A snazzy football kit is up there with some of life’s most important aspects.
Festivals, the pub, a wedding – there’s always room to show off and flaunt an iconic football top. The Premier League has given us some of the most memorable moments in modern football, and delivered some top draw kits in doing so.
Taste is subjective and so 30 probably isn’t enough, but 90min has compiled the following list of the greatest Premier League kits ever. Now is probably the time to hide your bank card.
30. Leeds United (2020/21)
A controversially new entry sneaks in at number 30.
Leeds returned to the Premier League after a 16-year absence with a seriously smart away kit. Stripes are cool, the colours stand out and it’s completed with the perfect collar for a modern yet retro feel.
29. Liverpool (2019/20)
A pandemic might’ve interrupted their maiden Premier League title, but Liverpool still finished top of the mountain in style.
New Balance’s final offering as kit supplier was a strong one, with the thin white pinstripes giving the kit a detailed and vintage finish.
28. Nottingham Forest (1994/96)
Baggy as anything, a massive collar and three colours that work tremendously well together.
It was a simple formula for success in the nineties and Nottingham Forest ticked all the boxes with their home shirt from 1994 to 1996, as they finished third in the top flight in 1994/95.
27. Crystal Palace (1997/98)
Okay, yes, it is just the exact same template used by Bayern Munich from around the same time. It’s still magnificent, though.
The Eagles weren’t to be mistaken for Bayern as they finished last in the Premier League, but they did so with a swagger about them at least.
26. Wigan (2005/06)
The Latics debuted in the English top flight with a bang, finishing tenth and reaching the League Cup final.
They did that in a proper groovy kit, too. Pascal Chimbonda balled out in the effort from JJB which combined stripes with a solid blue section in the upper chest.
25. Chelsea (2003/05)
Generally, v-necks aren’t cool. Like, at all.
On occasion, though, they get a slight pass in football. Chelsea’s home effort from 2003 to 2005 was simple yet stunning and made the v-neck look like a million dollars.
24. Manchester United (1994/95)
It’s a little bit marmite, this one. And very nineties.
That massive black collar is incredible, but the Old Trafford graphic embedded into the front of the shirt is rather unique to say the least. Eric Cantona looking ace in it earns it a spot in the top 30.
23. Southampton (2001/03)
James Beattie bagged goals for fun back when Southampton were solid mid-table competition in a superb home kit from 2001 to 2003.
Stripes are a cheat code for success. The sponsor also matches colours with finer kit details, and the v-neck is subtle yet effective. Good work.
22. Manchester City (2011/12)
One that flies under the radar, Manchester City’s home kit steals memories of the 2011/12 season for obvious Sergio Aguero reasons.
But their away kit was slyly the much classier option. A hark back to their history, Umbro reeled out the red and black stripes and set them off with yellow accents to create a modern classic.
21. Manchester City (2009/10)
Going back to back, City’s home effort from a couple of seasons prior pips a solid away kit.
Umbro set the bar high with their debut, going back to basics with City’s home kit but doing so effectively. No nonsense and a reminder of how good a kit can be without overcomplicating it with silly graphics.
20. Manchester United (2002/04)
Think of this kit and the first thing that comes to mind is Ruud van Nistelrooy destroying defences with unmatched penalty box instinct.
That early 2000s Nike kit template was so simple yet deadly. Red and black with a touch of white, United looked mean.
19. Liverpool (2004/05)
Reebok ran the streets in the 2000s and had Liverpool looking incredible.
Their 2004/05 home shirt didn’t overcomplicate matters, but the touch of white under the arms and the ever-iconic Carlsberg sponsor saw the Reds win the Champions League in style.
18. Arsenal (1993/94)
No, not marmite – bananas.
Following on from that beautifully bonkers away shirt from 1991 to 1993, adidas kitted out Arsenal in another away shirt for the 93/94 season that got the absolute best out of the template. We should all be wearing this to festivals.
17. Blackburn (1994/95)
Blackburn’s first and only Premier League title was won in a solid kit for the era.
Nostalgia is kind and glosses over some ropey McEwan’s Lager sponsor design, but Asics’ half/half design and tremendous button-up collar deserves credit.
16. Chelsea (2005/06)
Having turned the Barclays on its head the season prior, a Chelsea side led by a young and villainous Jose Mourinho went back-to-back for league titles.
They did it in a modernised classic. Traditional Chelsea blue was tinged with gold elements and completed with a modern-looking Samsung sponsor in a well balanced effort from Umbro.
15. Manchester United (2007/09)
United dominated the Premier League with arguably their strongest ever squad in the late 2000s and won the club’s third Champions League final.
Nike decked them out in one of their most underrated kits. Pure red with white detailing, as Cristiano Ronaldo blew up in the AIG sponsored effort. Bonus points for keeping it for two seasons, too.
14. Arsenal (2002/04)
Back at it with that Nike template, Arsenal’s sleeves add an extra layer to the design as Thierry Henry bagged goals for fun in the home shirt.
Simplistic but true, it’s Arsenal at its best. They also went like unbeaten in the Premier League in it, or something like that.
13. Leeds United (2000/02)
Nike were really good in the early 2000s, weren’t they?
Mark Viduka and Alan Smith were firing Leeds well into the European depths in a pure white shirt that was stunning. A Strongbow shirt sponsor in the Champions League semi-final? More of that, please.
12. West Ham (1999/01)
It’s difficult for West Ham to do much in terms of making different yet equally brilliant kits with claret and blue as the main focus.
They nailed it on the turn of the millennium though. Made by FILA and sponsored by Dr. Martens, Paolo Di Canio had a blast in this tasty number. Every hipster’s dream shirt.
11. Coventry (1996/97)
Some poorly executed sponsor logo work holds this one back from breaking into the top ten.
A questionable Peugeot logo doesn’t derail from an exceptional effort from Le Coq Sportif, though. Light and dark blue stripes are completed with a massive collar (of course) and some interesting checkers at the end of the sleeves.
10. Liverpool (2008/09)
This is everything an away kit should be.
Subtle use of home colours, a touch adventurous in design with the faint, checked print on the front and a solid sponsor to finish. Better yet, Liverpool’s away kit that season was worn when Fernando Torres ripped Manchester United a new one at Old Trafford.
9. Ipswich (1993/94)
That slanted sponsor feels so wrong that it becomes so right.
Combined with white sleeves, a vintage badge and a lace-up (yes, actual lace-up) collar, this Ipswich number was far too good to see them finish 19th. Long-sleeve shirt gets bonus points.
8. Manchester United (1993/95)
An away kit for two seasons. That is a rarity.
When it’s as good as this, though, you can understand why. United‘s black number from the early Premier League days has only gotten better with age. Combining it with yellow and blue accents worked a treat.
7. Arsenal (2005/06)
Arsenal’s home kit from 2005/06 breaks every rule of home shirts, but does it beautifully.
A maroon and gold effort to close off their final season at Highbury, we really shouldn’t like this kit. But truthfully, it’s an absolute hit.
6. Newcastle (1995/96)
There’s a case to suggest that nostalgia is putting nineties kits at an advantage in this list.
They are at an advantage, but simply because they were incredible. Newcastle played away from home in an audacious yet equally as groovy number. Horizontal stripes, incredible sponsor and an unnecessary collar that looks absolutely boss.
5. Manchester City (1993/95)
Umbro hit the nail on the head with this one.
City languished in the Premier League, but did so in a kit that remains one of their best ever. A sky blue effort with a subtle collar and detailing on the sleeves, it quickly gained cult status outside of football with the Gallagher brothers wearing them.
4. Tottenham (1999/01)
A little more conservative in their approach by this point, adidas still decked out Tottenham in a stunning shirt.
The collar is huge and very nineties, but the piping and minimalism was perhaps a touch ahead of its time to be appreciated enough. Combine it with a superb Holsten sponsor and David Ginola looking handsome, and it becomes a top draw effort.
3. Liverpool (1993/94)
Oh my word. Look at it.
Daft neckline, absurd stripes all around and an overly baggy fit as Liverpool took to the pitch in their adidas EQT-themed home kit that was red, white and a touch green. It’s absolutely magnificent and deserves respect from non-Liverpool fans worldwide.
2. Manchester United (1998/99)
Overshadowed by their European home kit that season, United’s domestic home kit is nothing short of exceptional.
The Sharp sponsor and Umbro arm detailing work a treat together, while a zip-up collar was strange yet stunning. It combines simplicity with the perfect level of complexity to create a perfectly balanced kit.
1. Newcastle (1995/97)
Daft adidas stripes on the arms, an arrogant button-up round neck and that Newcastle Brown Ale sponsor, Newcastle hold the crown of the greatest Premier League kit ever.
Failing to win the league in this kit should’ve seen it shunted to the hall of shame, but it’s far too good for that. Neutrals everywhere can appreciate its beauty, as can Manchester United fans having managed to snatch the Premier League away from them.