In 1998, I started following Gonzaga (pronounced Gone-Zag(like bag)-Uh) basketball because the hot guy in my chemistry class was a fan. Two decades, three degrees, $110,000 in student loan debt, and the realization that the hot guy was a Grade-A jerk later, the Zags finally brought home a trip to the Final Four. And I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Luckily, my partner in crime felt the same way (granted he felt it more strongly until Wisconsin got knocked out), so we are going Dancing in the Desert.
So what does one wear to a big time sporting event where she will run into lots of old friends, old boyfriends, a couple of college-mean-girls, and a few thousand other people? Here’s a rundown of what I’m packing.
We’re headed to dinner and drinks with some friends on Friday night, so why not rock the school colors? As luck would have it, I’d already purchased this Tory Burch dress. I’m pairing with my new, and awesome, Sam Edelman sandals. I just wanted something comfortable, easy, and flattering (esp. given my bar-study weight gain). A wrap dress is all of that.
Need another choice under-$100? This red-and-white striped Hatley dress and this Brooks Brothers polo dress is all kinds of preppy.
For the game itself, I wanted a team shirt. Unfortunately, my college shirts are in a size best suited to 14-year-old girls, not a woman fast approaching middle age. And since the bookstore was sold out of everything in a size small, I went searching on Amazon for something relaxed, but not full game tee.
NYDJ Marilyn Straight Leg Jeans ($114)
While blue jeans are the most obvious choice to wear to the game, I prefer white. They’re a bit more stylish than your every day denim. If your concerned about them being unflattering, try a straight leg, a slim bootcut, or go for a flare. NYDJ is my favorite brand for white jeans. They lift, tuck, and flatten. So if you’ve struggled to find a pair that suits you, I’d start with NYDJ. They also make petite and plus-size denim.
Some might be concerned that white jeans will get dirty, but I wear them often, and I’m not too worried about it. If you’re searching for a substitute, a pair of lighter, distressed denim will work well.
Marc Jacobs TriColor Card Case ($75)
I like to travel light to sporting events, concerts, etc.. This card case allows me to pack the bare necessities, and not need a handbag. This gold card case is marked down to $33.
If for some reason, I must have a bag, I like to carry a small, cognac crossbody. Cognac goes with almost any color, so it’s a versatile choice. However, some sporting events require clear plastic purses of a smaller size. For football games, I carry this small PVC crossbody.
I hope to spend the majority of Sunday poolside. We’ve had a very rainy, dark winter, and I am ready for a bit of sun. But my pale winter skin needs to be protected from overindulgence. Because there’s a differnce between getting a little vitamin-D and getting a serious sunburn.
Supergoop is my favorite brand of sunscreen. I love their Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil made with meadowfoam; it’s one of the few that doesn’t make me breakout. I also like their vitamin-c infused spray sunscreen. This kit is perfect for traveling. Add a chic, affordable Panama Hat and I can keep sunburns and wrinkles at bay.
Whenever I travel, I pack a pair of back up shoes. Why? Because you might start to develop blisters, or tire out your feet walking in heels for unexpected distances. A pair of back up shoes gives you another option if (and usually when) you need one. These $12 H&M flats are a great option. They run a little large, but for swollen feet, that can be a good thing. I also recommend these Yosi Samra packable flats, for something a bit more durable. Or if you want something you can fit in your purse, these roll-up flats are perfect for weddings and late night events.
Have lots of fun! (And appreciate your wardrobe suggestions for a sporty weekend). I’m a UNC fan, but I admire the heck out of Gonzaga for their record this year.
As cousin Carole would say, “Oh you MUST dress! It’s an event!” enjoy every minute.
Welcome to the desert!
Oh dear, I love that Tory Burch dress. Are the NYDJ white jeans opaque? I’ve never tried their jeans but willing to give them a shot on my never-ending quest for good white jeans.
NYDJ are shockingly good jeans. They fit like a dream, and I always get compliments.
Also, welcome to Arizona!
My husband picked Gonzaga to win it all this year, so we are cheering for the Bulldogs from Illinois!
Speaking of Illinois, I’m going to be going to grad school there, and their school colors pain me. I wish they had something more flattering like Gonzaga or my actual favorite team, Ohio State.
If you’re speaking to my alma mater as I suspect, always safe going for primarily navy with orange accessories/ accents. That was my strategy at least. But Belle, fun post! Enjoy!
I agree Erica – always safe going mostly navy, and working in orange accessories, or a plaid-like combination. Congrats on getting into such a prestigious institution, Mary!
Yes, mostly navy is definitely the plan. Orange accessories will be single use because it doesn’t remotely go with anything else I own or plan on wearing. Ever. 🙂
So fun! I’ll be going to the games on Saturday and need some outfit suggestions so this helps a ton. The weather should be great, so enjoy that pool time!
Forgot to mention – clear bags only allowed in the stadium.
I’m just taking a wallet so I should be good.
I’d recommend making sure even your wallet meets the dimensional guidelines before you go. The security they hired for the college football playoff game in January at U of PHX was measuring bags at security – I’ve never seen it so strict. Enjoy your time in the Valley!
Great post! I have a similar weekend coming up in later April, and these are perfect options for me. Thank you!
As a lifelong South Carolina fan, I can’t support Gonzaga, but I’m totally a fan of your wardrobe picks and SO JEALOUS you get to go to the game!
I would rather be facing a Cinderella Story than a team that’s been there 100 times. Did your women’s team make it too?
Another Gamecock here and I’ll be in Phoenix too. So excited and looking forward to great games. Our Women’s team is indeed still dancing in Dallas. It’s a great time to be a Gamecock!
Yes! Both men’s and women’s basketball made it to the Final Four for the first time in school history. The whole state is basically beside itself as we try to figure out how we suddenly got good at basketball.
Go Zags! Have so much fun!
Debbie S. says:
Good for you. We life-long Spokane residents couldn’t be happier for the upcoming weekend! Go Zags! ??❤️