Autumnal Saturday mornings in Ann Arbor and at the University are unlike anything else. There’s a certain energy in the air, eliciting an excitement that fills the streets unmatched by any other time or season on campus. Without getting too sentimental about my college experiences, game days at the University truly are unique, unlike the atmosphere at any other school.
What sets Michigan apart on game days, week after week, are the students’s and fans’s variations on spirit wear. Coming into this school, one would assume that owning some sweatshirts and a pair of “Hail” leggings would be more than satisfactory. At any other school, this would leave a student wildly prepared for any sporting event, from football to hockey. However, University game day culture and the spiritwear style that comes with it, are both vast and impressive
A little disclaimer: I’m in a sorority. Yes, sorority girls do take their game day outfits a bit more seriously than most people at the University (think fanny packs), but besides those in Greek life, students all over campus come up with unique ways to show their school spirit. This year, especially with Michigan State behind us and Ohio State ahead, Ann Arbaugh has seen some of the most thoroughly planned-out looks on game days.
“The Team, The Team, The Team.” Nothing screams football season like a Bo quote worn by students who may not even know who Bo is (but that is a debate for another time). Many students have worn this sweatshirt (from Underground Printing, in case you want to snag one before Saturday), on basically every game day this year. Paired with “Hail” leggings, jeans or spandex, girls and guys alike have been spotted wearing iconic game day items. While this sweatshirt in particular may be on its way to becoming a bit overworn, the trend still manages to add a new twist to the typical maize and blue apparel – and one with a traditional and historic Michigan Football message.
Flash Tats and eye jewels are all over. It seems that Michigan game day fashion has become so prominent and powerful that it has even transcended the realm of clothing into facial jewelry. I guess the inspiration for eye jewels and the flash tats are from everyone’s summer trips to Lollapalooza or some other hippie-clad festival this past summer. Why flash tats and stick-on eye jewels have made their way from warm summer beaches to the icy tundra that is the Big House or every Ann Arbor tailgate, I’m not exactly sure. But no matter the reason, they have been everywhere this football season and as much as I hate to admit it, I have tried them out as well.
Floral headbands are also a sidestep from the more traditional football wear, yet they seem to have taken over football Saturdays as a newer trend to the sporting world in general. While this may have been more prominent in the warmer months, girls will still find flowers to wear as a floral crown or headband. Personally, I see these headbands as a failed attempt at turning an event as traditional as American football into something that tries too hard to be hipster (we love the hipster movement, but when it’s done right, people). Yes they’re cute, but for a football game? They’re just out of place.
With only one home game left in the season, the Ohio State game is the time to show off. Games as late as this one are always challenging to style. Not only do people have to think about the look they’re going for, but they also must consider how to stay warm, a science that goes beyond the binge-drinking novelty.
Typically, that means sweatshirts, sweatpants and layers of leggings. Although sweatshirts are the more practical option, with the Victor’s Collection and the M-Den’s unique stock, I’m hoping to see more maize-and-blue themed outerwear as well, like bold jackets.
Given that Ohio State are our long time rivals and the amazing season Harbaugh has given us thus far, I’m expecting great things from our Wolverine students in order to outshine the scarlet and grey we’ll see wandering the streets of Ann Arbor.
At the end of the day, Michigan football is a great excuse to come up with a fun and crazy outfit. Never again in our lives will wearing head-to-toe maize and blue, in different textures and patterns, ever be as socially acceptable. We might as well take advantage of this while we still can, and live it up on those magical football Saturdays.