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Nike Soccer thinks women's jerseys need to show more skin

Stop making jerseys for women look like this.

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There's a lot Nike got wrong with its latest jersey. It's a template, first of all, so a bunch of different countries are getting the equivalent of a Star Trek uniform where the only difference is in the colors.

Second, they've decided to cut the jersey differently for men and women - not a problem in and of itself since male-identified and female-identified people tend to have different body types, and acknowledging that leads to things like your clothes fitting you.

But this time around Nike has decided to also do that really dumb thing where they make women's jerseys have a super-low neckline and shorter sleeves. Adidas is guilty of this too, with their men's and women's MLS jerseys.

But it at least seemed like Nike was avoiding this gross trend of assuming that women's clothing should and must show off more skin. Too bad Nike blew that out of the water with this year's replica jerseys.

The women's replica jersey has a nice scooping v-neck and shorter sleeves, as well as a smaller crest. Some people might argue the crest is smaller to make room for the three stars, but it looks like if the neckline were like the men's jersey, there would be plenty of real estate to have the crest be regular-sized AND include the stars.

Also, consider that last year's jersey didn't do this because there's actually no need for a women's jersey to be cut any differently from a men's jersey around the neckline and sleeves.

You'll notice the crests are about the same size and still manage to fit in the three stars, which also brings up again the issue of when Nike is going to make a men's-cut jersey that also features the stars. Men support the WNT too, plus there are plenty of women out there whose body shape doesn't fit the "women's cut." Some of them may want more room in the shoulders and a straight fit through the body as well. Nike's excuse about not wanting people to confuse the MNT and the WNT's successes by making a men's jersey with three stars is tired, boring, and illogical.

At least these are just replica jerseys and not actual team jerseys, although the authentic women's jersey does seem to have an altered neckline compared to the men's.

nike 2016 us kits neckline

Now maybe the WNT asked for a different neckline to accommodate something like ponytails or makeup (although some male players wear ponytails too, and it's not that hard to put your hair up after you put on your shirt as literally millions of ponytail-wearers will attest to) but it's also very easy to imagine Nike not having a feedback process that takes women's opinions into account very much or at all.

Because even if they listened to the WNT, they still decided to make a replica jersey for fans that says if you are a woman, you must look a certain way in clothes. You can see just how much lower the neck dips on the replica jersey by comparing the dip of the  neck to the placement of the crest - it's a lot deeper. Nike is missing out on a fundamental truth, which is that fans who are women are fans. When they buy a jersey, they want the jersey that their team wears.

There are also suggestions that these are just mockups, placeholders for what's to come. That still means that Nike thought their promo material would be more enticing if they made the women's replicas with the low neckline and shorter sleeves.

Different cuts for different bodies are great. That's a functional decision. Different aesthetic details based on gender are dumb. I don't want that plunging neckline, Nike. I want the jersey that my team wears.