Same Same But Different: Are We in Our Tailgate Era, Too?


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Welcome to Same Same But Different. As Gen Z and millennial fashion editors, respectively, we know a thing or two about shopping—for all ages, and especially our demographics. As we find the best products for you, we can’t help but do a little shopping for ourselves and build our personal (age-appropriate) wish lists. And now, we’re sharing them with you. Ahead, check out what’s in our hearts and in our carts lately.

Dale Chong: If I’m being honest, I haven’t given football much thought since I graduated college. But the headlines featuring the one-and-only Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce—who I’ve confirmed with a Chiefs fan is actually, in fact, really good—got me thinking: As someone who went to a football school (USC—fight on!) and came from a football state (Nebraska Huskers—GBR), why I haven’t I gone back to a game? I have to admit, there’s something in the air when walking through a bunch of tailgating setups, and not just the barbecue smoke.

Meg Donohue: I am a football fan—and not the bandwagon kind. I know all the Swifties are rushing to snap up Chiefs gear, but I was been a member of the Kingdom long before Taylor ever stepped foot at Arrowhead. I’m not from Kansas City, but I went to the University of Missouri (M-I-Z), which is where I picked up the allegiance. Although the Mizzou Tigers were admittedly not good during my tenure there, I was known to circulate the lively tailgate and Greek party scene on game days…but that’s a story for another day. The point is, I love the festiveness and spirit of sports fandom, so I’m happy to embrace this new era of tailgate fashion.

DC: I’m into it too, although I have to admit that what I wore during my college days is very different from what I’d wear today. Instead, I’m aspiring to be like Swift herself, who has the pleasure and luxury of sitting in a box, where I also belong. So, at least for my hypothetical scenario, I’m wearing a classic T-shirt with bootcut jeans (a throwback silhouette I’m very much into these days), and finishing it off with a pair of easy sneakers and a varsity jacket reminiscent of those collegiate years. How about you?

MD: When it comes to football season, I know it’s crucial to dress for the weather. Plus, the days are long, especially if you start drinking as soon as your morning alarm goes off. Thus, I’m most interested in the crossroads of comfort, style, and theme. I think a well-loved, vintage (perhaps thrifted) team sweatshirt is the ultimate styling piece that doubles as a cozy layer. But I’ll take any excuse to wear a crewneck. I suppose in sunny Los Angeles you never had the experience of shivering through halftime…

DC: While I wasn’t shivering, I did have my fair share of Trojan beanies and sweatshirts…but alas, I live in New York now! And having been to a sporting event where I once wore a shearling jacket and a scarf, I know one must bundle. But until those 30-degree game days come around, I think I’ll stick with an easy pullover, for now. On that note, for a slightly more casual take on tailgating style, I’ll be cosplaying as a football coach from the stands (because let’s be real, who isn’t yelling at the ref from the sidelines?!), starting with the something to showcase my team of choice: the Chicago Bears. I’m going to pair it with trackpants from the ultimate cool-girl brand, Sandy Liang, along with classic loafers and a watch from Shinola, which would make any All-American football fan proud. Finally, a pair of timeless glasses, because—at some point—everything happening on the field is a blur, and I’d…like to know what’s going on down there.

MD: I’m a fan of those pants and hope to see you sporting them soon. Pun very much intended. I think the best part about dressing for game day is that you really only need one team-themed element to build upon. The rest of your outfit can be as chic as you care to make it. A classic bomber jacket is always a great option, or you can explore the realm of accessories. With options like nail decals, earrings, or hair scrunchies, you can find small ways to rep any team. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that jerseys are having a fashion moment, currently. (Thanks to #blokecore and Julia Fox, I think?) I have this Kid Super jersey that I cropped and I actually enjoy wearing it out and about in non-sports settings. I even wore it to the office once with a cute pair of pants. See these metallic jeans as a reference for simple items that can add intrigue to any bleacher creature’s OOTD.

And finally, we have to address the bag policies. These days, you can’t get into any concert or game without checking the size restrictions for bags. You could buy a clear backpack or tote, but I personally love the convenience of a phone case that doubles as my wallet. You can also get an additional pouch with this one to store your lip balm, keys, and other small necessities. Ideal, don’t you think? I need to keep my hands free for double-fisting a hot dog and a brewski. Yum.

DC: I never give my handbags a thought when prepping for a game—and that has definitely been the wrong way to do it. I think you may have just gave me the end-all, be-all solution for game day—the right way. As for that hot dog you mentioned, now you’ve got me dreaming of the only food I’d eat after a successful game: a hot dog wrapped in bacon and grilled onions…I’m salivating just thinking about it. And on that note, I should probably find something to eat.

MD: Wrapped in bacon?! I’m so in. Until next time!

Headshot of Meg Donohue

Associate Fashion Commerce Editor

Meg is the Associate Fashion Commerce Editor at where she researches trends, tests products, and looks for answers to all your burning questions. She also co-writes a monthly column, Same Same But Different. Meg has previously written for Cosmopolitan and Town & Country. Her passions include travel, buffalo sauce, and sustainability. She will never stop hoping for a One Direction reunion tour.

Headshot of Dale Arden Chong

Dale Arden Chong is the Senior Fashion Commerce Editor at Previously, she was an editor at and has written for Who What Wear, GLAMOUR, The Coveteur, and more. She loves fashion, food, and art, among other things—but her greatest love is K-pop idol V of BTS. 

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