Experts from across the fashion business . . determine the best and worst home uniforms.

Submitted by m1817 on December 22nd, 2011 at 11:45 PM

The Wall Street Journal convened a panel of eight experts from across the fashion business . . to evaluate the primary home uniforms . . and determine the best and worst.

Michigan: Of all the traditional uniforms, the Wolverines' maize-and-blue unis earned the highest marks from the panel.  

American fashion designer Marc Ecko especially liked the color weight on the jersey, while graphic artist Josh Vanover praised the "bold, bright colors" and "clean" fonts.

But what really pushed Michigan to the top was its iconic winged helmet, which received near-universal praise for its creativity.

"Anyone that uses it, no matter what color you put it in, it's Michigan," said Anthony Coleman, the managing editor of the fashion and street culture blog SlamxHype. "You can use it, but realize that you're stealing from Michigan."




December 23rd, 2011 at 12:52 AM ^

I'm surprised. As fashion's value is little more than what its audience says it is, I defer to the wisdom of the crowd. But I do say that with some disappointment. What is college football missing without Maryland's old uniforms? When one's combo is dime a dozen isn't it preferrable to have a scuffed penny? A truly creative endeavor always has the potential to hit or miss, but personally I prefer taking the bad with the good than to see no effort.


December 22nd, 2011 at 11:55 PM ^

I don't agree with all of the expert conclusions. (Uh, Maryland?) However, this is always a fun topic for debate, and hey, they picked the good guys on top . . . .


December 23rd, 2011 at 12:04 AM ^

I definitely agree with you. Some of their decisions are suspect. I consider Oregon and Maryland to be the "out there" uniforms. Oregon actuallly has good execution, which Maryland clearly doesn't have. Some of their negative reviews are interesting. UCLA's uniforms are classic.

Doc Brown

December 23rd, 2011 at 12:00 AM ^

Well this quote is a bit disingenuous, "You can use it, but realize that you're stealing from Michigan," considering Crisler brought our helmet design from Princeton.


December 23rd, 2011 at 3:15 AM ^

it was also his idea at Princeton and they discontinued the winged helmet the first year after he left. (They revived/reclaimed it again in 1998 (per "Helmet Project") presumably based on the reputation it has acquired at M.)

MSU apparently used a gold-and-black version of the same thing in the '30's, back when the wings were a part of the physical structure of the leather helmet. I think M was the only one to retain it after the switch to plastic helmets.


December 23rd, 2011 at 12:05 PM ^

As far as I know the only prior usage of the wing+3 stripes motif was at Indiana in 1933-34.

That's recognizable.

If the point of the helmet was to help the quarterback locate his receivers, painting the front panel alone wouldn't be much help. The quarterback wouldn't be able to see it until the receiver turned.


December 23rd, 2011 at 12:02 AM ^

Glad they like the unis but...
<br>"[Maryland's unis] are provocative and they should be."
<br>I can't really disagree more with that statement than I already do.

oriental andrew

December 23rd, 2011 at 1:21 AM ^

That statement is absolutely true.  It provokes strong feelings, both positive and negative.  Some people obviously feel that fashion should make a statement, whether people like/understand it or not.  Also, a little disingenuous to leave out the first part of his statement.

 "And whether you like it or not, it's provocative, and uniforms should be just that."


December 23rd, 2011 at 8:41 AM ^

I was typing on an iphone so I had to try and remember off the top of my head.  The misquote is my bad, and I probably should have tried to use the copy and paste.  Either way, I still disagree.

Some people feel that team uniforms shouldn't be there to make a statement or be provocative, and I am one of them.  I want to like and identify with the team I'm watching, especially when it comes to Michigan football given the history involved. 


December 23rd, 2011 at 12:54 AM ^

If I were a fantastically talented high school football player I would take the recruiting cognesceti for a ride in publicly maintaining the only criterion I would use in picking a school would be their uniforms. I'd comically commit to Ohio fairly early and on signing day mail my fax in to Michigan. 


December 23rd, 2011 at 1:34 AM ^

(1. Michigan, honestly the best)

2. Alabama/Oklahoma

3. Penn State

4. Texas (Best road unis)

5. MSU (NOT pro combat)

6. Wisco/ND

Obviously, I like a simple, clean look.  The "experts" in the article referred to this as "boring".


December 23rd, 2011 at 2:34 AM ^

1.Michigan          alternates 1. Oklahoma 

2.UNC                                   2. Colorado

3.Iowa                                  3. (Name redacted)

4.Miami                                 4. Maybe Wyoming

5.Illinois                                5. Texas' & MSU's all whites       

I agree about the all whites of Texas and Sparty away. The all white is a good look. I'll throw in Iowa with the Black, Yellow and White, and the classic logo. UNC has good new uniforms with the white, sky blue, and dark blue. Good classic bold helmet logo, also gunmetal/carbon fiber helmets looked great for them. I like Illinois uniforms more than the similar blue shirt, orange/white of Syracuse and I guess it's because of the white facemasks Illinois has and the Wheaties box logo on the helmets. Miami, as much as I hate to admit it, is growing on me. The white/orange/green is unique, and with enough of the white the color clash looks pretty good. Every SEC uniform is junk to me. They're either too gaudy, or too plain. Kentucky or Tennessee would look better with a third color. No good college team has the iconic Rams horn helmets (Colorado State sorta does) and that's the second most copied by high school teams (first is the winged helmet of Michigan.) Sometimes I like Wyomings unis, sometimes I dont. Needs more white, but nice helmets.


December 23rd, 2011 at 8:54 AM ^

And then in no order, the tradition of Penn State and Notre Dame, with my unique look one I've always liked, the pre-Nike Combat Virginia traditional uni's.

For those who don't remember, here's who was in ESPN's all uniform Bracket-

The winner (of course)-

And the sorrdid details-





December 23rd, 2011 at 11:38 PM ^

They have a good point about the font of our numbers.  We don't fuck with it, it's clean and simple.  That is an underrated part of the classic look of our unis.