Did you know I was a kit nerd?
Okay, before we get started some usual disclaimers – I’ve used images without permission (sorry DCFC and Flagstar), I haven’t edited anything other than transparencies (and in one case made the Flagstar logo white as to stand out on a rouge kit). Hope you guys don’t mind. This is done completely on my own. To potential sponsors this is in no way an official thing, this is one fan’s ideas of the best looking kits.
Also this is going to become a “thing”. Each year, perhaps far enough ahead to actually influence decisions I will post the annual Kit Nerd (tagged “Kit Nerd” for search-ability) post, detailing my biased and subjective opinions on DCFC kits and what I personally want to see in the coming year. I will do my best to always back-up my arguments but realize that kits are subjective and since I am an admitted kit nerd/buyer that my opinions might not always be popular. I.e. – I would want to buy these kits, not just think they look good. These are the kind of kits I WANT in my closet costs be damned.
The other “thing” is that I’ve been keeping the kits up-to-date on the wikipage.
Next – some thoughts on last year’s designs with several months of hindsight. Last year’s designs were very over done. I was having a ton of fun with the cit customizer so I went ahead and just puked color over everything with the exception of the gold alternate kits. They look, in short, pretty bad. 90s bad. Actually, not that bad – but you know what I mean. They sort of remind me of training kits, which tend to be a bit more… busy.
Third order of business – thoughts on the actual kits from the 2015 season – I liked them. We stuck with Nike and some patterns have been emerging which I am going to work with here in the three new designs. First – we seem to have colors starting to lock down. Home – rouge, Away – white, Alt – black. That’s cool. I will note that there is a serious lack of gold in any of this, but I’m actually okay with that for the most part. Rouge, white, black is a great combination and one I am more than happy to work with.
Specifics regarding the kits: the home one was my least favorite – the white stripes didn’t “do it” for me, they just broke up the nice rougeyness of it all. I’m going to focus on bringing that back. The away kit was great, loved the decision to add the collar and despite being plain, they were classy as shit. The alternates were great as well. Simple black with white shorts.
Brand – Adidas (pron: AH-dee-dahs, not uh-DEE-dus)
Like last year I’m going to push for Adidas, which is my favorite kit-maker and has the best kit customizer by far. Seriously Nike, how hard is it to fucking get a kit customizer to work? Don’t make enough selling $5 sweat-shop shoes for $150? Pay someone to fix it.
I know this is unlikely. DCFC has used Nike every year thus far and it sounds like Detroit is getting its own Nike store, making purchasing all the easier. But I’m going to hold my ground – get Adidas and get the girl… or trophy… I don’t know just go with Adidas.
Kit Names – YES
Again, this is me spitting into hurricane force winds but I’d like to see kit names. The owners were very kind to explain why they didn’t have kit names: Nike essentially sends a box with a variety of sizes and numbers and that’s all the team gets for their own use. Some players do seem to have their own number (e.g. Edwardson with 18, Rogers with 6) but in general these need to be fluid to dress whoever is available.
Still, I’d love to see names so names are included in my kits. I am looking forward to a time when we can do this.
Sponsor – Flagstar
Last year I didn’t add a sponsor and gave some wishy-washy reasons as to why. Not this year. This year I’m buckling down and having an opinion. In 2015 DCFC had two main sponsors: our kit sponsor (Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers) and our soul sponsor (Flagstar). Both local, both big deals, but I honestly feel only one came to the table and that was Flagstar. From day one Flagstar seemed very interested in engaging DCFC and the Northern Guard. Yes I can be a cynic and say “of course that’s what a sponsor would do” but look at Metro Chevy – they didn’t seem to do anything but hand out tickets for the soccer camps, something Flagstar can easily do as well.
I felt that Flagstar REALLY wanted to be the kit sponsor but lost out in a bidding war or something. They made handkerchief, they helped bus kids in from the city to watch games, they engaged with the NGS and fans on twitter, the company seemed to really want to be there so I’m going to give them the kit spot for my 2016 kits. Good luck Flagstar, this Ford employee wishes you all the luck in the world.
The Home Kit – Rouge ’til I Die
The hoops WILL return, dammit. They will. It will happen and I will be super stoked.
Working off the issues I had with my designs last year, I’ve simplified the color scheme on this (and all) the kits. I’ve limited myself to two main colors on all the kits, with a third for accents – burgundy and red dominate with white for the Flagstar logo and numbering to stand out.
When I design these I both think about what will look good and if we were to move up what would not be stealing or competing with another team. For example, red and gold is out because A) DCFC hasn’t been emphasizing the gold aspect much and B) I don’t really want to compete with the Strikers and other Red/Gold primary teams.
Yes, most combinations have been taken. Black/Red is Atlanta and though those look great, I’m going to try to avoid it all and stick to Rouge. So everything is some variation of our beloved color except for the Flagstar logo, giving it great visibility while keeping the kit simple and clean.
I’ve definitely been obsessing over the details here, tweaking everything over and over, just to see little variations – mostly with the highlites, and using white for the Adidas logos and such. Perhaps I’ll post failed versions later, but there is little to look at.
Of course, here are some more views.
The Away Kit – The Collar Means Business
The brilliant white + collar returns. Again, trying to keep it nice and clear. I’m not a huge fan of plain white kits, but for some reason add the collar and suddenly it works! Add a DCFC logo and a a little bit of rouge and it is just WOW.
Last year I talked about a running element – something that would exist in all three kits – and that was the rouge/gold socks. Obviously here you can see that was abandoned. Socks are tailored to match the kit and here it is two colors – white and rouge.
As I said above, white seems to dominate our second kits, so instead of fighting that let’s embrace it. I’ve started to think of DCFC’s colors mostly as rouge and gold in name only, our logo shows one thing but the field shows another. While I don’t advocate changing the logo at all, I do think gold doesn’t work as well and can be harder to add to the kits. Do we use old gold or a darker yellow? Most companies are pretty limited here usually offering old gold, yellow, and something that belongs on a construction site – as compared to red where you usually have three real options or more (Red, maroon, burgundy, bright red &c).
In 2015 I believe the white kits used black numbering, I went with rouge here. I guess that is my theme this year – two colors a kit.
The other views:
The Alternative Kit – The Stealth Kit
I teased this on twitter before starting to write this as this was the first kit that really came together quickly.
Third kits are a chance to have fun, really do something different. Some teams do it well, some teams don’t. While I’ve always enjoyed the DCFC third kits I’ve had two main issues in the last two years. First, let’s wear them a bit more. Playoff games, friendlies are all good times to use the third. I get that we auction off the thirds during the selected charity match but… ugh… I want to see them more! Secondly, we’ve always used the white shorts with them, probably as a cost saver.
So with my design I’ve made two big departures from DCFC’s usual methods. First – instead of pairing black with white, I’ve paired it with rouge. I assume their use of white means they can grab shirts from the bargain bin at the Nike outlet by my house, but this is my blog so we get my kits. Second – the shorts are black too. Deal with it.
I’ve been calling this the “Stealth Kit”. It looks mean. It looks like a team that doesn’t fuck around. If this kit was released I’d probably end up divorced and the only thing I’d ask for is the fifty or sixty of these I bought stay with me.
Black has slowly been working its way into the DCFC phenotype. It is one of the main colors of the Northern Guard and so it is not surprising just as DCFC shapes us, we also shape DCFC. This sharing is epitomized right here in rouge and black.
The other views:
So there it is! Kit post 2016, hopefully early enough to turn some heads and maybe even affect some decisions.
Any and all comments and criticisms are welcome; twitter, reddit, or even here are all great places to hit me up with your own ideas. Here’s to a short off-season!