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Review: AC Milan 13/14 home jersey

AC Milan Home Jersey 2013/2014 Review

 by Enrique Madrona Jr.

 

After a year that looked like a revolution of sorts, AC Milan was able to clinch third place in Italy’s Serie A football league for the 2012/2013 and claim a spot in the UEFA Champions League playoffs. Now Milan heads into another domestic league where the expectation is mixed and the future of the club is not yet so clear. The squad has been pumped up with a few new members, most notably the return to Italy of Mario Balotelli, and it is starting to look like AC Milan may just be shaping up into the young and sparkling squad it hopes to become.

 

AC Milan dives into the 2013/2014 season with a great new home jersey, as presented by Adidas and the club, and I am here to bring to you another review of this AC Milan production. The design changes brought in this year are all in my favor and almost every criticism I have ever had with Milan home jerseys is solved here, but what will make the cut and what will be a miss? Read up on my look at the new AC Milan 2013/14 home jersey right here, customization included!

 

The Look

 

For the past couple of seasons, AC Milan’s home jerseys have flirted with a heavy use of white, bringing in that very white that the Milan’s crest uses and spamming it all about the jersey. White collars, white cuffs, white accents… but this year, that has been switched up. For the 2013/14 season, Adidas and Milan have created a home jersey that is modern in its base, but it succeeds in bringing back the more sinister, darker theme of Milan’s past jerseys. Gold is the new white, according to AC Milan, and this shows on the new kit range as a whole.

 

AC Milan’s new home jersey has red and black stripes, as is traditionally necessary for AC Milan and their iconic design, and once again, the stripes have changed. This year brings about thinner stripes than the 2012/13 home jersey as well as the subtle yet effective introduction of a thin black pinstripe within each of the alternating red stripes. A small detail indeed, but it adds a bit of flair to a never-changing design. The stripes do not continue onto the sleeves; this is a cosmetic effect that I think adds a sporty look to the jersey and keeps the stripes from being overwhelming. The sleeves are completely black, other than a small panel-segment of red underneath, and I think it gives the shirt a more athletic feel in its portrayal.

 

The V-neck has arrived! As a frequent wearer of AC Milan jerseys, you cannot tell just how happy I am to see the home jersey feature a V-neck design! The 11/12 home jersey had a closed crew-neck and last year, there was a large white collar on the jersey. Now, a smooth red V-neck, outlined in black, is here on the home jersey and you will hear my comments on the comfort later. The V-neck has a tiered layer design and also one of my favorite aspects of this jersey: a tricolor segment with the Italian national flag. AC Milan has always tried to fit small hints of the Italian colors on their jerseys, and I think this is the best use of that idea yet. It fits well with the jersey’s design and it complements the colors around it quite well.

 

The signature shoulder stripes, as seen on all Adidas jerseys, are now a regal gold color. I think that the color choice, particularly because the stripes are on a black segment rather than alternating colors, works in conjunction with the jersey as a whole. I really like the gold touch and I am glad they limited it to the shoulder stripes; it is just enough gold to appreciate it, but not too much that would misbalance the color scheme.

 

Overall, the look of the new AC Milan home jersey does not disappoint. All of the iconic elements are here and all with a touch of gold. It is not a visual design that strays too adventurously from the Milan norm, but it changes enough to be a fresh start from the last couple of seasons.

 

The Fit

 

I put this jersey on and took it through some real tests: I wore it while out shopping, took it on a trip, played with some friends (and a dog) outside, and just sported it casually when I could. I would say that it runs barely, and I mean just barely, below the standard size. I was sent a U.S. Size Large jersey, just as I asked, and I do think it runs just a little below that, just a bit closer to medium. Ironically, this is the way I prefer it. I myself find the large sizes to be somewhat overwhelming, but medium jerseys tend to be too tight on the shoulders for me.

 

The fabric is as smooth as always. This jersey’s material makeup is a little bit thicker than last year’s but this is cancelled out by the mesh used throughout the black stripes. It is nice and cool to wear; on one of my trips wearing this, it was hot and humid and I was pleased to have taken an Adidas ClimaCool jersey with me. I have no complaints about the feel of this product.

 

My most important note about the fit? It is about the collar, or lack thereof! I reviewed the last two Milan home jerseys and though I was satisfied with both designs (the 11/12 crewneck and the 12/13 collar), I found that the following year was always an improvement, and this time it is big. The V-neck is a deal-maker for me; Adidas’ V-neck design is slick and comfortable; there is no nagging, pulling, or discomfort on any part of the neck when wearing one of their V-neck shirts. This is definitely, without a doubt, my favorite neck design on a jersey and I am so glad that this was chosen for AC Milan’s 2013/14 home jersey. If you buy your jerseys with comfort as a big factor, AC Milan’s new home jersey is a marvel of comfort. It is a big improvement over the last few seasons’ worth of home jerseys and I would bet on Adidas shaking it up in the future, so if you like V-necks on your home kits, get this now, before they do something crazy next year!

 

The Customization

 

At the moment, the customization details for AC Milan’s 2013/14 jerseys are actually the same as last years, just with different colors. It is efficient though; this customization style is more appropriate to the new jerseys. For review, I received Milan’s new home jersey with the name and number of Giampaolo Pazzini, AC Milan’s #11 forward. Pazzini joined AC Milan at the start of the 2012/13 season and enjoyed a good start to his Milan career, including an early season hat trick.

The font for the name is a sharp, all-caps style that is white. The pointed edges of the letters gives a bit of a devilish style to the team whose colors and symbolism are red, black, and sly. The number font is more casual; the digits are in a tall and bold font that is not too different from the standard. There is much less stylization on the numbers than Milan usually does, but I think simpler is better here and the white fill of both the numbers and text greatly complements the shirt as a whole, especially since the opposing side of the product has the sponsor and brand in white too.

 

The printing is of high quality and like all customization options, some care should be taken to avoid damaging the screened characters. I have put this jersey through some rigorous testing already and I see no indications of damage on the printing. If you are a fan of an AC Milan player, you should get this jersey with any of the great customization options such as PAZZINI 11, EL SHAARAWY 92, or BALOTELLI 45. You will not be disappointed.

 

The Conclusion

 

AC Milan’s new home jersey for the 2013/14 season is a series of improvements and fresh yet subtle changes. The change from a heavy focus of white accents to the thin use of gold touches makes this season’s home jersey darker overall, something that I think suits AC Milan’s symbolism more appropriately. Switching up the stripes again may seem redundant, but the introduction of thin black lines centered within the red stripes helps to bring the detail into focus. The polyester material is as great as ever and with the new V-neck, it is also as comfortable as ever. Lastly, the customization options, though relatively unchanged from last year’s, follow the jersey’s theme and help make both sides of the product work together.

 

As is frequently the case, AC Milan fans should enjoy this great new jersey. If you are one of those fans, you will be happy with what you get! If you are a collector, this is an awesome addition to your set. But perhaps most importantly, if you would just like any kind of great looking, comfortable, and fashionable football/soccer jersey, AC Milan’s 2013/14 home jersey is another testament to representing style, taste, and coordination.

 

 

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