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  • The Difference Between NBA Authentic, Swingman and Replica Jerseys

    Posted by Chris Ahn

    Determining the different types of NBA jerseys can get confusing, especially if you are looking to buy a basketball jersey for the first time. Shouldn't all jerseys be Authentic? What exactly is a Swingman jersey? What is the difference between them? We’ll define the types of NBA jerseys to help you learn what best fits your needs when looking to buy one for yourself.

     

    NBA Replica Jerseys

    The first type of NBA jersey is the replica jerseys. These are the most basic jersey option made for fans to wear. Adidas replica jerseys are made of light polyester fabric and mimic the player uniforms with screen printed logos, names and numbers. The shape of the jersey is similar to a sleeveless t-shirt with a wide shoulder cut. These replica jerseys may not last as long as Swingman and Authentic jerseys, but they still are made of quality materials that, with proper care, makes it a great jersey to wear. Replica jerseys reign as the most affordable option for fans, typically ranging from $35 to $80 MSRP.

    Pros:

    • Cheapest option for an NBA jersey
    • Light material, easy to wear

    Cons:

    • Not as durable as higher quality Swingman and Authentic versions
    • Shoulder cut is wider than the narrow athletic cut in other jerseys
    Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Men's Gold Replica Jersey
    Kobe Byrant Los Angeles Lakers Men's Gold Replica Jersey Detail

     

    NBA Swingman Jerseys

    Swingman jerseys are a great mid-level option that combines cost and quality. Designed to look more like the jerseys worn by the players, the Swingman jersey has a more athletic and slim cut with narrow shoulders. NBA Swingmans are also 100% polyester but are made with a heavier, higher quality performance mesh to keep you cool while wearing it. A step up from screen printing, the word mark and logos are a single layered tackle twill, either heat sealed or sewn to the jersey. The twill detail has a much higher quality look and feel without sacrificing comfort, as it is also designed to be breathable and easy to wear. These jerseys offer the best value as they resemble the on-court jerseys and aim to maximize comfort all without breaking the bank. Prices range from $70 to $130 MSRP.

    Pros:

    • Best valued jersey
    • Everyday wear and feel
    • Closer resemblance to style worn by players

    Cons:

    • Cost more than replica jerseys
    • Not as high quality as authentic jerseys

     

    Dwyane Wade Chicago Bulls Men's White Swingman Jersey
    Dwyane Wade Chicago Bulls Men's White Swingman Jersey Detail

     

    NBA Authentic Jerseys

    NBA Authentic jerseys mimic the exact jerseys that NBA players wear on the court. These jerseys may be the most expensive option, but they also have the highest quality design and materials among the Replica, Swingman and Authentic jerseys. Authentic NBA jerseys have the same specifications as the ones the players wear on court, so these jerseys tend to be better for playing games in since a lot of technology went into making them breathable and easy to wear. Authentic jerseys are made of heavier, higher quality fabric compared to Swingmans and Replicas, and the name and numbers are stitched single-layer or multi-layer twill. Collectors tend to gravitate towards Authentic jerseys because of its exceptional quality and similarity to on-court player jerseys.

    Pros:

    • Same specifications as jerseys worn on court by players
    • Sports/design technology makes it more breathable
    • High quality sewn details, fabric and build

    Cons:

    • Most expensive option
    • Throwback Authentic jerseys have heavier/thicker fabric
    Golden State Warriors Men's Blue Team Authentic Jersey
    Golden State Warriors Men's Blue Team Authentic Jersey Detail

     

    Mitchell & Ness Hardwood Classic Jerseys

    Another subcategory of NBA jerseys are Hardwood Classics by Mitchell & Ness. Hardwood Classic jerseys are throwback jerseys that replicate the jersey styles of legendary NBA players from their legacy seasons. Mitchell & Ness remakes the uniforms as Authentic and Swingman Hardwood Classic jerseys. Some popular throwback players include Allen Iverson, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson.

     

    Other NBA Jerseys

    Replica, Swingman and Authentic NBA jerseys are the most common types, but there are also other officially licensed jerseys that are available as well. NBA replica jerseys for women and kids are also great options for the whole family. Retro2Heritage strives to offer officially licensed jerseys at a low price (too good to be true? Read about how we do it). Browse our selection of NBA jerseys that range from Replica to Authentic jerseys for all infants, kids, women and men here.

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