Premier League Home Kits: Who makes the Grade?

August 18, 2015

The beginning of the Premier League season is always a buzz with excitement, and a great deal of anticipation for the release and debut of new kits. Some shirts have already been “leaked” & released for months, while others have kept their shirts hush-hush only recently revealing them before the August 8th BPL kickoff. Well there is no hiding them now, the kits have hit the pitch and our grades are in…

Arsenal: Something about the hue of this red is quite obnoxious, just seems a bit off. Luckily the white sleeves do a fair job of pulling attention away from the harshness of the red jersey. Subtle striping makes the shirt a hint more interesting, and the simple text for the sponsor makes it much more palatable than many others in the league. Clean and classic Gunners, not a bad effort.

Grade: B+

Aston Villa: Well there’s lots of stripes… Macron has not produced the most appealing kits in the last few seasons but they have taken a solid stab at this one. Maroon base and sky blue sleeves tackle the classic Villain colors, and the thin deep maroon horizontal stripes help mix up the monotony of solid colors. It is the sleeves and collar where I have to question the restraint of design. Three maroon stripes on the sleeves and color seems like a bit much. Even just two stripes I feel would have made the shirt look less busy. It is difficult to ignore the fact that there is a lot of text on this shirt, unlike Puma, Nike, or Adidas who have an emblems, Macron is text logo. Combine that with the other large sponsored text, and add the lines from the sleeves and color and it becomes a lot to look at. Sometimes less is more, and the appeal of this kit gets lost somewhere along the way.

Grade: B-

AFC Bournemouth: There are a lot of firsts for Bournemouth here. Not only is this their Premier League debut, their shirts are the first to ever feature JD Sports on a football kit, and they are the first EPL club to have black and red stripes as their primary color scheme. Honestly with colors like black and red, it should be pretty difficult to mess up. There is so much potential for Bournemouth to have an insanely good kit, and this is their EPL first impression might as well try to impress… but it doesn’t. Okay JD Sports we get it, why put three logos on the shirt? (front & both sleeves). The vertical stripes are thick and boring, and the black part at the top seems out of place or the wrong size. What is it doing there? I will say it looks better on than it does in flat photos but overall the kit is, meh.

Grade: C

Chelsea: I’m gonna go right out and say it, the collar on this shirt is weird. I don’t get it. I think I would like it more if there wasn’t a button, the button looks useless and out of place. Also why is there red accents on this shirt? This shirt is okay. Nothing to write home about, and honestly very forgetful in the bunch, but enough to get by.

Grade: C

Crystal Palace: Why do I feel like I have seen this kit before? Oh because it looks like a knock off Barcelona jersey that they couldn’t get the colors quite right on. If we were looking at Away shirts I’d be able to give a little bit of extra credit, but on Home shirt alone this design is tiresome. It just looks like something that has been done some many times before that it could pass as the shirt for a number of teams which is not a good thing.

Grade: D+

Everton: There are few clubs whose sponsor image actually adds to the appeal of the shirt, this is one of them. Not only is the Chang logo fairly aesthetically pleasing, especially compared to some other league sponsors (see Mansion logo on Crystal Palace) the sizing of the logo is perfectly done and doesn’t completely envelop the shirt. The color adds a tiny bit of uniqueness to the otherwise extremely classic design. Simple but clean blue and white make this shirt timeless Everton, proving less can certainly be more.

Grade: B+

Leicester City: Though we are only taking a look at the home shirts for each team, hats off to Puma, the entire Leicester City kit series including the goalkeeper kits are solid work. The home shirt looks clean and effortless, makes a statement without being loud. Not particularly exciting (though the away jersey is), but I will trade excitement for a simple solid design any day.

Grade: A-

Liverpool: Something is missing. The shirt looks fine, but tomorrow I will have forgotten what it looks like completely; besides the obvious fact that it is incredibly red. If it is any consolation it’s not terrible, but it’s also not great… it just is.

Grade: C

Manchester City: Google search football shirt and here it is. Dare I say this shirt is sexy. The collar is class, the white details add just enough, and the black sponsor text is not distracting. Everything looks like it is supposed to be there. Nike has truly outdone themselves and the City should be nothing short of thrilled with this sensational kit.

Grade: A+

Manchester United: Perhaps the most overhyped kit of the 15/16 season, literally everyone saw this coming. The fact that Man United’s kit was one of the first leaked kind of made us lose our excitement for it once it hit the pitch. It good (better than the away). Traditional color scheme, classic Adidas three stripes down the sleeves, and nice thick white cuffs and collar make up a good looking shirt. We’d expect nothing less.

Grade: A-

Newcastle: I like that Newcastle has pulled the blue from the crest to accent this shirt, but with such a large bold blue sponsor the extra diagonal lines cutting through the thick, black, vertical bars looks forced. I get the idea and it isn’t a complete miss, the nothingness of the shirts back however really seems to miss the mark. We’ll give the front a B-, the back a D+ and average the two out to a C.

Grade: C

Norwich City:  I’m not sure where to even begin to describe my destane for this shirt.  As if nauseating yellow teamed up with the toad green wasn't bad enough, Norwich City thought itself clever to conjure up two other kits with the exact same color scheme. I feel like someone, somewhere along the shirt development line should have raised the question of what happens when they play a team with a yellow and green kit? But regardless of the hideousness of the entire collection, this shirt can stand alone in its grotesque geometric glory.

Grade: F

Southampton: I like that Adidas put their logo in the middle of this shirt. I know it’s such a stupid minor detail but had it been on the right breast this shirt would have been awkwardly semetical. I’m also grateful that the vertical stripes run consistently on from and back, and that the sleeves have a blockier (is that even a word?) bit of red to break up the repetitiveness of the stripes. The shirt overall is pretty basic, but pretty good. A solid, non-offensive footballer kit.

Grade: C+

Stroke City: Remember what I said about Southampton’s kit? Pretty much everything I said; the logo in the center, breaking up the vertical stripes, too much symmetry??? Take a look at Stroke City’s Home shirt for exhibit A of all those points. It looks like a Halloween referee shirt what was misprinted in red.

Grade: D

Sunderland: Mesh? I can’t recall the last time that mesh was used for anything more than the inner lining of some athletic shorts. Adding it to the sleeves, collar, and trim of this shirt really cheapens the shirt in my opinion. I do not think that adding black details was a bad call, but I think it has been some years since mesh and classy or cool found themselves in the same sentence.

Grade: C-

Swansea City: Pulling off a predominantly white kit is a difficult task. Too little accents and the shirt looks dull, too much and it looks awkward and busy. So to attempt a predominantly white kit with an equally bold accent color such as copper is without a doubt a gutsy move. It nothing else, extra credit is awarded here for bravery. It certainly takes confidence to go for this one. The design itself is decent, and at the very least they its unique.

Grade: B

Tottenham: Is this a beauty pageant that no one told us about? What the hell is up with all the sashes this season? Or are they seatbelts in case you crash and burn like your shirt design? Of the seatbelt/sash designs this year, I would say the Spurs’ shirt is the best of the bad, but that doesn’t make it good.

Grade: C

Watford: Excited to rejoin the ranks of the Premier League elite, Watford has a lot to say and prove. Their kit should reflect pride and confidence and I guess in a way it does. After all they are the Hornets and their shirts very confidently portray a bee like vibe. If this was an attempt at satire, it isn’t very funny. We all hoped for so much more.

Grade: D+

West Bromwich: Adidas, STOP. No. No mesh.

Grade: C-

West Ham: Umbro had big shoes to fill after signing on to a five year contract replacing Adidas as West Ham’s kit provider. Luckily for the Hammers Umbro totally came through! It is helpful that claret and sky blue are a striking color combination in and of themselves, but with such contrasting colors it could be easy to get carried away. This kit shows great restraint, and eye for detail. The skyblue hoop around the color perfectly sets off the neckline, and muted club crest in neutral colors makes for a super crisp looking shirt.

Grade: A

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