Fall 2022 Tailgate Fashion Guide

FAU students and alumni give insight into looking and feeling your best at a tailgate.


Lili Jahromi, Contributing Writer

Welcome back to campus students!

In my opinion, the fall semester is the most exciting for students. From the FAU Drag Show to the back-to-school Bonfire Music Festival, there are countless things to look forward to returning to campus. 

After a year of being an owl, it is clear what the student body anticipates the most: football tailgates. Part of what makes tailgates so fun is tailgate outfits.

Football tailgates are not the easiest events to roll into with style, especially when we go to school where it reaches 100 degrees during the football season. Don’t worry though, the UP has you covered. We’ve spoken with FAU’s fashionistas and have compiled the top tips for everyone to (comfortably) look like a trending star at this year’s football tailgates.


Commonly, hair is the biggest challenge, especially when you are a ridiculously sweaty person that lives in the sunshine state. Finding hairstyles that work in the heat can feel like a perpetual mess, but thanks to FAU alumna, Angelina Ennis, former student government marketing director and sister of Alpha Delta Pi, there will be no more unnecessary hassle. Ennis provided great advice: styling hair in an updo. 

“A lot of people realize that when you leave your hair down, your hair will become a sweaty, frizzy mess,” said Ennis. 

Ennis completely understood the struggle of styling a cute updo, but through her many years of tailgating, she has learned the cutest, most comfortable, and sturdiest hairstyles. She shared her  favorite updos with the UP.

“The bubble braids, classic pigtails, and other cool braids… They’re all fashionable hairstyles,” said Ennis. 














While updos seem like the most ideal way to maintain hair in the humidity, Madeline Friedman, a summer 2022 graduate and former member of the College Panhellenic Association executive board, loved to style her hair down during her tailgate years.

“If I know there’s a tailgate coming up, I won’t wash my hair until after the tailgate because I know it’ll get gross at the tailgate—plus having unwashed hair holds everything together and keeps it tamed, I usually like to add curls and spray it a ton,” said Friedman. 

Friedman emphasized that unwashed hair is not bad and that it can be used as a great tool for keeping hair still and in its place. 

“Hairspray will be your best friend,” said Friedman.


With the combination of heat, water, sweat, and other beverages flying around, makeup becomes a not-so-wonderful thing while outside in the Boca Raton heat. 

Khiari “KiKi” Johnson, a sophomore at FAU and member of the black student union, recommended not wearing a full face of makeup because most likely, the foundation will melt off and smear all over the place.

Rather than makeup, Johnson loves to use other items to complement their face.

“I love to use a lot of glitters, a lot of gemstones, I put them in the corner of my eyes, one row going over, one row going under, a lot of eyeliner is cool… Makeup to me gives me a sense of individuality,” said Johnson. 

I’ve been able to get glitter, lipsticks, and various colored eyeliners at the local CVS for reasonable prices! My personal favorites for tailgates are the Wet N Wild Crayon Eyeliner and the Wet N Wild Mega Last High Shine Lip Color. Both products are available in various colors at CVS and Ulta. 

“My go-to when it comes to accessorizing the face would be the FAU eye stickers you can get at CVS,” said Aidan Rourke, a student majoring in communications. 

Rourke explained that the eye stickers are simple, but still unique, which is why he likes to wear them. 

“I’m the type of person who likes to wear a lot of makeup, but for tailgates, I never did a full face, I only put a little bit on and a pair of sunglasses, then I’d accessorize a whole bunch to make up for that,” explained Friedman.

If you choose to wear makeup to a tailgate, pick up a bottle of setting spray to make sure everything stays in place. 

Whatever you decide, make sure sunscreen is part of your routine. You don’t want to show up to class Monday morning looking like a tomato. My favorite sunscreen is the CeraVe Sunscreen Stick– it’s never let me down before.


Of course, I saved the best advice column for last: outfit. So, how does one look chic in boiling weather, in one of the dirtiest, stuffiest environments?

It’s hard to find clothing that is both affordable and appealing. Thankfully, Johnson has a tip to get clothing for free that all students should know!

“FAU always gives out free stuff at the student union every Tuesday at the beginning of the school year, or when the FAU bookstore had a sale we would buy shirts there. When it was time for a tailgate, I’d look on Pinterest for the best ways to style a shirt, I’d crop them or tie them in cool ways, and it was fun,” said Johnson.

DIYing is easier than you think. With the power of YouTube and Pinterest, you can take plain T-shirts from not to hot in less than an hour.

Similarly, Rourke said, “All of the clothes I get for tailgates I DIY, if you like to DIY my best recommendation is to go to a Walmart nearby. They sell official FAU merchandise and it’s not too expensive, you can cut it up, bleach it, tie-die it, and so on.”

The clothes you get for tailgates don’t have to be pricey either – you can always go thrifting.

“For affordable tailgate clothing, I’d go to Forever 21, honestly even Plato’s Closet had cool things… I’ve taken those free T-shirts that FAU hands out sometimes, I’d cut them up, tie them, turn them into halter tops… I love lots and lots of DIY,” said Friedman. 

Don’t wear expensive clothes to tailgates – this goes for shoes as well. Chances are, they’ll get ruined within the first hour from a drink spill.  

“A lot of people show up to tailgates in their brand new white airforces, and I’m like, immediate mistake, those are done, get your shoes from anywhere cheap, Forever 21 has a lot of cheap and cute things for tailgates,” Ennis said. 

To avoid feeling overheated stay away from heavy and long clothing. 

“In order to keep cool while also looking fashionable my advice is to go for a cropped tank top and a pair of shorter shorts like 3 to 5-inch inseam,” said Rourke.

Rourke implemented his advice when he wore his favorite outfit of the 2021 tailgate season. 

“I wore a red outfit that included a red baseball cap, a cropped red polo, some red Calvins, and red shorts,” said Rourke.

“Fun skirts and flowy shorts are comfortable and give you a lot of air circulation,” suggested Ennis. 

Another way to spice up your outfit is by coordinating with friends. 

“In (Alpha Delta Pi) all of the seniors did matching outfits for the last tailgate so we all got matching red sets… it said FAU seniors or something like that and we got some cool pictures out of it,” said Ennis. 

Ennis shared that she thinks it is more fun to coordinate clothing with friends. Johnson also enjoys coordinating with friends, but with a twist. 



“We definitely coordinate the styling of our outfits, but the outfits are all individual to the person because we all like to do things differently,” said Johnson.

At the end of the day, even though dressing the part is super fun, the FAU tailgates are more about having a great time and creating lifelong memories. 

“My favorite tailgate was parents’ weekend freshman year, my mom came and it was so fun… She came back to my dorm with me and all of my roommates had their parents over too and we all bonded together,” said Friedman.

One of Ennis’ favorite memories from tailgates was seeing parents enjoying themselves.

 “Watching people’s parents relive their college years during parents’ weekend… Seriously had to be the funniest moments from all of the tailgate seasons,” said Ennis. 

While many had a blast at parent’s weekend, another fan favorite tailgate was homecoming. 

“The tailgate for homecoming was the first day that set off the vibe of the homecoming weekend, the energy was big, and the tailgate really set the mood… I’m definitely looking forward to the homecoming game again, each tailgate is fun but homecoming is where you see everyone congregate and have the time of their lives,” said Johnson.

For a lot of students, part of what makes tailgates so fun is getting ready for a fabulous day with friends. 

“I made tailgates a fashion show… My most memorable outfit was freshman year, I wore these white Forever 21 shorts, a red FAU tube top that I made, and I had these sparkly blue and red pom poms, I hung them on the outfits of my back pockets, it was extra but I’ll never forget it,” said Ennis. 














The UP cannot wait to see what extraordinary looks students come up with this season, and hope to see some of the tips and tricks recommended by students and alumni in use.

Send us your tailgate photos this fall to be featured on our Instagram. Happy tailgating!

Lili Jahromi is a Contributing Writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email her at [email protected]