What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. The football calendar is a seemingly never-ending onslaught of news and stories that aren’t actually newsworthy, but we’ve finally made it back to action getting on the field with college ball kicking off this weekend. (Climbs onto high horse.) I find college football much more “romantic” in the way that people are passionate about the game, from fans to the competitors themselves. Often times, there’s a deeper rooting interest because it’s your alma mater or that of a loved one. That, and you’re watching 18-22 year olds out there putting their best effort in every play. Some for a chance to make it to the next level, some out of sheer unadulterated love of the game. If you’re jaded by the NFL news-monster, check out some of the primetime NCAA (a monster itself) games this weekend to see a what I mean. And below, for the bigger fans among us, what to wear for your kickoff house party or trip to the taphouse to cheer on “Old State.” And yes, it might be a bit muggy to wear this depending on location, but, c’mon. A guy can dream of fall, no?
The “Polo”: Team Issue Performance Polo (price varies). You are an adult man. Do not put on an over-priced jersey. Especially when 1) It’s the jersey a teenager is wearing on the field and 2) A teenager that is seeing zero financial benefit from your purchase, despite their grueling training and efforts for the field. Enter, the team issued polo. These, too, can be over-priced, but it’s a worthy splurge that can last for multiple seasons. Better than a plain-jane t-shirt, and even acceptable for casual Fridays in the office before a big game. The above option from Nike has nice retro-collegiate detailing in a unique off-white color. Want something a little more… traditional? Try these new “tailgate” polos from Criquet. Deep placket, great cotton, sharp fit, and the collar has collar stays. Spendy as hell, but really nice.
The Jeans: Amazon Goodthreads Athletic Fit Jeans – $40. Whether you’re sitting or standing for long stretches, you want something that can move with you as you entertain (or be entertained) at a house party and the various activities that come with it, or running from the table to the bar for a fresh pint.
The Watch: Seiko Sea Urchin Automatic – $137.59. College is, wait for it, expensive. I know, profound. And a lot of people go years and years and years with the long tail of loans taking bites out of their paychecks. This watch is pretty darn affordable for what you get. Something you can wear the heck out of.
The Shoes: Cole Haan Grand Pro Sneaker – $79.99 w/ OMGSHOES ($99.99). Keeping with the athletic-inspired retro-vibe, lean into the athletic adjacency with these kicks from Cole Haan. Exceptional comfort with high-quality leather to match. Full review can be found here.
The Belt: Amazon Essentials Stretch Woven Belt in Navy – $19. Something easily adjustable after a few pints and a dozen-or-more wings.
The Drink: A craft beer from your team’s home state. For me, I’m usually going with an IPA from Troegs Independent Brewing, Victory Brewing Company, or an ‘ole reliable Yuengling lager.
The Between-Games/After Match Competition: Catch. Have a toss with the official NCAA pigskin (or, something a lot cheaper) during half time or between the afternoon games while the second round of food is getting ready. There’s something beautiful about the simplicity of throwing a ball back and forth with people. And often, it spirals into running routes or a full-on pickup game.
The Prep & Postgame: The MMQB Podcast and SI NCAAF. I love that there are so many niche and regional sports publications to get the latest and breaking news from, but when it comes to deep-dive editorial content, Sports Illustrated has always been my go-to. Check out the MMQB podcast for NFL stories on-the-go, and the SI NCAA Football page for nicely written pieces.
About the Author: Jason P. is a Dappered devotee, having curated the majority of his wardrobe through the site. He is an enthusiast of wool sweaters, chino pants, and affordable automatic watches. In his free time, you can find him at his boxing gym or antiquing with his wife.