Women's football shirts existed loooooong before 2019
Sometimes I forget that I’m the weird one who loves footie shirts a little too much. I see colour combinations on a menu or a street sign and I instantly think about a shirt or an era that the colour reminds me of. I get it, it’s weird.
The other day I was at a conference where a non-football fan asked me what the issue was. Why did FOUDYS exist? What were the core differences between women’s products and mens products in the football shirt industry. I realised that sometimes because i’m so obsessed I forget that others aren’t and they may not get it… so I thought I’d outline it in a blog (you’re welcome).
There are a tonne of shirts now coming out where the shirt is identical but the main sponsor is different. The obvious example being Barcelona. Rakuten sponsor the mens shirts, whilst Stanley sponsor the womens.
On a personal level I find it super frustrating as a shirt collector. The women’s sponsored shirts are often more difficult to source, the manufacturers often produce loads more women’s fitted women’s shirts (that’s a tongue twister!) even though more people want the men’s fitted shirts. However, it emphasises how sponsorable women are. Brands are wanting to tie their name to women’s teams, a huge leap for women’s sport.
It’s not a huge surprise that big-business shirt deals are happening in women’s sport when there’s been research done that evidences how much more lucrative sponsoring women can be vs sponsoring men.
We’ve just got to hope that as women’s football grows the brands grab onto the opportunity, produce enough shirts and make them accessible worldwide on their website (as well as giving FOUDYS plenty of stock too of course!)
Clubs and nations gain stars above their crest for various reasons. Clubs like Bayern Munich men have 5 stars to represent their 30+ titles. International teams have them to represent the ultimate accolade: The World Cup.
For me as a shirt collector, there is absolutely no interest in owning a USA shirt. It represents nothing and doesn’t hold any memories. Owning a 4 star USWNT shirt represents the greatest nation in women’s football history. It represents tonnes of major honours and the women who stood firm against federations to fight for equality. The difference between the USA and USWNT shirts? Those 4 little stars that sit above the crest.
Just like with the sponsored shirts issue, there’s huge accessibility discrepancies between men’s and women’s starred shirts (like USA, Germany, Norway, Japan etc). The major players in football shirt sales in The UK (Sports Direct, Pro:Direct, JD Sports etc) seem to love supplying mens shirts, even when the men have achieved very little in the football world. Thats where FOUDYS come in. We’re always hunting for jerseys past and present with the correct stars to reflect the women’s game.
FOUDYS has really worked hard on our patch game. We are the patch queens (lol) in women’s football. If i’m totally honest, before launching FOUDYS I’d never really focused on the sleeve detailing, but now i’m totally obsessed.
Patches define the tournament you’re taking part in. There are usually sleeve patches for cup competitions (FA Cup, Champions League, Women’s World cup) as well as for the league you take part in (NWSL, WSL etc). I love how you can get patches that date back to competitions where women didn’t have their own defined jerseys. You can instantly make what would traditionally be a mens shirt into a women’s shirt, and what’s better is that it’s probably one of the rarest shirts on the planet!! Who else out there owns a China 2007 England shirt with a Women’s World Cup patch on it? Exactly.
Our most sold product on FOUDYS.com is our FAWSL patches. They’re the clear difference between a boring old Arsenal shirt and an absolutely epic Arsenal Women’s shirt.
This is the clear differentiator for me. I can’t explain how amazing it feels going to stadiums around the world and seeing women’s namesets on the back of shirts but it feels even better when it’s the correct nameset for that women’s team. It also helps that the WSL lettering is waaaaaay more beautiful than the premier league lettering.
We are experts in font here at FOUDYS. If you want to source any font for your womens footie shirt then give us a bell on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take a look into it for you!
So there it is, women’s football shirts were unique long before women’s football shirts had even been designed. It’s possible to own an old shirt from pre-2019 (when the first women’s footie shirts were designed) that’s completely unique to the women’s game!
by Helen Hardy