Nothing is more frustrating than buying a product that doesn’t match your pre-purchase expectations.
Soccer fans are well aware of this, particularly when it comes to the legitimacy of gear and merchandise that’s sold by manufacturers each and every day.
This leads me on to the main answer for this article’s topic.
Soccer fan gear is legitimate by way of being either authentic or replicated in nature, with original wear often readily available from numerous retail outlets and online stores across the globe.
Now let’s dig deeper into how consumers can identify fake soccer gear – especially jerseys – by way of simple visual judgement.
How can you tell if soccer fan gear is authentic?
There are quite a few elements of shirt design that one can pay specific attention to in order to pinpoint the deficiencies that ultimately expose the piece of clothing as original or fake.
Here they are…
1. Shoddy stitching
Most of the jerseys produced in the present day are manufactured by sports apparel industry giants like Nike, Adidas, Puma and Under Armour.
With their mass production techniques fully refined over years and years of making the finest sportswear, they are not likely to make shirts that are poorly stitched together.
2. Poor crest or logo embroidery
With emblems, you first need to note whether they are present on the jersey in the first place.
If they are not visible, then doubts towards the authenticity of the product can be raised.
However, if crests or jersey sponsors are prominently displayed, you’ll need to be a bit more meticulous in your evaluation.
Take a long hard look at how well they are embroidered on to the shirts.
Any sign – be it one or many – of missing artistic elements can be a dead giveaway that the jersey is a counterfeit.
One other thing that you can do is make a note of an emblem’s positioning.
Traditionally, team or club logos on jerseys should be left chest aligned, with the manufacturer logo also present on the opposite side.
3. Incorrect or faded colour shades
Another thing that you should pay close attention to is the shades of colour that make up the complexion of the jersey in question.
This is because knock-offs usually make a misstep here.
In some cases, you’ll notice a difference in shading by taking a side-by-side visual comparison of both the original and the dummy.
What are jersey replicas?
Before I dive into what jersey replicas are, there’s something particularly important that must be noted.
And this is that replicas are not counterfeit items of clothing.
In the case of soccer jerseys, they are built by manufacturers (with official club approval) for casual supporter wear as opposed to actual match-playing wear.
So, what you’ll find with replicas is that they lack the sophisticated moisture-wicking capabilities and form-fitting aerodynamics of their authentic counterparts.
Here’s a video that neatly summarises the differences:
How to buy original fan gear
A simple Google search should bring up a number of different stores where you can purchase fan gear.
However, it’s not as simple as clicking through to the top result and adding things to the cart immediately.
Check for favourable reviews
Firstly, you’ve got to know which stores boast an impressive reputation through positive online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.
After all, you wouldn’t want to give your hard-earned money to a shop that other customers have been vocal about avoiding.
But again, you also need to verify the quality of online reviews themselves, as shops these days are able to outsource consumer reviews and build up a collection of fake 5-star ratings.
Look for official licensing indicators
Jersey vendors offering the highest quality products will want prospective customers to know that they can be trusted.
So, you may come across things like official accreditation seals on a website’s product or service pages:
A fake distributor is unlikely to display such trust signals as they could be legally liable for false representation if they haven’t consulted with the necessary organisations prior to showcasing these seals and badges.
I want to wrap up this article by saying…
Legitimate soccer fan gear does exist and is readily available to buy, but due diligence must be taken to ensure that goods bought are of the highest quality standard.
This is due to the plethora of unscrupulous business traders who deliberately advertise and sell fake items as being genuine.