When Browns’ owner and future Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell fired Paul Brown prior to the 1963 NFL Season, he still owned the rights to the equipment. So, upon starting the Bengals back in 1968, Brown simply used his orange helmets and changed the jersey color from brown to black, continuing the same basic striping patterns the Browns were known for.
Let’s take a closer look into this team’s amazing uniform history.
Related: Cincinnati Bengals Team Profile
As stated, the Bengals’ first uniforms consisted of nothing more than a plain, orange helmet with gray facemasks and the typeface ‘BENGALS’ across the shells.
The black home jerseys held white numbering, a white-orange-white sleeve pattern, white pants with a thin black-orange-thin black trim, black socks with the white-orange-white pattern, and black shoes.
The white roadies had black numbering, a black-orange-black striping pattern, white pants, the same trim as the home pants, white socks with black-orange-black striping, and black shoes.
The Bengals actually had a different striping pattern during the preseason.
The Bengals used thicker black trim on the pants stripes for select games.
The Bengals returned to the thinner black stripe.
The team modified their sleeve stripes. They also switched to wearing white shoes.
The Bengals used their white socks with the orange-black-orange pattern for the season.
The Bengals switched to black facemasks. Also in 1980, the team added TV numbers to the sleeves. They were the last team in the NFL to adopt TV numbers.
The team underwent their first major redesign. The ‘BENGALS’ script was replaced with the now-familiar tiger-striped helmet. The black jerseys still had white numbers, but they were now outlined in orange. The vertical shoulder stripes were also tiger-striped.
The white pants held the same tiger striping pattern and the team adopted orange socks.
Shop Cincinnati Bengals at Fanatics: Cincinnati Bengals
The road uniform was virtually the same as the home, except the white jerseys featured black numbering with orange outlines.
The Bengals made a strange adjustment in 1988; slicing their socks on both the home and road uniforms. Click here for a closer look. I’m sure this was intentional, however, I can’t find a source stating the motivation behind this.
The Bengals wore throwback uniforms to commemorate the NFL’s 75th Anniversary in Week Three.
The team reverted to normal-looking socks.
The Bengals introduced the leaping tiger logo, which they placed at the sleeves, moving the TV numbers to the shoulders. The striping pattern on the jerseys and pants become more pronounced. The team added a black stripe to the base of their sleeves and switched to black socks. The collar on the road jerseys was now black. Take a look at the changes here and here.
The team mixed up the striping pattern on their pants again.
Another minor change to the stripes.
The Bengals made their first radical redesign in 21 seasons. The familiar helmet remained, but the black jerseys now featured white side panels, round white numbering with orange drop shadow, an orange collar, a new ‘B’ logo at the chest, and orange sleeve panels with tiger stripes. The pants now featured a truncated tiger striping and were either black or white, depending on the week. The team reverted to black shoes and used either orange or black socks.
The white jerseys now had black numbers with the orange drop shadow. Rather than simply sleeve panels, the whites had shoulder panels and no side panels. The TV numbers were white with black drop shadow. The collar was also black. These uniforms could also be paired with black or orange socks, as well as white or black pants.
Related: Cincinnati Bengals Logo History
The third jerseys were orange, featuring white side panels, white numbers with black drop shadow, no sleeve or shoulder panels, with white TV numbers at the shoulder. It also featured a black collar and in 2004, was paired with black pants, with white being an option as well as orange or black socks.
The Bengals debuted the orange on white look.
Along with the rest of the NFL, the Bengals adopted a Color Rush uniform. Their version is a nod to the white tiger, featuring white jerseys, black numbering, black and white striping at both the sleeves and pants, and white socks. The only trace of orange on the look is at the chest, where the ‘B’ logo resides.