Style Points is a weekly column about how fashion intersects with the wider world.
Pop culture feels a lot like high school homecoming these days, especially with Taylor Swift turning two Kansas City Chiefs games into celebrity moments (and fashion moments, complete with a cherry-red team jacket). Not to mention helping drive a nearly 400 percent spike in Travis Kelce jersey sales. And fashion isn’t far behind, with sports jerseys proliferating on both the runways and the street style runways outside of them.
Why is the jersey everywhere these days? Perhaps it’s because standard athleisure has started to feel a little stale, leaving room for fashion to pass the spirit stick to actual sportswear. You can also credit the growing fashion footprint of everything from soccer to Formula 1 racing, the fashion-ification of pastimes from tennis to golf and skiing, or our collective anticipation for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Throwing on a jersey has never been more au courant, not to mention a way to signal that you’re in the know. And like a suit with sneakers, or a blazer with a sports bra, it adds some jock inspiration to a look without tipping into full tailgate territory.
Kim Kardashian has been spotted in soccer jerseys that are equal parts blokecore and Europecore, including a ’90s A.S. Roma uniform and a Paris-Saint Germain style from the 2000s, both of which reportedly caused spikes in interest for the styles. Addison Rae has repped Brazil’s soccer team in bright yellow silk, while Hailey Bieber recently wore an oversized Dime jersey as a dress. For a recent Dolphins game, Alix Earle cut the front of her jersey in half, spurring countless TikTok imitators to do the same. Julia Fox has sported a Yankees shirt and a sheer jersey from Willy Chavarria emblazoned with the word “CATECHISM” (and paired, naturally, with matching pants that say “SPORTS”). And, of course, Rihanna has been a longtime practitioner of the high-fashion jersey look, wearing a variety of takes over the years.
The NFL announcers presuming that Swift and her fan base might not know the rules of the game would do well to realize that there are plenty of young female fans out there, (including Swift herself, who’s rocked her Philadelphia Eagles sweatshirt before).
And those fans seemingly included New York Fashion Week attendees, who paired their team colors with more high-end pieces and accessories for a look that says sure, I’m a fashion person, but I don’t take myself too seriously. Koché, Martine Rose, and Off-White were among the designers incorporating jerseys into their shows for spring 2024. And not far afield from their runways, at Paris’ Musée Des arts Décoratifs, you can see the ultimate grail on view as part of the exhibit “Mode et Sport”: Zinedine Zidane’s game-winning jersey, immortalized in a glass frame.
ELLE Fashion Features Director
Véronique Hyland is ELLE’s Fashion Features Director and the author of the book Dress Code, which was selected as one of The New Yorker’s Best Books of the Year. Her writing has previously appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, W, New York magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and Condé Nast Traveler.