This evening, September 21st, sees the 224rd playing of the Derby della Madonnina, the clash between rivals AC Milan and Inter.
Both sides wear striped shirts, of course, red and black for Milan (i Rossoneri, ‘the red and blacks’) and blue and black for Inter (i Nerazzurri, which we’re sure you can work out).
While there have been rare occasions when one side has worn a change strip, like the 1977 Coppa Italia final, by and large both field in their usual shirts.
This season, Milan have white shorts and socks, meaning there is sufficient contrast between the first-choice outfits.
However, with rules nowadays on shorts and socks clashing, there have been quite a few different match-ups, which we shall look at here (we’ve put AC Milan on the left and Inter on the right, even though some were with Inter as the ‘home’ team, both side sharing the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza).
White/black v white/black
AC Milan’s classic look, but also used by Inter when they were first formed – this was how the first derby looked in 1908. Inter switched to black shorts in 1924.
White/black v black/black
This is the match-up with the greatest longevity, the kits shown here those which the clubs wore in 1970.
White/black v blue/blue
A notable departure by Inter, as they switched to blue shorts and socks in the early 1980s. Indeed, we could have had red shorts against blue shorts, but AC Milan abandoned a short-lived experiment just before the derby in 1982.
White/white v black/black
A more successful change by AC Milan as they opted for white socks in the late 1980s (just before the arrival of Ruud Gullit, who no doubt approved).
These kits are from 1990-91, which we regard as the best-ever kit season.
White/black v black/white
The 2002-03 season was historic, as the clubs clashed in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
AC Milan were back in black socks by now, while this season saw Nike, with whom Inter had joined forces in 1997, come up with blue socks which featured a large black stripe on the back. This was still considered enough to force a change.
White/white v black/blue
After a scoreless draw in the first leg, AC Milan’s ‘home’ game, the second leg was 1-1, meaning that the rossoneri advanced on away goals, despite both legs being played in the same stadium, and went on to take the trophy.
The perceived socks-clash meant another new kit match-up.
Black/white v white/hooped
To mark their centenary season in 2007-08, Inter returned to the original white shorts (while their change kit was the Crusader-style white shirt with a red cross, similar to that used by the combined Milan-Inter team in 1965).
It meant that AC Milan changed to black shorts and white socks when they ‘visited’ Inter in the league.
White/red v black/black
For the 2014-15 season, Milan had two shades of red stripes on their shirts and they combined dominate the socks. Meanwhile, Inter had a shirt that was very much black with blue pinstripes.
Black/black v white/white
This look was actually seen as far back as 2000-01, when Milan first went with black shorts and socks as a default, but the 2016-17 season, shown above, is worthy of comment.
Inter actually had yellow first-choice socks with their Nike Vapor kit, but opted against pairing them with white shorts in the derby and so wore their away socks too.
However, with AC Milan’s home shirts having solid black backs, this game came in for criticism due to confusion between the kits. When the sides next met, AC Milan wore all-white.