Video by Spencer Ricks.
The ongoing struggle of how to be original in our school spirit fashion endeavors is one we all face. Or, in some cases, there are those who don’t really care about being original and just want to figure out a way to dress up without breaking the bank. Whichever category you fall into, this is the how-to guide you’ve been searching for all your life.
The student section is usually a sea of red and blue in the stands of Dixie State University’s sporting events. At large events like the Homecoming game, there are a wide variety of ways people express their love for DSU. For instance, you have the “extreme” fan—decked out head-to-toe in school colors, complete with body paint and a foam finger to top it all off; the “casual” fan who shops at the campus store for all their Trailblazer apparel needs; the “fashionista,” complete with cut-up t-shirts and accessories to match; and the “creative,” who comes up with an outfit to match each year’s Homecoming theme, or who wears a funny costume to distract the opposing team’s free-thrower during basketball season.
No matter what you wear to show your school spirit, it plays a large part in school events, said Cajun Syrett, vice president of athletics and a junior communication major from Bryce Canyon City.
“The way you dress affects the way you feel,” Syrett said. “It’s a lot of the mindset and preparation… If you get dressed up in the school colors, it just adds to your excitement to be there, which adds to the whole atmosphere of the student section.”
The “Extreme” Fan
It may sound simple to lose your shirt and don gobs of red body paint ($8.25 walmart.com), but the true “extreme” fan may want to take it a step further. There are always full body spandex skin suits ($34.99, morphsuits.com) —although that could get hot under the St. George sun, — dying your hair in the school colors, or simply getting decked out head-to-toe in Trailblazer gear (http://campusstore.dixie.edu/).
“I really want to do the ‘paint the body’ thing,” Syrett said. “It just adds that element that you’re looking for at a collegiate game… And there always has to be those crazy guys with their bodies painted.”
If you gather your friends, you may even be able to spell out “DSU” or “DIXIE” across three to five chests.
The “Casual” Fan
The casual fan will find most of his or her apparel at the DSU Campus Store. The athletic rebrand has given DSU the opportunity to come out with new apparel designs featuring the bison logo.
Barlow said student government often holds giveaways and hands out free shirts at events. She suggests that students on a budget attend the events because more likely than not, they’ll end up with a free shirt.
If the “casual” fan is looking for more than just a DSU T-shirt, the campus store does offer variety. There are hundreds of different tees, tank tops, polo shirts, sweatshirts, hats, pants and more. The Game Day tee is available at the campus store for only $9.99, so if you are willing to skip eating at Chipotle a couple of times this week, you can probably afford the Game Day shirt.
“I love my Game Day T-shirt to represent the school [at] football games,” said Ayrion Orton, an employee of the DSU Campus Store and a freshman English major from Kaysville.
Orton also said the sale rack at the campus store is always full of affordable finds.
If buying a Trailblazer t-shirt and calling it good is just too “basic” for you, you may be a “fashionista.” If you are looking for a way to elevate your school spirit apparel, here’s how. You can show your spirit in a maroon or cerulean dress or alternatively, a colored pair of trousers, while at the same time, avoiding the horror of showing up in the same top as that student sitting three rows down.
There’s also the option of accessorizing an otherwise ordinary outfit. The campus store offers patterned socks, ties and hats that can spice up your game day ensemble.
Orton said she’s had people purchase oversized shirts so they can cut them up or tie them in the front to add a little spunk to the shirt. You can also wear a large shirt as a T-shirt dress, or do the opposite and cut it to make a crop top. A pair of scissors can lead to countless possibilities. Add fringe to the bottom or turn it into a V-neck or a tank top; the only limit is your imagination.
“I [wear] red and jeans all the time,” Barlow said. “Some of the girls don’t like wearing [DSU shirts] because they’re unisex sizes, or if that’s a turnoff to some people, then I’d say the Dixie colors. We have great colors and they’re also American colors so it’s really easy to find… and they look good on everybody.”
The “Creative” Fan
This year’s Homecoming theme, Paradise City, opens up the doors to many wardrobe options. You could go with the paradise element and put together a tropical-themed outfit, or you could take the theme more literally, and wear Guns N’ Roses merchandise ($20.50, hottopic.com), because the theme is inspired by their hit song.
Barlow recommends Hawaiian print shirts ($16.53, walmart.com), leis and fun floral prints.
“It’s always sunny in St. George, so shorts [work],” Barlow said. “It’s really easy to play into the theme this year.”
Students also like to wear crazy costumes to games, especially during basketball season, Syrett said.
“Feel free to be yourself,” Syrett said. “Whatever you want to do, we want to create an experience and an environment where that’s okay.”
Regardless of which type of fan you are, dressing up is a fun way to support the university.
“It’s just super fun to get involved and wear whatever, even if you don’t have a specific ‘Dixie’ outfit,” Orton said. “Even the colors help… make the football games, your school sprit and your experience better.”