Guide To: The Vintage 90s Nike Crewneck Sweatshirt

by

HF Lanzer

Vintage Nike sweatshirt outfit

Let’s start with a quick ‘Spot the Odd One out’ neck puzzle, crew! Which of these suspects in the neckline line-up does NOT describe the style of a sweatshirt’s all important neck finish: roll, mock, turtle, round, crew, zip, bottle, V, polo, button, collared? OK, so you all spotted the congested kinda neck everyone aims to avoid gatecrashing the list, but were you aware that the humble crewneck nestling there in the mix, which we are talking about here, has been with us for over a hundred years? Its name – crewneck, crew-neck, crew neck – owes its origins to the fit crews rowing up river and down in the name of sporting glory, dressed in this iconic athletic sweatshirt.

No surprise then, to learn that the Nike crewneck quickly earned its credentials as a must-have number both on water and shore, but steady on, crew, we are getting even more specific now and narrowing our focus to one of the best decades which produced so many cool pieces of clothing: the 90s. The added joy of this smaller window for us, is that these 90s bangers all sail happily under the flag of the good ship Vintage, thus providing us and you with an awesome armada of sweats, already worn, and awaiting further discovery.

How to identify a 90s Nike crewneck

An authentic nineties Nike crewneck jumper aka sweatshirt can be challenging to identify as such, given that included in their midst are hundreds of different unnamed designs, which were all produced in the timespan of these 10 years. Identifying these vintage heaters today can seem quite a task, but that’s where we are here to help! Nike used many many labels on its products throughout the course of the 90s, but thankfully the consistent marker for them was the trademark RED swoosh, which appeared on nearly all of them.

Below are the range of labels attached to Nike products from the 90s to help you identify your vintage finds accurately:

 

Nike 90s labels

How to style a 90s Nike sweatshirt

There’s not much difference among the key retro jumper brands, such as Adidas, Umbro or Reebok, when it comes to the crewneck sweatshirt, other than the company logo design on the front, back or sleeves, though we are concentrating here on those specific Nike 90s nuggets. When it comes to choosing a 90s Nike crewneck, there are then a satisfying heap of ways in which to style it, including for starters:

 

Vintage oversized outfit

  • Wearing a collared shirt underneath in a contrasting colour and coupling this top vibe with a retro pair of jeans

 

Vintage shirt sweatshirt outfit

  • Looking for a really rare and funky Nike 90s sweat, and wearing it in a relatively plain outfit, making sure all eyes are drawn compellingly to the star of the show

 

Vintage Nike sweatshirt outfit  

  • Striking out with a super oversized look by pairing your sweater with a pleated skirt, bicycle shorts or short shorts 

 

Vintage Nike sweatshirt outfit

How to know the worth of a 90s Nike sweatshirt

Now you know how both to identify and style this classic piece of salubrious upper-body wear, let’s move on to the nitty gritty of whether that Nike vintage crewneck in your cart really is worth its accompanying price label. Or not. The tag will tell you a lot for starters, as, if the crewneck was manufactured in the early 90s, it will most likely be more expensive than its late 90s successor, but not always.

As long as your crew is an authentic 90s (ie non-bootleg) piece, you should (at current time of writing) be able to sell it for at least £40 GBP in almost all instances. As there are so many designs in circulation still today, we recommend carrying out your own preliminary online search to try and nail down the one you’re researching, then scout the market further to see if it really is worth its asking price.

For a casual buyer, the general guide is, that the cooler the garm looks, the more expensive it will most likely be. The reason behind this, is that these vintage crewnecks are by default no longer being manufactured, which is the reason for some rare exemplars costing an arm and a leg. Based on this theory, we’re now ready to put another puzzle to you, but this time in the form of a lil round or two of what we call ‘Vintage Value’!

Take a look at these 90s Nike sweatshirts, without looking at the price (directly below each image), and guess what you think the worth of each one is: 

 Nike Sweatshirt

£110 

Nike Sweatshirt Vintage

£45

Nike Sweatshirt Vintage

£75

Nike Sweatshirt Vintage

£100

 

Nike Sweatshirt Vintage

£85

Nike Sweatshirt Vintage

£80

Nike Sweatshirt Vintage

£55

 

These are the actual prices that they have been sold for on our website! How many did ya get right? Full house? Pair? Zilch!!

How a 90s Nike sweatshirt fits

Generally speaking, all the late 80s to early 90s Nike sweatshirts fall into the category of slightly oversized wear. The cuffs might have been gathered and tapered, but the waist was relatively loose on designs from this era.

Late 90s crewnecks had quite a loose fit across the chest, but were more tapered around the waist and cuffs. The width of these tops comes up a bit oversized, whereas the length does not, and remains true to size.

Of course, with any styling guide, this section is just that: a guide not a hard and fast rule to be followed to the letter! Our ideas are general and the pointers may vary from sweatshirt to sweatshirt. After all, the very purpose of buying vintage, is to look unique! One thing however is clear, and that is the classic Nike 90s crewneck sweatshirt is neither slim nor tight fitting, as today’s designs are. With a 90s Nike crewneck, front and back, you can be guaranteed a comfy generous fit!

Vintage Nike sweatshirt oversized

Conclusion/Takeaway

We really hope you now feel fully equipped to identify and style the ultimate authentic vintage crewneck sweatshirt made by Nike in the 90s era, decide what best to accompany it with, and are ready to step forth confidently, able to deftly rep this iconic style for yourself.

We’d love to see what style you develop as far as the 90s crewneck is concerned, so please share your ideas and photos on our Insta and we can all enjoy the diversity of looks you have achieved with this timeless superstar, initially repped quite unwittingly as a fashion item along the river over a century ago!