The many evolutions of the basketball uniform
If asked to describe a typical basketball uniform, chances are the first words that come to mind are along the lines of: long, loose and fluid. Anyone who has gotten to wear a basketball jersey would also remember their distinct synthetic nature. Rewinding back to when it all started, we get a sense of just how the basketball uniforms we know now have evolved as the game grew to be one of the most popular sports of the modern era.
Invented in 1891 by Canadian physical education instructor James Naismith in Springfield, Massachusetts, basketball was created as an indoors discipline to keep athletes moving throughout the winter. The first team uniforms date back to the early 1900s; at the time, they consisted of form-fitting woolen jerseys and shorts. While the silhouettes evolved towards more functional shapes designed to allow ease of movement, the materials used then were all natural, mostly consisting of dyed wool and cotton. Nylon-polyester blends were eventually introduced in the late 1930s and have kept evolving since then with variations in fit and length that always kept one crucial aspect in mind: freedom of movement.
Engineered for movement
What do vintage basketball uniforms, modern-day iterations and Lanieri’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection have in common? Regardless of the materials used or the chosen silhouette, the key here is movement. Designed to infuse the everyday with enough energy to match our fast-paced contemporary lives, this season’s line-up puts a functional twist on classic Italian elegance.
There are several ways to liven up a suit, from opting for non-matching colors to mixing up fabrics. With a matching suit however, choosing a somewhat relaxed shirt is key. Picture a dark blue suit: made from pure wool, it is the kind of flawlessly cut, tailored-fit suit you could wear with anything from a textbook white shirt to a simple piqué polo. On a summer day however, you might want to channel the kind of effortless elegance that would feel both fresh and elevated, with just a nod to menswear tradition. The perfect choice? A seersucker shirt in an iconic white and blue palette. Sharp yet comfortable, classic with just the right casual vibe, it is a warm-weather staple that will keep you feeling cool and looking fresh.
Pinstripes sit at the more formal end of the menswear spectrum; approached from a more relaxed perspective, they make for an ideal smart casual option. In a soft sage green, a lighter, season-appropriate variation on traditional darker hues, striped trousers provide a versatile garment that can be worn in a number of ways. We suggest pairing them with a brick orange polo shirt, a nod to the basketball court and the ideal color addition to summer neutrals and brights. Crafted from Merino wool, it offers the kind of breathability that could keep you fresh and dry throughout your next impromptu game.