On a typical Saturday at The University of Alabama, thousands of students flock to the Quad and Bryant-Denny Stadium dressed in their most fashionable outfits. At every turn, there seems to be a well-dressed student who is ready to show off her school spirit for the Crimson Tide.
Over time, the clothes worn to game days have gotten dressier and trendier, including fashionable skirts, dresses and rompers along with heels, boots and sandals. While this may seem like a far cry from the tennis shoes and jerseys of the past, college women have created their own culture through their gameday fashion.
On top of wearing unique pieces found everywhere from thrift stores to boutiques, women students also find different ways to add crimson or houndstooth to their gameday looks. Even if they aren’t wearing any crimson, they use red-and-white shakers tucked into their boots or red ribbons tied into their hair to show love for their team.
Bryleigh Tucker, a freshman majoring in biology, said that while she does dress up more for game day, she does so while still remaining comfortable.
“My favorite gameday look is probably just a cute skirt with a red sweater or a nice red shirt, and always a gameday button and some cute boots,” Tucker said. “I almost always want to be comfortable, but I still want to look cute, so I try to make them both work.”
Skyler Dunn, a freshman majoring in history, said that she never feels pressured to wear certain clothes or outfits to games.
“I’m a big proponent of keeping it comfortable on game days, whether that be a cute sweater or leggings,” Dunn said. “I’m always in leggings and honestly, probably a jersey. I think you can still dress up school spirit wear to make it cute. As long as you’re supporting the Tide, then you’re going to be just fine.”
With the change in women’s gameday outfits, some controversy has also quietly erupted onto the scene. Some people criticize the students for dressing too provocatively or even too dressy for a college football game.
Grace Brandon, a sophomore majoring in finance, said that some people are too quick to judge college women.
“I think we’re an easy target,” Brandon said. “There’s a lot of us, and we wear a lot of different, fun things. I mean, we hear enough of it that it just kind of goes over our heads at this point.”
Most women don’t let these critics stop them from enjoying football games and cheering on their favorite team.
“They shouldn’t even really be at a football game if their concern is what the girls are wearing,” Tucker said.
While it may seem like gameday fashion plays a divisive role in the lives of women, most would say otherwise. Tucker, Dunn and Brandon all agreed that gameday fashion brings women closer together.
“There is nothing like game day, calling my friend at 8:00 in the morning and saying that ‘I have nothing to wear so please bring over as many options as you can,’” Brandon said. “You all get to bond over what you wear to the game, and you get to take pictures and borrow each other’s clothes, so it’s a lot of fun.”
“Girls always want to help another girl get a cute outfit,” Tucker said. “Or if you’re out at a game and something messes up, they always help you fix it.”
College campuses have forever been changed by the emergence of the new gameday fashion. Instead of allowing their appearance to divide them, college women have created a culture and community based on their clothes that is carefree, fun and rarely judgemental.
“Some girls just like to dress up, whether it be for themselves or to have fun getting ready with their friends,” Dunn said. “I think it’s just a big part of the culture.”