Uniform History


What follows is a series of images showing the changes to the Northwestern football uniform during the last 135 years.  This page is inspired, in part, by The Helmet Project Web Site (see Links Page for information about the Helmet Project).  If such a site could be done for helmets, why not for total uniforms?  Like the Helmet Project site, I have used a graphic image template for the following uniforms, changing features on it to detail NU's uniforms.

There are certainly many differences between the real uniforms and the drawings shown here: the colors of many of the early uniforms are estimated (most only are represented in black and white photos and brief descriptions).  Also, the size and style of the jersey have changed, and I've shown only a few of those changes.  One critical discrepancy is sleeve length.  Until the 1950s the NU jersey had long sleeves, but I've shown all of them with modern, shorter, sleeves.  This has afforded the images consistency and convenience.  Another difference is the font style of the jersey numbers, which only approximates the font really used.  I did change the font a couple of times, but only to demonstrate a major change in what NU was using at the time.  Sorry for the inaccuracy, but this was again an error of convenience.

The uniforms are divided into sections depending on which jersey was worn at the time.  If the title of a section is just the year(s)-- for example, "1889 - 1892"-- this indicates that either there were no separate home and away jerseys, or that the home and away jerseys had the same style.  If a section is defined by a year and a color-- for example "1929 - 1931 (White)"-- this indicates that the NU color uniform's style differed from that of the white uniform, and they must be shown separately.

Before the Under Armour era, white jerseys are shown only if they differ significantly from the purple (or black) home jersey. During the Under Armour era, we show all jerseys, even if the white jersey is not stylistically different from the home jersey.