Tailgate Ready

Dressing the Best at the Tailgate

Pity the man with the vegetable tray. I really have nothing against cut up vegetables and Ranch dip, but I’m glad that I wasn’t the one who showed up at the season’s first Tailgate party with that in hand. It’s just better form to arrive with most anything wrapped in bacon, great sausage to throw on the grill, a bottle of really good Napa Cab or a great new micro brew. All that being said, if you are not the host, what would be worse than not bringing something excellent to share would be to arrive empty-handed.

Excellent food and drink are essential for epic tailgating, but…., to get to the point:

What will you wear to the next tailgate?

Some schools take this seriously enough to publish various guides on what to wear.

Note: Regional differences exist in how people dress to tailgate and watch a football game just as much as they do in “real” life. Getting to see those differences in person is another reason to travel with your team to an away game, especially in a different conference.

The rules for what to wear are really very simple:

Rule #1: Never wear even a hint of the opposition’s colors, especially the primary color of your team’s true rival (even if they aren’t the opponent this week.)

Rule #2: Wear YOUR team’s colors. Most team’s colors include two if not three. Like red, white and blue, or blue and gold. For some schools one color is clearly dominant. On any given game day, sometimes depending on who the opponent will be, you may be asked to or may want to favor one color over another.

Rule #3: Show some personal style. I’ve never been one to wear replica jerseys (at least not since I was about twelve), but I have a collection of Game Day T-shirts and, sweatshirts, and jackets in my team’s colors: some with logos, some without. The bigger the game, the better I dress. As the season progresses and the weather gets cooler, I usually dress with more layers.

Rule #4: Dress for the group you will be with. Last week I tailgated with a group of recent alum. Shorts, a T-shirt, and flip flops fit right in. Had the party included any major donors, school officials, or more people my senior, I would have dressed it up a notch or two.

Rules 1 and 2 are the easy part. For some fool proof ways to abide by Rules 3 and 4, consider the following:

For more details and how to order, Tom James 12 Essentials has you covered.

Let the games begin,


Leave a Reply