The Premier League has gifted us some sublime kits during its 30-plus years of existence.
Cool, stylish, under-stated. The perfect marriage of fashion and football that you’d be proud to wear down the pub.
Sadly, there have also been some abominations too, eye-sores that should have been strangled at the first draft. These five still give us nightmares in the dead of night.
5) Chelsea (2007/08, away)
Should a five-year-old be in possession of a t-shirt and black stickers and endeavours to make a superhero costume, the resulting disappointment would look something like this.
A neon monstrosity with nonsensical swooshes down the sides, along with a central placement of the manufacturer which throws everything ‘off’, there is nothing to like about this rush-job.
That Chelsea reached the Champions League semi-finals despite being weighed down by its awfulness reveals that success and aesthetics are not necessarily exclusive.
4) Manchester City (2021/22, third kit)
For most of the season, Kevin De Bruyne was a short-priced favourite in the Premier League Player of the Year odds, an award he eventually won at a cantor.
Across the campaign, City’s conductor-in-chief was simply on another level to everyone else. A Ginger Prince amongst men.
That the brilliant Belgian played out some of his majestic football while wearing what resembled a cheap knock-off from a market stall just felt wrong. Like Rachmaninoff approaching his piano adorned in sweatpants.
Puma thought it daring to omit the club badge. For shame. For shame.
3) Chelsea (1994/95, away)
Chelsea’s second sartorial blunder continues to confound nearly three decades after it escaped from a circus and somehow found its way onto the Stamford Bridge pitch.
Random blocks of blue, white, orange and grey seemingly took its inspiration from a psychopaths mood-board and perhaps its sole positive lies in its historical value.
After Britpop, Grunge, and Glenn Hoddle playing sweeper like a don, here was empirical evidence that the Nineties had started to spectacularly lose its way.
2) Norwich City (1992/93, home)
The Canaries made a mockery of the football odds in this infamous shirt, beating Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup, before giving Inter the scare of their lives.
What probably also gave the Italian palpitations, besides the closeness of the eventual result, was coming up against ten outfield players bedecked in kits that brought to mind the bottom of a birdcage. Or sick.
If we’re ignoring all decorum, it really looked like the players had eaten too much mustard and custard and barfed in the tunnel.
1) Nottingham Forest (1995/96, away)
It requires a very special form of artistic lunacy to be considered a worse effort than Norwich’s speckled shocker but somehow Umbro managed to lower the bar further still two years later.
Perhaps the most accurate way to describe Forest’s descent into design hell – that was reluctantly worn by such Premier League heavyweights as Steve Chettle and Erling’s dad Alfie – is to recall those exasperating moments when a pen stops working, but you see ink is still in the chamber.
So you angrily scrawl in madcap fashion across a blank piece of paper to get it going again.
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to AP Photo*