With each new season, teams across the country often launch a new kit. New material for players and fans alike to proudly wear, with their team crest emblazoned across their chest.
Fans wait in anticipation ahead of the new campaign to see what Nike, Adidas, Puma, Kappa and even Macron, among others, have come up with for their respective clubs.
Team strips are a way of expressing your allegiance. Your identity. Your passion.
Nice new shiny home shirts, or jerseys if you're a fan of the MLS, can be seen worn by men, women and children on matchdays, with the quite often less popular—or even ugly—away shirt still stocking the shelves of the club shop.
Villa's away strip for the 2013/14 season is a prime example of this. The checkered, mishmash of white and claret is one of the least aesthetically pleasing Villa shirts in years.
So to focus our thoughts on something other than the eye-sore of the second strip, we take a look at Aston Villa's seven coolest kits of all time.
All images sourced via www.historicalkits.co.uk
According to Historical Kits, this is Aston Villa's first ever kit. The Midlands club, founded in 1874 by Jack Hughes, Frederick Matthews, Walter Price and William Scattergood of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel, wore this dashing little number for the first three years of their existence.
Right from the off Villa, wore claret and blue—something that has stayed as a tradition to this very day—though this rather different to that of which we are used to seeing. A rather fetching hat did complement the strip, however.
The first match in this strip was against local Aston Brook St. Mary's rugby team. As a condition of the match, the Villa side agreed to play the first half under rugby rules and the second half under football rules.
This is not something any of us would have ever seen the Villa players wear, but this is definitely one of the coolest kits of all time—just for the bovine feel alone.
Stepping away from claret and blue, the Villa team strutted their stuff in a red and white cow print-esque shirt (described as "piebald") for two years.
Villa won their first major honour the following year, in a new strip, as they lifted the FA Cup.
This strip will forever go down in history as one of the coolest Villa kits of all time, simply because it was the first time in the club's history that they wore the combination of claret shirt with blue sleeves, white shorts (or trousers, as it were) and claret socks.
It was this shirt that set the benchmark for Villa kits of the future, though numerous variations have been witnessed throughout the years. It's a tried-and-tested formula and one that works.
Teams such as West Ham, Burnley and Scunthorpe wear very similar colours, but because of this shirt, Aston Villa's name is the first thought of when claret and blue is mentioned.
Though not the coolest of the seven kits discussed, this is by far the most historic.
The Villa team donned this kit during the 1981-82 season—the most famous season in the club's history.
As first division champions for the first time in 71 years, Villa qualified for the European Cup and went all the way.
Beating Valur Reykjavik, Dynamo Berlin, Dynamo Kiev and Anderlecht on the way, Villa then edged out the mighty Bayern Munich in the final on the May 26, 1982, to lift the European Cup for the first and only time in their history.
Although Villa wore their changed white strip for the final in Rotterdam, this shirt will forever live in Villa fans' memories.
Villa were in the second tier of English football during 1987/88 but gained promotion back to the top flight thanks to a young, promising team that included the likes of David Platt and Martin Keown.
Although the 1987/88 campaign is not one that will be remembered for achievements on the field, the kit worn during the season is one that sticks out.
Danish manufacturers Hummel produced the Villa kit for the first time in that season, and what an effort it was. The recognisable arrowed stripes, in typical fashion, went down the arm with a pinstriped claret and blue shirt, white shorts and white socks completing the look.
This one is by far one of the coolest Aston Villa kits of all time.
The 1992/93 season saw Umbro manufacture the kit for a second time, following a spell in the late '70s. In a time where the string-tie neck was popular, Villa wore a claret and blue shirt, that had "AVFC" embossed in the background, with white shorts and claret and blue socks.
A lovely-looking kit, it will be one remembered by many Villa fans as the one worn when Dalian Atkinson scored a wonderful solo effort against Wimbledon.
In the pouring rain, Atkinson carried the ball from his own half, dancing past a number of challenges before chipping the ball over the Wimbledon keeper from 20 yards. Acknowledging his wonderful effort, a Villa fan even entered the field of play to congratulate Atkinson by holding an umbrella over his head.
Domestic or European success was a distant memory during the 2008/09 season. So it was a good job that Villa had a cool kit to wear.
Nike were the manufacturers for the second season and produced something of note. Simple, yet elegant, the ever-successful claret and blue shirt with white shorts and claret and blue socks was once again the chosen combination.
However, there was one slight twist on the normal money-yielding sponsorship. Villa joined the likes of Barcelona for that season to proudly wear the name of a charity across their chest.
Acorns, a local children's charity, was the name emblazoned across the front of the shirt, with the club not receiving a single penny through sponsorship money.