Let Me Talk Fashion: What To Wear To The Football Tailgate

Let Me Talk Fashion is our weekly installment going Two Buttons Deep into the do’s and don’ts of everyday fashion. As Joan River’s extended Grandaughter, it is my duty to help keep the world lookin’ fashionable and practical one LMTF at a time. This week: ‘what to wear to the football tailgate’

We’ve already discussed fall fashion here on LMTF, but this week we’re going to get specific. Because even though it’s hard to believe there’s more to this season than pumpkin picking and snapchat-ing yourself halfway up an apple tree, there’s another pretty important thing out there called football.

Our dads love it. Our male friends love it. The ladies (sometimes pretend to) love it. It’s one big party from Thursday night to Monday night as the big networks broadcast hours of collegiate and NFL games, while we all sit on the other end of the screen screaming, overeating and slowly but surely earning our own spot on team mega-hungover.


While most fans watch games from the comfort of their favorite sofa or rowdy dive bar, there’s a few of us lucky folks who have the opportunity to attend a real, live major football game. It truly is an exciting experience, and it’s usually also freezing, unless you’re enjoying some SEC football down south or checking out the new L.A. Rams out west. But you know where this is going. What’s even more fun than watching four quarters of insanely large men tackling each other, concussing themselves and celebrating like children? The tailgate!



It’s all about the booze, the corn hole and the pre-game fun. The unique traditions of tailgates are what turn them from a street party into a ritual, which is why many people go. Especially for those of us who love the atmosphere, but aren’t super in-tune to what happens on the bookends of the halftime performance.

And of course, a tailgate is an A+ photo-op that will guarantee some serious likes. We want to be cute, but we must also be smart in our attire. Tailgating and attending a game requires hours of commitment. You have to be ready to be pouring mimosas into Solo cups at Noon when it’s 65 degrees, and also be able to slug down $12 Bud Lights until the stadium lights turn off at 32 degrees.

What do we wear to an event like this? It’s hard not to be basic and go with the beanie, boots and knee-highs with a cozy vest or long parka. And all of that is totally fine, for the most part. Whether you’re a big fan or not, follow these few tips when you’re planning your Game Day best:

  1. Whether you’re a groupie or a go-with-the-flow type of fan, ditch the ladies jersey.


I understand the need to show your pride and support to fit in with the crowd, but stay away from the ladies jersey for a couple of reasons. One – they’re super expensive! Other than game day, what other occasions will your  $100+ jersey be useful? Don’t bother spending the cash to have your favorite player’s name stitched on your back when he could be off the team in six month’s time (or suddenly refuses to stand during the National Anthem).

Another reason to avoid this style? A ladies jersey is obviously a bit more fitted than men’s, which makes it difficult to layer warm enough clothes on underneath. Since the long-sleeve under short-sleeve trend isn’t exactly a hit on the runway these days, you definitely don’t want to be rolling up to the stadium parking lot in just short sleeves this fall. To cheer on those babes in football pants in style, try a team beanie or heavy scarf with your team’s colors or logo. Cheaper + warmer = an early win before kickoff.

 2. Whatever you do, wear comfortable shoes.


Don’t be a hero! I know those little white Converse look cute with Lulu leggings, but if you’re going to a game where you know it’s going to cool down quick, don’t even bother with the low top, canvas sneaks.

Boots are your BFF, and nothing with a heel or a wedge. The only place that’ll getcha is an ambulance after you slide down the steep steps trying to find your seat. I’m not advocating for breadloaf UGGs with no style, but a comfortable, warm boot with a little bit of flair that allows you to stand on your own two feet for hours on end.

3. Think twice before bringing your entire life with you in one bag.



We’re not trying to impress anyone here, at least not after the first couple of hours on game day. So, there’s no need to bring touchup makeup, three different packs of gum and 100 bobby pins in your endless pit of a Michael Kors tote your ex boyfriend bought you for Christmas 2012.

Instead, bring something small that goes right over the shoulder. It’s maintenance free, safe and secure by your side at all times – rather than something that can easily get left behind underneath your seat or in the back of the pickup truck holding the portable grill. Plus, you’ll only have the essentials packed inside, making room for things like a pair of gloves and chapstick for when the wind picks up.

4. Don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion.


It stings a little, I know, but it’s the best piece of advice –especially when it comes to dressing right for an outdoor sporting event. It’s easy to say you’ll wear a cute vest and be warm enough with just a flannel shirt underneath, or to ditch the hat as to not mess up your hair. But it just isn’t worth it. You’ll be freezing, miserable and spill a drink on your favorite, expensive sweater that was just not meant to be worn under these circumstances.

And PS (this is a big one): Boys don’t even care about what you’re wearing! Especially now, at a game, in their element where the only worry in the world is if the calls are fair and the beer tap is flowing.

So go all out when it comes to being warm and being comfortable at a game. An oversized sweatshirt with the team’s retro logo or a bright, colorful beanie with a pom-pom on top and your longest Northface jacket over top works perfect. It’s adorable given the circumstances and will keep you feeling good from kickoff to the final countdown.

Does this help? Are we ready for game day? Well you better be, because we’re rolling into the weekend full of sports and tailgate fun – and now there’s no excuse to not be looking and feeling good on game day.


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