Vol fans are known to show up at games in just about anything. The only requirement: it must be orange. But students at other SEC schools are accustomed to dressing in cocktail dresses and button downs with ties for football games.
Now local retailers and designers are offering a wider range of orange and collegiate-themed clothing options, and more students are dressing up for games. So put that worn-out, oversize T-shirt away. Here are some ways to be both stylish and comfortable at the next game.
For those students who want to look chic enough to invest in designer pieces for game day, there are many options. Local boutiques around Knoxville are making it easy to get favorite designer pieces in all shades of orange.
Margo Beeler, owner of the boutique Obligato on Kingston Pike, specifically orders orange clothing and accessories from high-end brands. Fortunately for fashion-conscious Vol fans, orange happens to be a hot color for fall.
“Pretty much all the companies have that color,” Beeler said. “Splendid, Michael Stars, 291Venice and more, in everything from tanks to dresses to T-shirts, scarves, jewelry, wallets and pocketbooks.”
Because they don’t have UT’s logo printed on them, simple designer pieces in orange are versatile and classic.
“I saw a lot of girls wearing dresses to the Florida game,” Erin Bilbo, sophomore in french and international business, said. “They’re breezy at a hot game.”
However, more and more top designers and companies are starting to cater to the collegiate crowd.
Top designer brand Chip & Pepper, which started as a denim line in 2003, has launched Chip & Pepper University, a knit line that uses logos from more than 75 U.S. universities. The label offers vintage-inspired fitted T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts with the original Vols logo. The hip T-shirts come in orange and heather gray options and are sold online and at department stores nationwide, including Belk.
On another designer note, it looks like orange is the new pink. Leading retailer Victoria’s Secret PINK is bringing school spirit back to colleges across the nation. The brand is getting in on campus pride with the debut of its exclusive PINK Collegiate Collection. The company partnered with 33 universities, Tennessee included, to offer apparel that features each school’s logo.
“I saw the new Victoria’s Secret UT clothes at the store in the mall and thought it was cute,” Bilbo said.
The collection includes PINK’s signature sweat pants, a jersey-style T-shirt, a logo shirt, sweatshirt and even panties, all marked with a Tennessee “T” or the school’s name.
All about accessories
When it comes to accessorizing a game day outfit, nobody plays by the rules. Simply add an orange accessory to any outfit and violà. The only thing missing is spirit fingers. But besides the usual accessories, there are always more options than less.
Make a statement with knockout orange footwear, such as orange-toned ballet flats, sandals or heels. In fact, J.Crew has a pair of patent leather pumps in “light pumpkin” that is a close match to UT orange.
Or try a handbag with an orange print for some added color. CaddySac, a new company specializing in designer carry-all-bags, offers tote bags and headbands in a variety of whimsical prints and styles.
Tami Potter, owner of the North Shore Sun Tanning Salon & Boutique on South Northshore Drive, said, “One CaddySac bag we carry has splashes of orange all over it and is a great accessory to any UT-themed outfit.”
Lined with waterproof fabric, these durable totes will easily take you from the tailgate to the after party without forgoing spirit or style. Pair a tote with its matching headband to tie the look together even more.
“CaddySac headbands are big sellers because their unique orange pattern goes with any outfit,” Potter said. An orange headband with white swirls can be worn with anything from jeans and a white T-shirt to a casual black dress. Sometimes, a small touch of orange rather than going full-out in Volunteer gear is all that’s needed.
“I’d much prefer wearing something that’s uniquely orange and not from the bookstore,” Blibo said.
Another accessory that’s perfect for hot sunny football games is a hat or visor. To make either a game day must-have, get it monogrammed in the appropriate colors.
Connie Jennings, North Shore’s nail salon owner, said, “We can monogram your initials on a white visor or cap with orange lettering or an orange cap with white.”
Use monogramming in another practical yet team-spirited way with custom-made koozies. White terry-cloth koozies bordered in orange and white polka-dotted ribbon are a big hit at North Shore’s boutique. What better way to hold a drink at a tailgate or game? With painted nails, perhaps. Nail polish offers a creative yet attention-grabbing way to add a little something to game day attire. North Shore’s nail salon offers custom nail designs for UT football season.
“We do manicures and pedicures with white ‘T’s on orange nails or orange and white dots on nails,” Jennings said. “The salon even has several bottles of OPI nail polish named “Totally Tangerine,” a luminous shade of light orange.
Jennings said they call it “Totally UT.”
Men have it a little easier when dressing for game day. For one thing, most men care more about the game than what they’re wearing to it. Throwing on a Vols T-shirt with khaki shorts or jeans is just enough effort for most male students.
Otherwise, there are classic and pulled-together clothing options such as an orange Polo or a white-button down shirt with a solid orange or patterned tie. McClellan M.S. & Co., located on Kingston Pike, sells a Power-T tie from Vineyard Vines as well as orange seersucker pants and orange blazers.
Dress to the T's
Published: Wed Sep 24, 2008