Chelsea’s contrasting fortunes

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Something I like is when a club has durable kit traditions, though in the modern world even the most closely held philosophies can be eroded, for example Arsenal’s sleeve-length uniformity.

Of course, the Gunners are renowned for having white contrasting sleeves on red-bodied shirts and we would like if such a design was applied more to their change kits, especially given that one of the club’s most memorable occasions, the 1989 title win at Anfield, came wearing navy-sleeved yellow shirts.

When a team’s home look is so distinctive, it makes sense to transfer that to change kits, such as Ajax’s first couple of adidas away strips, which had large central stripes, or Queens Park Rangers’ Dryworld set of outfits.

Chelsea’s home kit is notable for the inclusion of contrasting white socks with the blue shirts and shorts, first seen in the 1964-65 season and reinstated in 1992-93. And, since they switched from adidas to Nike in 2017-18, all but one of their kits has had different-coloured socks to the jersey and shorts, with the third kit from that first season the exception.

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

5 comments on “Chelsea’s contrasting fortunes

  1. Nik Yeomans

    I am not a fan of contrasting socks with Chelsea away kits, and in nearly all the above cases they were also worn with same colour socks rather than the contrasting ones. For white sock clashes I would like to see them go “traditional”, wearing the blue shirt with white shorts and black socks with a blue and white turnover. Alternatively I would like to see yellow as the default change socks rather than blue as a plain blue kit always has a “school team” look to it.

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  2. Discodavid26

    Nik I half agree with you ………even/especially in years when Chelsea’s away kit is the exact reverse of the home colours…… while unlike you I have no problem 3/4s of the time off them having different sock colours with away and 3rd kits……and I’m ok with them in certain games off wearing all blue/all white or all yellow away from home ……but like you as a spurs fan I’m amazed they/Adidas/Nike don’t/didn’t take the opportunity of the at least once annual visit To W.H.L (in years when spurs home kit is navy shorts with white shirts and socks) to don a “mashup” kit off a home blue shirt a white away short and all black socks that can be from either a 3rd kit or goalies kit for all the outfield players for the old school traditional look or they could even be a “bespoke” alternate pair like you said with the blue and white turnovers … for a nfl style 1/2 times a year “throwback” look……… and that can be doubled in seasons like this one when their west London rivals Fulham are also in the premier league!

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  3. Discodavid26

    Also Denis I think we all agree that arsenal away yellow kits are just better looking with navy sleeves…… I’m just guessing that last season with a all navy 3rd shirt that could be mixed and matched with the away kit it made sense to keep yellow sleeves … I do wonder why though over all the years there have been more all yellow shirts then the classic “89” look though? ……is it because the all yellow shirts have a longer history?…… is it so kit manufacturers can have/release more normal blue shorts instead of navy?…… I’m wondering if it’s Everton’s fault l.o.l eg…blue shirts white shorts team(s)…… as arsenal will normally change away from home in the event of a white shorts clash (I’m in agreement with this) and I’m thinking maybe the officials don’t like the partial sleeve clash………but then if that was true why do the officials have no issues with the biggest exact sleeve clash every season which is spurs vs arsenal in their red and white home kits! Also leaving the yellow away kits aside for a minute I agree with your general point and am surprised there’s never been an single arsenal green/grey/blue goalkeeper shirt released with black sleeves and shorts over the years? To cement the “arsenal” look? Remember one off the worst Croatia kits ever (World Cup 1998) at least had the redeeming feature of checkered 2 colours goalies tops/kits to go with it in the same identical fashion.

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  4. Discodavid26

    Sorry to keep rabbit-tin on but also realised this seasons Chelsea 3rd kit (the Crystal Palace-esque one) shirt also has a touch of the Republic of Ireland away/change World Cup 1994 look about it!

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    1. Nik Yeomans

      A very good reason to like it. I quite like the shirt and feel it would have worked better with white shorts and then the white socks wouldn’t have looked so odd as against West Brom.

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