Welcome to our round-up of the contemporary sartorial looks that will be gracing Serie B in the 2021/22 season. Join us as we explore the good, the bad and the ugly of Italy’s second tier…
ALESSANDRIA – having booked their return to Serie B after an absence of more than four decades, I Grigi have chosen an under-stated number to mark the achievement. Alessandria are one of very few Italian clubs to partner with Adidas (Juventus and Cagliari the others in the top two divisions), having joined forces at the beginning of last season. The newcomers’ shirts have remained faithful to the club’s unusual colourway, with only white shoulder panels and cuffs interrupting a sea of grey.
Verdict: 3/10 – like the North Sea on a winter’s day.
Ascoli – I Picchi have played things pretty straight this year with a simple round neck and no particular embellishments to the traditional striped black and white design. The failure to continue stripes on the rear of the shirt is disappointing, but not altogether surprising. This is, perhaps, a rare example of a shirt which is enhanced by the addition of sponsors. One intriguing addition is the red socks; a tribute to former President Constantino Rozzi who always wore his lucky red socks to matches.
Verdict: 3/10 – lacking imagination
BENEVENTO – like a jilted lover, Gli Stregoni have reinvented themselves with a whole new look for 21/22 following their departure from Serie A. In partnership with Nike for the first time, they’ve ditched their traditional stripes in favour of an irregular chequerboard design. The psychedelic design is framed by a more sobering black v-neck collar and cuffs. The third shirt is also worthy of mention, featuring a 19/20 Roma-esque lightening strike.
Verdict: 8/10 – a bold change of course
Brescia – you have to work pretty hard to spot the difference between this new design and last season’s equivalent. The shallow-angled chevron remains the centre-piece of the shirt, but this year is supplemented by some widely-spaced and very subtle pinstripes. The addition of white detailing on the collar is welcome addition. An identical design is used with inverted colours for the away shirt.
Verdict: 6/10 – inoffensive, but a bit samey.
Cittadella – manufacturer Mizuno are best known for their J-League escapades, but have partnerships with a number of smaller Italian teams. Cittadella have added a hint of navy blue to the classic claret and blue combination on the new season’s home shirt. The sublimated detail sees the club’s name repeated in diagonal lines across the shirt alongside an enlarged club crest on the lower part of the jersey. The launch video also gives you a good eyeful of the excellent away shirt too.
Verdict: 6/10 – not quite at the heights of last season, but still good stuff.
COMO – I Lariani will be returning Serie B wearing a simple design; it is intended as a tribute to the shirts worn during the club’s heyday in the 1980s. A simple v-neck collar and ample piping are offset by a sublimated diagonal pattern. The club are sponsored by Mola (a TV network that will be broadcasting Serie B in Indonesia), whose logo ties in very well with the overall aesthetic.
Verdict: 6/10 – an 80s tribute act I do want to see…
CREMONESE – I Girigiorossi are perhaps the only club in world football to have this colour palette. This year the traditional grey and red stripes are nuanced by the use an irregular diagonal pattern sublimated into the design. A red shoulder panel also helps to break up the linearity (Ascoli, take note). They put quite a bit of effort too into the launch video which “sees” the city from the perspectives of fans young and old, using the slogan “We are Cremona”. The slightly chaotic away shirt is worth a look too.
Verdict: 5/10 – a nifty bit of innovation to elevate a traditional design
CROTONE – the team from Calabria continue their long-running partnership with Zeus in 21/22. I Pitogarici – translated to mean “The Pythagorians”, after he of the theorem – have opted for a Genoa-esque halved design for the new season. The now-familiar sublimated shark retains its place at the hem of the jersey, whilst a chunky collar neatly interrupts an otherwise symmetrical design. The sponsorship of a local salami manufacturer, whose logo incorporates the tricolore, works particularly well.
Verdict: 8/10 – a very solid design
FROSINONE – the Zeus design team have pushed the boat out in recent seasons for Frosinone, but have dialled things down for 21/22. The consistent use of blue for taping, sponsors and logos against the yellow canvas gives the shirt a strong visual identity. Meanwhile, the buttoned polo collar and subtle sublimated diagonals result in a very clean overall presentation. The bold hooped design for the away shirt is reminiscent of the successful Venezia away shirt from 20/21.
Verdict: 7/10 – fresh and clean
Lecce – I Salentini have once again used M908, their in-house brand, to produce their shirts. It’s a very sober affair this season with just a few subtle black embellishments on the sleeves and towards the hem of the shirt. Producing in-house provides an opportunity to escape the tyranny of template designs…but Lecce have failed to capitalise on that artistic freedom with this uninspiring number.
Verdict: 3/10 – put some effort in, guys!
MONZA – it’s another case of spot the difference with Silvio Berlusconi’s Monza. Once again, an offset white stripe remains the focal point of the jersey (and shorts), though it has been complemented this time with the addition of white cuffs and a subtle change in the configuration of the collar. The black, grey and orange Pagliuca-esque goalkeeper’s shirt is also worthy of an honourable mention.
Verdict: 5/10 – not a Lott-o innovation
PARMa – I Crociati have cleverly incorporated the club’s whole colour palette onto the home jersey without compromising the clarity of the design. The unmistakable cross is the prominent feature, but it carries yellow and blue flecks, a concept which is repeated on the navy shoulder panel. A nice touch is the inclusion of a phoenix on the nape of the neck, in reference to the club’s rise from the ashes in recent years, serving as inspiration as the seek to return to Serie A at the first time of asking.
Verdict: 8/10 – very crisp.
PERUGIA – I Grifoni guarantee themselves a bespoke shirt design by using fashion brand Frankie Garage as manufacturer., a company with whom they share an owner (Massimiliano Santopadre). This year’s jersey features sublimated griffins reminiscent of the 90’s era jerseys worn by Hidetoshi Nakata. In addition to away, third and no fewer than four variants of a goalkeeper’s jersey, the club have released a limited edition jersey to commemorate ten years at the club for President Santopadre. The special edition shirt is an intriguing mash-up of home shirts used over the past decade.
Verdict: 9/10 – a thing of beauty
Pisa – the bar was raised impossibly high with last season’s shirt so it’s no surprise that Pisa have struggled to hit those high notes this time around. Gone are the faded stripes and gold detailing, instead we have a run-of-the-mill template design that features stripes only on the front. The inclusion of the Pisan cross on the chest (an ancient heraldry symbol) just helps to lift things up. By contrast, the green away shirt looks fresh and innovative with a textured isometric design.
Verdict: 6/10 – a real step down
Pordenone – the club have worked with Italian manufacturer Givova to produce a fantastic bespoke design A tonal geometric design creates a lizard-skin effect for the club nicknamed the Green Lizards (I Ramarri). The pattern continues on the shoulders and the rear, but a plain black canvas has been pragmatically left to give greater prominence to the sponsors and players’ names and numbers.
Verdict: 9/10 – fantastico!
REGGINA – the Calabrians have been handed a recycled template by Macron for 21/22. The collar, broad sublimated stripes and piping are the same as those seen on the 19/20 Lazio home shirt. The stripes have been rotated through 45 degrees and the goddess Athena added to the lower part of the shirt. Similarly, the fantastic Greek-style font used on the shirt is an acknowledgment of Hellenic settlers who arrived in the city in the 8th century.
Verdict: 6/10 – saved by the font
SPAL – continuing a long-running partnership with Macron, SPAL have opted for a slightly wider stripe this season. However, the key innovation comes in the form of silver accents bordering the stripes and repeated on the collar and cuffs. The club has also released a mawkish third shirt featuring a constellation of stars spelling out “2013”, the year of the club’s re-formation.
Verdict: 6/10 – doing justice to those historic stripes
TERNANA – I Rossoverdi have given newfound prominence to yellow within their 21/22. The accents on the badge, sponsor and collar contribute to a Bob Marley-esque colourway, something that will no doubt appeal to the political leanings of the club’s fanbase. The shirts also carry the heart-shaped logo of the club’s charitable foundation Terni Col Cuore, which provides medical support in the city. The new season’s set is completed by a superb white away shirt and a bold third shirt featuring the names of Terni’s 33 municipalities in a graded sash.
Verdict: 9/10 – brilliantly unique
VICENZA – I Biancorossi are another club with a a fashion mogul for an owner (Diesel proprietor, Renzo Rosso). However, they have taken the step of re-using last season’s shirts with some minor adjustments. A statement on the club website said “In a year marked by the pandemic and the absence of fans at the stadium, LR Vicenza and Lotto Sport Italia therefore shared the choice of attention to the environment, confirming the design of the match outfits that characterized the previous season, enriching them in the fabrics used”.
Verdict: 7/10 – a rare moment of self-awareness in football
With the start of the new seasons upon only Cosenza are still to reveal their hand…although this shouldn’t be entirely surprising as they released last season’s kit in November!
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Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, also check out my article exploring this season’s offerings from Serie A and Serie C or the special edition shirts of the 20/21 season…or this piece on the greatest kits in Palermo‘s history.