2014 marks the 25th anniversary of “The Shirt”, a project that began in 1990 as a fundraiser for various student clubs and activities. Each year, fans anticipate the unveiling of “The Shirt” and it continues to be a popular mainstay in Notre Dame football game day apparel, serving as the student section outfit of choice and symbol of unity and support. “The Shirt” has morphed and evolved over 25 years taking on different designs, new vendors, and most controversially, different colors. So what does this year’s shirt look like and what are my thoughts? Read no further! (Well, actually do because my thoughts are below the pictures)
Photo Credit: theshirt.nd.edu
Color: The first thing I noticed, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone, was the color. Is that light blue? Dark blue? Grey!? It’s a little difficult to tell. The color seems a little different in every picture. However, I have officially named the color of this year’s “The Shirt” “Blue Grey October Sky” (take that Crayola!) and maybe that’s what the design team was going for? Maybe? Either way, while I don’t see “The Shirt” sticking to one color anytime soon, I wouldn’t pick this one.
Design, Front: The front of the “The Shirt” features the words, “Then. Now. Forever”, perched atop the stadium. In fashion, a key rule is that less is more and I think these 3 words succinctly sum up 25 years of the “The Shirt” and 125 years of Notre Dame football. The phrase unifies the past with the present and looks hopefully toward the future. Molly approved.
Design, Back: The design on the back of “The Shirt” features the words “We Are” emblazoned in the sky, which looms above an image of the football field. The team can be seen spilling forth from the North tunnel as the band waits on either side and countless fans cheer from the stands. The “ND” logo on the field subtly finishes the “We Are” chant which began at the top of the design. Again, I think the design does a great job tying in past, present, and future. In years past, a single player or two may have been featured on “The Shirt”, but the decision to include a timeless scene that celebrates some of the most traditional aspects of Notre Dame was an excellent choice for the 25th year of the project.
Overall thoughts: All in all, I am a big fan of this year’s “The Shirt”. The color, while slightly ambiguous, facilitates the overall design and seems like it will go with several different colors (yes, this is how my mind works). I love the simplicity of the phrase on the front, and the subtle details that make me notice something different on the back each time I look. Bottom line: I’ll be buying this and rocking it with a black bandage skirt or a pair of skinny jeans.