As the NFL preseason is coming to a close and the official season is upon us, you and your fellow league fans have been preparing. You’ve purchased your favorite game watching beer, retrieved the snacks and followed league, conference and training camp news anxiously. You are, as they say, ready for some footbaaaall and you’re not afraid to show it. However, unless you work in an office that has Casual Fridays or no dress code at all (I see you, start-ups and work-at-homes), your football team’s jersey and league apparel are staying in the drawer until the weekend. What you wear while tailgating with your buddies may not be an appropriate way to support your team at the office. We’ve come up with a guide and infographic (at the bottom of the page) to help you make the proper sports apparel choices. Once you’re aware of the NFL apparel game plan, you can win every day representing your team.
The ultimate tailgating shirt is the jersey, of course. Consider investing in the Nike Customized Elite Jersey. This jersey is not only comfortable, it’s water resistant and made with flywire thread for strength without extra weight. In the event of unexpected game day drizzle, you’ll be able sit through the rain without any issue in this jersey. Did I mention it’s also customizable for any name and number? The only logical alternative to the football jersey is a bare-skinned chest covered in body paint.
When shopping for football apparel for the office, it’s better to lean toward understated sportswear. No one wants to be compared to the lady down the hall—you know, the one with the light up football pens and sports patterned dresses that remind you of your nephew’s bedroom wallpaper. And you’re in no way trying to be linked to the guy with the farting mug (yes, these exist) who wears orange and black striped shirts throughout the entire month of October. You’re a gentleman, not a clown. For this reason, stick to only bringing one color to play. A classic solid-colored dress shirt sets the backdrop for any sport tie or accessory without screaming SUPERFAN.
Grab a soft sided beer can cooler in your team’s colors. See that handle strap? Put it around your neck. This is what we mean by tailgating neckwear. Whether it be 12-can or 24-can (depending on the strength of your shoulders and neck) keeping your beers close by wearing them around your neck is of utmost importance. No hesitation is needed here. While tailgating, you can sport as loud and obnoxious coloring as you wish. True champions may seek out a bag that can hold up to 54 cans and don it as a backpack.
For shirt and jacket required offices, there are an array of NFL ties to proclaim your loyalty. For a louder approach, don’t fear the team logo, like this Pittsburgh Steelers Tie. The blatant team name will decisively mark you as a fan. One drawback is that the conspicuous declaration of NFL loyalty may come at price: be wary out of your team’s hometown, be sure not to offend and keep an eye on the guy wearing the Browns tie down the hall. For a more subtle testimony of team devotion, choose a tie like the New England Patriots Tie from Ties.com. With its sleek plaid pattern, attractive coloring and straightforward single logo, a tie like this is the manifestation of football fan classiness.
Although technically more handwear than wristwear (whatever, close enough) a team inspired beer koozie is integral to your tailgating. No matter your team loyalty, when warm beer distracts you from the tailgate experience, nobody wins. Stay prepared by keeping your koozies close at hand. If you want to go literal with this category, try a football leather bracelet. It’s a simple way to add another touch of team spirit to your outfit.
Pick a watch for its design first, then consider if the addition of your football team’s logo, colors, or mascot adds to the piece or detracts from it. If the watch is still elegant and contains zero evidence of plastic straps, it’s appropriate to wear to the office as an accessory. You can complete any outfit for a business-formal environment with a smart pair of cufflinks. A pop color in your cufflinks gives your outfit a nice touch of team spirit without having too many recurring league logos.
Socks, scarves, hats, you name it. Anything available that has been sufficiently covered in your NFL team’s colors, logos and mascots is applicable to the tailgate party. Even a pair of Vans Authentic shoes in your team color can be a versatile addition to your tailgating outfit. Shy not away from tacky socks or leg warmers. You’re here to show team spirit. Don’t forget the giant foam fingers and hand-painted signs.
Office wear requires restraint, however, show no restraint when throwing your penalty flag inspired pocket square as you catch your co-worker reaching for your sandwich in the fridge. Also, a pair of colorful team socks can be a clever way to show team spirit when they occasionally peak out from beneath your pant hem. Even a pair of color shoelaces can quietly affirm where your loyalty lies.
At tailgate parties and at home, you are encouraged to go all out with NFL team banners, attire and obnoxious team spirit. However, at work, it can be unflattering to be “that —insert football team name— guy.” As the NFL season starts, just keep in mind these things: while supporting your team at the office requires some subtlety, you may be as loud as you like with the your team attire when tailgating. Once you’ve proved your ability to properly represent your NFL team at the office, head out, grab a cold one, and wait for the weekend to tailgate or throw your own party and watch at home with the NFL Sunday Ticket, available at www.direct.tv.
Check out this infographic that pits the enthusiastic tailgater against the office team loyalist:
The Tailgate Ambassador:
The Office Afficionado:
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