Best and Worst Kits of the Premier League This Season

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 15, 2013

Best and Worst Kits of the Premier League This Season

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Life is a catwalk, and the Premier League can be considered one of the harshest atmospheres out there in terms of aesthetic scrutiny.

    It's sink or swim in the English top flight, where each and every side is very much judged on their appearance, the best and worst of whom are celebrated and condemned, respectively, here.

    In ascending order, we've highlighted some of the division's most embarrassing efforts before then discussing some of this term's highlights, each kit complete with a grade.

    By usual standards, the Premier League big guns tend to use their funds in order to secure the most enviable designs, but will the 2013/14 campaign again bear fruit for the top teams?

    Read on to find out and let us know some of your suggestions in the forum below.

10. Liverpool Third

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    Warrior have taken it upon themselves to get slightly innovative with some of Liverpool's kits in recent seasons, but being new and edgy doesn't always yield fine results.

    Such was the case with this season's alternate kit, thankfully the least frequently used of all the Reds' jerseys.

    Complete with a collage of purple, black, white and yellow, there's also some tiger stripe-like effect going on in a strip that leads one to believe Warrior simply put all the leftover ideas into one big box, and this is what came back out.

    Grade: F

9. Sunderland Away

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    Yellow's a tricky colour to pull off at any level—gleaming with sunburst when it goes right, but get it wrong, and the mistake will only be highlighted by your errors.

    Sunderland sit rooted to the bottom of the Premier League at the moment, and it's no surprise that their away form has been a large part of their downfall, scoring only two goals when wearing this kit.

    Again, there's a lot going on with this effort. While the yellow and navy aren't a complete catastrophe, the orange tinges around the armpit are a strange enough decision to tip the Black Cats down the pecking order.

    Grade: D

8. Stoke City Away

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Electricity was the inspiration behind Stoke City's choice of away kit this season, but it hasn't exactly inspired the type of sparks that the club may be looking for on the pitch.

    A throwback to the neon that would frequently adorn ex-manager Tony Pulis' sideline attire, the club haven't forgotten all of their Premier League roots just yet.

    However, fluorescent is always a risk, and combined with the greys and dark shales of the Potters' contrasted strip this term, it just doesn't really work.

    Grade: D+

7. Hull City Away

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    Hull City are unfortunate in that the vibrant colour of their crest actually affects what kits it does and doesn't look attractive on.

    This year, it's a combination of blue, red and white that the Tigers should have gone without, as their orange-and-black coat of arms conflicts with the jersey's motif.

    However, the crests collision is only a small aspect of why this strip's one to steer clear of, in another case of a club not paying attention to that omnipotent rule of thumb: "More is less."

    Patriotic as it might be, the blend of red, white and blue is a tad too bold for Hull this year. Adidas may have been smarter to go with a slightly more subtle approach.

    Grade: C-

6. Newcastle United Away

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    In truth, there's nothing catastrophic about Newcastle United's choice of away attire for 2013/14, though admittedly there's nothing groundbreaking about it, either.

    However, the Magpies perhaps deserve some additional criticism for their choice to use short-term loan company Wonga as their sponsor this year, a choice which infamously conflicted with the religious beliefs of Papiss Demba Cisse, per the Daily Mail's Charlie Skillen.

    That being said, one would like to think the English top flight's elite would use their chances in order to make a bit of a statement with their designs, but Puma's navy choice this year is nothing more than bland.

    Grade: C

5. Fulham Away

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    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Fulham's traditional white home colours seldom offer the club chances for breaking barriers, but the crimson injection gone into their away jersey is something to be admired this term.

    Now linked up with Adidas, the club/manufacturer partnership has gotten off to an impressive start as white takes a backseat, replaced by the much fierier connotations of this kit's red lower half.

    The sleeve stripes are, as ever, a nice touch by Adidas in what's an ultimately simple kit, but a demonstration of how simple can often work wonders.

    Grade: B

4. Manchester City Home

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    Since being taken over by Abu Dhabi in 2008, Manchester City's kit designs have unsurprisingly gone from stride to stride, and the English giants have hit another winner with Nike this term.

    The club's classic baby blue is this season incorporated into a retro, crew-neck fit, while the black contributions shown on the belly and chest sponsors add a much-needed bite to the whole look.

    Grade: B+

3. Chelsea Away

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    Similar to Fulham's away kit in a way, Chelsea's third option, also engineered by Adidas, is another example of how looking back through the years can often produce some of the best modern results.

    This season's effort wouldn't have looked out of place in the 1970s as the Blues have also gone with the crew-neck design.

    White plays the main role in this strip, while blue stripes down the shoulders and chest are set off with a happy splicing of red.

    Grade: A-

2. Manchester United Home

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Manchester United's long and illustrious history of Premier League success is a path that goes in tandem with their record of getting it right when it comes to the kit design process.

    Again, the Red Devils have chosen to go vintage this season and re-adopted their buttoned collar, working to great effect in either short or long sleeve.

    It's as plain as they come in terms of complexity, but as a result, it's one of the nice designs.

    Grade: A

1. Arsenal Away

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    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    Yellow and blue are a colour combo which has become synonymous with Arsenal Football Club down the years. The club's early 2000s success is rife with images of the the scheme dressing the Gunners' kit during that era.

    The North London outfit have also gone with a collared design this season. The vintage approach is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and working in fine form for Arsenal.

    The hooped socks are a zanier touch on an otherwise formal effort, with blue and yellow once again laying the foundations for what could be another triumphant campaign.

    Grade: A+