Next up on the hardcourt for the Wisconsin Badgers, is the Illinios Fighting Illini.
Illinois not only features a robust lineup of players, featuring Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn (ouch), but it also features a stacked wardrobe with plenty of options for a night, or in this case, an afternoon on the court.
Dosunmu and Cockburn (again... ouch) lead the way averaging 21.2 and 16.8 points per game respectively and lead the team in just about every statistical category and are an understandably formidable duo.
Anyway, that’s enough of the sports talk, let’s get back to the fashion. So without further ado, let’s a take a look at Illiniois’...? Illinoises...? Illinois’s...?
... the Illini’s uniforms.
As a reminder, we will be rating the opposing threads on a scale of oh honey, no, to YAASS QUEEN.
Oh honey, no: Obviously, this is the worst rating. If I must explain this to you, you’re probably wearing socks with sandals right now, or a brown belt with black pants, either way, oh honey, no.
Ewww: Nice try, but no.
Werk it: You brought it.
YAASS QUEEN: Best of the best. Your proverbial milkshake brings all the proverbial boys to the yard.
School: University of Illinois
Mascot: Fighting Illini
Color Scheme: Blue and Orange
Official Brand Sponsor: Nike
When playing at home, the Illini primarily wear white uniforms with “Illinois” across the chest in an italicized orange font. The player’s number appears in the same orange color and font but without italicizing. There is a blue border that goes around the collar of the jersey. The same blue border appears at the bottom of the shorts.
Striping also appears down the side of the jersey and cascades down to the shorts. The striping is orange, outlined in blue. This design meets the blue border at the bottom of the shorts where the Illinois block “I” logo is featured.
I think this is a solid uniform. I like that the same font is used for the team name and number, but that the team name is italicized, making for a subtle difference in design. The use of striping on the uniform is a great touch as well.
Normally I like to see some outline color on the text on a uniform, but in this case, I think it looks good without.
Home uniform score:
The Illini’s away uniform, like its home uniform features “Illinois” across the chest in an italicized font. The away uniform is an orange version of the home uniform, with the text appearing in white. The same blue collar appears on the jersey, as well as on the bottom of the shorts and the striping on the sides of the uniform is white, outlined in blue.
Like most away uniforms of opposing teams, I am underwhelmed by this addition to their wardrobe. While the same features that I like from the home uniform are still present, the orange color just doesn’t do it for me. I am all for earth tones, but not orange.
However, I do think that one way this uniform could be improved, would be for the text to appear in blue, instead of white.
Away uniform score:
The first of the Illini’s atlernate uniforms is by far my favorite, their 1970s era throwbacks. It’s a white uniform that features “Illinois” across the chest in a cursive font with blue text, that is outlined in orange.
The player’s number appears in blue text, outlined in orange as well and while it is in a block font, I am willing to overlook it just this once, as they really went for it with the cursive “Illinois.”
An orange and blue border appears on the collar and on the arm holes of the uniform. The same orange and blue border appears on the bottom of the shorts and works it’s way into a diamond design on the sides of each leg, with the “I” in the middle of the diamond.
This is the perfect retro look for the school to have.
This alternate uniform is a slight variation to the Illini’s home and away uniforms.
This uniform comes in blue, with orange text, but instead of having “Illinois” across the chest, “Fighting Illini” is used, with the player’s number separating the two words. The font of the words keeps the italicization, while the number stays true to the primary design.
No collar border appears on this uniform, but an orange border replaces the blue border on the bottom of the shorts. The striping along the side of the uniform is still present with a blue stripe, outlined in orange.
I love the variation used on this uniform, incorporating the school nickname instead of the school name on the uniform. The orange text also really pops on the blue background. I am also glad that they ditched the border on the collar of the jersey. I think if they were to include an orange collar it would have been too much orange.
The final of Illinois’ alternate uniforms is the Flyin’ Illini uniform. The uniform pays homage to the 1988-89 Flyin’ Illini squad who finished the season 31-5 and lost in the Final Four to Michigan.
The uniform is orange with white text, outlined in blue. “Fighting Illini” is featured on the uniform, with the player’s number separating the two words. All of the text is block font though, so... meh...
A large white stripe appears down each side of the jersey and shorts, with the “I” logo appearing at the bottom of the shorts on both sides within the white stripe. The stripe is also outlined by two blue lines on each side, with an orange stripe appearing between the thin blue lines.
While the stripe design could be viewed as busy, with the shear number of stripes that appear, it works, with the outer blue lines being very subtle.
I am also always a sucker for uniforms that pay homage to the school’s history and can kind of look past the block lettering that is used, because that was the primary style to use back in the 80s, but the orange is a bit too much to overlook.
Alternate uniform scores:
1970s Era Throwbacks: YAASS Queen
Blue: Werk it
Flying’ Illini: Ewww