“You can please some of the people all of the time; you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”
The above quote perfectly sums up the predicament kit manufacturers face.
While you cannot go too wrong with Liverpool’s traditional red home shirt, the club’s away and third strips have varied from the sublime to the ridiculous.
So, to mark John Greenough receiving the patent for the first sewing machine back on February 21, 1842, Bleacher Report has compiled a list of Liverpool’s finest change kits during the Premier League era.
We’ve ranked the top 10 in terms of both how they look and also taken into account what the players achieved while wearing them.
Of course, this is all a matter of opinion. Fashion is all about personal taste—feel free to pick your favourite with the aid of Historical Kits.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Before the countdown begins, it feels right to remember some of the less-than-impressive shirts Liverpool have worn during the Premier League years.
Have you ever noticed how many different names there are for the many, many (slightly) different shades of cream paint? Bone. Eggshell. Elephant breath. Ivory. Morning light. Mushroom. The list goes on.
Liverpool’s away shirt in the 1996/97 campaign was a version of cream called ecru, apparently. Whatever it was, Reebok’s first effort at a change strip left an awful lot to be desired.
However, it is not alone in Liverpool’s wardrobe of fashion disasters.
Remember the green away shirt from 1999/2000? The main issue was the choice of colour. The green used blended in with the playing surface, as if camouflage would somehow help the team prosper.
There was a diagonal dark navy-and-white stripe and dark navy shorts, even though everyone knows blue and green should never be seen together because they sit next to each other on the colour wheel (yes, I Googled it).
As for the 2000/01 away shirt, it made Liverpool look more like Bolton Wanderers. The 1995/96 version of the same kit, meanwhile, saw Adidas strangely go for green-and-white quarters.
And what about the fluorescent yellow trim on the 2012/13 third kit? That was odd but not as odd as the white replacement the following season that, for some strange reason, contained a lot of light blue.
Warrior designed some recent atrocities, too, but we’ll discuss those in greater detail later on.
2. 1992/93 Away Kit
Green kits don’t always work, but there’s a charm to Liverpool’s away kit from the 1992/93 season.
Back in 1992, teams didn’t change designs every season. So, for the start of the newly formed Premier League, the Reds were once again decked out in green on their travels.
There was also another reason behind keeping the shirt for a second successive campaign. Liverpool were formed on March 15, 1892, so the club were celebrating their centenary year.
The main sponsor did change, though, as this was the first year of a long and profitable relationship with Carlsberg.
Liverpool wore this number in the first top-flight game televised by Sky. They lost on that momentous Sunday afternoon, going down to a Teddy Sheringham stunner at Nottingham Forest.
The early loss was a pointer of what was to come, too, despite the arrival of new faces Torben Piechnik and Paul Stewart. Graeme Souness’ side needed a late surge just to finish in sixth place.
Still, their troubles weren’t because of their strips. While more memorable when Candy was emblazoned across the front, Adidas’ simplistic, three-stripe design will hold fond memories for some Liverpool fans.
1. 2008/09 Away Kit
A glorious throwback to the club’s forever-fashionable away kits of the late 1980s and early 1990s (when Crown Paints and Candy were sponsors), Liverpool’s away shirt for the 2008/09 season was a thing of beauty.
The chequered pattern of different greys on the chest made sure it wasn’t a dreary number, while Adidas added a thick red edge around the collar to go with the thin three stripes down the sleeves, shorts and socks.
Perhaps the manufacturers could also have considered putting the sponsors’ name in red lettering, too, but that’s splitting hairs.
The design holds special memories of one certain away day, as Rafa Benitez’s assassins were dressed in grey when they shot down Manchester United at Old Trafford in March 2009.
Who will forget Andrea Dossena running through to clinically lob Edwin van der Sar and complete the 4-1 rout in injury time? Good times.
With Gerrard at his peak and Torres firing in the goals, the 2008/09 season should have seen Liverpool crowned champions. Instead, those pesky Red Devils pipped Benitez’s boys at the post.
Still, when they’re not wearing red, Liverpool’s players look great in grey.