Guide To Basketball Uniforms And Accessories For Every Level

Find a Style That Fits Your Game

Basketball was invented to be an indoor sport that could be played in the winter months. This is why we get the standard uniform that we get today. But with the advent of technology and more modern fashion sense, there are new ways to dress and accessorize to play basketball.

We wanted to give you a guide on what you have to wear, what you can wear, and maybe even a few recommendations of our own. Basketball accessories are becoming a necessary part of the game these days.

Even though there are uniforms for your team, you can still personalize and show some of your own style.

Standard Uniform

The standard, accepted uniform or jersey for basketball is a mesh tank top along with mesh athletic shorts. While materials have changed over the years, the basic set up of what a basketball player looks like has not changed much.

standard uniforms

There have been variations throughout the years, including longer sleeve tops, undershirts, and longer or shorter shorts based on the era.

Every league will have a standard jersey that will either be provided, or you may have to purchase if you are running your own team.

The professionals in the NBA have very strict guidelines about what they can wear, from head to toe.

Due to various marketing deals with the league, players must wear standard issue uniforms and socks. Usually, the players only form of expression is through accessories and shoes.

With less money involved, the lower leagues can be less strict, but will generally still adhere to the tank top and shorts standard.

Every league may vary, so make sure to read up on what is required or allowed in your basketball league.

Variations on Standard

While there is a standard that has been traditionally accepted throughout the years, some adventurous teams have made adjustments to that rule.

Some teams have added sleeves to the top.

Some uniforms have adjusted the length of the shorts.

What you will notice is that the variations still come close to replicating the original vision.

Ultimately, the sleeveless top and athletic shorts have won the battle and are still #1 when it comes to uniforms.


The accessories a player picks for themselves could have a function or be a purely stylistic choice. Everything from arm sleeves, ankle braces, or headbands can be found in gyms across the world.

These items may have a performance effect or are great for giving players a signature style.

Here are some examples of basketball accessories:

Each of the links below will take you to Amazon to give you an idea of their cost and appearance.

Arm Sleeve– the arm sleeve was popularized by Allen Iverson around the turn of the century and has some claimed performance attributes. The compression sleeve is claimed to help blood flow and is usually worn on the primary shooting arm. The popularity of the sleeve hasn’t gone down much in the 20 years of its existence, but not every player likes to have the extra restriction.

Headbands– are the original accessory that all other accessories followed. Usually worn around the head at the forehead level, the headband is stretchy cloth material that helps to keep sweat out of the eyes of the player. While it does its job wonderfully, it can also give a player some individuality and flair to their appearance.

Braces- are almost always worn for the purpose of restricting the movement of a joint. These braces are worn to protect players from future injury or are used to keep an injured joint from being reinjured. Braces are usually not worn stylistically because they restrict movement and are not very accommodating for healthy players.

Joint Wraps- are used to compress or restrict the movement of joints. Whether being used for tendinitis treatment or used for style, joint wraps go along with the very physically demanding aspects of the game. They are not as restrictive as braces, so they can be worn on the knees, elbows, or ankles for looks or performance.

nike socksSocks-have become a great way to express yourself as a player. Modern basketball socks come in varying heights and have a multitude of colors and graphics to show off your personal style. Modern basketball socks also have cushion in high-impact areas and compression in other areas. This makes specialty basketball socks a desirable item to add to any wardrobe.

Wrist Bands– are similar to headbands, but come in a variety of materials for different purposes. The wristbands that are similar to headbands, are made of cloth-like materials and used to soak up sweat and keep moisture from the hands. Another very popular wristband in the modern era is the rubberized band used for personalization, supporting causes, or inspiration.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the accessories out there, but it will give you a good place to start looking for your style.


Shoes, in basketball, have always been the ultimate personalization option. The function of shoes, and how they help you play the game is undeniable, but they are also a canvas to show the world who you are.

There are thousands of varieties of shoes for basketball. There are different colorways, different performance features, and amazing technology.

To find the best shoe for you, check out our Ultimate Shoe Buying Guide.

Your shoes will be your training partner and most necessary accessory, throughout your playing days.

Fashion or Function

No matter what accessories you end up deciding to wear, you will still have to balance out whether it is necessary for your game.

You may love the look of an arm sleeve, but feel restricted when playing in it.

There is a certain level of trial and error to find your personal style, but you must also find the accessories that enhance your game.

Don’t be afraid to try new things, explore new options, and give the world a glimpse into who you are.

Every accessory has a purpose, but you must find the ones that suit you best.


What accessories do you use on the court? Would you recommend any new ones that we missed? We would love to hear from you!