Saturday afternoons on the Plains are a time when college students get to show how trendy they truly are and in the South, tailgating fashion matters.
What someone wears to a tailgate matters a lot in the current southern society, but maybe it didn’t matter as much a few decades ago. In the ‘60s football fashion wasn’t really a thing. At least, it wasn’t as big of a deal as it is now. The ‘60s were, however, the era of letterman jackets. Young men and women alike would wear them to support their favorite player or significant other.
The ‘60s also featured a lot of miniskirts that were paired with knee-high boots, or flare pants paired with small heels. To top off the look young ladies would add oversized jewelry, sunglasses and neck scarves. Many of these trends were inspired by the leading lady at the time, Jackie Onassis.
Some of these trends carried on into the next decade, but the ‘70s became known as the casual fashion era. Flare pants, which started going by “bell bottoms,” stayed around from the ‘60s and grew in popularity. Bell bottoms were worn by men and women, but were believed to be inspired by the King himself: Elvis Presley.
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Presley’s iconic hair was also an inspiration to many young men of the ‘70s, which catapulted hair perm trends. Men all over were becoming curly-headed in hopes of getting the Studio 54 look, but many consider this to be the worst trend from the decade.
As far as women’s hairstyles go, most had long, straight hair they would fashion into a ponytail or part down the middle. Women were wearing more dresses and pairing them with tights and boots to stay warm on cool fall nights. Larger jackets also took trend, which helped for the later season games.
The ‘80s took a measurable turn from the previous decade by bringing denim and floral to the scene. Granted, these two were never paired together, but it was a drastic change from the ‘70s. Denim became a hot commodity, whether it was in the form of jackets, cropped jeans or patchwork overalls.
Denim jackets were a huge statement piece and were seen often at football stadiums across the country. Jeans were newer to the fashion industry and had just recently jumped in popularity when they started becoming cropped in the ‘80s. On the opposite side of the spectrum, floral prints were all the rage. They were added to women’s shirts and dresses.
The florals gave a pop of color that had been particularly used before in clothing items that were meant for leaving the house. Along with both of those, the shoe of the decade was Keds. Keds could be worn dressed up or dressed down and continued the casualness from the previous decade.
As the ‘90s rolled around, florals turned into animal prints, but the denim seemed to stay. Everywhere you looked in the ‘90s you would see someone in some form of animal print, which seemed to fit the football culture nicely as some people could match their team’s mascot to the clothing patterns.
The denim stayed, but took on a new form that we know today as mom jeans. These were extra high-waisted jeans that featured a comfortable, loose fit. Along with the other trends, hair accessories were on the rise. Young ladies started sporting scrunchies and hair barrettes. This was a new way to style your hair that was inexpensive and could still match your team’s colors.
The ‘00s was a special time in fashion history. The trends seemed to revolve around three styles: streetwear, scene and athleisure. The streetwear trend was very brand -focused. It involved loose T-shirts, hoodies, distressed skinny jeans and lots of chains. It was an easy look for football games because you could just wear a team T-shirt and add some accessories.
The scene style was rarely seen at football games, due to the stereotype of people who wore it. Those who preferred the scene style were known to stay indoors, play videogames and generally not care about sports at all. However, athleisure was on the rise and fairly popular for football nights.
Women could wear matching tracksuits, sometimes bedazzled with rhinestones. It was the most comfortable, casual wear that has ever been seen when it comes to football fashion.
Today tailgating fashion is a much bigger deal. There was little focus on it over the past decades, but now brands will specifically advertise for games in order to sell.
The trends today are a hodge podge of all the previous trends.
There are girls with distressed skinny jeans, an animal print top and a matching scrunchie in their hair.
There are still mini skirts paired with knee-high boots as well as dresses with tights. The one thing that has totally gone out of fashion is the perm, and no one is complaining too much about that.
So next time you’re looking for the perfect outfit for gameday, look to those in the previous decades, mix it all together and you’re bound to make a new trend for the last 2010s.
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