1931-32 FA Cup
Sept-Oct 1961 A
Oct 1961-1962 A
1966 FA Cup SF
March 1972 A
Sept 1979 3rd
1984-1985 A 85-86 3rd
1988-89 3rd 89-90 A
Generally Chelsea wore white when required to change with red shirts being used from time to time while stripes (probably borrowed) appeared in the FA Cup in the early 1930s.
In the 1950s red was the usual alternative although white shirts were also available. In September 1961 a brand new change strip featuring red bands on a white shirt was worn at Cardiff. This smart outfit was worn again in October and was then replaced with an all-red strip.
The first yellow and blue kit appeared in 1963-64 and has been a popular choice ever since, alternating with all-white throughout the rest of the decade.
In 1972, Chelsea turned out in red shirts with green stockings for the first time. For the 1974-75 season Chelsea introduced a third kit in all-white with a broad vertical panel in red and green. Yellow and blue returned in 1977 but the following season the blue became green and this combination lasted until 1981.
When Le Coq Sportif took over from Umbro as Chelsea's kit partner, they introduced an elegant all-blue home kit with white pinstripes and red/white trim along with an identical change kit in yellow and blue and an all-white third choice strip. Between 1983 and 1985 Chelsea wore some adventurous kits with thin horizontal stripes.
In 1986 Chelsea became the first club to market kits under their own brand, The Chelsea Collection, a range that included a dramatic new away strip in "jade." This colour was used the following season when Umbro designed the club's kits, both home and away versions featuring a diamond shaped pinstripe pattern. These were complemented in 1988-89 by an elaborate red third strip with irregular white and blue hoops, an outfit that became the away kit the following season.
The 90s were notable for the introduction of increasingly extravagant designs by the major manufacturers and Chelsea were at the forefront of fashion. Perhaps most noteworthy is the 1994-96 kit in two shades of grey and bright orange. By the end of the decade designs became more restrained and the familiar yellow and blue theme was reinterpreted in 2000 with a smart amber and blue outfit. By this stage Chelsea had adopted the now familiar practice of replacing one of their kits on a two-year rotation.
In 2002 the first all-black kit appeared and has remained a popular choice ever since. The 2005-06 away kit featured pale blue-grey shirts and was the last kit to be designed by Umbro for the club.
In 2006 Adidas took over from Umbro and introduced a complete new set of relatively restrained kits in blue (home), black (away) and white (third). Their 2007 contribution included a garish fluorescent yellow and black affair, however, that was hard to miss and after a few seasons, their designers turned out some very flashy change strips.
With acknowledgements to John Devlin's True Colours Vol 1 and thanks to Nik Yeomans for his detailed research on the 1954-1982 period.