Sports Pinnies

Sports pinnies, which are often also known as scrimmage vests, are typically lightweight, mesh pieces of clothing used as a substitute for a team’s typical in-game uniforms. Pinnies are used to help keep team uniforms clean and prevent damage during practices. Read on for more info on sports pinnies, and find out if they might be a good investment for you.


Sports pinnies are a type of equipment commonly used in practice or a scrimmage. The term “pinny” comes from the word pinafore, used to describe a sleeveless garment worn as an apron or dress. Much like the word suggests, sports pinnies today are often thin tank-tops made of mesh. Since they do not have sleeves, they can easily be worn over any game equipment such as football pads.

Although the exact history is unknown, it is assumed sport pinnies began to be used in the 1900s. Pinnies have proved to be useful for teams or groups to easily identify teammates and opponents. Over time, they have stayed relatively simple in terms of design. Reversible pinnies have become popular for sports teams to use, as they allow players to switch teams easily without buying other colors. Pinnies are cheap alternatives to jerseys that can also be customized with names and numbers, making them useful for all types of sports teams.


Most pinnies look fairly similar, a mesh garment with no sleeves and loose fit over clothes. While they are used in almost every sport, some popular sports have unique styles or purposes you should know.

Football Pinnies

Football pinnies look like a tank-top with a loose fit, made of mesh that can sometimes be see-through. If choosing a pinnie specifically for football, be sure to get a size large enough to fit over your pads. You should be able to do all of your normal athletic movements without the pinnie feeling tight or uncomfortable.

Lacrosse Pinnies

Lacrosse pinnies have wide holes for the arms and neck to fit over pads while remaining loose and comfortable. Most lacrosse pinnies are reversible with two different colors, so they can be worn both ways in a scrimmage. These are made from nylon mesh and can feature screen printed logos, numbers, and names.

Reversible Pinnies

Reversible pinnies are often double layered with different colors on each side. Double layers help provide more durability for the pinnie, making them a better option for long term use. These are ideal for a team to have because it allows everyone to wear the same pinnie and easily reverse it when necessary. Reversible pinnies can be customized with logos, numbers, and names.

Soccer Pinnies

Soccer pinnies can be worn over a tee-shirt or as a normal jersey. Unlike football and lacrosse pinnies that require a loose fit to wear over pads, soccer pinnies should have a tighter fit while still being comfortable. They look similar to a tank-top but are more breathable, helpful for a sport with as much running as soccer.


Pinnies are generally made with a mesh design, to provide breathability for athletes training. That being said, this mesh is typically made of one of two different materials: nylon or polyester.

Nylon Mesh

Nylon mesh is one of the main materials used in pinnies. Nylon is a popular choice because it is lightweight, allowing a wide range of motion for athletes training. Additionally, nylon is considered to be a very durable fabric. These types of pinnies are also known to be softer than their polyester counterparts.

Polyester Mesh

Polyester mesh is the other commonly used material in pinnies. Similar to nylon mesh, this material is also lightweight and breathable. These characteristics are crucial when designing a pinnie, so as to allow ease of movement for athletes when training. Polyester is also popular in the production of pinnies because of how easy it is to dye them, providing a high range of colors.


Pinnies come in a range of sizes, but the exact breakdown of that range depends on the brand making them. For most brands, they will offer pinnies in unisex adult sizes extra small (XS) to extra large (XL). Adults should order pinnies in their normal size or larger, depending on how they would like the pinny to fit their body. When ordering pinnies in bulk, make sure to account for each individual so that everyone can wear one without issue.

For most youth players, the extra small or small adult sizes should be fine for playing. However, some brands do make youth-specific pinnies. Check the size chart to ensure that you’re ordering the correct size for each age group.

The best way to determine which size to get is to check the size chart associated with each brands’ pinnies. They typically run a bit larger than normal shirt sizes, especially for women since they are unisex, so order a size down if you’re looking for a tighter fit.


When it comes to pinnies, there are plenty of different brands to choose from. Some of the most popular pinny brands include:

  • Under Armour
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Champion

Each brand comes with their own respective merits. Brands like Nike, Under Armour, and Adidas are massive names in the world of sports gear in general, making them a safe choice for anyone on the market. These various brands are also more or less prominent from sport to sport, so consider what sport you plan to use pinnies for before deciding on a brand. For example, Under Armour is known for its football products, as well as its growing presence in basketball. So, you may not want to go with their pinnies if you’re looking to use them for soccer. Soccer players may want to consider a more prominent brand in the soccer industry, like Adidas or Nike.


When shopping for a set of pinnies, there are a few important factors to consider that could very well make or break your experience.


Pinnies, like any other type of sportswear, are designed with the intention of providing a comfortable experience for athletes. A large part of this comes down to breathability. If a pinny lacks good air circulation, it can become very easy to overheat when participating in intense physical activity.


When choosing between different versions of pinnies, durability is an essential factor worth considering before you make a purchase. Ideally, pinnies should be long lasting and capable of enduring rough play without ripping. When considering a pinny, try to get a grasp of just how durable the model is. Otherwise, you may quickly find yourself back at square one looking for another new pinny.


Last, but certainly not least, is color. If you plan on using a pinny in a team sport, you’ll want to consider what color your teammates and opponent will be wearing. You will want to line your color up with your teammates, and be sure to steer clear of any color that could be confused with that of your opponent. When it comes to color, reversible pinnies are a great option because they present multiple color options for any given situation.


Due to their lightweight material and lack of intricate details, sports pinnies are generally cheap, especially when ordered in bulk. An individual pinny costs around $2 to $5, but they are typically sold in 12-packs. A 12-pack of pinnies costs anywhere from $20 to $40, depending on the color, style, and any unique features like player numbers or added accessories. As you continue to increase the amount of pinnies in an order, you’ll see the price per pinny decrease. Ordering in bulk is a great way to save money in the long run.


What are pinnies used for in sports?

In sports, pinnies are typically used in place of jerseys as a way for players to distinguish between two or more teams. Pinnies are worn in practices and games as a way to separate players onto different teams, as a substitute for game-specific jerseys, or a way to differentiate a single player from the rest of the field. Their usefulness is endless!

Why is it called a pinny?

Pinny is short for the British word “pinafore,” which refers to an apron or other sleeveless piece of clothing. Because of the sports pinny’s similarity to an apron- a sleeveless garment that goes over one’s normal clothes- the nickname was given to the piece of equipment in the early 20th century and has lasted throughout the years.

What materials are pinnies made from?

Pinnies are generally made from two materials: nylon mesh and polyester mesh. They are both lightweight and breathable materials that act in almost exactly the same way. However, nylon pinnies are softer and oftentimes more comfortable than polyester pinnines. But, polyester pinnies are easier to dye, allowing them to come in brighter and flashier colors.