With the WNBA 25th anniversary underway, much talk ahead of this summer season focused on the league conceeding to providing updated uniforms their female players have been asking for and deserve. One might say that all uniforms are created equally when it comes to the sport of basketball, but it’s the littles things that makes a difference for women who wear professional basketball uniforms. Proper fit, or looking good while dunking on your opponents must be taken into consideration.
When Nike took on the task to redesign the women’s uniform, they knew that having the actual women involved would make a huge difference. “When our team met with our athletes, their feedback was very clear,” says Tania Flynn, Nike VP of Women’s Apparel Design. “They wanted a uniform that fit them, not one they have to fit into. They wanted a connection to their team and fans, but also wanted to express their personal style. And they wanted us to tell their story. The new uniforms obsess all of those details for the world’s best players, technically and creatively.”
Style is always important, but how can anyone properly play a game if you have to constantly worry about if your shorts are to big or if the crowd can see your bra strap?
Continued feedback from athlete testing reaffirmed the importance of proper fit. Players should never need to “hack” their way to a better-fitting uniform by, say, rolling their shorts to cinch the waistband or tucking their jersey straps into their bra straps to hold the jersey in place.
Representation matters and that was considered when the designs of the jerseys were being developed. With three different styles each team can choose from (the WNBA Nike Heroine Edition, the WNBA Nike Explorer Edition and the WNBA Nike Rebel Edition) the ladies can be stylish, while also representing their team city history and story with unique designs. “We have uniforms that are uniquely ours,” says Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird. “Every single jersey shares a story that represents our city, and the distinction allows us to express our own creativity and individual style. Nike’s attention to each design detail makes me proud to put the uniform on.”
With the WNBA being around for 25 years, it is refreshing to see that these women’s needs are being addressed, even if it is as simple as having a pair of shorts fit. What else would you like to see the WNBA address; maybe the pay discrepancy when it comes to their male counterparts?
What are your thoughts on the new uniforms?
The WNBA began it 25TH Anniversary May 14, at 7pm Est Indiana Fever at New York Liberty, and stretches through September 2021.