Rags to Riches: History of the New Orleans Saints Jersey

The New Orleans Saints jersey may have kept an identical base since the team’s debut in 1967, however, it has gone through several incarnations over the past fifty-three seasons including slight variations in color, numbering font, and jersey detail.


Early Years

Saints Color Rush Jersey
The Saints’ Color Rush Jersey bears strong resemblance to the team’s original road uniform.

The Saints’ first jerseys consisted of the now-familiar black base for the home look and white for the road. The black home jerseys had gold numbering with white outlines, TV numbers at the shoulders, and a white-gold-white-gold-white sleeve pattern.

The road jersey was a complete inverse of the home, with a white base, gold numbers, a black outline, gold TV numbers, with a black-gold-black-gold-black striping pattern at the sleeves.

In 1969, the Saints wore two variations of home jerseys and manipulated the stripe pattern a bit.

The first jersey resembled the original home jersey, except the striping was now separated, displaying thin, black gaps between the white and gold striping.

An alternate home jersey was introduced, featuring white numbers with no outline, while the sleeve pattern was thinner. The stripe pattern was also reversed to include a gold-white-gold-white-gold, with thin black stripes in between each.

The same stripe pattern appeared on the road jersey, except it contained a black-gold-black-gold-black pattern with thin white stripes in between each.



Saints 1970s Home Jersey

In 1970, the Saints dropped the gold numbers in favor of white on the home jersey and the road jerseys swapped to black numbering.

In 1972, both jerseys received a new numbering font before reverting back to the original font by 1975.

In 1975, the Saints moved their shoulder numbers to the sleeves, a more usual feature at the time with looser fitting jerseys. The Saints added gold outlines back to the jersey during this season as well.

In 1983, the team added a double outline to their jersey numbers, which on the home jersey featured black outlined by gold, and on the road, white outlined by gold.

In 1986, the Saints dropped their jersey stripes and instead placed an outline of the State of Louisiana on their sleeves, necessitating a move of their sleeve numbers back to the shoulders. The outline was gold on the home look, and black on the road look.


1990s and Beyond

Saints 1986-1995 Jersey

In 1994, the Saints revived their original uniforms to be worn as part of the NFL’s Throwback Weekends.

In 1996, the team dropped the white numbers and revived gold with white outlines on the home look along with gold with black outlines on the road. Also, the Saints dropped the State of Louisiana logo and instead placed the fleur-da-lis on the sleeves. The logo was gold on the home jersey and black on the roads.

In 1999, the Saints switched the jersey numbers on the road jersey to black with gold outlines.

In 2002, the Saints unveiled a short-lived gold alternate jersey with black numbers, white outlines, and a black Saints logo at the sleeves. They also again revived the 1967 home throwbacks.

In 2016, the Saints unveiled their Color Rush jersey, which strongly resembles their 1967 road uniform, with gold numbers, the black-gold-black-gold-black stripe pattern, and black numbering outlines.


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My Take

If you look closely at the Saints uniforms throughout the years at this link, you’ll find slight variations of gold throughout the years. For me, my only real gripe with the Saints look these days is the shade of gold is far too dull; I was more of a fan of 1960s-1970s shades, so if they were to ever tweak their uniform colors to match the shades of the 60s and 70s, their jerseys and entire uniform would be tough to beat.

Related Article: New Orleans Saints Helmet History

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