Jersey Sizing, US to UK
or, why is it so hard to buy a jersey and know it will fit?
If you're in the UK, you're probably aware that US sizes are generally bigger. But then, so are US food portion sizes, so there you go. Cause and effect at its finest. That being said, it's not that easy to just say, choose the next size down. Even in US sizes, there's huge variation between brands, and even within brands (hello, Reebok?). So what do you do?
Here's our general advice:
- If you're between UK sizes, size down for a US jersey
- But, if you're buying for a child, size up, because they grow like weeds!
- Jerseys made of mesh with screen-printed name and numbers tend to be bigger than stitched, more fitted jerseys (think 2000s era Reebok jerseys)
How a jersey should fit: (Men's jerseys)
- Jerseys are meant to fit loosely, as a casual clothing garment
- If a jersey is game-worn or one of the older Reebok "authentics" meant to be worn with shoulder pads, then it will fit a lot looser in the shoulders (obviously); think twice before buying one of these for casual wear
- Jerseys should fall about hip level, fit well in the shoulders, and not be tight on the body as in the photo below.
The jersey is fitted in the shoulders and skims the body loosely
If you've bought a jersey that doesn't fit the way you'd like it to:
- Consider wearing it differently--for example, in the photo above, the model is wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt under the jersey which would help if the jersey were a bit big
- If the jersey fits closer than you'd ideally want it, you might wear it under an unbuttoned flannel shirt or a fashion jacket, as in the photo below
You can pair a close-fitting jersey with a jacket for a great look
- If the jersey is WAY too big, you might consider wearing it as a "game day" jersey on cold days. At the game, you'd want to show your colours on the outside, whilst still staying warm. Wearing an oversized jersey over a hoodie or even an outdoor jacket is one way to do this.
This is a perfect example of how a jersey can be layered over or under other items as needed for the perfect fit (image courtesy of Stitchfix)
- Of course, the rules are different with women, naturally!
- Women can wear men's jerseys in a smaller size, but the fit will generally be boxy and not fitted, and depending on your form, might be tight in the chest, loose at the waist, and tight at the bottom to the point of rolling up on your hips
- An option is to buy a women's jersey, which are generally a more tapered cut, skimming your curves; the Nike Game jersey for women is also hip length, like the men's, as shown below
The Nike Game jersey for women skims the curves, but still hits at the waist
- Consider wearing a crop style with a looser fit--you can wear a T-shirt underneath or if you're brave, not!
- You can wear a really long, big, boyfriend-style jersey, like an old Reebok, with leggings and boots or other legwear; hey, if it looks cute, anything goes!
"Cute" is a subjective term, but I really enjoyed wearing my vintage Ed McCaffrey huge Reebok (Medium!) with these Broncos leggings and leg coverings!
Our very top tip is this:
- Find a jersey you already have that fits you well
- Lay it flat on a flat surface
- Measure the chest under the armpits
- Check this against "pit to pit" measurements on reputable websites (ours is shown below)
Many websites including ours feature a "pit to pit" measurement that you can compare to a well-fitting jersey that you have to ensure the fit you want
Check the manufacturers' websites to see what they have to say about their jerseys' fit: