This week the NFL launched a new line of women’s clothing and accessories, and also a major advertising campaign. While most of the press releases are touting that the days of “shrink it and pink it” for women’s NFL apparel are over, is the new Fit For You campaign really any better? Well, yes and no.
The clothes themselves are actually pretty great (if we’re not talking about the jerseys, but I’ll get to them in a bit). It’s another Alyssa Milano designed line (we reviewed her MLB line in 2007), so there are the requisite tops with suggestive cutouts and off the shoulder necklines, but there’s also a number of very cute and simple T-shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets that would be flattering to a female figure without so much of the fussy, sparkly bits. It’s fun to get dressed up now and then, but sometimes you just want to throw on a T-shirt and jeans and watch the game, you know?
Some of the additional offerings are pretty nice, too. The parka above is one of my favorites — if I had season tickets to the Jets, I’d definitely think about getting a nice green one for the later season games. There are several different styles of purses, from a metal clutch made out of recycled license plates, to a sweatshirt style gym bag, to this bowling bag that I thought was cute:
But now, we must talk about the jersey situation. In trying to avoid “shrink it and pink it,” the NFL’s designers apparently decided “shrink it, put rhinestones and funky sleeves on it, and make sure it can in no way be confused with a real replica jersey” was the answer. The design at the top of the post is the most egregious, but even the design below, which I otherwise loved, has a line of extraneous rhinestones right across the front.
Is it too much to ask for an otherwise authentic replica jersey sized to be a little bit form fitting on a woman’s body with no other additions? Not one of those cropped cuts where you have to worry about how much of a muffin top you have in your jeans, either — about hip length would be perfect. (In other words, exactly how most of the t-shirts in this line are cut. See, it’s not that hard.)
Now that we’ve discussed the clothes, let’s talk about the campaign itself. At the new women.nfl.com website, the apparel look book is presented along with the “Fit for You” campaign, which promotes a healthy lifestyle for women (the NFL is sponsoring two Fit for You 5Ks in DC and Indianapolis). Within the look book the models — who other than Alyssa Milano are wives of NFL players, coaches, and owners or fans who apparently won a contest — discuss their strategies for living healthy, active lifestyles. While this is not on the surface a bad cause, and it ties in nicely with the NFL’s existing “Play 60″ campaign for children, the fact that there’s no corresponding fitness campaign aimed at adult male NFL fans implies (unintentionally) that women should worry about how they look all the time, even while watching football. This is compounded by the choice to use “real world” models that all have the same, traditional model body type. After all, it’s entirely possible to have a healthy, active lifestyle while wearing larger than a Medium T-shirt.
Overall line: A-
What do you all think? Are rhinestones the new pink jersey? Is the “Fit for You” campaign a good idea or kind of patronizing to women? Would someone like to buy me this jacket?