From elastic-hemmed kelly green sweatshirts to leather jackets emblazoned with Eagles patches, “hot girl” sportswear has started to outpace the standard NFL jersey at Birds tailgates.
For many of the women frequenting Lincoln Financial Field and its adjacent parking lots, the new selection of trendy Eagles merch marks a welcome departure from the oversized Pro Shop pieces marketed to them in seasons past.
Frustrated by a lack of stylish apparel options, a few local creatives have made businesses out of turning standard gear into designs that allow fans to show off more personal style.
“I’m a Philadelphia Eagles fan, a major one, and I realized that every time I was going to games, I would see women in baggy sweatshirts and jerseys,” says Devon Mellul, who runs DevineSportsWear, a Philly-based online apparel store. “I just thought to myself: ‘There has to be something that can make women feel empowered and sexy in sports clothes.'”
Mellul is one of many Philadelphia-area designers who thrift old Eagles merch and upcycle it, or rework them into statement pieces you can wear at the club and in the stands. And because so many of these Instagram-worthy outfits are reworked from secondhand finds, they have the added appeal of being unlike anything you can buy off the rack.
“Everyone wants something one of a kind,” said Ellie Rosen, the owner of the upcycled apparel brand Snipteez. “People want to be different-no one wants to wear the same thing as everyone else.”
Here’s a look at three designers merging fashion and football, one sweatshirt at a time.
Online, via the website or Instagram
215 Upcycle founder and Temple University student Isabella Dahrouch began her secondhand fashion career revamping standard tailgate attire for her friends.
Dahrouch would scour thrift stores for Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers gear in 2019 before bleaching, distressing or cropping it “to make it more fun to wear,” she said.
As the demand for her work grew, Dahrouch turned her passion project into a full-fledged storefront bringing sustainable sports apparel to more than just her circle of college besties.
Cost: Typically $25 to $50, priced on a product-by-product basis
Online via Instagram
Mellul’s pieces are designed to make women of all shapes and sizes feel confident, she said They run the gamut, from vintage Eagles sweatshirts with tie-dye accents to jerseys cinched with elastic waistbands.
“I want to make women feel like it’s all about the fit,” she said. “[My pieces] aren’t just small, medium, or large — they’re fitting to your waistline and accentuate what god gave you.”
Mellul strives to make each of her offerings different from the last — and what’s already in the market. This season the brand’s repurposed kelly green and black sweatshirts and have sold particularly well, but she’s also branching off into apparel for the Flyers and Sixers.
“I don’t just rework certain parts of it, I rework the entire piece,” Mellul said. “And being that vintage is one of a kind, I try to never make the same piece more than once.”
To purchase a DevineSportsWear original, prospective customers can keep a close eye on the brand’s Instagram page, which Mellul regularly updates with available pieces, and DM her to purchase. All sales are final.
Price: Between $75 and $130, including shipping
Online via Instagram
Rosen began her upcycling career as a sophomore at Penn State, where she would tie-dye, crop, distress, and bleach spiritwear for fellow Nittany Lions fans to wear to tailgates.
“I would cut up t-shirts myself and get a bunch of ideas from Pinterest,” she said. “Slowly people started complimenting me at tailgates, and they would say, ‘Oh, well, you should make me one!'”
Now settled in Philadelphia, Rosen left her corporate job to do upcycling full-time, with sports still serving as her source of inspiration.
Right now, Rosen’s line of colorblocked long sleeve tees have been particularly in-demand for Eagles fans. Rosen said she adds the sleeves from another thrifted find, so no two designs are the same.
Rosen recommends interested customers turn on post notifications for Snipteez’s Instagram page, where she lists new items. Stock is limited, she said, and it sells fast.
Price: $45 and up, depending on how vintage the item is