Dressing is a game day tradition in Alabama
Each college and university has its own unspoken traditions and rules. At the University of Alabama, football games are a fashion show. On SEC campuses, fans swap their jerseys and t-shirts for dresses, blazers, buttons, and heels.
For Vincent DeSarno, an AU senior specializing in mechanical engineering, houndstooth overalls are his go-to outfit for match days.
“I was looking for something to wear for game days because I was tired of wearing shorts and polo shirts,” DeSarno said. “So I was like, I think a houndstooth jumpsuit would be funny.”
He said he gets a lot of comments about his outfits and has even seen pictures of him on Snapchats and Instagrams of strangers.
“I think it’s just fun because it gives people something to watch and get into the spirit of Alabama football,” DeSarno said.
For those trying to find their signature look, DeSarno said his only advice is to make sure you don’t mind wearing it once a week for four years.
DeSarno, as well as students and alumni such as Nick ebel cemented themselves in UA’s matchday history. Ebel, widely known as the Shaker Skirt Guy, gained national media attention for her skirt made of crimson and white shakers.
Some fans spice up their game day outfits with personalized pieces. Swag, a downtown Tuscaloosa business specializing in unique concepts and artwork, has a print bar where people can create unique t-shirts, embroidered sweatshirts and buttons. Custom game day buttons are a popular addition for Alabama fans.
Fashion is fluid, constantly flowing into the next trend. Despite this, there are some fashion trends that will never go out of style on this campus.
“You see a little bit of everything at the games, ”said Babs Davis, UA Apparel and Apparel Instructor. “Fashion as a whole accepts different things so much better. It is the reflection of society. ”
Trends for match day can come and go, but the tradition remains. The basic parts are recycled year after year:
- Houndstooth: It wouldn’t be a Crimson Tide football game without the iconic pattern. The black and white pattern was cemented in UA history with Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s houndstooth fedora. Now it can be seen on pants, tops and accessories.
- WHITE VINYL BOOTS: Boots never seem to go out of style when playing games, no matter the weather. White boots are a staple on campus during football season.
- Cowboy Boots: David mentioned this particularity. The boot trend goes in cycles but always comes back.
The match day fashion reflects how seriously the South takes football, especially college football. In a state like Alabama, which does not have an NFL team, college football reigns supreme.
The thought of dressing just for a soccer game or soccer game might put people off going to a school like the University of Alabama, but for the most part, this tradition is appealing. .
Davis attended University from 2003-2005 for his Masters in Fashion Retail. She has seen styles come and go at games in Alabama.
“The trends for game days may have changed, but we got dressed for the games,” said Davis. “The dresses are a bit shorter these days. ”
For those who aren’t sports fans, the pre-game costumes and festivities are the most exciting part of Saturdays in Tuscaloosa.
“I loved that people go all out for our games,” said Nia Cosby, an AU senior majoring in engineering. “I thought it would only be a few people, but everyone is participating.”
It might seem silly to wear costumes or heels to stand in bleachers with 100,000 fans, but it’s all for one common goal: watching the Crimson Tide.
“I’m from Washington, so joining was a bit of a culture shock,” said Chloe Mannard, senior UA majoring in marketing. “Seeing how people dressed for the games was weird. It can be a bit tricky as it is very hot outside.
On some campuses, dressing for game days is unusual.
“College sports aren’t a big deal here, so it’s interesting how southerners like to go to extremes,” said Sydney Thomas, a Howard University junior specializing in fashion design. “It’s just a regional thing.”
Game day fashion on campus generates revenue for online boutiques and fashion brands. There is an integrated clientele in a university town like Tuscaloosa, in particular companies specializing in the style of games.
Kylin Alycé, UA second year student majoring in business management and founder of Dutchie’s Diamonds LLC, founded his company based on his knowledge of match day fashion traditions.
“The idea came from me while trying to integrate my business into my school,” Alycé said. “I noticed we don’t dress like a regular school on game day.”
Dutchie’s Diamonds, in addition to clothing already sold, has added a collection of game days in time for the Iron Bowl.
While there are dozens of shops in Tuscaloosa when looking for match day clothing, some students prefer to shop online for lower prices and more inclusive sizes. No matter where students shop for their outfits, game day fashion shines.