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More Than a Uniform: An Image

Ten years ago, top ten lists for the best college football uniforms in America didn’t exist.

Now, they are plentiful and popular, with everyone from teenage bloggers to NFL.com ranking their favorites.

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What has changed in such a short period of time?

Big brands have redefined what the uniform is, in both looks and symbolism.

Take Nike for example.

In 2014 Nike designed the uniforms for the top four college teams in the country and did so in a way that underscored the importance the uniform has taken on the playing field.

“Nike put thought into every detail of the playoff uniforms, with a story for nearly every stitch,” wrote Forbes contributor Jim Stengel in a January 2015 essay about the uniforms of powerhouses Alabama, Oregon, Ohio, and Florida State.

Each uniform featured a diamond swoosh on the front symbolizing the ultimate goal of the team: winning the national title and returning to campus with the diamond championship ring.

The “best” uniforms have become synonymous with the “best” programs and the “best” programs bring in the most wins, fans, and top recruits.

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This is college football, though, you might be thinking – this doesn’t apply to my program; my high school.

You may want to give that thought a replay.

High school football uniform trends are created on Saturday afternoons when the nation’s college teams take to the field and every day on social media when players and fans critique what their favorite teams wore.

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The high school football uniform – just like the college football uniform – is no longer just about covering and protecting the body, but uncovering and promoting the strength, legacy, and uniqueness of the program.

From the colors, patterns, decals and threads of high school uniforms comes a statement: we are relevant; we are timely; we are winners.

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And, just like in college football, rankings of the top high school uniforms in the country now exist all over the web and on popular websites like MaxPreps.

Times are changing, uniforms are changing, and the way players, fans, prospects, and opponents look at uniforms are changing.

Every stitch tells a story.  What will your team’s story be in 2015?

Here are just a few of the hottest trends we are seeing on the gridiron for 2015:

 2015 Hottest Trends in College-Inspired High School Uniforms

  • Compression fit base layers with ½ sleeves – as opposed to the popular sleeveless look of a few years ago, is the preferred look among players for their base layer.
  • Crew socks have replaced knee high socks as the popular sock length of choice.
  • Gloves are no longer just a gear essential, but a statement of team pride with mascots on colorful gloves becoming more popular.
  • Dark grey is the new black when it comes to jersey color, especially specialty jerseys like homecoming or senior night jerseys. Popular jerseys tend to be tight fitting with a sublimated twill pattern and cap sleeves for all positions.
  • Helmet decals are moving  away from a traditional small, side, decal, to a full size, decal on one side and player number on the other.
  • Patches on uniforms are becoming the norm, rather than the exception; patches can be created to represent everything from a memorial to a previous championship season.
  • Decoration is key to increase professionalism; truer more vibrant colors are expanding color matching options while dye-sublimation is providing extreme detail head-to-toe.
  • Coaching apparel top trends for game days are:  ½ zip hoodies; high collared hoodies; and simple polo shirts from top athletic apparel manufacturers.

If you’re ready to take your program’s uniforms to the next level, contact the BSN SPORTS sales professionals at 1-800-527-7510 or http://www.bsnsports.com/contacts/

Mike Bridie

Mike Bridie started his BSN SPORTS career in 2005. He was a 3-sport athlete in high school. He graduated from Sam Houston State University with a degree in Business Management. He is the Division Manager for the In-School Department at BSN SPORTS. In his free time, he coaches his daughter’s soccer and basketball teams.

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