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Finally: Pats Bring Back the Silver/Grey Pants

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Halle-freakin’-lujah: As had been hinted at, the Patriots wore “silver” pants (although let’s be real and just call them grey) for last night’s game against the Bears, and it looked great. You can see lots of additional photos here.

A few notes:

  • This was the first time the Pats wore grey pants since their loss to the Titans in a Wild Card playoff game on Jan. 4, 2020. Three and a half months later, they unveiled a new uni set, which included only one pant color — blue.
  • Despite that, the grey pants have never been far from any discussion about the Pats’ uniforms. Shortly after the unveiling, I broke the story that the new uni set was originally supposed to include grey pants, but they were later dropped from the set. More recently, TruColor’s Donovan Moore reported that the the NFL Style Guide was showing grey pants as an option for the Pats in this season’s style guide. So I was pretty sure we’d see the greys on the field at some point this season — I just didn’t know when it would happen.
  • It’s worth noting that these grey pants are a bit different than the ones from the  Tom Brady era. The Brady greys had thick navy striping down the sides, flanked by two narrow red stripes, all of which was supposed to match up with the jersey’s side panel. Since the new jersey doesn’t have side panels (thankfully), the new pants have slightly different striping that mimics the jersey’s UCLA stripes:

It’s not clear, at least to me, if this was intended to be a one-off thing or if the Pats will keep wearing the grey pants. Either way, getting even a one-game respite from the awful blue-over-blue look feels like a gift, so let’s savor it while we can, even if it’s just for one game.

Or at least that’s how it feels to me. Is there anyone out there who prefers the blue/blue look and would like to make the case for it?

Meanwhile: I’m a huge fan of the Bears’ striped socks, but it’s depressing to see how they’re being worn these days (not that this is a new development, but I really fixated on it during last night’s game). On the plus side, there are still some players wearing the socks the way they’re designed to be worn, with the stripes at mid-calf. But a distressing number of players wore the stripes down at their ankles, often because they were wearing white tights with crew-level socks:


Then there was defensive back Kyler Gordon, who was overcompensating for his lower-striped teammates:

Also: Let’s look again at one of the low-stripe guys — defensive lineman Robert Quinn. He’s one of the few NFL players who doesn’t wear gloves, and check out the unusual tape job on his fingertips:

I’ve seen lots of guys with tape lower down on their fingers, but never on the tips like that. Although Quinn has been playing bare-handed for a while now, the tape job appears to be a new thing for him. Not sure if it’s functional or aesthetic. Anyone have any insights?

Comments (67)

    The silver/grey pants of the Patriots look great, the striping is also good. But teams being superstitious (just look at the Jets) I think we may have seen the last of them, unfortunately. I fear the blue pants will return with the blue jersey. Not a fan of monochrome (except in white) but if any team has to wear dark blue jerseys and pants let it be the Texans. They somehow pull it off.

    Couple thoughts:
    1.) It seems that a lot of players have no clue what to do with the stripes on their socks, since they traditionally served as a nice visual break from the knees to the shoes. Since so many of these guys think they’re dressing for the Tour de France instead of football, the pants are now bordering on becoming shorts. So, my suspicion is guys like Fields et al see the socks as low-cut crews, or they go to the other extreme like the guy wearing the stripes on his knees, to keep the “traditional” spacing between the pants and wear the socks should normally begin. Except his doesn’t, of course. In the end, he looks like a praying mantis or a giraffe or a horse … pick your shins. Regardless, it’s just a sloppy look and, like so many visual things in sports nowadays, succeeds only in being a distraction to the action on the fields, rinks, and courts.

    2.) Am I the only one who can’t help but visualize the Patriots wearing their spectacular throwbacks in their modern color palate? Would love to see that mocked up by one of us to enjoy.


    Players are clueless on how to wear uniforms. The NFL used to have uniform police. Clearly those days are over. It’s worse in MLB. Baggy, pajama pants. Mismatched shoes. Socks pulled above the knees. What a mess.

    The NFL used to have uniform police. Clearly those days are over.

    Actually, the NFL still has staffers on hand at every game to look for uniform violations. But (a) enforcement varies, and (b) players don’t care if they get fined because it’s just a drop in their financial bucket.

    Tell that to a practice squad guy that gets called up for a game and gets half his salary for that week taken away because of his socks

    Are you referring to anyone in particular, or are you just being argumentative?

    My point is that most players don’t care about uni fines because a $5K fine to them is the equivalent of a dollar to you and me.

    actually, happened to current Browns player Isaac Rochell.

    he was signed in the offseason, placed on the practice squad and was called up and got fined for his socks

    I couldn’t agree more, T Ganz. Players have no idea how to dress anymore, there is no uniformity, and many go out of their way to look different in order to stand out. Sadly, I’ll admit that this is probably one of the main reasons I find myself gradually losing interest in sports uniforms after a lifetime as a uniform devotee.

    Re: Point#2
    I can better envision the Pat Patriot colors used on the Flying Elvis template.
    White pants only, please.

    Flying Elvis in old colors would be a much better look than retrofitting Pat Patriot into the current color scheme.

    The stripes on the grey pants and white jerseys needs to be reversed. The red-blue-red looks awful. Blue-red-blue would look much better.

    Presumably then you think the navy jersey should have white/red/white stripes?
    The format that exists now does so to maintain the look of the red/white/red stripe on the jersey.
    If the navy jersey has red/white/red, but then if the pants have navy/red/navy as you prefer it creates a bad mismatch of stripes.

    I thought the red stripes created a great contrast and really popped on TV. Anxious to see if they will pair the grey pants with the white jersey. Then we would have the same stripe pattern on the jersey/pants.

    I would like to see the silver pants sport a red, white, red stripe to match the striping on the home navy jersey.

    As for the peculiar taping, in this DL case I think it is superstition and maybe some idea of protection without having to wear gloves (which always feels stifling in a way).

    I am guessing the low tape job on the fingers might be to protect the nails from being bent back while shoving linemen around. He likes the feel of bare hands but also wants the protection of his fingernails?

    I am guessing the low tape job on the fingers might be to protect the nails from being bent back while shoving linemen around. He likes the feel of bare hands but also wants the protection of his fingernails?

    My speculation on the tape is that it was a wet night so maybe he added the tape for some extra grip.

    I love the Pats gray/silver pants. That needs to be their full time pants. The mono navy blue look is awful and needs to be mothballed.

    Agree what others have said about socks. It’s a free for all and it’s distracting. Bring back the strict enforcement of uniform protocols. It drives me nuts to see a guy wearing all white to the knees when they’re supposed to have the team’s color (or vice versa). These players wear the uniforms for 3-4 hours once a week. They can take a few minutes to make sure they’re wearing their socks properly. If they don’t care and get fined, then let them be dumb and lose thousands over nonsense.

    If I was a baseball owner, I would make it a rule that every player must wear stirrups much like the Yankees enforce the clean shaven protocol. If the Yankees can enforce that, why can’t a team owner enforce stirrups?

    Watching the Manning cast of the game they had comedian Bill Burr on, who is a Boston guy. Peyton asked him about the return of the Pat Patriot throwbacks. His response was interesting in that he didn’t like seeing them because they were so associated with some very bad years of football. That seems a pretty logical response from an actual Boston fan instead of just a uniform aficionado. They associate the navy and silver look with one of best runs ever, while the Pat Patriot uniform is a reminder of awful years, so much so that (from what a friend of mine from Boston says) the team was an afterthought compared to the more beloved/successful Sox, Bruins, and Celtics.
    I’m a split the difference guy myself, give me the silver helmet and pants from last night, but make the jersey red with blue trim.

    My wife feels the same way about Bucco Bruce. Great uni’s but a lot of bad football was played in them.

    A lot of energy has been spent on these pages debating the merits of a team playing well in bad uniforms versus one playing poorly in good ones. Which leads to arguments over what objectively makes a good uniform. AFAICT, the consensus at Uni Watch is the glory years of New England Football were spent in uniforms which are now dated, ne c’est pas? The recent redesign was to make them more timeless: Did they succeed?

    Really want the Patriots to consider wearing the grey pants with the white jerseys for a game or 2. Would look excellent.

    I wonder if the NFL or Nike has considered base layers with stripes so that players can forgo wearing striped socks in such weird ways. Socks/hosiery has gone off the deep end. I feel like the NFL used to police this fairly strictly and have loosened up. I don’t think its ruining the game but it is keeping from looking its best IMO.

    I’ve found that I like the mono look when someone else’s team is doing it and hate it when my own team (Chiefs) are doing it.

    is the current NFL style guide available to the public? i was curious if it shows the 1946 jerseys still as part of the Browns closet

    Not publicly accessible, unfortunately. I don’t even have access myself — I only see the style guide these days when someone leaks something to me.

    Interesting. I wonder what the NFL feels it has to gain by keeping the style guide private. Or, perhaps more pointedly, what it has to lose if it would be made available for public consumption. -C.

    If it’s anything like the MLB style guide, then they definitely could have design items from the early days of the NFL

    About 20 years ago I had access to the MLB online guide because the company I worked for was printing items for that years All Star Game. Not only did it have vector-based files for every current (at that time) team including logos, fonts and official colors, it had a treasure trove of logos for defunct/relocated teams.

    Wait, are the Bears’ socks not actually socks at all? Gordon appears to be wearing super low-cut socks and then the striped thing is like a leg warmer — just a tube with no feet.

    Right. That’s certainly what the other players *appear* to be wearing — socks over leggings.

    But you can actually see Gordon’s skin at his ankle, meaning his stripes are printed on something that is not a sock. This may be old news, but I hadn’t realized that sometimes this was the case.

    While some players do still wear the full sock, there is (and has been for some years now) a “sleeve sock” option — not quite a compression sleeve, but basically that’s what it is. And players have been wearing this in lieu of a full sock. Sometimes these are worn on the arms (link). So they’re wearing the sleeve over the leggings, not full socks. But full socks do still exist and some players will opt for them.

    Might be weird in saying this, but I don’t think the silver pants worked. And it’s the same reason the silver helmets aren’t working with this set. There’s no silver on the jersey, which makes it look off. Now going with white pants and white helmet would work. Or making the white stripe on the jersey silver. But there needs to be some silver on the jerseys (and on the blue pants) for the silver elements to make sense. That’s why the dynasty jerseys didn’t look super off. They had silver on em

    i think its odd that people like the grey over the white pants.. they’re the Patriots .. shouldn’t white be a very prominent color and grey really not be part of the color scheme??

    I like the gray pants because they have a gray helmet. The graybluegray from top down looks clean imo. I hear when people say gray shouldn’t be a color i prob agree but as long as the helmet is gray, the gray pants over the white (and obviously the blue).

    There’s a ‘barely there’ silver border around the numbers, plus Flying Elvis’ face.
    Not enough IMO, but present.

    I have always thought of the mono color, or even two different dark colored (black jersey on red pants as an example) uniforms to be a high school and/or low level college look. The NFL shouldn’t have all dark uniforms. Something should contrast. I say with a dark colored top, the pants should be white or match you helmet if your helmet is a precious metal (athletic gold also works in this scenario, making the Packers one of the best uniforms ever). If you have dark colored pants in your set, save them for the white jersey only.

    I agree with Ethan Hopkin. Monochrome uniforms remind me so much of high school uniforms. They are all bad except white jersey and white pants combo. But I would pair white jersey and white pants with a coloured helmet. White helmets lose their shine and become off-white. Finally, coloured socks that match the colour of the coloured helmet looks great.

    The Eagles are the team that really needs to return to gray/silver pants. The great kelly green uniforms of the later 1980s and early 1990s all had gray pants, whether with the white or the green jersey. So it was never a mono setup, but always had a nice bit of contrast.

    If the Pat Patriot uniforms are to remain an alt, I’m all for the Patriots wearing gray pants with both jersey options. The mono look is really not suited for them (or for full-time use by anyone… looking at you, Seahawks), but I don’t mind it when a select few teams break it out once in a while (namely, Titans and Broncos in head-to-toe navy, Bengals, Jaguars and Ravens in mono-black)…and I’d like to see another set of teams to go white-over-white with more frequency (Bears and Chiefs with striped hosiery of course, and the Jets…provided they do so with green-top socks).

    I have longed for this. They should have only worn grey pants with their old set as well. Pats were bordering on flawless last night.

    I like the Pats mono blue. The bold striping looks nice and lessens the “superhero” effect other monochrome uni sets have. I do prefer blue over gray, though.

    Hey Paul,

    A few of us have mentioned that the new site design often places a wide, transparent, gray bar across the bottom of the screen that you can remove by hitting an X in the right corner. While it doesn’t prevent reading the blog, it is a minor annoyance which, unless it has some other purpose, I wish could be removed. I see it on laptop and phone with different browsers. It is amazing more people have not wondered why it has to be there.


    Hi, Steve. It’s there because you’re using an ad-blocker. If you turn off your ad-blocker so that we can make a little coin, (a) that would be a nice thing and (b) the grey bar will become an ad.

    If you sign up for Uni Watch Plus, (a) that would be an even nicer thing and (b) the grey bar will go away, and so will all the other ads on the site. A win-win.

    With all the critiquing of the socks, is anyone going to mention Matt Judon’s idea of wearing red sleeves with the blue jersey last night, which just looked horrendous?

    I assume no one mentioned it because it’s the norm. Red sleeves have been Judon’s thing since he joined the Pats, every week with every jerseys. It’s become his trademark at this point. (And possibly literally a trademark, as IIRC he sells tee shirts). He even wore them with the red throwbacks against the lions a few weeks ago after teasing blue sleeves during warmups.

    Thanks,,,I figured as much as I started looking up pics of him and seeing it and wondered if it was an homage to C-3PO!

    As a die hard Pats fan, I was thinking the stars fir the silver pants last night. Instantly makes the uniform look better overall than the mono-monstrosities, and definitely benefits the jersey (which I’ve always liked as a standalone element). I wish they’d go with the silver pants full time with the blue jerseys, but I’m not holding my breath, especially after the way they played last night. RE: Pat the Patriot and the red jerseys, I love the look as a throwback and feel it should remain a throwback.

    I would love to see the Patriots wear their “silver” pants with their away white jersey. White on silver/grey is such a great look. Love when Seattle does it. Hope Philly does it again when they rebrand. It just looks so good.

    “Grey”? What’s next? “Colour”? And most of the those leaving comments are Brits, apparently.

    As a reader for many years, I don’t know why it didn’t register with me. Maybe because I just noticed how many of my fellow uni-watchers have adopted your preference. Gotta admit that the Pats look better with bleu over gray.

    Actually the pros look better most college teams. look how some of them wear the uni form

    I’ll never be a fan of the Smurf Guild look for my beloved Patriots. Would the removal of silver from the color palette be an improvement? Of course, but we can’t have nice things. In lieu of this, at least utilize the same UCLA striping (red/white/red) for the pants as the jerseys have.

    At least the mono blue look took a week off. I really wish they would make a red alternate for the Flying Elvis look. I was part of Madden mod group many years ago and people came up with all sorts of alternates to put in the PC game: yellow for the Packers and Vikings, gold for the 49ers, black for just about every team in the league. We even did throwbacks as well as “color rush” before color rush became a thing. Someone put together red tops for the Patriots as well as the Titans and they looked absolutely incredible.

    To me, mono looks have sucked the fun out of the visual of the NFL, even white because it’s shoulder to toe mono white (looking especially at you, Saints). Therefore, last night looked awesome, even if there were some inconsistencies here or there.

    Re: Players not knowing how to dress.

    Because of my age, I have a concern with the lack of grooming, particularly in the MLB (although those mountain man beards worn some some NHLers falls into this category.

    Say what you will, but the Yankees are in a class by themselves – they wear it well and are well-groomed.

    I thought that this was a pretty good looking game. I like when helmet color matches pant color, which both teams had. And even though there was a lot of navy overall, the grey pants provided some much needed contrast!

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