Tailgate attire: measuring your Purple Pride

    As the littlest (and arguably dorkiest) member of the Big Ten, it is of the utmost importance that Northwestern prove its often-questioned tailgating ability. While we may never mimic the sea of blue and maize that often inundates our Newsfeeds first thing Sunday morning, as fall quarter begins, we must not only sharpen our fresh set of #2 pencils, but check our inventory of purple attire as well.

    Getting ready for tailgates on Saturday mornings can be as simple as throwing on a purple t-shirt, or it can involve some serious creativity. Of course, there are always the few girls that go a little too heavy on the purple and the few guys that refuse to show any affiliation with the school whatsoever. However you choose to show some purple pride on Saturdays, it is imperative that you demonstrate some level of school spirit in order to make that 10 a.m. shot of Jewel-Osco brand vodka slightly more acceptable. Below are the four identifiable types of tailgate dressers:

    1. White: The Slacker

    Unfortunately, some feel as though their level of spirit must correlate with our odds of winning. They show up to tailgate yet their outfits are lacking in the purple pride department. We do not support this type of behavior.

    2. Lavender: The Essentialist

    This species of tailgate dresser applies to most boys. The Essentialist appreciates the simplicity of a Northwestern t-shirt and a pair of jeans. The presence of rain or the inevitable Chicago wind doesn’t present much of an issue for this type of dress—the addition of a jacket or sweatshirt interferes very little with this easy outfit. This approach to tailgate attire is spirited yet low maintenance. Fair enough.

    3. Purple: The Realist

    The Realist achieves a very respectable amount of spirit. The upgrade from an Essentialist to a Realist is fairly simple, requiring only the addition of some accessories. Hair bows, face tattoos, and baseball hats are a good place to start. There are also face stickers if the thought of a pesky tattoo and an irritated cheek are too daunting. For the colder games, consider a cozy purple hat or head hugger. All it takes are a few easy accessories to add an extra punch of wildcat spirit.

    4. Darker Purple: The Over Achiever

    Whether it’s because of heightened school spirit or increased dedication to impressive Facebook photos, tailgate attire has evolved into so much more than just jean shorts and a Wildcats t-shirt. The Over Achievers of the tailgate are dedicated to a level of spirit that exceeds pom-poms and beaded necklaces. This category of tailgaters is responsible for the tutus, overalls, and customized sneakers that have become increasingly popular. The easiest way to reach this prestigious level of purple pride is to try out some crazy accessories. The good news is that this upgrade can be entirely homemade. Instead of ordering a custom pair of high-top Converse, try asking an artistic friend to decorate a pair of old white sneakers. Don’t be afraid to find a purple marker or glitter and try something new!

    So whether your concern is your demonstration of undying purple pride, or posting a quality Instagram to assure the Big Ten rivals that the cats go just as hard, this fall is the perfect time to take your tailgate game to the next level.


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