After an association with Umbro that stretched back almost 50 years, the SFA turned to Fila, an Italian sportswear company, for their next set of kits. Established in 1911, Fila had a long pedigree of producing sports equipment but were relative newcomers in the football kit market, to which they brought a sophisticated approach typical of Italian design. Their understated navy and white kit was complemented by a simplified crest traditional navy stockings with maroon turnovers. This last detail had considerable, if unintended, historical resonance: the most popular club colours in Scotland in the years following the formation of the SFA were navy, white and maroon.
The change kit was just as elegant, and a change of direction from the startling designs of the 1990s. The navy insets on the body and V neck were subtly complemented with a yellow border.
6 June 2003
Fila's next contribution, which first appeared when Scotland beat South Korea 4-1 in Busan on 16 May 2002, was perhaps less satisfactory than their previous offering, as was the performance of the national side under Bertie Vogts, the first non-Scot to manage the team. The candy stripes and inset-collar had a retro-feel to them but did not connect with any previous Scottish kit while the decision to wear predominantly white stockings was a distinct break with tradition. (A navy set with white tops was used when stockings clashed.)
The yellow and navy change kit, while perfectly smart, did not really stand out as a landmark Scottish kit: Fila can hardly be blamed for this given the SFA's willingness to embrace any and all colour combinations in the team's change kit.
Fila's contract was not renewed when it expired at the end of its three-year term.
The SFA's new kit partner was Diadora, another Italian company that supplied a significant number of UK clubs. Their new designs closely resembled Fila's 2000-02 set even down to the maroon turnovers on the navy stockings. The tapered seam from collar to armpit was something of a trademark feature as were the tapered stripes on the "home" kit shorts.
A new crest incorporating the saltire cross below the traditional shield with red lion rampant and "SCOTLAND" printed above was introduced.
The white and navy "away" kit featured fashionable raised seams picked out with contrasting stitching. On 18 August 2004, Scotland unveiled their first ever third kit in amber and navy at Hampden Park in a friendly with Hungary. A heavy 0-3 home defeat was perhaps a suitable verdict on this entirely unnecessary addition to Scotland's kit locker. The "One-in-Eleven" shoulder flashes (the spotty bits at the shoulder) changed colour according to the wearer's body temperature, a valuable addition to the noble art of kit design, no doubt.
Diadora's 2005 designs were based on standard templates that featured fashionable asymmetric trim. A unique feature was the vertical trim on the right stocking, which must have caused some consternation in the dressing room. The choice of sky blue as a second choice colour seems almost perverse as it could not be used against teams wearing blue shirts, ensuring that the amber third kit got a few outings (as it did when Scotland beat Japan on penalties to win the Kirin Cup on 13 May 2006).
The sky blue kit was worn in Norway (who were in red shirts) in a World Cup qualifier on 7 September 2005.
There was nothing understated with Diadora's 2007 set of kits. The new "home" outfit was all-navy with metallic gold trim. The change kit was in all-white with a pale blue St Andrew's cross on the chest, an inspired interpretation of a patriotic theme, worn for the first time against Italy, in Bari, on 28 March 2007 in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
2008 brought a return to tradition although the stockings would have looked better if they were reversed. The all-white change kit was retained while a new third kit, described as "cherry red" was introduced. The new kit was used just once, when Scotland were soundly beaten in Georgia, and never seen again.
"Alba" was embroidered on the reverse of the navy blue shirt below the collar, a nice gesture towards the Scots Gaelic speaking community.
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