Getting Your Team’s Kit on a Budget
By London Designer Outlet
Last year, Nike raised some eyebrows when they announced the prices for their authorised England kits. Their version of the away kit for the Brazilian World Cup cost £90 just for a shirt, with cheaper versions and children’s versions costing £60 and £42. Even the Prime Minister was forced to speak out about the prices, but Downing Street has said it’s ultimately down to the FA and retailers how much they charge. If you’ve got budding football superstars in the family, you might be despairing as the new team kits are released, knowing full-well that you’ll have to invest a decent whack of your savings to stop any family arguments. What is there for me to do, you might wail, despairing completely at the flurry of football related fashion that changes with each year.
Well, fear not! There’s no need to panic! This article is the definitive guide to getting a team’s kit on the budget. Read it, share it, print it out, memorise it, and never worry about splashing too much cash again.
Your first port of call should be the humble outlet store, such as Adidas, Nike, and Asics. Outlet stores, where companies and manufacturers sell stock directly to the public, are often a great place to buy items free of a huge mark-up – and they often have tempting discounts and sales available. You can often find shirts, shorts, or whole kits with twenty to forty percent off – not too bad at all! Some even offer special deals on retro reprints from the classic eras of English football; you can have your favourite shirt from the seventies, while your kids have the latest shirt they’ve been begging you for.
Getting the Previous Year’s Kit
Let’s do a quick compare and contrast. Here’s an overview of the 2015 – 2016 kits, and here’s a look at the Premier League kits for 2014 – 2015. Aside from a few cosmetic tweaks here and there, there’s not really that much that changes from year to year – the essentials stay the same, such as the club’s logo and the colours. As the kits change from season to season, you’ll be assured a great deal if you go looking for the previous year’s strip; retailers will be looking to get rid of them quickly to make room for the new stock coming in. Wait for the right moment, and you could kit out your own five-a-side team and still laugh all the way to the bank.
Only Buying The Official Shirt
Think about the basic elements that make up an official football kit – a shirt, shorts, boots and a pair of socks. When you break it down to just those three key elements (no official kit comes with boots) then you can quickly realise there’s a lot of opportunity to make some savings. The official team shirt is essential, but do you really need the official shorts? Surely any pair of red – or blue, or white, or even orange – shorts will do the job just as well, maybe even better; official team kits don’t come with spares lest socks are left on a school bus that’ll never be seen again! You can buy generic shorts and socks that match the colour scheme of your kid’s favourite team, and if they really kick up a fuss, you can easily add team logos to them later. You can shop around and find the best football boots that suit your child; unfortunately, good quality footwear is something you just can’t skimp on. But you can make sure that you find the best deal.
Watch Out For Unofficial Versions
A word of warning for all parents – sure, buying a knock-off version might seem like a reasonable financial option when you’re in a pinch, but it’s just going to cost in the long run. Official shirts, while their costs seem exorbitant, are made to a high quality. They’re made from good fabrics, with quality checking on each step of the process, from the design, to pattern cutting, to stitching, to even basic spellchecking. If you buy a pirated shirt, there’s a real chance it’ll just fall apart in the wash after being worn once, or that it’ll turn your kid’s chest bright blue, or that the team’s name might be spelled wrong! After all, they don’t need to be well-made – they’re not representing an official brand. You’ll just have to buy the shirt over and over and over again, costing you far more in time and money in the long run. So be smart, know the right places to look, and you won’t need to keep an eye out for illicit shirts.