Big sports fans know that wearing a jersey to the game is all a part of the experience. A jersey represents not only support of a team, but also the pride one has for the game itself. As such, wearing the right one is all about the logo, style, and authenticity. Sports jerseys and fan-wear come in all shapes and forms, but authentic and replica jerseys are most common, and the difference between the two might not appear obvious at first. Below are some pros and cons of each to help with making the decision on what kind of jersey to wear.
Sometimes called Semi-Pro Jerseys or Non-Authentic, the replica jerseys are just that: a copy of a jersey players wear in the game. It is important to note, however, that a "semi-pro" replica is usually a lot higher quality than one just labeled as a "replica." The difference lies in the type of material used. They are not made of the same quality of fabric nor the same type of logos found on a jersey a player would wear on the field, court, or ice. They are not meant to be played in as they are more prone to ripping and tearing. An example of this can be seen in ice hockey jerseys: replicas are not double sewn at the elbows like authentic, game-ready jerseys are.
Such minor details make a jersey more durable and last longer on a field, but are not necessarily affected by normal wear. Replicas are made by mainstream companies, like Reebok and Nike, and can be licensed by the team itself, making it an official replica. On the other hand, it could have a knock-off made overseas. This leads to the main attractive feature of a replica jersey: price. Usually under $ 100, replicas will be able to outfit a fan of any sport in a decent manner. However, the price comes at a lack of detail on the jersey and a few shortfalls compared to an authentic jersey.
An authentic jersey can also be called a game worn or team issued uniform if they were actually worn by the players themselves. As a result, the quality of the jersey is much more fitted to punishment. Heavy mesh, double padded shoulders or elbows, thicker embroidering on names and numbers all come as a stark contrast to the light material and printed lettering of a replica. In addition, authentic jerseys lack a company logo (like Nike) and instead usually have the league logo, whether it be an NHL shield or NFL symbol. All in all, the only con is the price, as they can run several hundred dollars for a single jersey.