The only times fashion and football are mentioned in the same sentence are when celebrity magazines comment on what a certain player is wearing or when clubs release their new home, away and sometimes third kits for the new season every year.
This blog post focuses on the latter, as I countdown my top ten kits that we will be seeing on show in the Premier League in 2014-15.
10. Crystal Palace – Home Kit (Macron)
The Crystal Palace 14-15 Home and Away Kits were unveiled at the club’s Awards Night in May, after the kit deal with Macron was announced in January 2014. The Italian brand have designed a classical strip for The Eagles, whose 13-14 Kits were made by the small teamwear supplier Avec. After originally unveiling the shirt without a sponsor, e-money company Neteller were announced as Palace’s sponsors for this season and 2015-16.
Personally, I really like the retro look of this kit, which is developed by the block stripes and the way the Neteller logo is written. It is a very smart looking kit, and the collar is unique with it’s red and blue stripped design and yellow details.
9. Manchester United – Third Kit (Nike)
After revealing the new home and away kits earlier this month, United showcased the blue third kit for the first time on Tuesday before wearing it in their pre-season friendly with Inter Milan that night. Their new kits are sponsored for the first time by Chevrolet in a deal worth £53 million, while the shirts are made by the US-giant Nike for the last time before Adidas take over next season. The design is inspired by the club’s tradition of wearing blue kits throughout the 1980s, as well as the iconic strip worn by Sir Matt Busby’s men during the 1968 European Cup final triumph over Benfica at Wembley.
I actually like all three of United’s new kits, but it is only this blue design that sneaks into my top ten. The Chevrolet logo is prominent on all three shirts which strangely fits into the design. Focusing just on the third kit, I really like the rich and vibrant blue on the front with a darker tone of the same colour on the back of the shirt. These two tones are divided by a red stripe on both sides of the kit, representing United’s famous and historic home colour.
8. Tottenham Hotspur – Home Kit (Under Armour)
Both of Tottenham’s kits this season commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of Bill Nicholson, a legendary Spurs player and manager who won 13 trophies at White Hart Lane including two league titles and a UEFA Cup. The home kit is a traditional lilywhite shirt set off by a navy blue horizontal stripe running across the chest. A jacquard runs across the shoulders which includes the words ‘Echo of Glory’ taken from Nicholson’s famous quote: “It is better to fail aiming high than to succeed aiming low. And we of Spurs have set our sights very high, so high in fact that even failure will have in it an echo of glory.” together with a pattern inspired by the famous gates which lead up to White Hart Lane on Bill Nicholson Way. Yellow taping on the sleeve cuff and collar adds an additional colour flash. The new kits are again made by Under Armour and are sponsored by AIA.
For me this kit is very smart but at the same time shows a great tribute to a club legend. The intricate design on the collar and shoulder of the shirt adds a touch of class, whilst the black lines running through kit increase the life in the top.
7. Southampton – Home Kit (Brandless)
You may be wondering why I have put “(Brandless) in the title, but the new Southampton kits are made -in-house (made by the club) following the termination of the contract with previous kit supplier Adidas. The home kit features a unique design of five vertical red stripes placed on the white front of the kit, while each red stripe features small dark red diagonal pinstripes. Veho sponsor kit, which was released using the slogan #TheStripesAreBack, a reference to the fact that The Saints’ recent kits have not included the club’s traditional stripes.
Another simple but classy kit, Southampton’s effort stand-outs to me because of the historic stripes and how they are designed with the small dark red diagonal pinstripes. Red and white stripes are also of course featured on the home kits of Sunderland and Stoke City, but the way the South Coast club have incorporated them into this shirt is unique for me. Brendan Rodgers is set to buy one in the next few days according to Sky Sports.
6. Chelsea – Home Kit (Adidas)
Whatever alterations Chelsea make it inevitably feels like they’re wearing the same kit year-after-year, but there’s something about this home shirt that works. It features two colour tones, while the new main blue colour is called Chelsea Blue. The front of the kit features a colour gradient, something Adidas also made for the Spain 2014 World Cup Kit. The sponsor logo of Adidas and Samsung are both white, while the kit comes with a simple round collar.
In the past most Chelsea kits have just been solid blue with the Adidas stripes on the sleeve, but the colour gradient on this season’s kit really appeals to me. It adds life to the shirt, and although some may accuse it of looking like a training top, in my view it adds style to kit and separates it from previous Blues home shirts.
5. Tottenham Hotspur – Away Kit (Under Armour)
Just like the home kit, Tottenham’s new away kit also pays tribute to Bill Nicholson. It is predominantly black and dark navy with yellow accents featuring a simple crew-neck collar and yellow sleeve cuffs, while the Under Armour and AIA logos are white. There are 11 yellow lines on the sides of the shirt while a yellow fading lines design is visible on the front. These 11 golden lines represent the 11 trophies won during Bill Nicholson’s reign as manager.
I think Under Armour have done a fantastic job with the Spurs kits this season, especially for a company not traditionally linked to football shirts. On this away shirt the yellow lines on the front are the style and class of the kit, whilst the same colour on the side make it stand-out. The fact that this shirt pays tribute to Nicholson with the stripes and intricate collar design adds to its quality.
4. Arsenal – Home Kit (Puma)
The new Arsenal 2014-15 kits are made for the first time by Puma, who signed a five-year deal until 2019 worth up to £170 million. Their first home kit for The Gunners is based on the Puma 2014-15 Speed short sleeved shirt, but comes with the premium variation of the template. Fly Emirates continue to sponsor the shirt through the manufacturer change. On the collar, the words ‘Future’, ‘Forever’ and ‘Victorious’ are printed with the club hoping to win more trophies after their FA Cup victory last season ended their nine year drought.
This may seem quite a simple design for me to put as number four on my list, but it is the simpleness of this shirt that has it so high up in my opinion. I really like the white sleeves with red accents, and on the whole I think Puma have made a professional yet stylish design. It wasn’t going to be easy taking over from Nike, but they have produced this fantastic kit as well as two other very good designs (one of which – SPOILER – features higher up on my list).
3. Manchester City – Home Kit (Nike)
Nike have yet again produced another very good Manchester City home shirt. Manuel Pellegrini’s men will be lining up in kit which features a shiny light blue top and a dark navy Johnny collar and dark navy sleeve cuffs. Unlike the last season’s shirt, the new Man City 14-15 home kit comes with a classical convertible collar instead of a simple round collar, inside of which is the lettering “we are City”. It also comes without the white applications of the 13-14 home kit, with the Nike and Etihad and logos printed in navy.
I look at this kit and think of Champions. The traditional City blue looks almost shiny and glistening on the shirt, and is complimented by the navy. Sleek, simple and so streamlined that it may as well be from the future, City will certainly look the part this season. Plus, you can never go wrong with an outline around the club crest.
2. Arsenal – Third Kit (Puma)
There’s always going to be debate about this one. Arsenal and Puma’s second kit on my list is The Gunners’ new third shirt, and the most striking of the set made for Arsene Wenger’s side in 2014-15. Based on the same template as the Italy 2014 World Cup Home Kit, this shirt features two tones of blue with lime green elements. While the sleeves are plain blue, light blue diagonal stripes appear on the front of the kit.
Some will love it, some will hate it. I personally think that Puma have produced another cracking shirt for Arsenal to wear, even if it is only a third shirt. Just like City’s home shirt, it is a kit that I can imagine champions wearing. Whether Arsenal will be champions is a different matter. Anyway, I especially like the lime green elements on the front which compliment the blue stripes. When I first heard Puma were to make Arsenal’s new kits I was slightly worried that some ugly, boring design may appear. However I have been proven wrong and have to congratulate Puma on three fantastic efforts, two of which have made it into the top four on my list.
1. Manchester City – Away Kit (Nike)
At number one, another Manchester City kit which has been expertly made by Nike. Their 2014-15 away top is rather classical, and features a spectacular colour gradient. The dark blue main colour Dark Obsidian is combined with the lighter blue colour Game Royal, creating a stripe gradient design. Just like the home shirt, the bold statement “We are City” is inside the collar. The Nike Swoosh and the Etihad sponsor logo are vibrant yellow which make the kit stand-out.
If I had a hat on at this moment, I would take it off to whoever designed this kit. I mentioned it when analysing the Chelsea home kit, but I love colour gradients on football shirts. Others think that they look ugly, but I think they add life to the shirt and mix it up compared to solid colours. The shirt on the whole oozes class with the vibrant yellow logos and writing only adding to that effect. I will certainly be looking forward to watching City wear this in 2014-15, and who knows become Champions of England again by playing in two fantastic kits worthy of league winners.
Do you like your side’s new home and away (or third) kits? Should they have been on this list? Will you be buying one this season? Let me know in the comments!