Shopping for game day outfits can be as daunting as studying for an exam. Blacksburg weather changes constantly and often without warning, and the colder months in Lane Stadium have wreaked havoc on many a carefully planned outfit. Outfits must stand against the travel to the stadium, the long hike up to those far-up rows, and the constant jumping and screaming that comes with following along with Virginia Tech football.
Even though we are below the Mason-Dixon line, the game day fashion trends we see tailgating are not as formal as Southeastern Conference schools like Alabama or Ole Miss. TikTok has shown us trends like #bamarushtok, where potential new members of sororities show off their outfits for the different stages of recruitment, and how dressy game days farther south can be in comparison to Blacksburg. Jeans, boots, sweatshirts and T-shirts are welcome and encouraged to weather a long day of jumping in Lane Stadium. While dressing up and putting your best foot forward are always good ideas, sometimes the best times come after throwing on an orange T-shirt and your favorite pair of ripped jeans and heading out. Follow along for a guide to leveling up your next game day look.
Colder Weather Tips
Cropped sweaters by Knitlo, especially the maroon style with “Gokies” on it, took Center Street by storm last year. The company is continuing to release new pieces that are perfect for looking stylish yet comfortable during the coldest of games.
Another popular trend in the later fall season is bringing back cropped T-shirts and tank tops and layering them over fitted, long-sleeved bodysuits. A simple black or white bodysuit, like the ribbed black bodysuit from A New Day at Target, can be an easy addition to an outfit that looks sleek but can still highlight cute t-shirts or crop tops over it.
Oversized flannels, like the microfleece Aeropostale flannel, are a quick accessory that can be styled in so many different ways. Aeropostale, L.L. Bean and Wrangler all carry maroon flannels that will keep you comfortable even at the top of the stands in November. Especially if they are maroon or orange, they can be thrown over a T-shirt or bodysuit to add some more color and warmth.
Dressing for Effect Games
One of the best Hokie football traditions is the color Effect Games, a way for every fan to unite under one color and intimidate the competition. There are four games that are “themed” for fans to wear a specific color. One of the best ways to fit in with the crowd is to purchase the Hokie Effect shirts, as they can be reworn year after year. However, these are also opportunities to coordinate and fully embrace wearing one color or a day to save your favorite top to match friends. Knowing when the games are in advance will make the planning process easier, so here are some ideas for each game.
Orange Effect on Sept. 10 vs. Boston College: Pull out that classic orange top you’ve been waiting to wear on game days! Pair with a white tennis skirt or your favorite pair of jean shorts.
White Effect on Sept.17 vs. Wofford College: This game is also a Military Appreciation Game. White Effect presents a perfect opportunity to take a classic, basic white T-shirt and dress it up with Hokie-themed accessories or a fun pair of orange pants (like the Collusion 90s baggy jeans in neon orange from ASOS).
Hokie Effect on Sept. 22 vs. West Virginia: Hokie Effect splits the stadium in half maroon and half orange. Similar to the Orange Effect Game, cropped T-shirts or orange tops can be layered over bodysuits, or bringing an orange Virginia Tech sweatshirt can help combat the incoming chill that late September ushers in.
Maroon Effect on Oct. 15 vs. Miami: Everyone is in maroon, and it will be significantly colder than the September games. Plan on bringing a fleece or styling a maroon jacket with an orange or white tank top or bodysuit underneath. The Forever 21 Corduroy High-Low Shacket is a cheap but trendy example that can be worn outside of game day too.
Shoes can make or break the entire day. I’ve spent many game days wincing in pain walking out of the stands. The two things to consider when buying your classic tailgate shoes are comfort and cost. At the end of the season, the shoes will probably be caked in mud and have footprint marks from getting stomped on. Buying a cheap but comfortable pair of sneakers or boots that can stand up to hours of walking and standing is key.
Target’s Mad Love Fran black-and-white platform sneaker is modeled after Converse sneakers but at a fraction of the price. At the end of football season, I end up tossing out my shoes or spending hours hand washing them, so investing in a cheap but comfortable pair of shoes that fit your personal style will be a necessity before the first home game.
The finishing touches to your next tailgate-ready outfit are themed accessories. Adding your own personal style can elevate your confidence in the outfit and look amazing on your Instagram feed.
Jewelry can bring together any look no matter the weather. The maroon and orange lightning bolt earring stack set by Stacked by Susie can be customized and pairs perfectly with many styles throughout the season.
Sunglasses can be a functional fashion choice or just a fun one. A classic pair of orange sunglasses add a touch of spirit to any outfit and make any picture you take pop. Chunky Basic Burnt Orange sunglasses by Urban Outfitters are cheap and perfect for taking pictures with your friends in the stands. Vintage Aviator Frame Orange Glasses from Amazon are a different style but still highlight the face and bring in a pop of orange.
No matter what you wear to see the Hokies play in Lane Stadium, make sure it has some maroon and orange in it. Use these Saturdays in Blacksburg to express yourself and your love for Virginia Tech. Go Hokies!