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Outfits Under $100: Spirited & Stylish for Football Games


Fashion at a college football game
(Photo Credit)

When Saturday hits, packed stadiums at colleges around the country will be roaring with the vivacious cheers of loyal fans. That’s right… Football season is officially upon us! For a stylish college gal, football Saturdays prompt another question besides “Where to tailgate?” and “Will the team win?” —“What should I wear?”

This post offers up some tips on how to dress for football games with school spirit and style, while on a budget. With these pointers and suggestions, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an excuse for looking frumpy when you’re heading to the field.

Kick off the football season in style with our tips:

Tips for What to Wear to College Football Games

* Don’t limit yourself to team gear.
There’s lots of great school-branded clothing out there, but why limit yourself? You can wear your favorite clothes to games if you find them in your college’s colors. This opens up your options to shopping at any store, so instead of spending $20 on a tired “Insert-School-Name-Here” shirt, you can invest the cash in a cute top that you could wear to the game, or to class, or out for the night. Also, open yourself up to more options than t-shirts and jeans — sundresses, camisoles and skirts make for comfy and classy game gear, too.

* Go with the customs of your school, but don’t be a slave to fashion.
While researching this article, I came across a photo of girls tailgating — all of them were wearing heels! While at many schools it’s customary to dress up nicely for games, I would never advise being a slave to fashion. Most sporting events are hard to navigate in heels, so if you’re not comfortable in them, don’t hurt yourself. If you want some height, wedges are a comfortable option.

* Don’t be afraid to express your personal style.
When you’re in a crowd of students dressed in the same colors and rooting for the same team, it can be easy to get lost in the mix. But that doesn’t mean your style needs to get lost in the crowd, too. Combine your favorite accessories, shoes and clothes with school spirit and you’ll be the most stylish girl at the game.

* Can’t find what you want? DIY.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and do-it-yourself if you can’t find a game-worthy dress or top. With just a couple t-shirts and some sewing talent, you could fashion yourself an adorable dress and a fashionable strapless or one-shouldered top (or a couple of t-shirt scarves!). Don’t let the team store limit your style.

* Don’t forget accessories!
No outfit is complete without the right accessories. Find cute fashion jewelry — like plastic bead necklaces or hoop earrings — in your school colors at mall stores like Forever 21, or check out your local team store for face decals and mini pom-poms.

* Look for team gear in updated cuts, flattering fits and cool styles.
No longer are ladies limited to bulky (and boring) tees, sweatshirts and jerseys. Today, you can find new sportswear brands specifically targeted to fashionable female fans. (Check out the outfits below from some of our favorite pieces from these brands!)

* Heat wave? Don’t forget sunnies, sandals and sunscreen!
The football season spans end-of-summer heat to end-of-fall chills. (And some schools are lucky enough to have sunny skies year round!) When it’s hot out, you don’t want to forget sunglasses, sunscreen, and the best summer footwear, sandals.

* Chilly outside? Find cute cold-weather accessories in your team’s colors.
When it turns cold, you want to bundle up so the game isn’t spoiled with shivers and numb hands. I recommend scarves, mittens, and even cute earmuffs in your team colors. As always, you can find these at your team’s store or just buy them in your team colors elsewhere!

College tailgating style and fashion
(Photo Credits: USC, University of Florida, Mizzou, Clemson)

Outfit #1: Casual Cool

Example School: University of Southern California

USC fashion - fashion at the University of Southern California

Product Info: Top, Bangles, Hoop Earrings, Headwrap, Shorts, Foam Finger, Sandals.

Outfit #2: Sexy and Spirited

Example School: University of Texas

University of Texas style

Product Info: Top, Skinny Jeans, Wedge Boots.

Outfit #3: Fancy Fan

Example School: Ole Miss

Fashion at Ole Miss

Product Info: Dress, Necklace, Bracelet, Sandals.

More Football Finds Under $50:

Football Finds Under $50

Product Info (L-R): Auburn Shirt, Tennessee Cardigan, Illinois Hoodie, Iowa Jersey.

What do you think?

How do you like to dress for football games? Which of these outfits is most like your school’s football style? Do you have any suggestions for football game attire? Please leave a comment! Thanks for reading.

Posted on on September 22, 2010 / Filed Under: Shopping / Tags: , , , , ,

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40 Responses to “Outfits Under $100: Spirited & Stylish for Football Games”

  1. 1
    September 22nd, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    um, this article would have been way better if it was all Mizzou stuff, Ali!



  2. 2
    September 22nd, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    i really like how you showed both casual and more dressed-up looks. that texas tube top is way cute!

  3. 3
    September 22nd, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    the link for the red dress is not correct or something because its not taking me there. also the boots are out of stock! i’m so sad right now.

  4. 4
    September 22nd, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Ashley – I considered it for a hot minute!

    Sharon – Sorry about the link! They must have taken the dress off the site just recently; I presume it sold-out. Here’s a link to more red dresses on Lulu*s:

    Also, here are some more boots that are similar:

    Thanks for commenting!

  5. 5
    September 22nd, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    These outfits are mad cute, but I’m up at school in New Hampshire; I know a lot of your readers are in New England, and I’m about as extremely north as it gets in New England! So I’d definitely love to see some equally adorable outfits for the ladies expecting a cold fall.

  6. 6
    September 22nd, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Go Hawkeyes! UIowa students are OBSESSED with football (duh) and the Iowa Hawk Shop has its own jewelry line… pretty intense!!

  7. 7
    September 22nd, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Ali, this is awesome! No one tailgates like the Big 12 :) Too back we’re going to kick Mizzou’s butt!

    At OU, girls and guys both go crazy for cowboy boots on game days. I know its very cliche Oklahoma, but I’m from Tulsa and I never encountered anyone who wore them unless it was for a costume party until I came to college. I guess its kind of considered “spirit wear” out here haha!

    All the girls also buy extra large t-shirts and take it to a tailor’s shop and turn it into a dress for game days. they’re really basic strapless dresses, but they stay nice and cool throughout the game!

  8. 8
    September 22nd, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    Wow, there is someone else on here saying Go Hawkeyes! Haha, awesome. I must say the Hawk Shop is pretty awesome, and about the tailgating in Big 12…. psh you haven’t tailgated until you’ve done so at an Iowa Hawkeye game. :)

  9. 9
    September 22nd, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    This one is SO perfect – thank you for writing this! I probably wouldn’t do this for my school (we don’t have a football team – we’re a liberal arts) but I’m a HUGE HUGE HUGE Steelers fan (we’re gonna win this year!) and I’ve been wanting to think of new ideas on how to dress for it – p.s. love that USC shirt – did it come that way or would you have to cut it?

  10. 10
    September 22nd, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Awesome post however my school doesn’t have a football team- we’re a hockey school (as one kid I know put it, “hockey is our religion”) ! I’m assuming that this doesn’t just apply to football but to hockey as well? After reading this article I have some really cute ideas for outfits for games, all involving my school color- orange!

  11. 11
    September 22nd, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I love this post! I’m a freshman at my college and all the girl dress super cute for out football games so this post will help me a ton :D

    do you know any good diy websites? Because our bookstore is crazy expensive ($80 for a tube top dress!!) and I wanted to design some cute clothing that I can create myself :D

  12. 12
    September 22nd, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    ah i went to my first football game at weekend- i was completely overdressed!!
    maybe it’s that people don’t dress up generally here in duluth or they really don’t dress up for football games, but my ensemble of bulldogs tshirt, hotpants and tights, boots, a blazer and pearls didn’t quite fit in!!
    plus i was freeeezing!!

    Charlotte xxx

  13. 13
    September 22nd, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    I love using It’s like a whole warehouse full of college and professional team apparel…you can find anything there, and I swear I don’t work for them!

  14. 14
    September 22nd, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Yay already 2 comments!
    Go Hawks!!

  15. 15
    September 23rd, 2010 at 12:07 am

    @ Ashley, Leah and Baylee – I ALMOST went to Iowa (it was a close second to Mizzou) so I have a spot in my heart for the Hawkeyes!

    @ Chelsea – Yay for Big 12! But sadly, you totally are going to kill us in football this year :) Love the idea about making a strapless dress, but I have zero sewing skills. Is there a super easy way to do it?

    @ Lizzy – These ideas definitely work for NFL football, too! And the USC shirt does come like that. If you want to get a similar look on your own, I just had a blog post about how to easily spice up a basic, cheap team tee:

    @ Jem – These ideas apply to any school sport, so I’m glad you got some ideas for hockey games! The only thing to change up is dressing a bit warmer than these examples I suppose!

    @ Sydney – I’m constantly searching for a site that explains how to make your own tube dress; some of my friends have done it, but unlike them, I have no sewing skills or a sewing machine. I would suggest playing around with making a t-shirt into a tube top (it seems a little less complicated than a dress), or find a cute dress in your school colors that you could wear with game day jewelry or accessories.

    Thanks everyone for commenting!! I love your feedback, and I’m glad you enjoyed this post!

  16. 16
    September 23rd, 2010 at 12:29 am

    OHHHH I do like that Tennessee caridgan! If only I went to Tennessee.

  17. 17
    September 23rd, 2010 at 12:37 am

    @ Millie Mae – They have the same cardigan for a bunch of other schools, too! Go to the collegiate section of Victoria’s Secret Pink to see if they have it for your school:

  18. 18
    September 23rd, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Hehe fancy fan is really great!

  19. 19
    September 23rd, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Those clothes were really cool. I love them all. Need to buy one. Thanks for the informative article. Keep up the good work.

  20. 20
    September 23rd, 2010 at 7:35 am

    My college’s bookstore actually sells really cute sundresses in my school’s colors!
    This is the first year I’ve seen them but I LOVE them and they are a much girly-er option for football games.

    I own one that has pockets and a flattering cut!

  21. 21
    September 23rd, 2010 at 7:41 am

    It is so useful imformation bacause you suggest a lot of tips about practical fashion! Thank u :)

  22. 22
    September 23rd, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Love this! Football is so important to me, I love going to the games. And I love that USC was on this post- fight on!

  23. 23
    September 23rd, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    These oufits are so cute! my school has things like the mud bowl and these would get ruined! but just for watching – i would look cute!

  24. 24
    September 23rd, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Really enjoyed the post, although since I’m in my junior year I’ve pretty much settled into, and bought, most of my gameday outfit possibilities. On another note, where is the SEC love on the comments?? Geaux Tigers!!

  25. 25
    September 23rd, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Love this topic! It’s so important, but hardly ever covered in fashion blogs. Football season is about having fun with friends, cheering on your team and looking great while doing it! Life’s not just about the journey but what you wear along the way.

  26. 26
    September 23rd, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    As a girl who is obsessed with the NFL, has awesome shirts! They have a brand “Junk Food” which usually has vintage style tees that I wish I could own every single one of! But I found a really awesome (actual vintage) shirt of my favorite team on ebay, a great find.

  27. 27
    September 25th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Ali,
    My name is Lusine and I’m the owner of SPORTi – We make fashionable apparel for female sport fans and I don’t know how to thank you….
    OMG, I just checked my google analytics and was shocked how I had this surge and looked into it and found out why. You have no idea how much this means to me. I love you to death! Thank you thank you thank you sooooo much for finding SPORTi and featuring it on your blog.


  28. 28
    September 25th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Can I just say how AWESOME this is, Ali? Where’s the ACC love? GO CANES! :)

  29. 29
    September 26th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    @ JJ – I’m a senior, and I still find myself buying new stuff for game days. It’s never too late to revamp the tailgate attire!

    @ Lusine – It’s so hard for fashionable girls to find stylish team clothes, so I was really excited when I came across your site! But you don’t sell stuff for my school… yet? You should definitely feature Mizzou clothes! They would be huge sellers. I was so happy to feature your adorable shirt and touched by your comment. :)

    Thanks everyone for reading and commenting!! I love reading each and every one of your comments.

  30. 30
    September 27th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for posting this! My alma mater doesn’t have a football team, but I’m going to my sister’s school’s homecoming game this weekend! I already have a San Jose State shirt, but I need a sweatshirt. Ooh…I should find out what people usually wear to the games…

  31. 31
    October 1st, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Great article but what about sports other than football? There’s hockey, baseball, basketball.

  32. 32
    October 1st, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    @ Anne – This post primarily focuses on football because right now it’s football season, not basketball, hockey, or baseball season (at least not for college players). We try to be timely. But these tips and outfits really apply to any sporting event!

    Thanks for commenting!

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