With Brentford finally treating fans to a quick peak at our new shirt last night, I thought I’d cast the net that bit further afield whilst we are waiting for the full reveal. Specifically to look at what is on offer so far. Will we stand above QPR, sartorially speaking? What about fellow Championship rivals Ipswich Town ? How will Middlesbrough look now they’ve finally escaped the Championship?
All feature in the best and worst of 2016/17 so far. As ever, these are judged using no more scientific a method than than my own personal opinion. And so without further ado:
The top five best:
5: Tottenham (home) Simple and stylish. Traditional white but the offset used in an old school shoulder bar. I’d presumed it was nod to Victorian times but Spurs have never gone down this route before. Regardless, it looks great and we’ll even forgive them double slogans.
4: Port Vale (home). You could, likewise, have opted for their third kit. Steering away from the likes of an adidas and Nike can give an additional element of the bespoke when it comes to kit selection. As with Spurs, its all about the shoulders. As with Spurs, we’ll forgive their hashtag.
3: Bradford City (home). The Bantams have never been shy to innovate with their kits. 2016.17 sees them continue that tradition but with diagonal, rather than vertical, stripes. The result is wonderful whilst the good taste continues onto their away/third shirts too.
2: IpswichTown (home). What’s not to like? Chevron chest stripes along with contrasting sleeves to body. This really is a standout design and one I’ve not seen elsewhere this season.
1: Crystal Palace (away). Mention sashes and, windows aside, the two things I automatically think of are Peru and Crystal Palace. The eagles have gone for their iconic design once more, over a yellow shirt, and the results speak for themselves. Even the sponsor seems sympathetic to the design.
If they are the best (to date) then what about the other side? The five worst. Its been a bit tougher this time around, simply because it seems to really be the season for ‘safe’ kit design. Chelsea away and Manchester City home look like a marketing man’s wet dream – no doubt the phrase “designed to go with jeans” was bandied around design meetings
There has been a marked return for 80s pinstripe – Leicester City, West Brom and Tottenham all going for this option in their away kits. Great news for the lovers of retro design. not such great news for the, erm, fuller figure.
Yet there is still plenty of rough in the diamonds, of which my take on the ropier efforts is as follows:
5:Barnet (away). I love a sash, but not like this. A staggered design in a very strange colour combination. Add in horizontal pinstripes and the phrase ‘busy’ springs to mind.
4:Southampton (home). I’m sorry. I loathed this, then liked it but now I’m back out of love with it. You can’t deny it’s striking but I’m struggling to look past the hitched up bra that the players seem to be wearing.
3: Middlesbrough (home). This isn’t sour grapes on account of their beating Brentford 6 times out of 6 in the last two seasons. Simply the fact that the low sash looks somewhat peculiar. Moreso, when you imagine this shirt on the ‘larger’ supporter where this paunch level trim has been placed in a most unflattering location.
2:Coventry City (home). Awful disappearing stripes and even worse marketing . That pose. That press release “Coventry City FC will be turning out in the famous Sky Blue and white stripes once again! “ Yes, to an extent. As long as you don’t look above the chest.
1: QPR (third). Great if you like Frazzles.
Honourable mention: Rochdale – if for no other reason that it is the winner of a competition last September for fans to design and then vote for what will now be their forthcoming kit.
Mark Devlin, Kitman Bob, Mr Benahm. If you are reading, any chance we could go attempt something similar next season? With a fan’s forum coming up on August 1, that question may well be on the agenda….