Whether playing for fun or competitively on a team, bowling shirts can be found at almost any bowling alley. They feature a very recognizable design and have remained very similar over the years. While not always essential, bowling shirts are one of the most iconic bowling accessories.
What are bowling shirts used for?
Bowling shirts are box-cut t-shirts with short sleeves. They usually feature a very simple vertical stripe pattern and can come in many different colors. They are collared and are a mandatory requirement for the dress code in professional bowling. The short sleeves and wider frame of the shirt are considered to be the optimal design for performance. A shirt that is too tight may restrict the bowler’s range of movement while a shirt that is too loose can have the fabric get in the way.
Bowling shirts can also be used to represent a team or individual player. Their simplistic designs make them perfect for customizing different colors, logos or fonts for a team. Not only can it help differentiate different teams, but most will also have the bowler’s name somewhere on the back.
Things To Consider
When looking for a bowling shirt, you'll want to consider the following:
- How much do you want to spend on a bowling shirt?
- What type of bowling shirt are you looking for?
- Do you need a specific color or pattern of bowling shirt?
- What size bowling shirt do you need?
The four different types of bowling shirts are button-downs, zip-ups, sash collared, and t-shirts.
Button-down shirts are the most traditional and iconic form of bowling shirts. They sometimes feature a front pocket and can be easily customized. These shirts offer a wide range of motion and have been popular since the 1950s.
Zip-up shirts are very similar to button down shirts except that they use a zipper rather than buttons. This type of shirt is much less common than traditional button downs but is typically easier to take on and off.
Sash collared shirts are a very popular choice for professional bowling. They usually have much different designs than button down shirts and offer more performance benefits. They sometimes feature a quarter-zip and tend to be more breathable than traditional bowling shirts.
T-shirts are a much more casual style of bowling shirt. While they are not approved for professional use, they are very commonly worn among recreational and practice bowlers. They can also be worn to support bowling teams or to support bowling in general.
The most common materials that bowling shirts are made out of are cotton and polyester.
- Cotton: Cotton is a material that is mostly found within button-down and zip-up shirts. It is very lightweight, soft, and breathable. Cotton can tend to be a little more expensive than other synthetic materials and is also less durable.
- Polyester: Polyester is a synthetic material mainly used for sash collared shirts and professional jerseys. While not always as soft as cotton, polyester can provide much better moisture wicking and durability. It is also usually a cheaper material than cotton.
The most popular bowling shirt brands are Benny’s, Hilton, and Storm.
- Benny’s: Benny’s is a company that specializes in different types of button down shirts. They make polyester button-down bowling shirts that feature a flame design. Their shirts also are a little more expensive than other brands.
- Hilton: Hilton specializes in making bowling and outdoor button-down shirts. They offer a few different designs on their bowling shirts and are usually made of either polyester or a cotton-polyester blend.
- Storm: Storm is a large bowling equipment and apparel manufacturer. They offer a wide variety of bowling shirts and jerseys at various different price points and are made mainly of polyester.
When deciding which bowling shirt to buy, always consider the durability, cost, and sizes of the shirt.
Bowling shirts can last a very long time, sometimes as long as you need them. As a general rule, cotton shorts can sometimes be less durable than polyester as it is more prone to tears or shrinkage. Some types of bowling shirts can also be saved once a player is done bowling and worn in daily life.
Most bowling shirts will range from $20-$60 spending on a few factors. In terms of button-down and zip-up shirts, cotton tends to be a little more expensive. However, it is very common for polyester sash collared shirts to be the most expensive as they occasionally feature brand logos on high quality jerseys.
Bowling shirts come in many different sizes ranging from X-Small to sometimes even 4X-Large or 5X-Large. Youth sizes may be harder to come by, but some places sell those as well. As with any piece of clothing, if buying online it is best to see if there is a size chart specific to that company that will correlate to your exact measurements.
How much does a bowling shirt cost?
Bowling shirts can usually be found for $60 or less. Jerseys may cost more as they have more technology and will last a long time. Cotton is generally more expensive than polyester as well.
What are the kinds of bowling shirts?
There are four types of bowling shirts. Button-down and zip-up shirts are very similar and are a loose-fitting short sleeve shirt that has a traditional collar. Sash collared shirts are more common for jerseys and tend to be a little more snug. They are also usually made out of polyester and feature a smaller vertical collar. T-shirts are usually worn casually and can offer a wide variety of different prints.
What bowling shirts do professional bowlers wear?
Professionals usually either wear button-down or sash collared shirts. Many people prefer sash collared shirts because they usually have the most performance benefits and can be widely customized for teams. Some professionals prefer button-downs as they offer a vintage look and a looser light-weight feel. Both types of shirts are acceptable attire for professional bowling.