Fashion is subjective… I think. My sisters would know better.
For sports fans, so long as their team is not wearing anything hideous, it matters very little what a team is wearing when they go out on the field. There is some aesthetic pleasure in your team's jersey though. They come to define eras and hold special weight. That is probably why there is such a fight in the United States to keep advertisements off of jerseys (although they are coming).
We love our jerseys when they are great. They become part of the team's tradition.
The Magic do not quite have an iconic jersey. Fans of the team are extremely attached to the pinstripes of the original years — looking back a really gaudy 1980s style. Fashionistas and jersey nuts have never quite reviewed the Magic's jerseys too well. The original one was gaudy, the second jersey with stars inlaid into the fabric was a little childish (although much more reserved than some other uniforms of the time) and the third iteration was way too plain.
When Orlando unveiled its latest uniforms in 2008, it was touted as a marriage of old and new. A sleeker, more modern look without the cartoonishness of some of the Magic's earlier logos with the pinstripes of old. Magic fans loved it.
Paul Lukas of UniWatch? Not so much.
In Lukas' exhaustive list of the best uniforms in the four major North American sports, the Magic came in 27th in the NBA and 111th overall (right behind the Seahawks' new duds). Here is what he had to say:
Man, remember when this team had a unique logo and a distinct look? All that's left now are the pinstripes (always the weakest part of the package, since NBA players don't really need to accentuate the vertical). Seriously, has anything ever looked more unmagical than that chest insignia? No wonder Dwight Howard wanted out.
I would agree, the Magic lost their distinctive look when they got rid of the star in the logo. Now the logo is more or less just a script writing of "Magic" nothing too original there. But that is a digression from the jerseys.
Lukas admits his biases in the introduction to the series. He hates certain colors — purple among them, which always makes us butt heads becuase I BLEED PURPLE, GO U NORTHWESTERN! — and he hates certain styles. Pinstripes are among those styles. The only place I think he likes them is in the Yankees uniforms.
That should say something.
The top teams in the poll all have very traditional, very staid jerseys. The Celtics, Spurs and Lakers top the list. Nothing too crazy about those uniforms. The completely nondescript Thunder uniforms are 7th among NBA teams.
It is all certainly a matter of opinion.
Orlando's uniforms right now are not bad. They are modern while nodding to the team's past and tradition. Are the current pinstripes perfect? Are they the best in the league? Probably not. Are they the fourth worst in the league? I don't think so.
Look, every team's jerseys are supposed to be unique. Orlando fans get these uniforms. They get the tradition of the pinstripes in Magic lore and get the blue, black and white color scheme. When Orlando brought back the black jerseys as an alternate in 2011, everyone went nuts. They loved having it back in the fold.
Is the font a little too Tomorrowland? It might be. But it is also part of a general growing up of the franchise too. The more modern, sleeker look of the logo is part of that "growing up" that Orlando seemed to be about when it debuted these jerseys. The black and blue stripes on the side do well to accentuate the main color of the uniform, in my opinion.
I would say the jersey is much better than the bland style the Thunder use. And what is the difference between the Magic's uniforms and the Hornet's uniforms (No. 15 in the NBA according to Lukas)? At least Orlando does not have an awful yellow alternate or an awfuler Mardi Gras alternate. And the Magic wore their new uniforms the same year as the Hornets came otu with theirs.
It is all a matter of taste, I guess.
And knowing the Magic, they will be changing jerseys soon anyway to usher in a new era for a new superstar.
Images: ESPN.com, Tom Reel/San Antonio Express-News