If you could only describe the New Stripes in a single word, that word would be: simplified. The striping pattern on the sleeves and pants are simplified, there is no secondary-color collar, no shoulder numbers, the drop shadow on the numbers is now just an outline, and the font of the numbers is less cartoonish.
The only thing that was expanded rather than simplified is on the chest, where they removed the “B” logo and replaced it with “Bengals.”
The Bengals have released three different shirts: black for home, orange alternates, and white for away. There are also three different sets of pants, which is a new addition. This year, the Bengals have black pants with orange stripes, white pants with black stripes, and white pants with orange stripes.
Though there are nine possible combinations, the Bengals will only use seven, as the white jersey will only pair with the white pants with black stripes.
Below we ranked all seven of the new uniform combinations. At the top is the best; the bottom is the least great.
Overall, every combination is a step up from the previous uniforms. But how do the New Stripes rank?
1. Black Jersey with Black Pants
All black is hard to beat. That’s why every college football team has an all-black set, even if black isn’t one of their school colors.
With the simplified look of the new jerseys, the single-color combinations look even better. There’s no more orange around the collar, no white side panel, simplified stripes on the sleeves, and no numbers on the shoulders.
And who doesn’t look good in black?
2. White Jersey with White Pants/Black Stripes
These are a close second. Again, the simplicity of the new uniforms makes the single-color combinations pop.
These will be the primary away jerseys, and while they may not be “color rush,” they follow the same design principles. For those who wanted the color rush jerseys to be the permanent away jerseys, you got your wish.
3. Orange Jersey with Black Pants
This is the best multi-color combination. There are no orange pants, so the black ones will have to do.
The orange on the jerseys, the white numbers on the jerseys, and the black pants gives this combo a balance that the other six lack.
4. Black Jersey with White Pants/Black Stripes
This is a simplification of last years’ primary home set. The sleek black jerseys with the simple white and black pants will make for an elegant home set this year.
5. Orange Jersey with White Pants/Orange Stripes
As you can see, the white pants with the orange stripes are not the best received component of the New Stripes. But if that the worst thing to come out of it, then we can live with that.
With the white and orange, there’s a lot of bright colors to take in. With the other sets, there was enough black to anchor the bright colors, but there’s not much black in this set with the simplified jersey designs.
6. Black Jersey with White Pants/Orange Stripes
These will probably be the primary home combination, but they’re ranked sixth of seven on this list.
There’s nothing wrong with this combination. It’s perfectly fine. There’s just nothing here that excites.
Since the Bengals organization likes to play it safe in a number of different ways, the primary home combination is also the safest uniform set.
7. White Jersey with Black Pants
Due to the simplification of the uniforms, contrast is going to be even more jarring.
This combo worked with the last uniform because there was more orange on the jersey to balance it out. With the new stripes, it looks like they took a jersey from one set, pants from another set, and put them together so they could have an alternate away set.
What are your thoughts on the rankings? Let us know in the comments section!