During hot summer months, it's hard to imagine getting super active in your backyard. As fall settles in and the days begin to cool down, you start to see a ton of opportunities to play all day. Whether you're starting up a new workout yourself, or planning to get active as a family this fall, knowing what to wear is a great place to start. You'll want to pick out options that are breathable, flexible, and easy to wash. There's no exact recipe for the perfect sporty look, other than having clothes you feel comfortable in and the drive to win.
Depending on the weather, you'll want to sport a pair of shorts, leggings, or sweatpants that cuff at the ankle. Don't bother with anything that constricts your movement, like jeans or dress pants, unless you truly don't have time for a quick change after work. The more restrictive the fit, the less you'll be able to stretch for that winning kick, and the more likely you'll pinch some skin or get too hot. Whatever bottoms you pick out, just be sure that they aren't too flowy or long, to avoid any accidental trips.
T-shirts that you don't mind getting dirty are an easy and effortless choice as tops, especially if it just rained or the grass is dewy. If you need a little more coverage, a crew neck cotton sweater is lightweight but warm enough to keep you feeling limber. Alternatively, you can grab a long sleeve shirt and a vest to wear as a second layer that's easily removed if you start to heat up. Cotton's a great choice for a quick game of soccer since it's easy to wash and can withstand a lot of wear.
Men generally run a few degrees warmer than women on average, so you may want to stick to shorts for a game of soccer in the fall. Still, if it's a cold afternoon, your favorite cozy pair of sweatpants can transform into sportswear at a moment's notice. Dressing appropriately for the weather is a great way to model conscious choice-making for your kids. So if the whole family is playing, be sure to talk about why you've decided to pick out your clothes for the activity at hand.
Polo shirts or any basic T-shirt will work great, though if you have a sports jersey you love to play in, then grab it and go for gold. If there's no time to change after work, pal around in men's easy-care shirts. On top of being wrinkle-resistant, these dress shirts have a built-in stain release, so you won't have to worry about scuffs or grass spots. Backyard soccer isn't about the gear as much as it is about the good memories you're creating with the ones you love. And if it's too cold for just one layer, grab a fleece jacket that's easy to unzip once the game really starts to heat up.
For a midday game, your kids might be able to get away with short sleeve shirts, but we recommend leaning toward long sleeves during fall months. Cool breezes come in quickly, and your budding sports star should have a solid base layer to keep them warm as they light up the scoreboard. Afternoon play should include a second layer of protection from the cold. Depending on the temperature and whether there's any wind blowing, they can choose anything from a vest to a pullover. If it's a truly chilly day, try to suggest a hat as well, to keep the heat in wherever possible — convince them it's really just to keep their hair out of their faces while they play.
Playing soccer in the backyard can be a great opportunity to laugh and learn together, even if you're just kicking the ball around. No matter how you play, opt for shoes no matter who objects. Nobody wants a stubbed toe or a twisted ankle during a friendly game. If you're a big soccer family, and you want to get serious about the game, pick up some soccer cleats for everyone and consider choosing everyone's shirt color based on the teams you generally create.
Most importantly, you want to be sure the whole home team is comfortable enough to play for as long as they possibly can. As fall pushes forward and the days get shorter, making the most of the time you have outside is a great way to make lasting memories for the whole family. One way or the other, everything's going in the wash once the day is done.