For the stylistically inclined, this should only be a confirmation of your already astute assumptions. But for the sartorially challenged among you, consider this a crash course in S.W.A.G. from a certified swag professor. Before we get to my rankings, here's some things to keep in mind:
- Not all Adidas kits are created equal. Despite doing a fantastic jobs with the Chelsea kits, the rest of the clubs sponsored by the German company share something in common and no, it's not that they look just as good. Almost every other Adidas club shares at least one of the template designs for this season. Whether it's the deep V-style (Fulham, Southampton Away), the home style (Hull) or the away style (Sunderland), every Adidas club besides Chelsea and West Ham has at least one of those styles in their kits.
- Seeing Red. 40% of the Premier Leagues home kits have red as a primary color. Whether it's dominantly red (Man U, Liverpool, Cardiff*, Arsenal, Southampton), stripes (Sunderland, Stoke), or half-and-half (Crystal Palace), eight teams have it as a main color. Add to that, Fulham and West Brom's away kits mean we'll have enough red to make Pamplona jealous.
*Wait aren't they the Blue Birds? But they wear red? And the Dragon..?
- Yellow making a comeback. The last couple years there have been yellow kits here and there, but besides Norwich who wear it in their primary colors, it hasn't been as prevalent as an away color in recent years. That changes this season with possibly six teams* having yellow as a primary color in their away kits. Yellow and blue is a common combination this season, as we see in Everton's Away Kit.
*historical football kits list Crystal Palace's Third kit as the one from last year
- Speaking of yellow and blue, Nike paid homage to the 'Invincible' Arsenal team from 03-04 with their new-old away kit. It'll be Nike's last kit for Arsenal, as they decided to keep the others from last season since Arsenal are switching to Puma starting in 2014. This will be the first time since 1994 that Arsenal hasn't worn a Nike kit.
Now that we've covered that, let's get to the rankings. Here's how it'll work: I'm going to rank my near misses first, the kits that are decent but have one detail holding them back. Then I'll rank my bottom 10 comprised of home and away kits, followed by the top 10.
4. Newcastle Home - The only problem I have with it is the awkward forward moving stripes on the sides. I enjoy the blue on the middle stripes but those side stripes make me scratch my head.
10. Fulham Home - A good-looking kit apart from the V-neck design that I don't like. The best of the ones I don't like.
9. Aston Villa Home - Not the worst, but definitely far from the best.
8. Crystal Palace Away - Not a bad idea in theory, although the sponsor placement makes it awkward looking for me.
7. Aston Villa Away - One of those kits you like less and less the more and more you look at it. An 'A' for trying to be unique, but not much else to say about it.
6. Newcastle Away - I don't like it.
5. Stoke Away - They'll be able to commit their muggings at night in this glow-in-the-dark number.
4. Hull Away - Generic Adidas style? Check. Seemingly random colors? Check. Unattractive kit? Check.
3. Sunderland Away - Is that you..? Watford..?
2. Man U Away - The picnic table style is back folks. And while it looks slightly better in blue, no. Just...No.
Honorable Mention - Swansea Home - Simple yet solid, the gold for the sponsor works for me.
10. West Brom Away - This red-and-black kit really takes the Adidas template and makes it their own.
9. Liverpool Home - When Warrior aren't dropping acid to create their away and third kits they actually produce nice-looking home strips. 'Pool fans will be hoping they wear these as often as possible.
8. Everton Home - Big fan of the white collar and the double blue sleeve stripes. Not a big fan of the
new temporary badge.
7. West Ham Home - Behind Chelsea, West Ham are the only other team to not have to deal with the generic Adidas kits. And they came away with some solid ones for this season. Some people don't like the claret and blue, but it works on this one.
6. Man U Home - If you can't tell by now I am a fan of collars on football jerseys. And this one doesn't disappoint. Sleek and clean, I look forward to Moyes' boys struggling in them, but hey, at least they'll look good doing it.
5. Norwich Away - The only thing cooler than the kit is the ad for it. AROOOOOOOOOOOO!
4. Man City Home - Credit is due to the Sky Blues. This kit is sleek and will hopefully will be the best thing about their team this season.
3. Chelsea Home - To be honest, this one took a little time to grow on me. But I like the subtle stripes in the chest and the best part is it looks better on you than by itself. At least that's what they tell me ;)
2. Manchester City Away - This. Kit. Is. Awesome. The two-tone black with the touch of gold makes this kit a classic from Nike.
1. Chelsea Away - No hometown bias here. This kit is the classiest in the Premier League this season. In addition to being amazing on it's own, it is a throwback to the ones worn in 1961-62.
So there you have it y'all. Like the race for the top spot this season, this kit battle came down to Manchester City and Chelsea. You've seen my list, who made yours?
P.S. I couldn't let you guys go without more Kevin Stewart so here you go.