STYLE AND CULTURE
COOLEST PREMIER LEAGUE KITS 2017/18
By Sam Higgins, 13 August 2017
Almost as soon as it finished, the football season is upon us once again. First order of business: our annual review of the Premier League’s kit offerings. Last year we saw shirts that echoed nautical streetwear and 80s terracewear, so join us as we see what potentially inspired this year’s best designs.
Kit: Chelsea (Home)
If manager Antonio Conte was at all superstitious, he would have been begging the kit men to keep last year’s league-winning 80s throwback shirt for at least another season. But instead, this season, Chelsea have kept things simple and fuss-free to let the football do the talking.
Key trend reference: Dadcore
In its understated grace, the classic royal blue hue and minimalist graphics echo the dadcore vibe we saw in Balenciaga’s AW17 ode to US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ merch. Though that wasn’t a campaign-winning kit, Cahill and co will be hoping they have better luck.
Kit: Huddersfield Town (Away)
In the early 90s, a group of young people came together in a field in Yorkshire to express themselves and their culture. They dressed in garish, clashing colours, moved their bodies in strange, frenetic ways, and rejected mainstream society in favour of a passionate, tribal outsider status. But then, you know what they say, if you can remember the 1991/92 Huddersfield Town third division campaign, you weren’t really there. Luckily, 25 years on, the Terriers have recreated their rave-ready away kit of the era with electric-shock graphics and bold, industrial colour schemes.
Key trend reference: 90s rave
Retro-rave colours and shapes were everywhere on the SS17 catwalks – from Christopher Kane’s oversized slogan tees to Christopher Shannon’s baggy stonewash denim. New York label Gypsy Sport mixed oversized 90s sportswear shapes with the sort of poster-paint hues and psychedelic graphics that graced illegal warehouse parties and lower division football grounds of the era.
Kit: Man City (Away)
Much like the Chelsea blue, Man City’s regal hue is the talking point of their new away strip, as the designers have refrained from overcomplicating things with garish graphics or conspicuous detailing. We’re not sure what dominates the speakers in the City dressing room, but this kit just screams Purple Rain.
Key trend reference: One-colour wonders
An inventive choice, as you’d expect from any team with Guardiola at the helm, but it’s a colourway that dominated the catwalks of the AW17 shows, with many – like Versace's one-colour-wonder of an ensemble – paying sartorial homage to the late, great Prince.
Kit: Stoke City (Away)
Stoke City’s away and third tops both feature riffs on the classic early 80s polo shirt, with a slim collar, horizontal chest stripe, and graduated line detailing. The blue away version is the pick of the pair, looking more suited to a spot of sun-baked clay court tennis than a rainy Tuesday night at the Britannia.
Key trend: Contemporary 80s
Contemporary takes on early 80s casual cuts have been a staple of the past couple of fashion seasons. Oliver Spencer, for instance, added a subtle retro touch to his SS18 coach jackets via a tonal horizontal stripe – a neat nod rather than full Ford Cortina cosplay.
Kit: West Bromwich Albion (Away)
West Brom’s away shirt for the coming season is like a typical Tony Pulis outfit: no nonsense overall and sees most of the action in the corners – or sleeves in this case.
Key trend reference: 90s sportswear
However, its stark white, black and red palette and large typography is something that Russian designer Gosha Rubchinkskiy honed in on last year with his vast collaborative revival of neglected 90s sports brands. So, naturally, we’re really into it.