Style Suggestion: Here’s What to Wear to Your Next Football Tailgate

Can you feel it in the air? The start of fall — soon enough, anyways — always brings with it excitement anticipation for your Style Guide author. Even as I walk through Brooklyn past changing leaves this time of year, I’m reminded of my home — the beautiful campus of Michigan State University and of course … football season. I night be far away from East Lansing now, but it’s still on my mind — and lucky for you and me, this uniquely all-American pastime is a great chance to break out classic menswear.  Today, we’re going to answer a burning question for all of us #menswear fans — what the heck do I wear to this tailgate? Whether you’re a pro football fan or a college diehard, today’s football tailgate style suggestion has a bit of something for everyone.

We’re talking rugged menswear that’s stylish, durable, weather-ready and absolutely geared toward fitting in at a sporting event. From a stylish hooded sweatshirt to a pair of perhaps the best leather sneakers for men, it’s covered below. The even better part? This fall men’s style suggestion gives you some leeway to add in team colors as you see fit — as long as you’re rooting for the green and white and not those pesky Wolverines in Ann Arbor, we should be all set. What do you think of this fall style suggestion? Let me know in the comments below, and follow me on Instagram for seasonal style tips galore.

The Hooded Sweatshirt: Flint and Tinder 10-Year Hoodie in Gray — $89

A thoughtfully designed, durably made hooded sweatshirt for fall mornings before kickoff.

There’s such a thing as a good-looking hooded sweatshirt out there, trust me. Of course, the 10-Year Hoodie is made with durable style in mind by the fine folks at Flint and Tinder — and that means it’s a wise move to layer up with this collegiate-inspired staple at your next tailgate. Unlike other hooded sweatshirts that potentially feature an oversized fit, the Flint and Tinder 10-Year Hoodie boasts tailored raglan construction, a neutral color and cozy comfort, ideal for a chilly fall morning or afternoon.

The T-shirt: Tailgate Clothing Men’s Team T-shirt — $32

A vintage-inspired team tee pairs well with a stylish hooded sweatshirt — ya dig?

Here’s the good news, folks — this part of the ensemble is really up to you. Tailgate Clothing, founded back in Iowa by famed American menswear designer Todd Snyder before he launched his own line, makes stylish men’s T-shirts emblazoned with graphics of dozens of schools — they fit well, feel great and look even better. This is certainly a stylish graphic tee that’s an upgrade over an athletic jersey. If it gets chilly, you could always layer this tee over a slim striped henley.

The Denim: Flint and Tinder All-American Washed Jeans in Slim or Straight Tapered — $98

Rugged fall style

Pleasingly faded denim for a casual fall football tailgate.

As American as football itself, what better way to nod to rugged fall style than with a classic pair of American-made denim? Because we’re going for casual style here, a pair of expertly faded denim works quite well — leave the inky blue dark denim at home this time around. Plus, the two fit options on these All-American Washed Jeans allow you to customize your look accordingly. Who’s ready for some football now?

The Sneakers: Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi Leather Sneakers — $160

Richly crafted leather sneakers, fit for a tailgate and the bar afterwards.

In sticking with today’s collegiate — or at least, throwback — theme, let’s throw on some stylish leather sneakers — shall we? The handsome Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi was a featured entry in this site’s Style Pick of the Week series back in the summer, and these classic leather high-tops will also fit right in at a fall tailgate. That’s because of the rich brown leather and sturdy construction on the Rambler Hi — it’s nearly strong enough to rival your favorite leather boots.

The Belt: Sturdy Brothers Everyday Belt in Chestnut — $80

Sturdy Brothers

A tough belt made for chilly fall days and long hours spent tailgating.

If you were looking for an excuse to upgrade your everyday belt — pun intended — then the Sturdy Brothers Everyday Belt is giving you the chance to do just that … and in time for your next tailgate, too. With tough construction, handsome looks and hardware that can go the distance, this Sturdy Brothers belt is a winner in my book — leave no stone unturned when looking for subtly stylish ways to stand out as you, well, stand around the grill.

The Watch: Timex Waterbury Watch — $95

Tough design, standout looks and classic style — that’s Timex for ya.

If there’s one thing you can be sure of with this rugged, casual #menswear ensemble, it’s that a classic timepiece is absolutely needed. Yes, that’s right — even at a football tailgate, a watch like the Timex Waterbury is going to stand out for its subtle style, sturdy construction and timeless appeal. In short, you’ll stay on time to get from your tailgate to your seats in quick order with the stylish Timex Waterbury Watch — at least, this guy thinks so.
The Socks: Necessary Anywhere Three Sock in Black — $18

Simple socks that blend in with a laidback, football-ready ensemble.

Just as with your rugged leather watch, don’t skimp when it comes to accessories — particularly stylish men’s socks. The Necessary Anywhere  Three Socks are remarkably well-made for a pair of socks, featuring double-needle Jacquard knit construction and the type of simple style that works well with classic leather sneakers at a tailgate.

The Ballcap: Huckberry Explorer’s Cap — $39.98

A vintage ballcap for clean, simple style.

Before you head out the door, six-pack in hand, don’t forget a trusty ballcap — maybe a vintage-inspired ballcap, that is to say? With its classic design and crisp color, the Huckberry Explorer’s Cap in Black is yet another accessory that eschews the traditional logo-heavy approach. Oh, and it’s OK to mix the black of the Explorer’s Cap with the brown leather of your Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers sneakers — it’s a casual affair, after all. You can wear the Explorer’s Cap no matter what team you rep.

The Essential: Orange Vessel Co. Stoneware Growler — $69.98

Don’t forget this durable, tough growler for your next tailgate — seriously.

What’s one more tailgate essential to grab before you head out the door? A durable growler, of course. Bring it filled with your host’s favorite brew or bring a little bit more for yourself — the functional, simple Orange Vessel Co. Stoneware Growler is practically a fall tailgate must-have. Guinness, anyone?
The Bottle Opener: Line of Trade Machined Steel Bottle Opener — $23.20
Line of Trade

A nice-to-have bottle opener can help out any tailgater in need — ehh?

Add one last small — yet equally important — item to your essential tailgating gear.  For all the folks out there who pass on beer out of your Orange Vessel Co. Stoneware Growler, you’ll be at the ready with a handy bottle opener from Line of Trade, ya dig? The Line of Trade Machined Steel Bottle Opener is suitably rugged and tailgate-ready. Bottoms up!

Now, who’s ready to get out there, crack open a cold one and enjoy a fall tailgate? I know I am — and hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to Michigan State to experience a perfect fall Saturday once more. For your own tailgate, I’d urge you to stock up on small but nice-to-have fall essentials, like a must-have growler and a durable bottle opener, and then focus on expert casual style in turn. That means a surprisingly stylish hooded sweatshirt from Flint and Tinder is in play, as is a uniquely vintage-inspired team T-shirt and of course, classic, American-made denim. Complement those easygoing pieces with rugged leather sneakers and a tough leather watch from Timex for tailgate style that’s eye-catching and yet seasonally appropriate. Finish it off with something like the Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, and I’d say your fall tailgate style is all set. What do ya think? Let me know in the comments below — and as always, catch me on Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

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The Friday Read: Yeezy Season 4, Bonobos GoodSport and What to Wear During Football Season

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.  

The last time we spoke, we were heading into an action-packed Labor Day weekend and the start of some serious fall style cravings (oh, and college football season). Well, surprise — it’s a week later, and it doesn’t exactly feel like fall around these parts. We’ll keep looking toward everyone’s favorite menswear season next week, with both a Fall Style Wish List and some rugged men’s shopping picks for the season.  For now, we’ve got the shopping picks you need should you still find yourself having to beat the heat — as has been the case for months now, it seems like.  Rest assured that we’ve also got a few choice reads to jumpstart what I hope is a weekend of relaxation, menswear, football and craft beer (or are those just my plans?).  If you’re trekking to a tailgate, here’s what to wear.  If you’re heading to a rock concert, what do you know? Here’s what to wear to a show. And if you just fancy catching up on the week in men’s style news? Read on below.

  • If you stuck your head under a rock earlier this week, you might have missed the relative chaos that was Yeezy Season 4, just ahead of the start of New York Fashion Week. It was inescapable around New York City these past few days, and while I’m not the biggest fan at all of ‘Ye musically or, I guess, personally, the man knows how to command headlines. You decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing…
  • Gushing over these pieces is always fun (if slightly depressing in terms of budgetary constraints) — here are the goods the folks at Well-Spent would buy instead of rent this month.
  • Getting to and from the gym with style in mind isn’t always high-priority — but perhaps it should be. Bonobos just launched its GoodSport line of athletic-minded apparel, and GQ is calling ’em the best-fitting gym shorts on the market.

Want more menswear to round out your day?

We’re signing out until Monday, when we’ll deliver the goods on that fall style wish list — check out Instagram for more style snaps along the way, and enjoy the weekend!

-Beau

Style Suggestion: How to Dress for Football Season

Editor’s note: Click here to check out past #menswear style suggestions.

Sometimes, you can feel it in the air before you actually see it — maybe you bolt out of bed on a Saturday morning thinking it’s game day (just me?), or get your old (or current) school fight song stuck in your head one day. It’s nearly back … football season, folks. The fall and the start of football season has always been one of my favorite times of year — growing up about fifteen minutes from the campus of Michigan State University turned me into a football fanatic at a very young age. That dedication only continued through college; heck, you could hear the roar of the crowd at Spartan Stadium from my college house. So as the calendar rolls toward fall once again, I’m focused on getting back to see my beloved Spartans — and I’m focused a little bit more on upping my #menswear game for the occasion than when I was in school. Now, that goes for you pro football fans, too — but sadly, the Detroit Lions were never anything to write home about. As we always talk about at ye olde Style Guide, there are plenty of ways to get dressed with style upgrades in mind, and that goes for situations that might seem more casual or mundane. Just as with watching the Olympics or heading to a bar crawl, dressing for a football game is definitely there. From your garb up top to your everyday carry, you might be surprised at how many brands are approaching sports-related activities with neat stylistic touches in mind. Of course, the below post is written from a Midwesterner’s perspective — wearing blazers to games doesn’t quite fly (but all the more power to you if that’s how you do it!). If you think I missed anything in the below #menswear rundown, hit me up on Twitter or shoot me an email. In the meantime — Go Green!

The Base Layer: Flint & Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley — $62

Easy to layer, easy to wear on its own and ready for football season or the work week.

Easy to layer, easy to wear on its own and ready for football season or the work week.

First things first — it’s probably not all that cold for any of us at the moment, so this layer might stay in the closet for a while. But should you splurge a little on this Flint & Tinder Henley, know that you’re getting a brand-new offering from a brand that’s refined the art of making excellent basics in America. Oh, and another plus: It’ll keep you just as warm as a long-sleeve athletic base layer, yet you get bonus style point and no logos in sight. Lastly, you can wear this piece on its own under a wool blazer during the work week this fall, and no one will be any the wiser when you re-wear it on Saturday.

The T-Shirt: Tailgate Clothing Team Tee — From $19.99

Cheer on your alma mater in style -- trust me, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in the student section (or that alumni tailgate) with a tee like this.

Cheer on your alma mater in style — trust me, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the student section (or that alumni tailgate) with a tee like this.

Fancy yourself a college football fan (like yours truly), but tired of wearing standard team fare? Add a dash of vintage style to gameday with a tee that might feel a bit familiar. How’s that? If you recognize the mix of classic heritage and American sportswear in the tee you see above (and the brand’s other styles), you’re onto something — Tailgate Clothing was co-founded by none other than lauded menswear designer Todd Snyder. And with a positively huge range of collegiate T-shirts, plus a handful of jerseys and hoodies, I’d bet you can find your team — no sweat. *Insert obligatory ‘Go Green’ chant here*

The Denim: Mott & Bow Norfolk Raw Denim — $79.98

Sharp, simple and easily wearable on a football Saturday.

Sharp, simple and easily wearable on a football Saturday.

Looking for yet another way to differentiate yourself from the pack? Whereas some other folks might reach for baggy, distressed denim — maybe featuring a bootcut — a pair of crisp, clean and simple dark denim is the way to go here. Mott & Bow’s Norfolk Raw Denim was launched late last year as the brand’s first foray into raw denim, and this writer’s pair has broken in very nicely. Contrary to what you might think, this denim isn’t overly heavy, and doesn’t wear too stiff right out of the box. That means they’d be a solid pick to wear now, and keep on wearing if (or when) it gets cold out. Like the above henley, they can also function during your 9-to-5. Not bad at all, yeah?

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
The Boots: SWIMS Barry Chukka in Taupe/Biscuit — $230

Wear these to tailgate, wear these to class, wear these to the office -- there's no wrong way to wear 'em!

Wear these to tailgate, wear these to class, wear these to the office — there’s no wrong way to wear ’em!

If that price catches you by surprise initially, not to worry — the Barry Chukka is nearly a four-season pair of footwear that packs in waterproof protection with a versatile  silhouette. As far as chukka boots go, they’ve got the potential to be worn in the heat of September (thanks to the lightweight crepe sole) and deep into tailgating season this November. Then, you can break them back out in the spring. Think of these stylish chukka boots as a decided upgrade over athletic sneakers — they’re sleeker, cleaner, more versatile and ready for just about anything (including post-victory bar-hopping).

The Socks: American Trench Mil-Spec Sport Socks with Silver — $11.50

A no-brainer if you want versatile socks that are wearable week after week.

A no-brainer if you want versatile socks that are wearable week after week.

Socks aren’t that big of a deal, right? Wrong. If you want a pair that’s high-quality enough to be worn for long periods of time on your feet week after week, you want these socks. And if you’re on the hunt for a pair that’s both affordable and long-lasting? You want these socks. The navy color is simple and straightforward — no zany colors or patterns here, so the socks won’t distract from your T-shirt. Plus, they’re definitely made with more care than a pair of garish team socks, and I’d bet those results will show up on the scoreboard, too (wink, wink).

The Watch: Jack Mason Brand Team Watch — From $95

It's tough to find a watch that merges both your favorite sports team and everyday style potential -- here's one that does.

It’s tough to find a watch that merges both your favorite sports team and everyday style potential — here’s one that does.

Now, if wearing both a team watch and a team T-shirt feels a bit like overkill, you could always reach for a rugged dive watch. But know that the way Jack Mason makes its collegiate watches, these aren’t flimsy or unrefined by any means. Essentially, styles like the Blackout Silicone Strap Watch you see here are just tough watches made for the everyday and spruced up with the logo of your favorite school. When you look at that way, it’s tough not to buy into this unique, well, style upgrade. Even the Striped NATO Strap Watch isn’t too gaudy — heck, the variety of striped NATO straps offered with Jack Mason’s other collegiate watches would work well with other casual timepieces in your rotation.
Frank & Oak
The Belt: J. Crew Suede Belt — $55

The right texture and color to work in other fall style scenarios beyond your tailgate.

The right texture and color to work in other fall style scenarios beyond your tailgate.

If we’re being honest, most folks probably aren’t giving a second thought to what they were to the game besides an athletic jersey, so putting some thought into a good-quality, versatile belt might not mean much at a tailgate. But if you’re on a mission to out-dress that pesky Michigan fan (as we all should be), then a good belt is just the type of thing to spend a little time on. Crucially, this J. Crew suede belt falls in the same color family as the SWIMS chukka boots seen above, and it’s the perfect color and texture to wear with other fall business-casual outfits the rest of the week. It doesn’t exactly match up in terms of color with the watch, but as we’re mixing a rubber watch and a leather belt, matching isn’t of the utmost importance. Now, catching the snap — that’s much more important.

The Hat: Huckberry Explorer’s Cap in Black — $39.98

Another underrated style upgrade -- the grown man's ballcap.

Another underrated style upgrade — the grown man’s ballcap.

Again, a  ballcap is one of those things most of us throw on and don’t think about. And there are certainly ways to support your team and nod toward the ol’ ballgame without throwing on a coach’s headset. A simple, monochrome ballcap with vintage-inspired roots (it’s made by the folks at Ebbets Field Flannels) is a step in the right direction if you can’t part with your old college ballcap. Believe me, this writer loves a good hat as much as the next guy. This one is also the kind of cap you can throw on to run a few errands on a weekend morning — you know, things like picking up a six-pack (or three) before your tailgate.

The Must-Have: Brothers Leather Supply Co. C.W. Growler Bag — $75

The ideal way to haul around your favorite brew.

The ideal way to haul around your favorite brew.

OK, so perhaps a growler bag isn’t a must-have (particularly if you’re not the type to imbibe). But if you enjoy a great craft brew — perhaps from a fine brewery near the Grand Rapids shop of Brothers Leather — then this growler is something you oughta pick up. It’s made from full-grain finished Vachetta tanned leather, which is enough to boggle your fellow tailgate-goer before you even pour them a beer. The 36-inch strap is a functional touch for lugging this thing around — the only thing missing is some stellar craft beer.

Even though it might seem a bit tedious to put that extra bit of effort into your appearance on a weekend day, it definitely pays off. It’s something I still struggle with from time to time, but finding the right pieces can make the experience a heck of a lot better. The search for that perfectly worn vintage tee hopefully is a bit easier now after checking out Tailgate Clothing, and stylish everyday carry pieces like an upgrade team watch and a vintage ballcap are subtle, sporty-yet-stylish ways to prep for the occasion. Crucially, waterproof nubuck chukka boots and slim, dark denim are great building blocks for any outfit. And if you pack well (I.e. Enough beer for your tailgate), you should be set for game day and beyond. To see how this writer takes on the MSU football season in style, head to Instagram. Meanwhile, we’ll see you in the stands!

What’s your take on the above outfit? Would you add or subtract any pieces? Thinking about making any purchases?