Annie Vihtelic
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The Super Bowl Style edition

By - Jan 29th, 2011 04:00 am
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Photo by Bekky courtesy Flickr.com (CC)

On the morning of the playoff game that secured the Packers’ place in Super Bowl XLV, I stopped at Sendiks to pick up some snacks before heading over to a friend’s house. The whole store was emblazoned with green and gold, and I’m not talking decorations, or the icing that covered Packers-themed cookies and cakes – I’m talking about the people. Everyone had on Green Bay’s colors: the baggers, the cashiers, the managers, customers, children, the old Grandma in front of me…you get the picture.

I’ve never seen so many people wearing so much of the same thing. Having never been to any major sporting events in my lifetime, this was a lot for me to take in!

As I waited in line dressed in my faux leopard jacket, I felt really out of place (and slightly guilty) that I wasn’t wearing anything in support of the home team. Oddly, I’d never felt so self-conscious when it came to what I was wearing. I’ve lived in the Milwaukee area for the past five years and even without playoff games and Super Bowl hype, I’ve noticed that people have always showed their support of the Packers in how they dress.

Ridiculous or not, I’ve never seen a trend that so many people get excited about and participate in.

No other NFL fan is as recognizable as a Cheesehead. The whole idea was spawned by an insult from a disgruntled White Sox fan towards a Milwaukee rival. The verbal abuse was embraced and- quite literally- took shape as the most identifiable accessory in sports novelty. Even out-of-state Packers fans are extremely dedicated. Take the car salesman who lost his job in honor of his favorite NFL team. A Chicago man took a huge fashion risk when he sported a Packers necktie to the dealership he worked for. His manager gave him the option of removing it or being laid off. The employee opted to keep the tie, and was kicked off the lot.

Though I love to see the original ways people can integrate Packers gear into their wardrobes, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that certain sporty trends don’t resurface. Case in point: Zubaz. In the late 1980s, two Minnesota body builders developed the  loose-fitting, zebra-striped pants, and a huge trend was born.

Zubas grabbed the attention of NFL superstars, professional wrestlers, and common folk alike, but were named one of the worst fads ever.  But if you thought their popularity went the way of the mullet, think again. The creators of Zubaz  have been fielding requests for Packers-inspired pants in preparation for the Super Bowl. Don’t believe me? Check out the homepage of their website.

Yep. It exists.

Sweatshirts, track suits, t-shirts, Zubaz, hats, jerseys, underwear, jackets, ties, sleepwear, onesies – you can pretty much cover yourself head-to-toe in team gear. Men and women, infants and grandparents, can easily show their pride by wearing green and gold.

Even though fan gear hasn’t quite made it into my personal wardrobe, I think it’s cool that these garments turn into memorabilia. An old t-shirt or hat can take you back to a certain game in someone’s living room, or help one relive “the glory days.” It’s good stuff to pass on to future generations of fans — sentimental value never goes out of style.

But if you decide to go a different route than dressing in full fan regalia for the big game, I have a few suggestions in case you want to get into the spirit without going overboard.

Have an old Packers sweatshirt that you’re sick of or just don’t wear anymore? Update it by cutting out the neck so it’s more off the shoulder/Flashdance inspired. Or get a little creative — take a dark hunter or emerald green shirt and layer on a few pieces of yellow gold jewelry to sport the home team colors in style. Think about accessories — like tights, scarves, or a knit hat. Take stock of the green and/or gold items you already have and then have fun mixing and matching.

But I certainly don’t want to get in the way of anyone’s superstitious beliefs. If you feel that a certain pair of socks or foam cheese wedge encouraged past Green Bay victories, then by all means wear it!

Go Packers!

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