them far more appealing to the average football fan.

The Colors

When you are trying to hunt down authentic old football outfits and shirts from years ago, color is often the biggest identifier. There are obvious reasons that color would matter, like the team it belongs to or the particular year that it was used in, but it can also be an important part of telling whether or not a shirt is completely accurate to how it should be.

For example, if you are buying a shirt that allegedly comes from a real team, you might be able to compare the colors used in the preview image with images of the actual shirt being used. This isn’t always reliable, especially with older classic football kits that might have gone pale or yellow due to age and poor treatment, but it can weed out many of the obvious fakes.


One of the biggest giveaways when looking at a classic football kit is the price being offered for it. Brand-new kits are rarely ever going to be marked down, so seeing one being sold for half the price can be suspicious. With older kits, though, this becomes even more obvious: in cases where an extremely desirable kit design is being sold for less than a third of what it is worth, it is almost always a fake or a reproduction being sold as the real deal.

There are cases where somebody is legitimately selling the shirt for a low price because they don’t know the actual value, especially people with no interest in football. Even in that case, though, those shirts are usually bought up quickly: if the same listing has existed for weeks, they might be taking multiple orders and mass-producing fakes to sell at inflated prices.

Missing/Added Details

In a lot of cases, the people who make fake shirts have to do it based on images that they can find – they don’t have an example of the real shirt to work with. Many of them aren’t even football fans and are just trying to chase the smell of easy money, so they will completely miss out on things that most football-lovers could easily see, like the lack of a Nike logo or inconsistent details on the tag.

One of the most obvious mistakes is a home kit being marked as an away kit or the other way around. To a lot of scammers, the difference isn’t actually obvious, and they will gravitate towards shirts that they think are popular, so you can usually tell that something is wrong if the listing doesn’t make sense.


There are a lot of trustworthy sites that use stock images of a product as the reference image. This is fine, but in smaller marketplaces where sellers are supposed to supply their own images, many scammers will steal images from other places on the internet to pass off their fakes as real.

This can be a tricky thing to detect, unfortunately, but focusing on “original-looking” photos (like ones that are clearly taken with a phone camera against a carpet or wall) can sometimes be more likely to indicate a real item, especially if all of the images have consistency between them and weren’t just taken from multiple sites or other sale listings.

Leave a Reply

  • Current Poll

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
  • Post Categories

↑ Top