How does vintage Adidas fit?


How does vintage Adidas fit?

With the company nearly 70 years old, Adidas is as robust and successful as ever before. Founded by sports shoe manufacturer Adi Dassler in 1949, the name Adidas became world-famous in 1954 following the victory of the German team in the World Cup, the “miracle of Berlin”. In 1971 the company unveiled the three-stripe Adidas logo in a form that resembled a leaf called the “trefoil.” This version was later replaced by the current logo, shaped like a triangle, though the trefoil logo can still be found on some Adidas products.

Even before Adidas purchased the trefoil logo from Karhu Sports, they added three bars to all of their products, and they referred to themselves as the “three stripe company.” These three stripes were meant to convey the diversity and international appeal of the company by symbolizing the three major landmasses where Adidas shoes were sold – North America, Europe, and Asia.

Adidas added even more meaning and symbolism to their latest logo by making the Adidas logo into a triangle shape that looks like a mountain sloping upwards. This mountain symbolizes overcoming challenges – a popular theme for the athletes that Adidas sells their apparel to.

Adidas Logos


 Up until the 1960s, Adidas dominated the global sports shoe market together with rival Puma (founded by Dassler’s brother Rudolf), until Nike arrived on the scene. Thanks to the high quality of manufacturing, innovative materials, and successful brand identity with the famous three stripes, the company instantly made it to the top. Although Adidas releases new shoe models each year, the all-time classics are still available in the company's product offer.

Adi Dassler was famous for tailoring his shoes to athletes’ needs and supporting their performance by taking notes on pages and then producing the highest quality product possible. After the passing of Adi Dassler and his son Rudolf in the ’80s, focus on this special way of working was lost. The company began to look at its competitors for inspiration rather than setting the tone themselves. This resulted in uncertainty among employees and worst of all uncertainty for the customers. Adidas tried constantly changing strategies, which did not, however, bring the desired success. Only during the late 90s - 2000s did the brand find its way out of the crisis and back to its old strength and new markets.

Adidas learned some great lessons and till this day they have a History Management department, which maintains an archive and familiarises newly hired managers with core company values. The marketing decision to recreate “historical” shoe models, which were made popular in the 70s and 80s by high-performance athletes, with modern high-quality materials, proved especially successful. Legendary models such as the Gazelle, the Superstar, or the Stan Smith are not only popular with vintage enthusiasts but especially with Millennials and Generation Z. And even the frowned-upon “Adilette” is now a street fashion staple, fueled by influencers from fashion and pop culture.

However, Adidas does not limit itself to the ongoing retro wave, but regularly provides innovations just as the founder had a passion to produce. Performance, or competitive sports, remains at the heart of the company to this day.

Our guide on how vintage Adidas fits

Over the years Adidas has updated its design and the silhouettes of their clothes many times. And whilst they’re incredible at keeping up with broader trends in fashion, this means that the Adidas from the 80s and 90s fits very differently to the Adidas made today. Here’s our guide on how vintage Adidas fits.

It’s important to note that over the years Adidas have produced so many different products that not all the fits were consistent in any one era, and these rules can only be applied generally. If you’re ever unsure about the potential fit of an item get in touch with the seller and ask for measurements.

How vintage Adidas T-Shirts and Polos fit

Vintage Adidas T-Shirts

The black t-shirt on the left has tags which mean it would of been from the late 80s to early 90s. Adidas tags that have this style of tags either in black, or on a bigger tag with a trefoil generally are from this era. Adidas t-shirts from this time generally have quite long sleeves that fit loosely and have a wider and longer fit compared to Adidas t-shirts made nowadays. Generally speaking, they fit as a bit oversized. The yellow t-shirt on the right has tags which are from the late 90s to early 00s. Adidas t-shirts from this time were a bit wider than their predecessors and the sleeves got slightly short but remained just as loose. T-shirt from this time also come up a little bit shorter.

Vintage Adidas Polos

The polo on the left is the older of the two and is from the late 80s. Adidas polos from this time had a slightly slimmer fit than the t-shirts but similarly has quite long and loose sleeves. The polo on the right is an Adidas Equipment polo, which is from the late 90s. Adidas polos from this time had a slightly wider fit, with the sleeves remaining a similar size to the previous styles. The Adidas Equipment polo is slightly oversized.

How vintage Adidas Sweatshirts and Hoodies fit

Vintage Adidas Sweatshirts

The green sweatshirt on the left is from the early to mid 90s judging from the tags. Adidas sweatshirts from this time had quite loose fits across the chest and on the sleeves, however, are tighter around the cuffs and waist. And generally speaking, the collar was slightly wider on Adidas sweatshirts from this era and before. The sweatshirt on the right is from the late 90s to early 00s and as you can tell is slightly looser at the cuffs and waist. Asides from that the fit is equally loose in the chest and arms when compared to previous Adidas sweatshirt fits.

How vintage Adidas Track Jackets fit

Vintage Adidas Track Jackets

The red and blue track jacket on the right is from the late 80s to early 90s. It has a wide fit across the chest but comes in slimmer on both the cuffs and the waist. The navy track jacket on the right has a wide chest and is looser on the cuffs and waist. It’s from the late 90s to early 00s and the Adidas track jackets from this time fit quite loosely but didn’t necessarily come up oversized.


Now you’ve got an idea of how vintage Adidas fits there’s nothing to stop you from grabbing yourself some of their finest.


  • Posted on by Mariana

    Such a helpful article! I recently got into vintage thrifting and love the vintage sports brands. My two favorite ones being Nike and Adidas. I read the other one about vintage Nike first and then read this one. Both gave me more insight as to what to look for in terms of size and fit. I love oversized baggy clothing now I know better what to look out for in terms of sizing.

  • Posted on by Kat

    Thanks for great info! Lately I have been goodwill hunting for addidas pants and a jacket! this will be really helpful

  • Posted on by Jasmine Hewitt
    This vintage Adidas guide is super helpful, I used to love the brand

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
The cookie settings on this website are set to 'allow all cookies' to give you the very best experience. Please click Accept Cookies to continue to use the site.
You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered