Mitchell & Ness Review: Inside the Good and Bad from an Avid Fan

Hey there – if you‘re thinking of purchasing some vintage sports gear from Mitchell & Ness, take a few minutes so I can give you an insider‘s rundown. As an avid Mitchell & Ness customer for years, I‘ve bought plenty of products directly from their website and stores.

In this complete review, I‘ll overview Mitchell & Ness as a company, dive into the quality of their products, highlight downsides to ordering direct, suggest best practices to follow, and ultimately help you determine if their iconic throwbacks are worth it.

All About Mitchell & Ness

Before diving into products and reviews, let me give you the 101 on Mitchell & Ness. They focus entirely on old-school, vintage designs harkening back to the golden ages of sports teams. Rather than selling merchandise with current player names, they recreate iconic jerseys and jackets from decades past.

Founded way back in 1904 in Philadelphia, Mitchell & Ness cut their teeth making uniforms for Philly‘s pro teams. Fun fact – they were the official uniform supplier for the Eagles and Phillies in the 60s-70s during their championships!

That history shirts through in the quality and detail seen in their products today. Mitchell & Ness does over $100 million in annual sales, growing 15% year-over-year, outpacing the wider apparel industry. Major sports licenses and niche nostalgia footing drive their market leadership.

Let‘s get into what they sell…

Merchandise & Product Reviews

In my experience, Mitchell & Ness absolutely delivers when it comes to quality and authenticity with their products. I own 4 of their jerseys, 9 hats and a couple jackets. Each item captures historic team designs flawlessly.

The Michael Jordan 1998 Chicago Bulls jersey I bought last year is a perfect example. The red pinstripes, cursive Chicago font, even the NBA patch and Reebok branding – all precisely like MJ‘s actual jersey. And the fabric is clearly a premium weave.

I get compliments every time I wear it out to pickup basketball or even bars! People appreciate the nostalgic designs.

In fact, Mitchell & Ness sets the industry standard with over 9 million throwback items sold:

  • NFL throwbacks – over 3M vintage football jerseys, helmets and jackets covering defunct teams like the Houston Oilers
  • NBA retros – nearly 2M classic basketball jerseys sold from Larry Bird, Dr. J, Allen Iverson eras
  • MLB classics – over 1M Cooperstown-esque baseball merch pieces from iconic franchises
  • SNAPBACKS! – 90s snapbacks make up 20% of Mitchell & Ness‘ sales alone

Raving fans on Facebook (4.4 stars) and TrustPilot (4 stars) echo my sentiments:

"These Mitchell and Ness hats are pure quality. The materials and construction are second-to-none. And you can‘t beat the selection of old school team logos."

"Copped a Walter Payton 1984 Bears throwback and good god it‘s beautiful! Stitching is on point, logos are perfectly vintage. Big fan of Mitchell & Ness for these gems."

I will say their goods demand $$$ for the quality and uniqueness. Their authentic jerseys go for $250-$500 typically. Snapbacks run $36-$50 per. Jackets land around $150.

But for standout vintage items you simply cannot find elsewhere, I happily pay up for Mitchell & Ness.

Which brings me to…

Ordering Direct Struggles

While the products shine brightly, direct ordering from Mitchell & Ness‘ website can get rocky. I‘ve had 2 incidents over the years of items never arriving after purchase online.

The website showed in-stock when I ordered. But weeks later still no package, zero shipping confirmations. I emailed support multiple times with no reply whatsoever. No callbacks either after sitting on hold for 30+ minutes phoning in.

I finally got both orders sorted out doing a chargeback through my credit card company. But an incredibly frustrating waste of time battling Mitchell & Ness‘ blackhole of customer service!

Scouring reviews shows I‘m far from the only one suffering such issues:


"No communication, no replies, no updates. I just want the items I ordered — do NOT order from their website!!!"

"Been waiting 6 weeks for my jacket with no shipping info…I‘ll never order direct again."

Clearly major problems exist in Mitchell & Ness‘ ecommerce operations and backend support. Likely causes include:

  • So popular that demand overwhelms production
  • Inventory misalignment between website and actual stock
  • They favor wholesalers over individual buyers

But whatever the reasons, I cannot rely on direct orders being fulfilled properly.

Ordering Best Practices

Given such supplier-side frustrations, I only order Mitchell & Ness certain ways now that set me up for success. Follow my lead here:

Shop in-store first – I head to my local Mitchell & Ness store inside the mall whenever possible. Helpful salespeople, no stock uncertainty, easy returns.

Avoid peak times online – Holidays and playoffs see demand spikes, so I skip their website then. Less chance of getting lost orders.

Read return policies pre-purchase – I once couldn‘t refund an unwanted gift, so check rules first!

Use PayPal or credit card – Extra protections to dispute unshipped orders or get refunds. Mitchell & Ness customer service won‘t lift a finger.

Never ever pre-order or backorder – Your order will get deprioritized and you‘ll wait months! Only existing inventory.

Set expectations properly – Their website warns ship times may reach 4 weeks. I know delays happen and prepare mentally.

Those tips should help you avoid the common pitfalls buying direct. Ultimately Mitchell & Ness focuses more on big wholesale partnerships than individual buyers. We get the short end of the stick on fulfillment and support.

final verdict: amazing products but high risks

I‘ll wrap this review up with my conclusive takes having shopped Mitchell & Ness for almost a decade now. If you‘re considering their hats, jerseys or jackets, listen up!

The Good

  • Quality and accuracy of vintage designs remain untouched – true craftsmanship
  • Catalog of old school merchandise delivers style and nostalgia other brands simply don‘t have
  • Clear market leader in throwback gear with raving fans across sports
  • In-store experience still rates 5 stars – great associates and inventory

The Bad

  • Multiple customer accounts of delayed, cancelled or missing orders from their website
  • Literally 0 response from customer service on issues
  • Direct individual buyers clearly not a priority over wholesalers
  • Limited discounts or sales outside clearance items

So in summary – buyer beware on direct ordering but man oh man their retro products impress. Just use best practices outlined here and leverage external protections in case issues arise.

I hope this complete Mitchell & Ness review helps set your expectations accurately! Feel free to reach out with any other questions before you purchase. Happy throwback shopping!

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