You’ve got the tickets in hand and you’re ready to strut into that NFL stadium or College Game Day, but now you’re stuck figuring out what to wear.
First – let me be clear – I am by no means a fashionista or whatever term those TJ Maxx commercials have so cleverly coined. But, I do go to a ton of sporting events and have pretty much figured out what to wear in any situation and more importantly, what not to wear. Sometimes, as a member of the NFL media, I have to abide by their rules and that usually means I can’t wear team logos and have to be a little dressier than I’d like for a game.
My favorite football team is the Philadelphia Eagles, and sometimes I want to dress up my outfit, so I found an awesome Kelly Green (the team color) blazer from Urban Outfitters, and I also have a pair of green Uggs. Although nothing on me says Eagles, it’s clear who my team is. Here’s a little help that’ll take you from pre-game and tailgates all the way to overtime:
Determine the weather (this should be a no-brainer for most humans venturing outside). If there’s a chance of rain, perhaps avoid a white t-shirt or your favorite leather bag. Rain is tricky, so don’t forget to ask yourself what shoes will hold up in puddles or if there’s a chance your brand new tank top will bleed.
Is the stadium/arena/ballpark indoors? Does it have a retractable roof? If so, you may be able to ignore the first point regarding weather, but it can also help you plan. If it’s 98 degrees outside, but the ballpark has AC, don’t sweat it. (Get it?)
Is this an NFL stadium where the new handbag policy is in full effect? Keep in mind that even if you’re going to a college game at an NFL stadium, you may still have to forego your coveted purse, but unfortunately, each stadium and team (when it comes to non-NFL games) has a different policy. If your only team gear is your customized clutch, you may want to rethink the total outfit.
Will you be tailgating? Even if it’s a primetime 7pm game, your friends may want to get there five hours early to drink a few Bud Lights and grill some brats. That’ll change your wardrobe. Don’t wear 5-inch heels if you plan on throwing the pigskin around the parking lot.
Are you in a suite or in a player’s section? If so, think twice (maybe even thrice) about wearing rival gear. I was in a suite at the Houston Texans game last week with a sign that politely reminded guests that opposing team gear was not permitted in the suite, and if so, they’d be asked to leave. Imagine how embarrassed you’d be if you were asked to leave! Being ejected from the game is never fun.
Don’t, under any circumstance, wear unrelated fan gear. If the Lakers aren’t playing in this particular NHL game, you needn’t wear a Lakers jersey. Or hat. Or t-shirt.
If you choose to wear any team apparel (especially with a player’s name), be prepared for a fan to challenge you. They’ll ask questions to see how big of a fan you really are. If you don’t care, no worries, but it’s likely fans will heckle you. Loyal and crazy fans (myself included) take extreme pride in their team – consider this a friendly warning.
Speaking of apparel, if you don’t have any licensed team gear, don’t panic.You can always choose to rock the team colors instead of a branded New York Knicks t-shirt. See what color the team wears (a quick Google search of the team logo should do the trick) and put together a fashionable ensemble from stuff you already own. Sometimes you’ll see trendier and fashionable gals wearing a pair of blue skinny jeans, a white top and orange accent jewelry (that outfit works for the above Knicks for example).
Get creative. If you don’t already own any licensed team apparel and aren’t interested in purchasing any, don’t worry. If you want to root for Florida State, but don’t want to wear cheesy blinged-out earrings they’re selling in the campus bookstore, opt for dangly feathered ones in team colors or even arrows to go with the whole Florida State logo and theme. It’s still obvious who you’re rooting for, but the accessories are multi-functional and can be worn elsewhere, even “out of season.”
Speaking of team colors, if you choose to go rogue and wear nothing spirited for your team, you may want to do a quick check of what the opposing team’s colors are. If the Eagles are playing the Cowboys and you don’t want your clothes to root for either team, you might reconsider that navy and silver racerback you just bought from Neiman’s, because that surely screams Cowboys fan.
If your seats are really high, forego heels and skirts/dresses.Climbing up all those stairs will allow fans to check you out instead of that double play.
And lastly, be comfortable.That’s the biggest rule no matter what you’re dressing for. You could be stuck there for overtime, so wear something that feels good to you.