Nothing heralds the new campaign like the newest batch of uniforms. Make no mistake: they pique curiosity and raise ire in equal measure. Even if your club’s new strip is a perennial disappointment, its release invariably trumps all the transfer rumors and bankruptcy scares combined. Or does it?
Here, then, is the Football Sartorialist’s 2012/13 Premiership kit preview. It’s safe to say that things in the uni department took a strange turn this year. Some of the offerings that follow are like Kantian philosophy in that they confound, confuse, and deter all at once. Prithee, read on…
At first glance, the concern rests with stripes on the sleeves. On the jersey alone, the treatment is strange, but paired with the stripes on the socks it’s actually rather fetching. More important than any of this is seeing how utterly nonplussed RVP looks in these photos. He clearly cannot be bothered.
The away kit’s a bit unusual but imparts a subtly regal menace. Not sure what it’d look like over a pair of jeans though- but who cares with a launch video as brilliant as Purple Reign? Nothing has ever been so unintentionally right.
Shay Given must be getting tired of the kits he has to wear at Villa. His all black number for Ireland at the Euro was Boss Hog, but then he let in a bunch of surprisingly bad goals that completely misrepresented his quality. All that’s over now, however, and trapezoids on the sleeves it will have to be. Villa’s home kit is perfectly serviceable; it’s the away kit that’s the concern. The Sartorialist has established that there’s one neon nightmare every season, so I guess Villa is this year’s slutty nurse at Halloween.
Fine, Chelsea, you’ll start your Champions’ League title defense in a nice blue kit with rad gold letters and a sweet gold badge. And fine, Chelsea, your away jersey has that baby blue diagonal stripe that’s also pretty cool. And fine, Chelsea, a few of your players had one of the more successful seasons that it’s possible to enjoy in professional sports. But you’ve got blood on your hands, Chelsea. Somewhere, somehow, you’ve got blood on your hands.
Everton are unwavering in their ability to resoundingly disappoint their loyal fans while wearing the most savage uniforms available to man. They switched to Nike this year and, predictably, their gear got even better. There’s a weird white sleeve cap on the home jersey, but get over it: just buy the black one twice and be glad Steven Pinnear’s back, for what that’s worth.
How well did Fulham actually fare in the kit stakes this year? The pinstripes on the home jersey are a nice touch, but you can never fully forget about the ENORMOUS Kappa logo running down the side:
- Nope, it’s not a handbag; it’s not a perfume bottle, either - close, though. It’s a football jersey for Fulham Football Club. What do you mean, who? Fulham - with the statue out front. None of this rings a bell? London? Knightsbridge-ish? Oh, do whatever the hell you want.
Livvie haven’t had a home jersey this nice since the Reebok days when Robbie Fowler was snorting up the 18 yard box. When Warrior first released this shirt, it felt like they were onto something.
Then came the away strip, which looks like a wetsuit, and the third kit, which resembles the Joker’s outfit in that scene in Batman where he’s not wearing any make up and does that weird spray paint dance with the guys from Run DMC. Brutal. Embarrassing. Liverpool.
City usually rank pretty high on the not-too-shabby scale when it comes to their jerseys. This year marks another round of blinders, particularly the change kit, which is Frankie-at-the-Sands classy. Plus, these snaps of Vincent Kompany and Noel Gallagher are fantastic; mostly because it’s clear that, to match Kompany’s height, Noel’s been forced to stand on a riser like the rude little man that he is. Glorious.
No issues with United’s away jersey this year, in fact, it’s pretty vicious, particularly the hidden Henley neck with the red stripe. United’s change duds have been horrid over the years and it’s nice to see a decent jersey to accompany all that damn winning. The home kit’s gingham pattern is just silly, and apart from knowing exactly why I’m writing about it, I’m not sure why I’m even writing about it.
Put simply, this promo image for the Magpies’ change kit is strange. Coloccini and co. look like candidates to do battle in a video game for Japanese action figures. They’re safe for now, but what if their manna runs low?
Grant Holt Haircut Alert! The Sartorialist’s favourite Premiership striker is rocking a new lid. It’s as if he’s saying - I’ve reached the zenith of English club football and it’s time for a haircut. And look! He’s fat again! Nice black jersey: a welcome change from last year’s green away number. Go on, Holty!
Which one would you pick? Honestly? Do you have a favorite?
Mine’s the away kit- the one on the right. Our right. She just looks so breezy. The checkers are nice - sorry, cute - and they match her skirt. Talk about a win. Yetch.
If you’re not from Reading then none of this matters - literally: none. They come up to the Premiership, sniff around, maybe pee on something, and then head back down. They’re tourists, which is why their kit upsets me so much: it’s absolutely decent. The nice, broad, blue bands on the home hoop shirt: decent. The slightly embarrassing yellow away kit with the zippy blue stripe: decent. Posh grocer for a sponsor: again, decent. But it doesn’t exactly smack of menace, does it? I suppose it has to end badly for someone…
...and that someone is surely Southampton. Remember when Peter Crouch played for them? That was ages ago. He has a book out now, and the cover is just the funniest thing ever. Some pundits contend that Southampton’s “swashbuckling style of play” may keep them safe in the Premiership this season. Do not believe them. Southampton have plenty to be worried about, but their gear ain’t half bad. At least they’ll be doing the drop in style.
Not bad, Stoke. You’re never going to knock anyone’s socks off with your gear, but I wouldn’t kick your away top out of bed. Not entirely convinced by your city centre, though, if this example of your drink-sodden citizenry is anything to go by. The Potters indeed.
Forget about these entirely pedestrian, unsurprising jerseys for a moment and focus on the sponsor logo. Invest in Africa is a group promoting commerce with Africa, which is a great thing. But what if all that this so-called commerce consists of is John O’Shea and Wes Brown turning up at your door in the blue away strip to flog chocolate covered almonds? What then, Africa? It’s a legitimate question.
This image promoting Swansea’s white centenary jersey is ridiculous, mainly because it looks like Real Madrid signed Chris Rock and Spider from Goodfellas. This frightful affair is Swansea’s 2012/13 away kit. The uniform made news this summer on account of its Welsh color scheme, and the fact that it is really very obviously quite shit.
Brad Friedel… is he holding the Palantir of Sauron?
Benoit Assou-Ekotto… is a haircut away from a doping scandal.
Gareth Bale… is looking over his shoulder for Charlie Adam
Scott Parker… is a tosser
Michael Dawson… is, despite himself, looking rather un-menacing
Kyle Walker… is rather a menace, by the look of things
Carlo Cudicini… is looking like he’s not willing to spend another night alone. Ever.
Good ol’ West Brom, dressed up like a bunch of Norwegian gymnasts. It’s a good thing those vertical navy stripes never go out of style, because that change kit is a flagrant foul. Cynical from you, the Baggies; cynical.
Whatever, it’s a West Ham kit. It’s not going to do you any favors, so save your money. Redirect the $100 you would have spent on your Hammers jersey to the coffers of your local bar, or this place, and let the good times roll / dull the ignominy of supporting West Ham through another relegation-tickler.
Each year, Wigan, you almost make this column not worth writing. You bore and frustrate with your perennial will-we-won’t-we relegation dance. But this year, you’ve done something different with your adequate coaching staff and borderline excellent home kit. That black kit does not inspire the fear that it should, for really, there is nothing to fear. Unless you’re Liverpool.