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5 Unexpected Ways to Style a Soccer Jersey

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I first joined a soccer team the year after Brandi Chastain scored the final-winning goal for the U.S. Women’s World Cup team in 1999, ripping her jersey off and whipping it in the air in celebration, kneeling on the ground in white shorts and a black sports bra. As a fourth grader, it would still be a few years before I myself was even ready for a sports bra. But, Chastain, Mia Hamm, Briana Scurry, and the rest of the team were Britney-level celebrities to me. Yes, I had a team poster hung on my wall.

My first team, the Totally Tight Tigers 2000 would spill onto the field each weekend, dressed in a goldenrod jersey top and shorts the same color as the grass beneath our cleats. I wasn’t yet aware of cool or warm tones, or color theory, but I’m pretty sure that color scheme didn’t quite work for any one of us. At nine, it wasn’t about stepping onto the field in the best looking kit, I was too busy chasing the ball up and down the field, finding any opportunity to knock my forehead against a fast-approaching corner kick, or to tap the ball lightly as I ran toward the goal.

It’s been over a decade since I seriously stepped onto the soccer field, but I’ve always held onto my identity as a former soccer girl. Even into adulthood, I’ve been described many times as “sporty,” a reference most often to my sense of style. I’m partial to sneakers over heels and on weekends, an oversized tee and pair of running shorts is my go to uniform. But, up until recently, the soccer jersey remained a piece of the past. With this year’s Women’s World Cup, I’ve noticed the style making a strong return to the fashion vernacular.

And while this year’s U.S. Women’s World Cup team’s chances have ended, watching them play, even through the last nail-biting shooting against Sweden, rekindled my excitement for the sport (and the uniform). Even off the field, videos of the team wearing blazers and button-downs from Nike’s collection in collaboration with Martine Rose is a reminder, soccer style is easily adapted off the field.

Challenged to bring back my soccer jersey days, I wanted to style the U.S. National Women’s Team jersey in five ways that marry my current life as a fashion editor and my past one as a goal-scoring, cleat-wearing athlete. Yes, I even managed a small nod to the TTT 2000 via one kelly green skirt.


USWNT (4-Star) 2023 Match Away soccer jersey

The Statement Skirt 

Processed with VSCO with a7 presetCourtesy of Aemilia Madden

Tory Burch

mirror embellished double-layer skirt

Tory Burch

pierced mule sandals

Mark Cross

Frame XL clutch

My first instinct with sporty clothes is to go for sleek, sporty, and body-skimming, as if I’m slipping into my own sweat-wicking Olympic uniform. Let’s turn it all on its head. We want texture! We want drama! An oversized shearling clutch is luxuriously impractical, and the same can be said for a sheer, beaded skirt. These pieces aren’t about optimization or streamlining. They make getting dressed feel like a decadent exercise in experimentation.

The ’90s Influence

Courtesy of Aemilia Madden


Air Zoom Vomero 5 sneakers

We all contain multitudes. The Dimes Square version of myself wants to take the soccer jersey and style it back to lightly ‘90s-inspired pieces. Sporty, casual, but still cool. I grabbed my favorite baggy vintage jeans and the Nike sneakers of the moment, the Vomero (back in the day, it would have been my baby blue Shox). To dress up a look of basics, I added a Matrix-style leather trench in cherry red, and what my mom used to refer to as “blaster-shade” sunglasses that I wore unironically throughout middle school, this time with a co-sign via designer Martine Rose.

The Going Out Look

Courtesy of Aemilia Madden

Tory Burch

woven pointed pumps

Like many who made the transition to work from home over the last few years, I’ve mostly managed to clear my closet of high heels. On any given day I’m most likely to be in Birkenstocks or my favorite dunks. But, I still cling to the opportunity to dress up for any occasion when I can find the excuse. Pairing the jersey with a sequin skirt and a pair of pointy heels makes me feel like a sporty mermaid, slippery and sleek. Plus, the skirt’s color is a dead ringer for the soccer shorts of my youth — it’s a callback 20 years in the making.

The Bermuda Shorts

Courtesy of Aemilia Madden

Intrigued by the idea of a grown-up alternative to the typical soccer uniform, I wanted to riff on the typical silhouettes while breaking out of sweat-wicking fabric on my bottom half. Enter: black denim. These bermuda-style shorts which hit a bit above the knee mimic the silhouette, but with more structure. Cinched tight with a silver studded belt, the final outfit is a reflection of my current personal style—easy, with an unexpected twist.

The Babydoll Dress

Courtesy of Aemilia Madden


embroidered lace dress


brushed leather mules


Galleria Saffiano Special Edition bag

Oh babydoll. A shrunken hem on a 5’9” frame may look like I’m at risk of showing a little too much skin, but teeny-tiny shorts are, luckily, very popular. I love the idea of having them hidden underneath a micro silhouette, just daring to make an appearance. Since it’s a risky choice, I say balance everything out with the addition of polished loafers and a demure bag. Who’s a lady now?



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