The Public Apology has long been known for its sartorial savvy. Anyone who has walked into the TPA HQ would know that the editorial team takes a very serious approach to its workplace attire (not so much to workplace discrimination, however).
As such, we feel it is imperative to let you, the sporting consumer, in on what to wear to your favourite sporting code this winter. Because, as we all know, there’s nothing more embarrassing than wearing inappropriate attire to a ‘Tahs game.
The lines are blurring as rugby league continues to reach out to a ‘new money’ audience, but there are still a few fashion staples set to stand the test of time. Remember that retro is ‘in’ – and always will be. If you have an original Canberra Raiders ‘Woodgers’ jersey from 1987 (that you likely procured on eBay), you best wear it. If you have a faux-retro jersey that was designed this year (say, a replication of the 1915 Balmain Tigers jersey by the sports apparel firm Classic) then please don’t wear it – unless you’ve put it through the wash and dryer several times to shrink/fade it for that vintage aesthetic.
If you want to just wear civilian clothes to a rugby league game, then a hoodie/jeans combo is a safe bet. Don’t go wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt like you’re about to head out on the town circa-2003. This won’t fly in this environment. You could opt for a short-sleeved Ed Hardy shirt (are they still making clothes?) if you want to truly blend in, but be warned that the weather is getting a bit colder come March-April. Combine with unnecessary chunky sunglasses (on top of head) for max effect.
This seems obvious, but given that you’re only going to the game so you can walk up the hill to Paddington afterwards and announce “I just came from the ‘Tahs’ game,” then you should probably wear your Paddington best. And by that I mean a scarf, chinos, boat shoes (or pointy brown leather shoes) and a dress shirt/polo that screams inherited, market-resilient trust fund wealth. Note: the scarf should have a cashmere-feel and bear no reference to the Waratahs whatsoever.
Of course, you could wear an actual Waratahs jersey to the game – as long as you make sure you wear the other aforementioned accoutrement. If you’re going to do this, make sure you know at least three current ‘Tahs players. This may require the purchase of a Footy Record (or whatever the rugby union equivalent of such a program is).
Having never been to a professional soccer/football game in Australia, I’m only guessing here. But I’d imagine that the aim is to wear as much of your team’s apparel as possible. There’s no need for nostalgia here – the league itself is still in its infancy – so the order of the day is shiny jerseys with the player of the moment’s name on the back of it, etc. Bring a scarf so you can wave it around frantically whenever the ball hits the back of the net. Scarves are also good for concealing your face from CCTV cameras and the police whenever a riot occurs, so there’s a multi-purpose aspect there.
The Swans are really in now, so you should load up on Red and White paraphernalia to appropriately blend in with the crowd. A long-sleeve jersey looks good at a night game; if you’ve got the rig for it, feel free to rock a sleeveless number during a day game. Obviously I’m assuming you’re in the concourse, because you need a collar in the SCG Members stand. For those of you with SCG memberships, a sensible collared shirt and jeans/chinos will do nicely, particularly when you’re retrieving a tray of $8 Hahn Light beers from the members’ bar.
By Dave Edwards