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Why Everyone Loves the Powder Blues

Take a look at the visual break down of the Bolts uniform throughout history.

The Chargers’ announcement that they’re wearing their iconic powder blue uniforms was met with much fanfare nationwide.

Can you really blame them?

The Powder Blues have always been considered one of the best, if not the best, uniforms in sports.

But why exactly do they cause such a passionate reaction not only from Chargers fans but those of uniforms in general?

There’s perhaps no one better equipped to answer that question than Paul Lukas. The sports world’s foremost expert on all things uniform related, he’s authored the popular “Uni Watch” site and column for the past 20 years.

So, what does he think of the decision to designate the powders as the primary home uniform?

“Love it,” he said. “The classics are classic for a reason! (It’s a) unique color combo, great design. Was always one of the best designs — was never broke, should never have been ‘fixed.’”

This jives with what Lukas said years back when doing a deep-dive on the Bolts’ uniforms in general. 

“The Chargers get a lot of credit for the powder blue, which other teams do use,” Lukas explained. “For the Chargers, it is always called powder blue. It isn’t called baby blue, sky blue or Carolina blue, even though they are basically the same thing and other teams wear those colors…. Even though it may not be a unique color to the Chargers, the term seems to be unique to them. So for whatever reason, and maybe because it has been 50 years, but the term has been associated with the Chargers, and therefore seems like a stronger part of their identity. If other teams use it, well, they are just copying the Chargers or the Chargers got there first. It doesn’t resonate the same way (for other teams). When these other teams wear it like the Panthers or the Titans, nobody has ever said, ‘That’s one of the best uniforms ever.’ While with the Chargers, you always hear, ‘That’s one of the best uniforms ever.’”

However, the choice to go with the Powder Blues was only part of the Bolts’ big announcement on Tuesday.

In addition, the team will go full time with the gold facemask, wearing it whenever they don the powder, white or royal blue jersey. A true uniform aficionado, Lukas is actually more excited about the facemask change.

“Love it even more!” he said. “It goes really well with the shoulder bolts. Excellent decision.”

Another reason he’s a big fan of it is because the Chargers were pioneers when it comes to colored facemasks.

“The Chargers were the first team to wear a colored facemask, which is to say something other than grey or white,” Lukas also said back in 2015. “It was in 1974, and they wore a gold facemask with their blue helmet. That really ushered in a new era of helmet design because suddenly, the facemask was something that could be played around with as a secondary color or a complementary color. The helmet shell and decal with the logo didn’t just have to stand for themselves. They could play off the facemask, and you could integrate the facemask as part of the design…instead of having it be an add on that was just neutral. Now you see the Packers with a green facemask or the Patriots with a red face mask and so on. All of that started with the Chargers.”

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