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Talking Trikots: A look at Bayern Munich’s best third kits

Third kits don’t get the love they deserve. We decided to change that

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Football and fashion are surprisingly closely correlated, and we decided to give the aesthetic side of football the credit it deserves. Talking Trikots is a new segment on BFW that will feature all things Bayern Munich fashion, from historic jerseys to sexy shirts, and everything in between.

Third kits, or Champions League kits in Bayern terms. They’re rarely worn during the season, only when the opposing team wears colors that clash with both your home and away kits. For example, during the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 season, Bayern Munich wore their third kit only four and five times, respectively. Last season, the third kit was worn a bit more, in eight games, but that’s still only eight games out of fifty. To be fair, the away kit isn’t worn too often either, at least in Bayern’s case, but it at least gets more recognition than the third kit.

It’s a shame, since third kits boast some of the finest designs among all kits. Of course, that’s not always the case, but sometimes you’ll see third kits that’ll make you go “man, if only this was our home kit, right?” They don’t really have any limitations, so designers can go nuts and do whatever they want, and sometimes they really strike gold. Here are some of the finest third kits that have ever sported the Bayern crest. Enjoy!

2012/2013

FC Arsenal - FC Bayern München Photo by Andreas Gebert/picture alliance via Getty Images

We start off with a glorious entry from our treble-winning season. Bayern were back in black, but not just any black, a black that was speckled with orange and silver highlights. Remember that show Orange is the New Black? Well, this shirt took that a little literally, and we ended up with this. May I just say, it’s stunning.

The upper panel of the shirt is black, but a slightly different black from the lower part, which is jet black. Metallic black stripes stretch out towards the heavens, and are adorned with a small number of orange dots, like sparks rising from a blaze. What does it mean? I have no idea, but it loosely resembles a campfire. Maybe a sunrise, or sunset? Who knows? Bottom line is, it’s a fantastic looking kit, and it’s a kit worthy of that historic 2012/2013 season.

The kit was worn in all three home matches in the Champions League group stage, and in the away leg against Arsenal in the round of 16. It was also worn in three Bundesliga games, against Hamburg, Mainz, and M’Gladbach. Bayern won all seven games.

2014/2015

Hertha BSC vs FC Bayern Munich Photo by Thomas Eisenhuth/picture alliance via Getty Images

This is quite the fan favorite. It’s another black kit, and this time, it doesn’t really have that much of a special pattern, bar a single thin red stripe that runs down the left hand side of the shirt. Silver logos and adidas stripes come together to complete a simple, yet sexy design. For a team that doesn’t have a hint of black in its club colors, Bayern sure can rock a black kit.

Just feast your eyes on that black and let yourself get lost in the universe of Bayern. If you get lost in it, never fear, as the bold red stripe will let you find your way again. Whether you think that red signifies passion, blood, victory, or anything else, or all of the above for that matter, it’s a point that lights up a simple jersey. Now, the shirt would still have looked good in just black and silver, without the red, but that red streak gives it a little twist, all the while paying homage to the club’s original colors.

Bayern played seven games in this kit: five league games, one Pokal game, and one Champions League game. Their record reads five wins, one draw, and one defeat.

2015/2016

Fussball CHL 15/16 Gruppenphase: Olympiakos Piraeus - FC Bayern Muenchen Photo by Pressefoto Ulmer\ullstein bild via Getty Images

Is this kit black? Or is it really, really dark blue? I don’t know, you tell me. Whatever the case, this is also a pretty darn good looking kit. It’s nothing too special in terms of design; in fact, there’s almost no pattern at all, unless you count the extremely subtle stripes on the front of the shirt that give it the illusion of a smoke screen. But I wouldn’t put it past you to overlook them, they’re pretty hard to spot, and almost invisible at first glance.

But it’s the color combination that really puts the kit on this list. Yes, the black/dark blue definitely helps, it’s a color that rarely goes wrong. The highlights of the jersey are neon pink, which may not be a color that resonates too well with traditionalists, but goes surprisingly well with the black background of the shirt. Why do you think the K-pop group BLACKPINK became a thing in the first place? Yes, they were inspired by Bayern.

...okay, maybe not.

The kit was worn eight times: five times in the league, thrice in the Champions League. Funnily enough, one of those league games was away to Wolfsburg, but when Bayern played them in the Pokal at the same venue, they suited up in their home kit instead. Huh. Anyway, the shirt’s record was six wins, one draw, and one defeat.

2019/2020

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

We already introduced this shirt in the previous episode, but it deserves to be mentioned again. It’s so bafflingly beautiful, it’s the best third kit that adidas put out that season, if not the best kit overall. This is by far the best kit on this list, and some may disagree, but hear me out.

The reason this kit makes this list is that it’s the perfect blend of tradition and modern fashion. It’s dark navy for starters, which is an absolutely beautiful color to begin with. Its highlights are neon orange. Fun fact, blue and orange are complementary colors, which come together to create a stark, eye-catching contrast. Now here’s where the tradition comes in - speckled all over the shirt are tiny, subtle diamonds that pay homage to the Bavarian flag. It gives the shirt a fashionable, modern look while also staying loyal to the club’s roots. Whoever decided to put those diamonds on the shirt really deserves a pay raise.

Sadly, the kit was only worn five times, but Bayern were undefeated in those five games, coming away with four wins and a draw in three league games and two Champions League games. As for the season itself, well, we all know how 2019/2020 ended.

2021/2022

FBL-GER-SUPERCUP-DORTMUND-BAYERN MUNICH Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

This is the one and only kit on our list that isn’t black or blue. It’s white, but it has one heck of a pattern on it, and apparently a lot of people like it. Taking inspiration from the Bavarian Alps, the shirt sports a light blue-gray series of zigzag lines that resemble mountain peaks. Add that to the shirt’s white background, and it doesn’t take too much imagination to picture the snow-covered alpine slopes that surround Munich and its home state. The idea is pretty good, I’ll give them that. Bright red logos and stripes complete the look.

Now, I wasn’t really a big fan of the kit when it first came out. I thought it looked too jarring, and it was pretty different from the original leak, which I thought looked much better. But the kit’s slowly starting to grow on me. It’s definitely unique, and it doesn’t look as shocking as it did at first. I’m not completely sold on it yet, but who knows what I’ll think by the end of the season.

It’s still early in the season, but the kit has already been worn thrice in three different competitions. It was worn in Bayern’s most recent game, the 5-1 blowout win over Leverkusen. It was also worn in another big win against Barcelona, and it already has a trophy to its name, having been worn in the DFL Supercup win over Dortmund.

So there we go! Which third kit was your favorite so far? Let us know in the comments!