How to show team pride no
matter what setting you’re in

by Lisa van Wijk
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.

Tailgate Shirt

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.
Office Shirt

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.
Tailgate Neckwear

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.
Office Neckwear

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 With its sleek plaid
pattern, attractive coloring and straightforward single logo, a tie like this
is the manifestation of football fan classiness.
Tailgate Wristwear

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.
Office Wristwear

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.
Tailgate Accessories

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 Accessories

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
Check out this infographic
that pits the enthusiastic tailgater against the office team loyalist:
The Tailgate Ambassador:
The Office Afficionado:

Lisa Van Wijk

Lisa is a designer, illustrator, writer,
editor and avid shower singer.
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.