March 3, 2024

Fashion and Football: The Uniform History of the Cleveland Browns


As all fans know at this point, the Browns are changing their look once again for the 2020-21 NFL season, only five years after the controversial uniform change back in 2015. While it might not have had so much of an impact on the team’s level of play, uniforms play a key role in brand image and marketing especially for a team with as loyal of a fanbase as Cleveland. So, in anticipation of the Browns’ new look, let’s take a look at the history of the Brown and Orange from the golden era of Paul Brown all the way to today:

1946-1951: The Beginning

The Browns entered the AAFC in 1946 under the leadership of the legendary coach Paul Brown. The team sported the classic, and seemingly impractical, long-sleeve jerseys that most teams wore in the earlier days of football. The reasoning behind a long-sleeved jersey is rather unclear. They look more like a hockey sweater and it is likely that they were rather uncomfortable, especially since the fabric back then wasn’t very breathable. As for what’s on the jerseys, the vintage look of the block numbers and drop shadow is a rather clean look. Although not as stylish in today’s league, this look is perfect for a retro throwback-style uniform. The traditional sleeve stripe pattern is shown here as well, one that would remain on their uniform for decades. Oh yeah, and the helmets are white! How about that? The Browns began to experiment with a solid orange helmet in 1950 and ‘51 but would not adopt them as their primary until 1952.

The Gridiron Uniform Database: The Cleveland Browns Uniform History

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