How to Tell if a Vintage Football Shirt Is Fake

When it comes to purchasing a vintage football shirt, it’s essential to know the difference between a fake shirt and a genuine shirt. With the rise in demand for classic football shirts, for both casual streetwear and for supporting your favourite team, the market has been flooded with fakes. As a leading provider of 100% genuine vintage football shirts, we know a fair share when it comes to spotting a fake shirt — here are our top tips on spotting a fake football top. 


Consider the Price 

The cost of the football shirt you’re looking at is usually a good first indication as to whether the shirt is real or not. In the vintage football shirt community, the majority of sellers are genuine and will disclose the authenticity of the shirt however, you do get a few who try and get the better of a less experienced buyer.

If the shirt you’re looking at is considerably cheaper than anywhere else, it is probably not a genuine shirt. When it comes to vintage shirts, if the price is too good to be true, it usually is! 


Check the Labels 

If the shirt passes the price check, the next step is checking the labels, specifically the care labels and the inside labels. The first label to check is the wash label. The majority of shirts after the 2000s will have wash labels and this is a good indicator to show you the shirt is real. Player-issued shirts and shirts pre-2000s may not have wash labels. If the wash label has a pen written on it, this is usually a sign that the shirt is not a genuine one. 

The next label to check is the product code label. Most shirts produced after 2000 will have a product (or style) code number. If you’re able to find the product number on the shirt, Google the number followed by the manufacturer, if the shirt comes up, it is probably genuine. It’s important to know that pre-2000s shirts will not have a product code. 


Check the Badges & Prints

From a visual perspective, taking a closer look at the badges and prints is a great way to determine the authenticity of a football shirt. You should first take a look and see if there are any inconsistencies with the badge or the print - are they straight and is the stitching consistent? 

Once you’ve checked this, try and compare the shirt you’re considering buying with images of a proven genuine shirt. You should check if the stitching is the same colour and if the prints are consistent and in the same place. 


Scrutinising the Quality of the Shirt 

If you have access to the shirt in person, you have the opportunity to scrutinise the quality of the shirt. Take an extremely close look at the stitching, especially around the hems. If the stitching quality is poor, it will look uneven, loose, be too visible and the colour may even be slightly off. Once you’ve looked at the outside quality of the shirt, turn the shirt inside out and inspect the inside stitching. Check for poor stitching quality or remains of fabric stuck into the stitching. 


Another good indication of the authenticity of a vintage shirt is the fit. It’s important to know how the shirt is meant to fit before you try and compare it to anything. Newer shirts are typically slimmer and tighter whereas shirts from the 90s were typically a slightly bigger fit as this was the style. 


Know the Difference Between Vintage and Retro

A common misconception that so many people have is that retro is vintage. This is NOT the case! Vintage means that the product is genuine and from the time stated. Retro means that the product is a modern remake of an original product. Vintage products are genuine, rarer and more scarce. 

At TVFS, we only supply genuine vintage products. We do not supply retro or remade shirts. 


Buy From Trusted Suppliers 

One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re buying a genuine vintage football shirt is to buy from a trusted supplier. There are plenty around but here at That Vintage Football Shirt, we only offer genuine shirts. All of our football shirts come with an authenticity guarantee. If a modern reproduction/copy did happen to breach our quality control, you will be entitled to a full refund, free return and a discount on your next purchase.