History of the Buffalo Bills Jersey

The Buffalo Bills jersey has undergone numerous changes since the team’s inception in 1960. The team has seen highs and lows from fans and critics alike. From the team’s classic royal blue and white look from the 1960s until 2001 to the infamous navy jerseys featuring nickel gray as an accent from 2002-2010, the Bills have had a little bit of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

 

1960s

The initial look was based on the Detroit Lions, featuring a Honolulu blue type of jersey with silver numbers. These jerseys changed in 1962, where the colors were changed to red, white, and blue. LSU stripes were used, with two blue stripes flanking a red on the away jerseys. On the home look, two whites flanked a red.

Come 1965, the team dropped the LSU stripes in favor of simpler sleeve stripes, which have since become a staple in the team’s jersey pattern.

 

1974-2001

In 1974, the Bills debuted a new jersey featuring thicker sleeve stripes and in 1975, the stripes were updated to include a red outline as color TV became more prevalent in the US, making it easier to make out the designs on uniforms, most notably the numbers.

Sleeve stripes were white on the home look, and blue on the away look.

These jerseys remained relatively unchanged throughout the next twenty-eight seasons barring slight changes to the shoulder stripes.

 

2000s

Buffalo Bills 2002-2010 Primary Jersey

In 2002, new Bills drastically redesigned their uniforms under the direction of Tom Donahoe, who’d been promoted to general manager in 2001.

The new home jerseys consisted of a switch to the color navy as the primary color with royal blue piping, red side panels, and a Montreal Alouette-like shoulder design, also navy. Nickel gray was added as an accent color and made up the outline of the white numbers.

The white jerseys saw an inverse of the navy design, with red side panels, royal blue numbers, red piping, and navy shoulder designs.

These jerseys were panned by uniform purists, fans, and critics alike, criticized for their Alouette-like design plus deviation away from the traditional royal blue look the team had worn for decades.

To counter this, the Bills did bring back the old 1965-1973 look to be worn as alternates twice a year in 2005 and have worn this look as a regular alternate since its revitalization.

 

2010s

The Bills abandoned their Alouette look in 2011, reviving yet another classic look, this time the 1974-1983 jerseys with a modernized twist. With these new jerseys, the team brought back the classic white helmet which has since become one of the better looks in the NFL.

The 1960s-70s alternate continues on as a third uniform as well, worn as recently as the 2018 season.

 

Shop Buffalo Bills gear at FansEdge!

 

My Take

The Bills currently have one of the best jerseys in the NFL, along with one of the best helmet looks in the NFL. Even more special, the look replaces one that was ridiculed by the NFL universe, which in today’s league would’ve been far outdated, much like the jerseys of Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Arizona.

Even more beautiful, the team has also kept its classic jersey, still worn to this day.

Related Article: Buffalo Bills Helmet History

 

Gallery

1965-1973

Buffalo Bills 1965-1973

 

1984-2001

Buffalo Bills 1984-2001

 

Buffalo Bills 1984-2001 Away Jerseys

 

2002-2010

Buffalo Bills 2002-2010

 

Buffalo Bills 2002-2010 Away Jersey

 

2011-Present

Buffalo Bills 2011-Present

 

Buffalo Bills 2011-Present Away

 

Buffalo Bills Color Rush

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Great post! First off let me say that I am a huge NY Giants fan and it is sort of ironic that technically the Buffalo Bills are the only “New York” NFL team. Both the Giants and the Jets have played their home games in East Rutherford, New Jersey since 1976 and 1984 respectively.

    I remember watching Super Bowl XXV when the Giants beat the Bills. That was a GREAT time-consuming running game the Giants played. I have always liked the red, white and blue design of the Bills 1974-2001 jerseys but I hated that red helmet with the Bills logo. The white helmets they have now looks much better.

    1. I think a lot of us forget the Jets and Giants are actually in Jersey, despite being in the New York market, with some forgetting Buffalo being the only team who actually plays in New York. Super Bowl XXV was one of the best Super Bowls of the 1990s, if not of all time. Still one of my favorite reruns to watch, even though the game took place three months before I was born! Loved the jerseys, too, but I think the standing buffalo on the helmets would be epic.

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