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Fall truly is my favorite time of year! Not just for the falling leaves, all things pumpkin & the cozy sweaters … but also because fall means TENNESSEE FOOTBALL SEASON!
(I may live in Texas now, but my heart will always be in Tennessee!)
To celebrate football season, I’m combining my love of parties, food & football and sharing six of my favorite tips on how to host a stylish Southern tailgate with Draper James.
1. Pop the Trunk
If you have an SUV or a car with a large & open trunk, then you’re one step closer to a bona fide tailgate! We like to pop open the trunk and put a card table front when we tailgate. (Bonus points if the tablecloth is orange & white!) This gives our tailgate enough space for friends to mingle about the food & drinks.
Don’t forget to head to the stadium as early as you can to find the perfect tailgate spot!
2. Your Team is Your Theme
Center your theme around your team’s colors, whether they be bright orange, red, white or blue. I like to use serving pieces and decor in my team’s colors to show off my school spirit!
My Tennessee burlap banner is one of the focal points of my tailgate setup. I found this one on Etsy, which is a great place to shop for tailgate decor unique to your favorite team.
I also grabbed faux florals in shades of orange from my local craft store that are guaranteed to stay fresh every Saturday this season. A mini chalkboard is also a great way to personalize your tailgate with a cheer for your team.
3. Score with Sips & Snacks
Tailgate food is in a league of its own. Think “ultimate party” food, and you have traditional tailgate food. I like to choose options that are easy to serve and please a crowd. I also try to mix it up with one of something sweet, savory, & salty.
4. Serve in Style
If you’re the hostess, the festive serving pieces are sometimes the most fun part of setting everything up! (It’s not every day we get to use our designated tailgate goodies!)
I am absolutely loving the Tailgate Collection from Draper James! The melamine serving pieces come in shades of blue and red, and feature quirky slogans such as “Cheers Y’all” & “Gameday.” While red isn’t necessarily a color that fits in with a Tennessee vols tailgate, blue certainly does! It’s one of the official colors of the Lady Vols, so I couldn’t resist the chance to serve with these adorable blue gingham pieces.
5. Fuel the Fun
Once you have the tailgate spot, decor, serving pieces & food all set up, it’s time to start the party! We typically bring a speaker, chairs, blankets and a football with us when we tailgate. This gives friends a place to sit and chat, music to listen to, and a game to play while we “pre-game!”
6. Dress Your Best
And last but not least, and perhaps my favorite tailgate tip, is dress your best!
In the South, a football game is one of the best excuses to dress to the nines. Depending on the weather, I’ll opt for an orange and white seersucker sundress with wedges (yep!) or an orange striped sweater with some of my favorite accessories.
I’m wearing Draper James’ oh-so-adorable Tailgate Sweater and it comes in a shade fit for almost every team down South too!
The “Go Y’all” pin on each sweater is such a fun touch!
And seriously, I can’t get enough of wearing my cheer on my sleeve, or purse for that matter. Draper James’ “Go Y’all” Envelope Clutch is the cutest way to carry your gameday essentials.
And just like that, I’m ready for the first Tennessee football game this Thursday!! (Even though we’ll be tailgating from Texas, we’ll sill be giving our “all” for Tennessee this week!)
Are you just as excited about football season as I am an? And what are some of your favorite tailgate traditions? I’d love to hear! And as always, thanks for stopping by the blog!
photos by Bertuzzi Photography
*This post was sponsored by Draper James. All opinions are my own.*