White Soccer Shorts: Really?

During my high school years, before the season even started, our athletic director banned our women’s soccer team from wearing white shorts. None of us ever complained simply because we never wanted to wear them anyway.

White shorts meant endless stains, baring all to the world on rainy game days, and endless annoyances like having to think about what we wore underneath. No, white shorts were not worth fighting over, and yet white jerseys remain a staple in soccer, even at the national level.

The Material

Jerseys are becoming lighter and more flexible as the fashion industry continues to improve fabric technology, durability, and breathability, while not costing fashionable trends prices.

However, as the materials improve, the jersey thickness is often sacrificed, making white jerseys even more of a pain. While white used to reveal everything underneath but only when wet, the new breathable fabric reveals everything to the world even before it gets wet.

Adding water is a recipe for disaster for every girl on the field, and in some areas, playing in the rain is everyday life – some teams play during the rainy season (Michigan players, we feel for you).

As someone who loved playing soccer in the rain, wearing a white jersey meant I had to think about what I wore underneath or let the crowd see the color of my sports bra. After all, isn’t that the premise of a “white t-shirt contest”?


Wearing white pants in general, at least I’ve always thought, is a brave woman’s act, but the moment my athletic director said we couldn’t wear white shorts…I was never more grateful!

White is the most inconvenient color in the world as a female soccer player. It’s a magnet for stains on and off the field, and some of us have a real talent for creating those stains. From having a period every month to sliding on the grass, our white uniforms were constantly locked in a dual with the world to stay clean.

Pull the shirt over your head after school? Make-up on the collar inside. Going out to eat with your parents after a game and dropping a piece of lettuce on your jersey? Ketchup stain. Rain during the game? Pull off your nice new brown jersey and let it soak in water for a few hours. Your period comes three days ahead of schedule while on the field? Well…you know there’s no hiding that like your blue jeans might for a while. As a female, we all know white jerseys are just the bane of our existence as everyday life makes keeping them clean on and off the field.


Doing something just for tradition’s sake seems silly and counterproductive to the progressive day and age. It used to be a tradition in sports that white jerseys were home and the color was away. However, it just isn’t way anymore.

Carrying both jerseys while traveling has become necessary as you never know which color a home team may or may not be wearing. With the tradition dying out, what’s the point of even keeping white jerseys? The NBA got rid of the home and away jersey tradition a few years ago, and now, each team has four different colored jerseys. Yes, one is white, but it could easily be thrown out. Schools often have three school colors to choose from and having two different colored jerseys seems more than enough for any team to always have an away jersey that won’t match other schools. Why not take away black or grey and home colored? After all, my favorite USWNT jersey is the black with the colored cap sleeve design from 2016.

Luckily, as times are progressing, schools and teams are wearing white less and less. Teams are definitely deciding wearing school colors at home are more practical than white which. Hopefully, in 20 years, white jerseys will be a thing of the past, and we’ll see more team color oriented jerseys.

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