Yankee pinstripes to Raiders piratical silver and black, some sports uniforms have become legends in their own time. Argue with your friends about which of these is the most iconic, coolest, or most recognizable sports uniform of all time (in no particular order, unless you win the argument).
Any variation of green and white still says “Celtics.” The shamrock has graced the jerseys of many of basketball’s greatest players, and those players made the Celtics jersey one of the most recognizable sports uniforms in history.
St. Louis Cardinals
Two birds on a bat. Simple as that! A clean design that gives a picture—literally—of the team’s name. The Cardinal is the Illinois state bird, and the baseball team that bears that name has been a huge and hated rival to the next team on this list…
It’s all in that “C” and that cute little bear. The loveable losers became big-time winners in 2016, and even as they endure the inevitable fall from that once-in-a-century pinnacle, their uniforms are instantly recognizable, and thanks to the superstation WGN (although now the Cubs are contracted out to a different network), fans all over the country and all over the world may be seen sporting Cubbie blue.
No city name here because who knows when they’ll move again? Whatever city they happen to be representing currently (Oakland? Los Angeles? Las Vegas?), the Raiders’ intimidating silver and black instantly identifies the team and its fans. These guys are extreme, and their uniform expresses that personality perfectly. Don’t show up in opposing colors at a home game. Just don’t.
The coolest, classiest sweater in the original six. Clean but colorful design, and the Hawks have taken care to be respectful of Native American history when sporting their iconic emblem.
The other team in the original six with the most recognizable sweater. The “spoked B” recalls Boston’s nickname as “the Hub,” so named by Oliver Wendell Holmes in his book, The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, where he refers to Boston as “the hub of the universe.” Not sure about that, but “The Gaaden” is the hub of a Bruins fan’s existence. And the black, gold, and white switch off nicely for home and away games.
Team USA 2010 World Cup
A dashing design with a pageant-winning sash sewn in, this Team USA soccer uniform was both a throwback to the team that shocked England in 1950 and a simple, modern, clean design.
New Zealand All Blacks
Who doesn’t love a hulking rugby player doing a Maori war dance (the Haka)? These guys are big and scary, just like “rugger” players are supposed to be. And All Black seems just right for that ethos.
It’s hard to deny that team uniforms are important, not only for identification but also because they connect teams with fans and teammates with one another. Before you get all worked up that your favorite team isn’t on this list, let’s just say it’s a partial list. Draw up your own and have fun debating your fellow sports fans about which team is tops in sartorial splendor, wearing the most recognizable sports uniform in history.