Tailgate Trends 2017


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State fans gathered hours before gates opened at Jack Trice Stadium for the first tailgate of the year before the game on Sept. 2, 2017. 

Olivia Hanson, Livhanson95

The 2017-2018 season of Cyclone football tailgating kicked off last weekend, which means a huge collage of red and gold surrounded and filled Jack Trice Stadium. But zoom in a little closer and you will see that, although everyone is usually wearing red and gold, some people have a more trendy take on how to piece together a stylish and unique ensemble to wear to the occasion.

So what is trending this year? This year the tailgate fashion hype is surrounded by a lot of 80s and 90s-inspired fashion trends. From fanny packs to oversized t-shirts to skirts that stop just short of the knee-line, many of the tailgate fashion trends this year take a trip back in time.

Portobello Road clothing boutique owner, Talia Jensen, says that this year there will be a lot of vintage and retro Iowa State apparel, along with a lot of ripped and distressed clothing. She thought that a lot of people would just be wearing plain red or yellow t-shirts but was surprised when people opted to include Iowa State’s logo on their clothing. Skirts, fun socks and thigh-highs will also make a comeback this year.

Shelbe Schlag, an elementary education major, anticipates seeing a lot of overalls and jean skirts this year. For shoes, she expects to see a lot of sandals and sneakers, such as Converse and Birkenstocks, in various colors. Barefoot outlet shirts and cut-up T’s are other trends that she expects people to be wearing.  

Kelsie Leathers, apparel design major, anticipates seeing a lot of high-waisted jean shorts because they are coming back into style, as well as, a lot of holes in the jeans. She also expects people to be adding their own touch their outfits, like adding fringe them or maybe bedazzling them.

Collin Wilson, child, adult, and family services major, expects to see a mixed variety of flannels, cut offs, crop tops, cut denim, converse, and adidas shoes. This year Collin hopes to see more diversity in dress for guys. “Almost every guy wears Sperrys, khaki shorts, a polo, and a hat backwards,” Wilson said. 

The motive for piecing together these outfits–that go past your average Iowa State shirt and pants–has different components. According to Jensen, there is a bit of a competition that takes place. It’s all about who has the most creative eye and can pair together the most stylish garments and accessories, all while showing school pride.

“I think it’s a sense of pride in that, ‘we look cooler than you,’” Jensen said. “You know I think that the competitiveness is taken from the field to the tailgate lot and it’s kind of a competition to see who can support their school in the most fun, unique way.”

Another component of tailgate dress is to try and be comfortable as comfortable as possible. More often than not, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, moving, dancing, and just having fun but your outfit can determine how much fun you’ll have whether it’s comfortable or not.

“I always tell people, ‘go comfortable because you have more fun when you’re comfortable,’” Jensen said. Not only that, but tailgating whether can be unpredictable and can vary over time; so thats something to take into consideration when dressing as well.

“You’ve got to be comfy,” Leathers said. “Especially like these first few games when it’s super hot.”

Probably the most obvious motive for dressing up for tailgating is that these trends are ‘what’s in’ for the fashion world right now. These trends aren’t just randomly picked by Iowa State students, they are inspired by runway trends and popular fashion designers all over the world. Many people want to be ‘of the times’ and look cute for the occasion.

“These styles are like the trend going on right now and they [Iowa State fans] want to fit in and they think it looks cute,” Schlag said.

Other trends to be seen are: Oversized t-shirts, acid-washed denim apparel, chokers, bandannas worn in multiple places on the body, flannels tied around the waist, fishnets, layered necklaces, hair bows, Ozzy Osbourne-type sunglasses, tube tops, baseball caps, fun-colored handbags and purses, cut-out shirts, and Tribal-inspired makeup.