“Hey, man, you got a big game tonight? I mean, I see you rockin’ those Umbros, and those are for soccer players, so I just sort of… naturally… assumed…” ~Actual conversation from 1987

Ah, yes… Umbro shorts. We remember them well. And just like sweat bands were cool to wear (despite the fact that you’d never stepped foot onto a racquetball court), Umbros were what you wore when you wanted to look, well… sporty. Never mind the fact that you’d never broken a sweat from anything other than booking it down the halls of your local mall to cash in on a sale of some sort.

Umbros had been around for years, but in the 80s, soccer was enjoying a nice little heyday here in the US, and all the kids latched onto these slick, nylon shorts. Pair them with a t-shirt and a pair of Adidas (if you really wanted to pull of the ‘soccer player look’), and you were set. No one was the wiser. For all they knew, you had practice later that afternoon.

As popular as Umbros got, though, there was always that risk… you know, ’cause of the elastic, drawstring waistbands: We don’t know about you, but we were always living in constant fear that we could be pants-ed at any point during the school day (thereby guaranteeing a semester’s worth of embarrassment).

But even that didn’t stop us from slipping on our shiny black Umbros whenever we could. Hey, embarrassment never trumped comfort (or style, for that matter) in the 80s.

Sure, Umbros came and went, but the brand’s still around but these days… though they’re generally reserved for people who actually participate in the sport for which they were designed. But that doesn’t keep us from occasionally taking a look at our yearbooks and dreaming of the days when we didn’t have to worry about messing with cotton or buttons or zippers or snaps or pegging, and we could just slip on what are possibly the most comfortable shorts known to man.

We ♥ Umbros.


~ by weheart80s on May 6, 2011.

One Response to “Umbros”

  1. […] was about 1988 and I was a fifth grader desperate to be cool. The cool kids wore Coca-Cola clothes, Umbro shorts, and Reebok Pumps (not necessarily at the same time, but how cool would that have been?). My […]

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