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If you’re a sports fan, you love this time of year. The football season is coming down to the wire, with teams angling for playoff spots. Talk around the NHL’s new season is starting to heat up. And though LeBron James and his Los Angeles Lakers cohorts seemingly just hoisted the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, another NBA campaign tips off on December 22.
What all of this means is that it’s probably time to freshen up your closet with some new shirts for your favorite collegiate and pro teams. But where’s the fun in rocking the same uniform you did last year? This season take things up a notch by showing your allegiance in a T-shirt with a throwback logo, retired font, or long-forgotten color scheme.
The roster of tees from the five brands below all score big with us for their look, feel and stylish nods to nostalgia. And with so many big games going on right now on the sports calendar, the timing couldn’t be better to grab a few. Besides, since most of us can’t cheer in the stands right now, the least we can do is look the part from our couches.
1. Homage’s NBA Jam Shirts
These tees win by seamlessly blending an arcade classic (the rim-rocking NBA Jam) with today’s players. While shirts with the New Orleans Pelicans (Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram) and other current basketball stars are great, the real fun comes with those for dynamic duos from back in the day, like Seattle (Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton) and Utah (Karl Malone and John Stockton). And bonus points for the hilarious stats meter at the bottom of each image. Geez, was the Mailman’s jump shot really that weak?
2. ’47 Brand’s Legacy Grit ’47 Scrum Collection
When it comes to representing your NFL squad, your game-day outfit requires your Sunday best. Step into the living room in one of these cool, distressed-looking tees before kick-off and everyone will know you mean business. Throwback logos here range from the Cleveland Browns’ elf from the Fifties and the Dallas Cowboys’ horse-riding graphic in the Sixties to the Falcons’ classic black bird from the Seventies, but all them somehow still feel fresh. The site has cool college merch too, like the Michigan Wolverines shirt pictured at the top of this article.
3. 500 Level’s NHL Tees
This brand’s sweet spot is its lighthearted, caricatured T-shirt. We’ve been rocking 500 Level’s MLB tees for a while now, but we’ve got our eye on their NHL and wrestling selections these days. With regards to the ice, you can go with a group shot of the Stanley Cup-winning Tampa Bay Lightning or try something a bit more focused with Boston’s David “Pasta” Pastrnak. As for the WWE options, we can’t wait to prance around the house in our classic Ric Flair “Stylin’ & Profilin’” tee. Woooooo!
4. The Original Retro Brand’s Raglan Collection
It doesn’t matter if you’re gearing up for December’s College Football Playoff or prepping for March Madness, these long-sleeved winners will quickly become the MVPs of your closet. With a host of available schools (from the Florida Gators to the Penn Quakers) on the site, you won’t have much of an issue finding your favorite university. We love the raglan tee’s color-coordinated sleeves and curved cut at the bottom, both ensuring your look stays fashion-forward even on days when your squad has no chance of making a comeback.
5. Roots of Fight’s Boxing Shirts
In the past, we’ve stanned this brand for its dope Bruce Lee tees. And recently, we loved the remarkable collaboration between ace pitcher CC Sabathia and Negro League Baseball. But even with all of that, we know the heart of this label lies with its boxing merch. Late Canadian-Italian legend Arturo Gatti’s gear is nice. We dig the George Foreman shirts, too. But if we’re rocking just one, it’s these timeless Muhammad Ali tees, an easy knockout choice for a Saturday of sports watching.