Money has driven a lot of change in the sport of football. Players are paid insane wages after signing for eye-popping sums of money whilst agents cash in sickening amounts but it’s the fans that fuel the funds through tickets and television subscriptions. Supporters do, however, draw the line at lining the pockets of sponsors and the rise of the retro shirts is a trade that’s only going in one direction. If you want to follow suit and step back to the good old days then here are the 10 best places to go and buy.
In terms of the way an individual strip is displayed on the webpage, Copa have things on the money with clean cut images but they do let themselves down with a filter and sorting function that lacks usability. Their product offering, which is smart but a little light compared to others, combined with the filter/sort options – or lack of options – see them in at number 10. That’s not to say you won’t get a quality product if you manage to find it though so don’t write them off.
The website itself is easy on the eye and is clearly very well designed with a menu option to search by brand, which is a smart differentiator given how sensitive some people can be to a manufacturer. Like everyone on this list, they have some lovely strips at reasonable prices but their availability is not able to measure up to those above them.
You can’t knock the fact that Retrofootball have close to 500 classic jerseys on their site but, whilst it’s straight forward to get to that point, the search functionality, like with Copa, could do with a revamp as you are basically left to scroll through the full stock listings. Not a problem if you’re looking for a forgotten gem but less helpful if you want a specific kit or team.
Classic-shirts offer a basic webpage that quickly hones in on what you’re after – providing they have it. For example, they have a League One category but only feature 19 clubs in the next drill down; they do win a big plus for the sheer number of strips available though and if you can find your team then you’ll be likely to have a good choice of what era to wear next time out – as an Ipswich fan, the idea of reliving past glories is quite tempting I must say!!!
6. The Kitman
Here’s a site with a fair bit to offer; you can go back in time to look for a true vintage shirt or just jump back a few years if that’s more your thing. If you set off searching through the menus you will find the ability to filter by club and player. My mind races to iconic players such as Pele, Maradona and beyond…the Kitman though offers a tangy orange number from Newcastle’s 2011/12 campaign emblazoned with ‘Cisse’. Still, I guess it takes all kinds.
Kitbag offers a slickly put together retro page on their site where you can quickly scan through their products. They have some true beauties in there too with my personal adoration being reserved for the 1989 Barca strip from their European Cup Winners Cup campaign although Gazza’s 1996 shirt is pretty hard to resist too. The only thing keeping it from being higher in our top 10 is the quantity of kits available. Come on Kitbag, get some more strips in!
Okay, so I can’t be sure it’s intentional but even their website has a classic design and old school feel (it runs smooth as any though). What’s on offer is a well put together shop. Search by player, by league or even by International competition! There are some obscure finds to be had too with leagues such as the J League reasonably well covered and additional features like the ability to sell a shirt and eco-packaging on all sales is worth a note as well.
If you know exactly what you’re after then Toffs is a site that’s almost definitely a winner with a wide range of offerings covering British teams, Europeans sides and beyond with international sides included. The one fault I have is that it’s almost too extensive and browsing could become a slog if you’re looking for inspiration. That said, Bert Trautmann’s famous keeper jersey is available and that’s worth a place in any vintage collection.
If you’re on the browse for shirts from any era then you’ll be impressed with Vintagefootballshirts offering. They have a host of teams and years available that you can look through from back to front in one place – although filtering is easily available too – and if you can’t find what you’re after they will try to source your request. On top of that, a language filter at the top of the page opens up their customer base too, which shouldn’t be ignored.
Classicfootballshirts.co.uk is going to take some knocking off top spot. Visit their site and you’re immediately met with some quick categories tailored by price or league and their deeper menu is quick and easy to navigate with clear naming. Beyond site workings though there are a host of strips to choose from with everything from ultimate retro to throwback sponsors and through to genuine match worn items. The best find though is quite possibly their ‘hall of shame’, which showcases the worst kits of all time – needless to say, most of those are reduced too!
There you have it, 10 websites that offer awesome classic kits. Don’t get me wrong, the top performers here are a cut above those listed earlier in the review but all 10 offer the opportunity for you to pick up some qualify kits so next time you step out on the terraces there is no excuse for not looking the part.