Bring on the Nostalgia, Part 4: Retro Sports Uniforms

I have the same reaction every time one of my favorite products gets a modern redesign: “That’s supposed to be better?” Then, after I get used to it, I look back at the old design and can’t believe how outdated it looks. For me, this couldn’t be any more blatantly obvious than it is with sports uniforms. Sure, some are timeless classics and only receive minor updates here and there (DA BEARS!) but others are always left striving to reach that level, and with varying degrees of success.

Finding pictures for this post took me right back to my childhood! Here are some “blast from the past” uniforms:

New England Patriots' old uniforms

New England Patriots' old uniforms


They recently revived this uniform for players to wear a couple times a year because many of their fans loved it. I have to say, they are pretty cool. However, I remember this uniform mostly from when they received that 46-10 beat down from the Bears in Super Bowl XX. Ahh, remember when the Bears were going to be a dynasty and the Patriots were doomed to mediocrity? Those were the days…

Original image from Inhistoric – the sports history blog.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' old uniforms

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' old uniforms


There’s nothing like a bunch of men dressed as creamsicles to pound fear into your opponents. I have no idea how anyone ever thought this was a good look for a professional football team! They were the laughingstock of the NFL for years. They didn’t even win a game their first season. Part of that has to be the uniforms. Who wants to look like that? I do not think it’s a coincidence that they won a Super Bowl just a few years after changing color scheme.

Original image from SWX Right Now.

Chicago White Sox old uniforms

Chicago White Sox old uniforms


I loved these uniforms when I was a kid. I thought they were the (thanks, Lauren). It took me quite a while to get used to them when they changed, but now I realize that these uniforms just screamed ’80s! I think their new (well, since the mid ’90s) black-and-white-with-pinstripes design is something that has stood test of time so far, so apparently it was a good decision to ditch the ’80s uniforms.

Image from Wired New York forum.

Houston Astros' old uniforms

Houston Astros' old uniforms


If you ask me, these uniforms were the all time worst. Can you believe they actually wore these until 1993? I don’t even know what to say about it. Just look at that picture! Ghastly… It probably didn’t help that they were the first baseball team to play indoors as well. They just seemed to be laughing in the face of baseball purity at every turn. Grass? Don’t need it. Tasteful uniforms? Not us.

Image from Best Ever Awards blog.

The only way to keep with the times is to stay ahead of the times. It took me a while, but now I understand that it’s better to change too soon than to change too late. As jarring as it can be (for any organization) to make these changes, it’s much better than the alternative of being passed by.

Do you remember any of these uniforms? Have any more sports memories you’d like to share?

This is the fourth installment in our nostalgia series. You can read part one, part two, and part three if you’re hungry for more!


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  1. Jill Tooley

    OMG, I actually remember those Sox uniforms from when I was a kid! I liked them a lot. The newer uniforms are more versatile, but the old ones had the red, white, and blue thing going on (which is kind of neat). And I must say that those Astros uniforms are the most hideous things I’ve ever seen! What were they THINKING?!?! It looks like a 1970s roller disco barfed all over them!

    • JPorretto

      They must have been something if they’re making you remember sports!

  2. Joseph Giorgi

    Again with “the” You two really like that phrase, huh?

    Well, I for one think that the Sox and the Astros should be still wearing those vintage uniforms. Those outfits are way more memorable than what they currently wear. Baseball would just be more entertaining that way! Don’t Japanese baseball teams wear uniforms like the ones pictured?

    • JPorretto

      They definitely have brighter colors. Not sure of the designs though. A little more pizazz wouldn’t hurt MLB though.

  3. Bret Bonnet

    I wish Reebok’s contract to produce the uniforms for the NFL would finally expire so that Nike would take over; creating COOL new uniforms like they did for the University of Oregon a few years back. Now THOSE are some COOL uniforms.

  4. Juliette

    Suddenly I want to break out my baseball card collection and look at the older uniforms. 🙂 I don’t recall much in the way of football uniforms as I was very much a baseball (and later a wrestling) fan growing up.

    I remember that Astros uniform and how ridiculous I thought it was at the time. Though after being involved in marching band I realized that few things are as ridiculous as some of those uniforms I’ve seen and had to wear. I find it hard to make fun of most sports uniforms after that.

    Except for the Astros. Those uniforms just invite snarky comments.

    • JPorretto

      The mention of Marching band uniforms has given me flashbacks. We actually got updated uniforms while I was in school which was nice. But the old ones had to be designed sometime between the 2 world wars.

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