It took me a few days of staring at this picture to figure out what it was about this kit that just doesn’t sit right with me. I think what it boils down to is that Puma/Motherwell came so close to creating a wonderful kit, but in the end, got just about all of the finer points wrong. All most all of those finer points have to do with the design of the shirt, so I’m going to reverse my usual order, start with the socks and move my way up.
In a vacuum I’d give these socks an A+, but as part of this kit, I give these an A-. I think the only thing I might have added was a thin white band to the top claret hoop or maybe “MFC” or “1886” (the club’s foundation year) to the top or second top claret hoop. The importance of that little bit of white on the sock will become apparent as we move through the other pieces of the kit.
Like the socks, these are also near perfect, another A-. The “stripe” on the side is actually three stripes, a wider amber stripe bordered by thinner claret stripes/piping. That’s fine, but given the totality of this kit (again, hold your opinion until we get to the shirt) I think they would have been better with just claret piping down the side, or, a most, a claret stripe no thicker than one’s pinkie finger.
This is where it all goes wrong. Not “fail” wrong, but “coulda, woulda, shoulda” wrong. It reminds me of when a student would write a research paper with “A” level content and end up with a “B-” because he/she couldn’t be bothered to follow the rules about margin size, font size, spellchecking, etc.. But, as often happens, I digress…
First off, there’s the terrible placket that Puma has adopted for some of its kits this year. It didn’t work on the Wolves kit, and it doesn’t work here. Second, the white piping bordering the claret side panels is completely unnecessary. And while we’re on the subject, are the side panels even needed? I’d say “no.” Why not just continue the chest band all the way around the shirt as has been the case in previous season? Previous kits have generally chosen one or the other, but the one other time they went with both (2008-2009) it didn’t work either. Finally, and this is where it all “clicked” for me, in almost every other season when Motherwell has worn white shorts they have done so with either a) a very simple two-color top and sock combination (claret and amber, on both of course), or they have worn simple shirts with white collars that have pulled the whole kit together.
If none of my verbosity has convinced you, let me offer you a visual. This is what you can do with claret, amber, and white in a kit:
Obviously the I’d keep the hooped socks and the overall look would be Motherwell’s, but it could have look this crisp, this handsome, and it doesn’t.
Here’s the updated “scoreboard”: