What Apparel Design Lessons Can We Learn From the NFL's All-Time Worst Uniforms List?
Pro sports uniforms are a tricky business. Design the right one, and fans will buy them up. Create something a little more polarizing and sports enthusiasts will tear you to shreds on the internet, at the very least. Successful uniforms are definitely a good lesson in branding for promotional apparel, but unsuccessful uniforms might be even better.
So, when USA Today compiled a list of the worst NFL uniforms of all time, we decided to take a look at what made these uniforms epic failures, and how that can inform your promotional apparel.
Keep reading for our three design lessons from the ugliest NFL uniforms ever.
1. Keep it simple
Especially in the case of team uniforms, there's no need to get fancy. Team colors and a few embellishments can go a long way, and deviating from that formula to incorporate trendy elements can do more harm than good and make things look busy. This is a lesson the Minnesota Vikings learned with their fashion-forward 2006 to 2012 uniforms.
2. There is such a thing as too much neon
What's up with the Seattle Seahawks ugly neon green long john underwear...🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/c5H7hlvvRO
— Gary Nolt (@NoltG) November 10, 2017
Yes, neon is currently a trending color in retail, but it should probably be used sparingly—a backup, not a starter, so to speak. Eye-catching is good, but you can definitely have too much of a good thing. And, for uniforms in particular, it doesn't exactly conjure up feelings of cohesion and professionalism, both on and off the field. The Seattle Seahawks went this route for their Color Rush uniform, and fans weren't exactly on board.
3. Beware vertical stripes (especially in socks)
The Denver Broncos proved with their AFL throwback jerseys that a vertical striped sock is not a great look for a uniform. Now we can't say the design will never work in the promotional apparel world, but it's probably a safe bet to go another route with your sock routine (especially since promotional socks are such a hot commodity).