Arctic blue millennial swagger is how Chelsea describe their new away kit and though it may sound gimmicky, it points to a fresher, more vibrant approach that is evident in the shirt itself.
Whilst black, white and yellow have been predominant in the last decade, the 2012 strip featured a sash with a variation of this arctic blue, as did the third kit in 2018/2019. The most notable outing for this colour though came in 2005/06 when current manager Frank Lampard top-scored for the Blues as he led their charge to securing their second consecutive Premier League title under Jose Mourinho.
Despite this precedent, however, Nike have completely refreshed the format, as per the home shirt, with the herringbone pattern, this time with greater prominence as darker shades lift the pattern out to brilliant effect.
Like the home strip, this kit uses a darker blue on the sleeve cuffs, neckline and strips down the body, which both serve to break up the design and to connect the Nike swoosh and club badge. The strips also feature a slogan, boasting The Pride of London, and although other London clubs will naturally refute this, the print is subtle enough not to be cocky but visible enough to be self-assured.
As usual, the sticking point comes down to the sponsors, which, although incorporated nicely into the colourway, in both the main sponsor 3 and Hyundai on the sleeve, feel particularly overbearing and boorish against the modest, stylish herringbone design. The neckline on the back is also somewhat bizarre. But the strong aesthetic largely succeeds in styming these flaws.
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The release of Southampton's 2023 home shirt was more than 2 years in the making. Since the announcement of the club's return to hummel in 2021, a remake of The Saints iconic 1987-1989 home was on the cards.
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