Defending Premier League champion Manchester United and fellow title contender Chelsea both revealed new kits ahead of the 2013-14 campaign. United debuted new away attire while the Blues showed off their latest third kit.
The Red Devils' new away jersey features a unique checkered look with the United logo still featuring prominently thanks to the contrast set up by the dark navy base. The shorts and socks are also navy, creating a streamlined look.
In the announcement unveiling the new design, the club stated on its official site that the checkered style is a throwback to Manchester's past.
The shirt's large black and midnight navy gingham checks represent Manchester's proud industrial past when the check was produced in the city’s booming cotton mills in the 18th century.
Even though United will also be associated with their red, black and white home kits, the new away design is also worthy of praise. The fact it has a direct connection to the city the club represents around Europe is key.
The Red Devils provided the first glimpse of the uniform during their preseason tour in Japan. United are off to a slow start under new manager David Moyes, but the new kits should provide a distraction while they get everything in order to defend their title.
As for Chelsea, the newest effort keeps with the recent theme of black-based kits for their third jersey. The club will wear it during select away matches throughout the upcoming season as an alternative for their blue and white away kits.
Like United, the club provided some background about the new design on its official site.
The new design continues a tradition of black-based kits manufactured by Adidas for Chelsea since 2006. Black is a colour long associated with the club as the first kits featured black socks until 1959, with the first all-black away kit debuted in the 2002/03 season.
The new look is slick with all the pieces, from the jersey to the shorts and socks fitting together like a puzzle. It provides a nice option aside from the usual blue and white style the club is associated with and wears for most of its fixtures.
Chelsea are even using the slogan "it's not black, it's blue" to connect the kit with the storied club despite the continued shift away from the usual base colors.
Although both clubs should get passing grades from their fanbases for the new kits, their performance on the pitch is more important than the jersey they wear. Expectations are high for both sides with the new season on the horizon.