Ahead of any new season, transfers seem to take the headlines day-by-day. However, another important note for the calendar – particularly in modern football – is that of the unveiling of new kits.
There seems to be a general feeling that kit manufacturers are getting lazier – which, as you will see below, is true – yet there are some in the Championship which catch the eye.
So, let’s take a look at all 24 second-tier clubs’ home, away, and third (if applicable) contributions as the season gets underway this weekend.
1. Aston Villa
It is not very often brands from the mainstream fashion world successfully cross over to football, but British menswear outfitter, Luke 1997 have done just that with Aston Villa ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
Both home and away kits are synonymous with the history of the club, and they are well deserving of their high grade.
2. Birmingham City
Yeh, you know that adidas/Leicester City template post that is doing the rounds on social media? Well, swap it around, and you have Birmingham City’s new home kit.
Add to that the Blues’ away kit is yellow, and you have both an unimaginative and somewhat sickening pair of strips.
3. Blackburn Rovers
Manufacturers cannot really go wrong with Blackburn Rovers’ attire – half blue, half white – it is just the way it is, albeit this year is a sky blue offering.
But, again, their change jersey comes in a shade of yellow which belongs behind traffic cones on the motorway.
4. Bolton Wanderers
If you fancy paying £48 for a shirt which looks as though it belongs at home on a Sunday League pitch, the Bolton Wanderers’ new home kit is the one for you.
Fortunately for last year’s second-tier great escape artists, the black with red trim change shirt saves the overall rating.
The template kings, adidas, are at it again!
For Brentford’s instalment this year, it looks as though they have rejuvenated Sunderland’s home strip from a few years back and paired it with a similarly suspicious red trim.
Meanwhile, if you are fond of looking like a human-sized excrement, the away attire should float your boat.
6. Bristol City
Is that Middlesbrough, or Bristol City?
At least, for the away kit, there is a nice return to the retro robin of years gone by. Sleek and stylish – it should prove a hit.
As for the purple and lime green third kit, the less said about that the better.
7. Derby County
Derby Country fans have had it tough in recent years, especially towards the latter end of the campaigns when their side continue to fall short of promotion.
So, at least this year – when the Rams faithful are enduring yet another close season collapse – they will be able to witness their lineup doing so in style, with their classy pair of Umbro editions.
8. Hull City
A bit of a mixed bag for Hull City this year.
Stepping away from the usual in the home kit – some peculiar stripes going on there – the away number does at least make amends with its simple but eye-catching design.
9. Ipswich Town
Fair play to adidas (cannot believe I have just said that) for the work which has gone towards Ipswich Town’s home kit. The red tri-stripes on the shoulders alongside solid white arms sits well with the usual blue.
As for the away kit, however, does anyone have a pair of sunglasses?
Also, what is that sponsor all about? Points lost for that.
10. Leeds United
Have Kappa just reused last year’s home kit? Oh no, wait, they’ve changed the gold to blue. My bad.
As for the away kit, considering it is yet to be released, there is not much to say on the matter.
Hummel are fast becoming the go-to supplier for kits once again.
Similarly to Aston Villa, the different shading in stripes on Middlesbrough’s home jersey gives it a standout appeal. And while the away offering is not as memorable, it is still a solid number.
A blast from the past from Macron for Millwall’s home kit this year provides a nice sense of nostalgia, although whether that fully makes up for their lack of imagination overall is still up for debate.
The Lions’ away contribution this year is a winner, however, with the two-tone grey/black working well together.
13. Norwich City
I have already spoken of my grievances with the colour yellow, but considering Norwich City do not have much choice, I am willing to put that aside, for now.
On the whole, both the Canaries’ offerings are interesting – if nothing else – which is commendable, but they’re sure to split opinion on the terraces.
14. Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest also sport the retro-style collar Macron seem to be running with this year in their two-toned red home shirt – which altogether looks smart.
However, the Tricky Trees’ away number is where the serious brownie points are earned, with a classic white with red trim shirt, teamed with red shorts and and white socks makes for a good-looking kit all round.
15. Preston North End
Nike, similarly to adidas, seemingly have greater priorities when it comes to kit designs, with Preston North End’s templated edition basically that of Tottenham Hotspur’s and England’s.
They also must have run out of every ink colour aside from magenta in the copy room on publishing day, with the full dull orange away kit only worsened when teamed with the green third kit.
16. Queens Park Rangers
Not a lot changes year-by-year in the kit room at Queens Park Ranges, with the club’s nickname – the Hoops – somewhat difficult to deviate from.
The fresh red trim adds a touch more spice, meanwhile the pink and blue away kit goes to the other end of the scale, but they balance each other nicely.
A pretty standard Reading home kit in all honesty, although the collar adds a nice touch in comparison to offerings from seasons gone by.
On the change strip side of things, however, Puma’s nonsensical grey hexagon fade into black is simply horrendous.
18. Rotherham United
Rotherham United’s home shirt is very Arsenal-y, albeit a lot worse.
The two-tone stripes, unlike on some kits this season, make the home edition look cheap and bland, while the away number is not much better.
The third strip, however, is absolutely vile.
19. Sheffield United
In a somewhat controversial way, Sheffield United’s home kit is quite the looker. It is probably not what you would expect the Blades to be donning on a Saturday afternoon, yet the all-white back – which has come under serious criticism – does, at least, make it stand out from years gone by.
The away shirt is not too bad either, if you like lime green.
20. Sheffield Wednesday
A somewhat offensively dull home shirt from Sheffield Wednesday this year – although, it looks incredibly cheap.
The away strip, however, at least injects some life onto the scene, with the gold trim on the solid dark base working well together, as well as the eye-catching thin stripes. Very nice.
21. Stoke City
It’s a Stoke City home kit.
The purple away shirt is somewhat different, though. And the white trim certainly compliments the outlandish colour scheme.
Not a bad effort altogether, although, Macron could have added some finer detail to the first strip to make it a little less dull.
22. Swansea City
Despite what, at first glance, looks like your standard Swansea City home kit, the detailing on this year’s shirt makes it a solid edition.
The black trim and collar work well together, and the orange into grey fade in the change strip provides a sharp number. Altogether decent.
23. West Bromwich Albion
A welcomed return to the big stripes on West Bromwich Albion’s home kit offers a nice number, meanwhile the away shirt does not.
The third strip, however, is where it is at – with the electric blue into black fade and matching blue trim – including crest – looking sharp. If only the change kit was not so insulting.
24. Wigan Athletic
I wish I could say I have purposefully saved the worst until last, but it is completely coincidental that Wigan Athletic fall to the bottom of the table alphabetically as well as boast a horrendous home shirt.
If it was not for the random green lines, which add nothing but nausea to the first kit, it would not be too bad – as the away edition is pretty smart – for egg yolk yellow.