Hey I’m Matt, an average guy from SEC country. Usually I go for a look as middle-of-the road as my name. Comfortable, easy to remember, and just as easy to forget. However, the SEC doesn’t do “Comfortable” game days. So out of respect for the belles navigating tailgates in dresses, heels, and hats so large they have “Caution, wide turns” on the back- I like to make an effort on Saturdays in the fall.
Here’s my very brief SEC Game Day style guide.
You’re not going to an athletic event, you’re going to a bizarre and beautiful celebration of the aspirational south. At regular athletic events you’ll see cargo shorts, jerseys of popular players, and tennis shoes. DO NOT WEAR THESE ITEMS. That was in a memo that went out many decades ago when people still sent memos, and you’re just expected to know. You’re welcome.
Khaki’s are your friend. Go for the middle-color option. The one that isn’t super tan, but not too light either. If I knew what that color’s called I would lose my average guy qualifications and have to be a style writer. Pair with a Jack Mason belt.
Wear the shoes you would wear to an interview if the job posting said “No laces allowed.”
Sperry Gold Cups, Cole Haans, and Johnston & Murphy are all solid choices.
Socks aren’t required, but can add a subtle touch of personality when you’re lunging in a game of cornhole.
Are you wearing khakis?
Awesome, this is going well. Any collared shirt works well for your torso. For the early season games many elect to go the polo route, and ease into button ups as cooler weather hits.
Just remember the 3 C’s.
Colors- Be on point with your school colors. Don’t wear Tarheel blue as a Gators fan because “Blue is Blue.” Don’t even do it ironically. Ironic guy is the worst.
Classy- A small logo with your school’s other main color on the left chest is all that’s necessary. You can either wear a regular Brooks Brothers/Ralph Lauren or go for a school symbol. If you feel like you can pull off a Columbia PFG, then go for it. You know your limits best.
Culture- Different groups have different looks and variations on Tailgate attire, so know the crowd you’ll be around. Hanging out with the University President? Maybe throw on a sport coat.
The Real Star of The Show
The point of this dress code is to look decent, and more or less the same as the next guy. That’s because Saturday's aren’t really about us. The true stars are the ladies that have been shopping and planning their #gameday pics since January. The best way to look good on game day is to have that beaming belle on your arm, and that comes with personality- not your outfit.