November 4, 2013

How to look stylish on game day

Football fans have varying ideas of what constitutes as their “Sunday best.”

Football fans have varying ideas of what constitutes as their “Sunday best.”

Look no further than the guy in the mustard-stained jersey who insists his lucky game day get-up is the reason behind his team’s nearly undefeated record. (It would be a perfect winning record if his jersey hadn’t wound up in the washer that one time. Gosh.)

For the guy who would consider it a lifetime achievement award to star in an ESPN clip, there’s a lot of accessorizing with face paint and clever posters. The Southern football fan, on the other hand, is wearing a dapper bowtie to root for his SEC team on Saturday afternoon.

Sure, most of the attention is on the field during football season. But say you do end up on the Jumbotron? Or you’re at a tailgating party with a young woman who is fluent in football jargon? You’ll want a look that says, “Yes, I have both team spirit and style – and most importantly no stains on my shirt.”

So, what look is the equivalent of a fashion touchdown this year?

“Trends in fanware include lots of vintage and retro styles, with throwback team logos on super-soft understated T-shirts,” says Alexis Jackson, the writer behind Stylish Gameday (

Jackson, a Florida Gators fan who started her site in 2011 to focus on game day fashion, recipes and the sophisticated side of tailgating, also is taking note of this season’s camouflage trend appearing on sports apparel. Camo was all over the catwalk and has wound up as a dominating pattern this fall on men’s apparel.

Jackson lends this key tip: Plan ahead and monitor the weather forecast up until the day of the game so you don’t, say, end up wearing canvas shoes in rain-sloshed stands. And, on those cooler fall days, she’s noticing more men embracing scarves.

Here are a few gameday style tips from the pros.

You don’t have to be too literal. “Stick with team colors – but you don’t need to display the team logo or mascot all over your shirt or hat,” Jackson says.

To be stylish on game days, you'll want to differentiate yourself from the crowd some, she suggests.

“Look past the college bookstore and find a polo that is striped in your team colors and pair that with jeans and Toms,” she says.

Toms ( has a whole collegiate line, with colorblocked shoes representing schools from Alabama to Wisconsin. The “Men’s Campus Classics” from Toms are $48 a pair.

Dress in layers. You don’t have to conceal your team spirit as the crisper fall days approach. You’ll find cold-weather apparel at Old Navy ( including long-sleeve thermals, hoodies and NFL beanies with a classic, retro appeal.

“Layering is also key to enjoying a game in style and allows you to dress up or down,” says Julie Luker, Old Navy senior public relations manager. “For a preppier look, throw a chambray or oxford under a crewneck team fleece, pair with khakis and finish with a military-style wool or canvas jacket.”

For a more casual approach, Luker suggests, layer a waffle-knit thermal under your favorite fan T-shirt, toss on your go-to denim and add a zip-front hoodie in your team’s colors.

Put your money where your team is. Alex Grimmer, owner and operator of Freakywallet, handcrafts NFL-themed Duct tape wallets. He got the idea after watching Sunday football with his buddies – and noticing one of his friends, a San Francisco 49ers fan – was showing up without any team gear. He made one for his pal and the requests started pouring in.

“After that, I started selling them in Venice Beach along with my other wallets – and, to this day – they are some of my top sellers,” Grimmer says.

You can find Duct tape wallets for all 32 NFL teams online (, where the wallets sell for $14 each.

And, in case you missed it, Duct tape wallets are a hot-ticket item now.

During a recent press conference, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson showed off a handmade duct tape wallet that an 11-year-old patient gifted to him while he was visiting a children’s hospital. The girl is recovering from surgery after a heart transplant, and the picture of Wilson holding her handmade wallet went viral.

Accessorize like a pro. Of course, you can wear a baseball hat with your team’s logo. But, for those cold, snowy days, there’s a good selection of cozy hats that have a fun streak or vintage vibe.

At Kohl’s (, the Mohican Knit Beanie has braided tassels and is topped off with a mohawk in your team’s color. The “Yeti Cap” has a “the ’80s are cool again” look – with a chunky knit and fleece lining.

If you’re taking a client to the game and you’ve got club level seats, the quickest way to take your button-up shirt from “office” to “stadium” is with themed cufflinks. You can find “Logo Cufflinks” to rep your favorite NFL team at Brookstone (

And, for college football fans, “Game-Used College Football Helmet Cufflinks” at Uncommon Goods ( are shaped like helmets and made from real, game-played helmets.


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