Checking Out the New 2021-22 UPC Kit

Ironic that Milan finally qualify for Champions League again, yet they'll be playing in a kit that looks like those UPC codes that are on products to scan at the supermarket. In keeping with Puma's tradition of throwing too many design elements at a Milan jersey and then seeing which ones stick, the UPC code design is only one of the bad things about this kit. It's like their designers are checking out.

It seems so unfair that fans cannot be at San Siro, but this ridiculous kit can be

The entire concept of this kit is supposed to be based on the skyscrapers in Milano, looking forward... by looking back at the 2015 Milano Expo. I don't think marijuana is legal in Germany, but someone should maybe look at Puma's headquarters to see what these designers were smoking. The stripes are far more reminiscent of UPC codes than skyscrapers, and I don't know what that black side panel is supposed to be.

Theo Hernandez, looking in a mirror, laughing at what he's been asked to wear

The bizarre black side panel extends from the sleeve down and finishes in a diagonal line, which is further emphasized by the gradual diagonal line that cuts off the UPC stripes of the front panel and comes in gently at the waist. For some reason, it is finished off with some kind of finishing tape, which appears to be only screened on for the replica jersey.

Authentic jersey side seam detail on the left, replica detail on the right

The one good thing about this kit is that it is made of 100% recycled polyester. A shame for the polyester to end up like this, though, it was probably so much better the first time. Puma says that the back features an "ultra light jacquard structure." I'm not sure if there is a translation issue here, because that is not anything like jacquard, but it looks like they've just added some extra holes or something to help wick moisture away. 

Hopefully, the player names and numbers cover up most of this

They also screened "Sempre Milan" at the back neckline for some reason, and used both red and white instead of just one color. Again, check for marijuana at Puma.

When one color of text just isn't enough...

The front features the Milan crest in some sort of heat transfer again, rather than stitched. Although the replica jersey, which is €30 cheaper, actually features the stitched on crest. Go figure.

For only €30 more, you can get a crest that looks like it will peel off

The strangest aspect of this jersey is the neckline. I love v-necks, they are the best. And folded or hung up, the authentic jersey neckline looks great. But because it is coverstitched, which stretches a little, but not that much, the neckline has to be fairly big to fit over the players' heads. When it is on the players, it looks really bizarre. It looks a little effeminate, and perhaps like it is unfinished or missing something, the stripes don't seem to know where to go.

Not sure if it's a jersey, or a nerd's sweater

The irony is that the women's jersey features a rib v-neck, which actually shows less flesh than the men's. The red rib trim stretches better than the simple seam on the men's jersey, so the neckline can be smaller. Good news for fans, though, the cheaper replica jersey also features the red rib trim at the neck. Unfortunately for the women, Puma cannot make a jersey for a woman's body, so the shoulders are a little small, making the sleeves poke out at the bottom, especially since they are so wide.

Better neckline for the women, worse sleeves

The shorts are black and simple. Although these stray from the traditional white shorts, at least they are somewhat normal. They even feature the stitched on crest.

At least something is normal... even if not traditional

The socks are better this year, too. The simple black socks with the thin red stripes feels like maybe they were designed in the same country as the shirt.

They almost match... almost.

The ones that really got a raw deal are the goalkeepers. The day-glo yellow color is blinding, but maybe that will help distract our opponents? If you can get past the color, you can see that the UPC pattern is subtly screened on or maybe knitted in. They got a better rib neckline, and a better back yoke seam, too (a yoke seam is the seam that goes from one armpit to the other.) Although I'm not sure what is going on with the black seams from the front to back of the shoulder seam. If you can even see them on all of that day-glo yellow.


Puma has done it again. And I don't mean that in a good way. The UPC code screams "I'm a sellout" and the bright red color just screams... relentlessly. If only they had nearly as many good ideas as they have bizarre marketing ideas. Our players deserve so much better. At least it seems like the football will outclass the jerseys. (Although in this circumstance, that is not a very high bar.) The away and third kits still have yet to be made official, although the leaked pictures don't bring a lot of hope. I guess there is always next year... but then again, this is Puma. With something this poorly designed, though, I'm checking out.

This post inspired by the music of The Clash's "Lost in the Supermarket"

Checking Out the New 2021-22 UPC Kit Checking Out the New 2021-22 UPC Kit Reviewed by Elaine on 11:00 PM Rating: 5
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