College Park Street Style: 10 Top Tailgating Trends

The streets of College Park were revamped with style as game trends came out in full force this football season.

From personalized t-shirts to patched denim, people are using tailgates to show off their unique College Park street style. With only one home game left on Saturday, Nov. 12, now is the chance to put together the perfect tailgating outfit with these tips from student designer, Kelly Niesen.

On top of her studies as a communication major and her leadership roles in Kappa Delta sorority, Niesen, 19, decided to take her talents to a whole new level by offering custom made t-shirts via her Instagram account @Tailgateteesbykell.

“All of my friends would ask me to cut, dye, and lace-up their shirts,” said Niesen. “So I decided to start a business out of it and make a little extra money.”

Trends may catch on fast, but all of Niesen’s t-shirt designs are uniquely hand crafted. Niesen has made over 50 one-of-a-kind custom t-shirts.

“At first I opened up orders to just my close friends,” said Niesen. “But word spread fast and people in many different organizations and groups on campus started inquiring about my designs.”

Here is a break down of the 10 Top Tailgating Trends as told by Kelly Niesen:

  1. Cheerleader: It may be hard to hold a beverage with pompoms, but that doesn’t mean cheerleading skirts aren’t the perfect way to show school spirit. Sporty yet cute, the cheerleader skirt is the easiest bottom to pair with a cute Maryland themed top and Converse sneakers.

    Courtesy of
    Photo Courtesy of Eliseé Browchuk
  2. Lace-up: “The possibilities are endless,” said Niesen. “Whether you’re wearing a crop top or t-shirt dress adding lace-up gives your outfit a unique flare.”

    Photo Courtesy of Eliseé Browchuk
  3. Cut-out: Whoever figured out that cutting off most of a t-shirt made it look one hundred times cooler is a genius. Don’t get too crazy with the scissors, it’s easy to get carried away and end up cutting your shirt in half.
  4. Denim: Pull out your ripped jeans, high-waisted shorts, and jean jackets because denim has made its grand entrance into the tailgating game. Add Maryland themed patches to a vest to create a spirited layering piece for chilly mornings.
  5. Bandeau: The warm weather seemed to keep bandeaus around long after summer ended. Perfect to pair with high-waisted shorts or a cheerleading skirt, bandeaus are a super cute way to show Maryland spirit.
  6. Choker: The choker phenomenon snuck into the tailgating spotlight adding a little bit of edge to every game day outfit. DIY Tip: Use the extra fabric from cut-shirts or leftover string from lace-ups to make a perfect choker.

    Kelly Niesen pictured in center. Photo Courtesy of Niesen
  7. Bucket hat: Rain or shine the bucket hat trumped all accessories this season. How can you not look cute and spirited in a Maryland-themed brim hat?
  8. Flannel: A patchwork combination of red and black is perfect to throw on over a tank top or tie around your waste. If you’re feeling extra creative add a lace-up to the front or graphic patch to the back and layer with a bralette.
  9. Acid wash: Bleach became everyone’s best friend to tie dye plain red and black shirt. “Mix one part water and one part bleach into a spray bottle to make sure the solution doesn’t eat through the fabric,” said Niesen.
  10. Graphic Designs: People are getting really creative with placing the Terrapin and Maryland logos into modern day and pop-culture artwork. Companies like Medicated Housewife offer a Maryland collection that collaborates with the spearheading trends like the Rolling Stone’s tongue, the Grateful Dead dancing bears, and the famous Nirvana face with the Maryland colors.

    Photo Courtesy of Eliseé Browchuk

“I think it’s really cool that tailgates have become more than just a celebration of football,” said Niesen. “Now people use game days to showcase the unique and diverse style of the student body here at Maryland.”

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