The sizing of football kits has changed dramatically over the years and like most fashions the trends appear and reappear in a cycles. The first football jerseys tended to be pretty snug fitting before larger, baggier shirts became the norm – accompanied by even baggier shorts. Following the continental influence that emerged in the 1950s, the shirts and shorts then became tighter and smaller, reaching their pinnacle in the early 80s. Towards the end of that decade developments in fabric technology allowed looser fitting shirts to once again become popular. The 90s was a decade of fabric excess with every team in the land sporting frankly enormous shirts and also, thanks to Umbro’s endeavours, enormous shorts.
Currently, in the mid 2000s, shorts are still on the long side but shirts have once again shrunk to create an impressive silhouette for the ultra-fit modern footballer.
Using just some of the home kits Manchester United have worn in the last 100+ years as examples, the illustration below shows how the fit of kits has changed in that time.