The other week, our Curt Weiler wrote about how new Florida State head coach Willie Taggart is open to sporting some alternate uniform looks in the coming seasons. Of course, this was rather unheard of under Jimbo Fisher, but we thought that it would be fun to go back and take a look at some of the uniform combinations the Seminoles have donned over the years.
And while I’ve typically opted to show the most recent iteration of each helmet-jersey-pants combo, it’s worth reminding our readership here that this is not just some recent-trend spawned by Oregon. FSU has played in different looks since early in the Bowden era, before which, the now-iconic spear was not even featured on the Seminoles’ helmets. So to insist that new uniform concepts are a break with tradition is not just curmudgeonly, it’s inaccurate— breaking with the norm has actually played a big part in creating Florida State tradition.
That said, it’s rather old hat for sports writers and fans to weigh in on uniforms. And let’s be transparent about this: at Tomahawk Nation, we cover FSU sports, particularly football and the product on the field. But if we’re going to endeavor to dissect something like uniforms, why not incorporate an expert’s opinion as to what looks good and what does not.
Hence our inclusion here of an outsider’s point of view to lend some interesting perspective. Of course, our guest expert for this column is only an outsider with regard to football. As far as fashion goes, Kristie Jorfald is as plugged in as they come.
The driving force behind KJPS, Jorfald is a Chicago-based personal stylist who has worked with the likes of Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Pink, among others. She’s here to lend some depth to my own comments, because fashion advice from a guy who basically lives in jeans and Chuckies, I’m told, can be less than irrefutable. Whatever.
Anyway, following each image below, you’ll find some words that I managed to pound out in my hoodie, along with some actual fashion analysis that Kristie was good enough to contribute. Remember: Kristie is neither a ’Nole nor a football aficionado— which is exactly why I welcomed her fresh thoughts on this topic.
First let’s establish a baseline of sorts: FSU’s standard home and away jerseys (the combinations that follow will be listed in the order of helmet-jersey-pants).
DV: These are the Seminoles’ traditional home uniforms. Powerful with a great contrast between light and dark, this is FSU’s most recognizable look. The garnet jerseys really help to accentuate the spear on the helmet.
KJ: As FSU’s traditional home uniform, I really love how the colors are sequenced and add a tasteful touch of the tribal pattern onto the cap sleeves of the jerseys. It signifies the importance of FSU’s heritage.
Gold-White-Gold (Garnet Numbers):
DV: FSU’s usual road gear, it’s obviously a little lighter, distinguishing Florida State’s uniforms from those of the typically darker look of the home team. And the garnet numbers really pop on the white jerseys.
KJ: I honestly have no words. Don’t hate it. Don’t love it. Exactly what I envision when I hear the words “football uniform.”
Alright, let’s get nuts.
Gold-White-White (Gold Numbers):
DV: The first game I covered was Florida State’s 2014 opener against Oklahoma State in Arlington, Texas, which was when FSU broke out these things to showcase their new concept from Nike. Listen, I’m not saying it isn’t a crisp look, which it is, but it’s simply not practical, as the numbers are basically imperceptible from any kind of distance. For that reason, this look was eventually phased out in 2014.
KJ: Whoever said you can’t wear white after Labor Day doesn’t know much about fashion and clearly isn’t a football player. White pants, tops, jackets, shoes, sweaters, and coats are appropriate 365 days a year. White is the color of balance, purity, and courage.
Gold-White-Gold (Gold Numbers):
DV: I find this look to be too gold-heavy, as the garnet is basically just along for the ride as piping. And again, there’s the functional issue with gold numbers.
KJ: FSU mixed up its color palate. Soft hues much like this gold pastel pant are a great staple to incorporate into your spring closet wardrobe— not during football season in the fall.
DV: Sometimes you just gotta say screw contrast and embrace the dark side, like FSU did against Chattanooga in 2015. And yeah, you can debate the color of the helmets— they’re more garnet down the middle, fading to black around the sides. And damn, do recruits ever love these things.
KJ: During the dull intersection of fall to winter, its hard not to get stuck in a style rut. Cue the endless cycle of wearing black, black, and more black. The easiest way to spice up your look is to simply add a pop of color. It can be a colorful belt, shoes— or even a garnet/gold helmet.
DV: Doubling down on FSU’s most vibrant colors, as seen here in the 2015 Peach Bowl. If you just want garnet and gold and don’t really care for the secondary colors of black and white, this is the look for you.
KJ: Let’s talk about matching sets. Do you have a set? Do you want a set? FSU’s football team has you covered when it comes to an ongoing trend that speared trend headlines in 2017’s spring/summer season. I have seen numerous celebrities, influencers, and locals sporting matching pants and tops.
Gold-White-White (Garnet Numbers):
DV: I’m honestly surprised that we’ve not seen this look more, as it’s not too far of a departure and quite simple. When you wear that much white, you have to make sure your grass stains aren’t on your backside (hence the Greg Jones pic— he didn’t really have that problem).
KJ: Staying cool was a top priority for most guys and girls this fall. The U.S. experienced an epic heat wave, and one way guys beat the heat was by wearing breezy, head-to-toe white ensembles, which had a calm, minimalistic vibe, too. Keep it cool, FSU.
DV: FSU fans love the idea of garnet pants with the road uniforms, and for good reason. This look does a nice job of spreading the wealth, as each of Florida State’s primary colors is given its own canvas, so to speak.
KJ: The secret’s out, and color blocking is forever in. A well-executed, color-blocked ensemble exudes effort, style, and class. First things first: the easiest way to plan your color-blocked outfit is with separates, and this uniform combo takes the cake in doing just that. Helmet = Color #1, Jersey = Color #2, Pants = Color #3. BOOM, color blocked.
DV: Flashy, brash, and the gold helmets really stand out above all the black— an intriguing option for night games under the lights.
KJ: Wearing black symbolizes extremes — all or nothing — and is a color of strength, power, elegance, and authority.
DV: This look should work better than it does, but it just comes across as rather unbalanced and top heavy, given the preponderance of color occurring above the waist.
KJ: Stylish guys, take note: According to VOGUE, fashion is getting sportier and athleisure isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The 2018 requisite jersey shirts, tracksuits, and warm up pants are hotter than ever and are all inspired through these players' uniforms.
I’m all about providing the facts and letting y'all decide for yourselves. Except for now, because what follows are abominations against your sense of vision. This is a a good time to excuse any children from the room.
DV: Ever wanted to know what FSU would look like if it became an arena team owned by a lunatic who thought Seminoles should have wings on their shoulders? Courtesy of the 2006 game against Maryland, consider the above.
KJ: Did someone throw up all over this jersey, or is it just me? When there are too many patterns and colors on an outfit, people lose focus and interest. Game over.
DV: Haven’t completely given up on humanity yet? Want to? Cheers. Here’s to making the NFL’s color-rush uniforms appear palatable. I just threw up in my own mouth, because this look, from 1983, is less gold than it is hungover urine.
KJ: Unfortunately, this early 80s attempt isn’y really gold. And given its rivals, FSU should never come so close to orange. However, there’s hope here. Wearing metallic colors like gold isn’t just for socialites anymore; metallic clothing comes in everything from shoes to dresses and even now: uniforms. If you wear gold, you’re letting the world know that you’re fearless and up for entertaining. Winners wear gold.
DV: Alright, Kristie, now that you’ve seen some of the Seminoles’ options, what are your overall thoughts on FSU’s look?
KJ: I think Florida State has created some really cool uniforms. The mixture of color sequences and patterns keep progressing and getting better as the years go by. I am looking forward to seeing what the new possible uniform combinations could look like in the near future.
Thanks so much to Kristie for taking her time to make this piece a lot better and teach us all just a little bit more about how terrible we most definitely look every time we leave the house.