Football stands out in the sports jersey world because teams change their kits every season. Each year, we’re presented with two or even three new looks that we inevitably compare to those from previous seasons and usually end up buying anyway, regardless of the result of that comparison. The patterns vary, the colors can change, but the best kits are those that despite the variations, when you see them, you know unequivocally which club’s shirt you’re looking at.
Arsenal have had some fantastic kits through the years (and some not so great ones as well). This week, we’re going to be examining “the jersey” from all different angles and with a bunch of different themes, all through the Arsenal lens. We hope you enjoy it!
It’s Jersey Week here at SB Nation! All week, across the network, our brother and sister blogs will be turning out jersey-related content. We’ve got some fun stuff in store for you here at TSF, and I’d encourage you to check out the stuff the other blogs are doing too!
Aaron - ‘91-’93 yellow a.k.a The Bruised Banana
When Arsenal announced the current yellows with their callback to the original bruised banana kit, the club described the retro jerseys as “one of the most iconic and recognizable shirts in world football.” They hit the nail on the head and put together a sweet video to boot.
The yellow and black of the bruised banana stands out in a crowd. The slicing triangles boldly proclaim, “look at me, I’m doing my thing, and I don’t care what you think.” It’s garish; it’s borderline-obnoxious; and nobody is sure whether it’s ugly or beautiful, which enhances the overall effect.
Jerseys are often things you can only wear to the match or to the pub. The bruised banana transcends that; it can stand alone as the feature piece of any outfit and create a vintage look. It’s the perfect kit and is thoroughly Arsenal.
Tony - 05/06 Highbury Kit
For my pick, I went with one of Arsenal’s most iconic and unique kits of all time - the Highbury kit.
This may come as a shock to most, but besides being a massive Arsenal fan, I am also a massive Florida State Seminoles fan (and alumnus twice over, to boot). With the Seminoles traditional colors being garnet and gold, this redcurrant kit with gold accents really kills two birds with one stone for me, aesthetically.
Stylistically, collars are my kryptonite. Collars on kits just hit me in a different way, which is why I was also a fan of the 2017/18 Puma kits. I don’t know if it’s the traditional look of them, but I feel like kits are almost always better with collars.
The historical aspect of this kit is also a big appeal. Worn during the club’s last season at Highbury before the move to the Emirates stadium, this kit payed homage to Arsenal’s historic grounds. Arsenal wore this kit in the ill-fated Champions League final against Barcelona, the only CL final for the Gunners. The 06/07 season was also the last season at Arsenal for Invincibles Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp, and Sol Campbell. The Highbury kit represented the end of an era, one that has yet to be recaptured since.
Nathan - 14/15 Home Kit
I started following Arsenal in full during the 2006-07 season, so that limits me to the Fly Emirates era. Over the last decade the primary kits haven’t changed much, but I prefer the red and white striped socks and the design of the 2014-15 season. The club won the FA Cup that season, finished third in the Premier League and was in full swing of the Sanchez-Ozil-Giroud era. Of the away kits, the 2016-17 blue and gold kit is probably my favorite from an appearance standpoint, but I have an affinity for the 2012-13 purple and black stripe kit as it was the first away jersey I got for Arsenal and it fits perfectly.
Michael - 10/11 Home kit
I’m a traditionalist and a long sleeve kit fanatic. Cuffs make or break long sleeve kits in my humble opinion. This 2010/11 home kit is the quintessential Arsenal kit - Red shirt? Check. White sleeves? Check. I love the the white sleeves actually start on the sleeves and don’t run to the neckline, the white collar is simple, yet elegant touch on this kit. It is everything that comes to mind for your mental image of ‘Arsenal kit’, therefore it gets my vote. Unfortunately I have a Nasri #8 lying around my parent’s place somewhere so its off to eBay I go to find a more desirable player on the back of this kit for me to wear to the pub.