Written by Mike Carter, Hull KR Shirts.
It has been a while since I cast my eye over a shirt or training range so I thought I’d get back in the groove with the ‘Thank Our Forces’ range. The Thank Our Forces range has been released in conjunction with Armed Forces Day which is celebrated on Saturday 26th June in 2021.
My initial reaction is good – I like it, but let’s take a closer look to see if those feelings hold up. It certainly includes enough items to be called a range. The range features a t-shirt, polo top, hoody, cap and shorts. All of which “showcase traditional green camo tones”.
The t-shirt, hoody and shorts are all available in adult and junior sizes, with the polo shirt and cap being limited to adults.
This range isn’t exclusive to Rovers, although it might have been… It has been launched by Elite Pro Sports, the parent company of the brand Oxen that we associate with Rovers. The other clubs to have released the range are fellow Super League club Leeds Rhinos, Rugby Union’s Gloucester and Football side Doncaster Rovers. Hull KR, Leeds Rhinos and Gloucester have had their ranges produced with Oxen branding but Doncaster Rovers have theirs with their Club Doncaster branding. If you’d like a closer look you can see them here.
Across the full range the wordmark ‘Thank Our Forces’, the Oxen branding and the Club Crest is embroidered. This isn’t always the case with our t-shirts though as we’re known to take the sublimated option. I assume there is a rule of thumb that indicates if a t-shirt gets embroidered or sublimated. My guess would be if it’s intended to be worn as on-field training by the players it’s sublimated, if not then we take the embroidered option.
I’m a sucker for training shirts. I must have over 10 different styles just from the past 5 years. They’re a great item to throw on for day-to-day activities and this is what appeals to me. They’re light wearing and always feel good to wear to me. This one will be in my basket!
This wasn’t the first item that my eyes were attracted too though. I will reveal that later on in this article.
Throughout the range, I like the way the camo tones are situated in different places on the garments. You’ll notice that on the t-shirt that the camo tones are on the sleeve, where the camo tones on the polo top are on one shoulder and across the upper back.
The trend of the camo tones placement changing continues on the hoody as the tones are situated in segments between the neck and armpits with a full camo toned inner lining of the hood.
Obviously, the placement is different on the shorts. Both of the side panels are kitted out in camo tones. As with all training shorts the club has released, both pockets have zips. A minimal feature to most, but a necessity for me when buying shorts.
The item that first caught my eye was the cap. I don’t know why but it was the first thing I was attracted to. Maybe I need a new cap? The camo tones that appear on the cap are similar to that of the hoody. Small segments making their way from the outer base to the top centre point meeting with a button.
Having looked at each item and studying the photography I have to say that I feel they’ve got the quantity of camo tones perfect. Too much and the design can get lost and if there isn’t enough then the effectiveness is weakened.
Oxen deserves credit for the placement of its branding across the full range. They’ve moved their logo into a secondary position on all of the garments allowing for the Club Crest and Thank Our Forces to be the main feature – as they should be, but I still feel it needs to be said. Kudos Oxen.
The colour combination is beautiful. Green and gold work so well with each other and it’s good to see different tones used to make up the camo effect detailing. Working the Club Crest in its usual colourway wouldn’t have worked as well as what we have, in my opinion. The Crest along with the Thank Our Forces wordmark blend in well with the design. Can you see what they’ve done there? Smart.
Included in the release was a statement regarding the reasoning behind the range. It would read “Honouring and supporting those within the forces, a donation from each purchase will go to the Army Benevolent Fund which has been nominated by the club’s Head of Operations Phil Stow, who proudly served in the Army for 24 years.”
To summarise this range gets the thumbs up from me. The combination of colours is excellent. They all work so well together giving an aesthetically pleasing look. I’ll be purchasing two or three of the range items before the week is out. Assuming that no one tells the Mrs…
What do you think? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.
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