Los Angeles Chargers Uniform History

The Los Angeles Chargers uniform history starts in 1960 when the team was first based in LA. They then moved to San Diego from 1961 until 2016 before returning to the City of Angels prior to the 2017 NFL Season.

This article depicts a long, and winding history for what might just be the greatest uniforms in the NFL today and of all time.

1960

The team debuted with white helmet shells, a blue lightning bolt, gold outlines, and blue numbers outlined in gold under the bolt.

The home jerseys were blue with white numbers and gold outlines, white shoulder striping with a blue lightning bolt embedded within the stripe. The pants were white and detailed with a blue lightning bolt outlined in gold. The socks were a solid blue along with black shoes.

The road jerseys were white with blue numbering, gold outlines, a blue stripe at the shoulder, and a white lightning bolt with yellow outlines.

1961

The lightning bolt on the helmet was now gold and the helmet numbers black.

Also, the lightning bolt within the shoulder stripes was now gold. Gold lightning bolts also graced the pants.

1963

The Chargers wore the San Diego City Seal at the front of their helmet.

1966

The team reverted back to blue lightning bolts on the helmet shell. The home jerseys were now lightened to the now-famous powder blue. The pants for both uniforms was now gold, consisting of blue and white trim running up the sides.

1967

The blue jersey was now darker. The gold lightning bolt in the shoulder stripe now lacked outlines. The pants piping was once again a lighting bolt (blue with white outlines) on both home and road uniforms. The road jerseys now consisted of navy striping at the shoulders, and gold lightning bolts.

1968

The powder blues returned, now featuring powder blue numbering and shoulder striping on the road uniform. TV numbers now appeared on the sleeves, and the lightning bolts on the pants also became powder blue.

1972

Traditional trim returned to the pants.

1973

The numbers on the home jersey were now gold. The team also adopted blue shoes.

1974

Radical redesign.

The helmets were now navy blue with a gold logo along with a navy and white outline and gold facemasks.

The home jersey was now a hybrid between royal and navy blue with gold numbers, white outlines, and TV numbers at the sleeves. The white shoulder stripe housed a gold lightning bolt with navy outlines. Gold pants with navy and white trim graced the sides along with blue socks and blue shoes.

The road jerseys bore blue numbers with gold outlines, blue shoulder striping, a gold lightning bolt, along with navy and white outlines.

These uniforms were known as the Air Coryell uniforms.

1976

White shoes for the road uniform.

1977

Blue shoes for the road uniform plus white socks with blue striping for both uniform sets.

1978

White shoes for both uniforms. The blue jerseys only appeared in preseason that year.

1979

White lightning bolt with a blue outlining for the pants.

1983

The white roadies were the only uniforms to make an appearance.

1984

A blue pants stripe with a white lightning bolt embedded was unveiled. 25th-anniversary chest patch.

1985

The pants color changed to white, housing blue striping and a gold lightning bolt with navy and white outlines.

1988

The second major redesign.

The navy helmets now housed a white lightning bolt outlined in navy and gold.

The jerseys were now navy with white numbering and navy and gold outlines. A white lightning bolt outlined in navy and gold graced the shoulders along with TV numbers at the sleeves. The white pants now held a white-navy-white-trim, along with navy socks.

The white jersey held navy numbers, white and gold outlines, a navy shoulder stripe, along with a white bolt outlined in navy and gold.

1990

Navy pants with a gold-navy-white-navy-gold piping were introduced to the road look. The socks on the road uniform were now white with two navy stripes.

1991

The Chargers wore white uniforms for each game in the regular season.

1992

The pants now contained a lightning bolt – the home white pants contained navy stripe housing the lighting bolt outlined in navy and gold.

1994

The team brought back throwbacks for the 1994 season.

1997

The blue pants were dropped from the look.

1998

Blue pants returned to the road uniform.

2000

40th-anniversary chest patch plus the return of the powder blues as an alternate.

2003

Navy on navy appears for the first time. Chest patch to commemorate Gm John Butler.

2004

Blue socks were paired with the blue pants for the first time.

2007

Another major overhaul.

White helmet shells appear for the first time since 1973 featuring a gold lightning bolt with powder and navy outlines along with navy facemasks. Jerseys were navy blue with a unique numbering font. Numbers were white with blue and gold outlines and TV numbers appeared at the shoulder. White shoulder striping housing a gold lightning bolt graced both shoulders.

A powder blue alternate also appeared.

The white road jersey featured navy numbers with powder blue and gold outlines. The shoulder striping was also navy blue.

The pants were white with a navy stripe and a gold lighting bolt outlined in powder blue. The alternate pants featured a powder blue stripe. The navy road pants bore a white stripe with the gold lightning bolt embedded within it.

Socks were navy except for the alternates, which featured powder blue socks.

2009

50th-anniversary patch plus throwbacks to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original AFL.

2012

The team paired white on white for the first time. Thin gold line added to the base of the socks.

2017

Chargers unveil Color Rush uniform; a lighter shade of navy featuring gold numbers along with blue or white outlines. White shoulder striping housed the gold lightning bolt, as did the white striping on the blue pants. The socks and shoes were also blue.

The team also paired navy on navy for the first time.

2019

The Chargers now bore gold facemasks and switched their primary home jersey to powder blue.

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4 comments

  1. Great article about the chargers uniform history. I have been thinking about how football has not been on and the way it has effected our lives with the recent pandemic. I never knew that the lightening bolt was gold with black helmets? Great detail on the way the uniforms were designed and the layout in which they were changed over the years. Good work. 

    1. Those are actually navy blue – Air Coryell era. And thanks, the Chargers were clearly one of the more challenging teams in this thing because they have had A LOT of radical redesigns over the years. 

  2. Hi Todd, this is another great post on the  Los Angeles Chargers uniform history. This will serve a great purpose of being a reference resource for fans who do not know how the different uniforms for Los Angeles Chargers have evolved over the years. Also the detailed description of the different Jerseys makes the post very rich. Great job. Cheers.

    1. And this is a post I’ll actually be updating very soon as well – once the Chargers unveil their new uniforms. They did unveil the new logo earlier this month, which you can read about here. Nonetheless, even with the current pandemic brewing April will still see some really cool uniform unveilings, meaning I’ll have some work to do.  

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