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.


Shop New Orleans Saints

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Fans Edge: Shop New Orleans Saints gear at FansEdge!

Sports Memorabilia: Shop for Authentic Autographed New Orleans Saints Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.com


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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  1. Oh thank you for explaining the history of New Orleans Saints jersey. It’s interesting to see the evolution of the jersey design. Personally, I like the early design more because it give the classic vibe (well, I love classic things). Is the early years design jersey available to purchase online? Thank you in advance for your answer

    1. Hi, Al, I’d love to see them switch back to the older design as I’m a big fan of it, myself. I’ve been looking for the earlier designs but not on Fanatics. However, they may be on a few other sites, so I’ll have to definitely check them out. 

  2. I am a passionate New Orleans Saints fan and was hopping mad over the blown call that wrecked our Superbowl dream. But thank goodness karma intervined since the Rams that got that trip to the big boring game thanks to the refs lost and I was glad that happened. But that’s old news. I saw your website and I saw the jerseys and the history of each during the team’s existence. The ugliest one I saw the ones from the 90’s, interesting that’s their worst time when they was really the aints. The 90’s shirt to me is dull and faded like it was washed with cheap detergent that took the color out. The early ones look better overall along with the color rush when paired with white shoes. By the way I own a Nike Saints home jersey, #41- Alvin Kamara. While that looks great I would take the color rush one in a heartbeat.

    1. Rams went into the big game and put up a dud of a performance; must deserved, too, even if it was against the Patriots and Tom Brady. I love those early ones, plus the Color Rush. Those jerseys were beyond fine. I hope they someday switch to the Color Rush look full-time, along with the classic original home jersey. You just can’t pass those up.

  3. Hi 

    Thank you for such an interesting article. I didn’t think I would be interested when I first pulled up the site, but then once I started reading, I was quickly hooked. I hope it is ok. I had to share your website on Facebook. 

    I will have to return check out the Steelers and the Falcons.

    Thanks again!

    Cheers, take care!

    1. Thanks for the awesome words, John. I’m glad you liked the site and yes, I have the Steelers’ and Falcons’ jersey profiles completed and ready to go. 

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