Be bold or go home: fashionable dos and don’ts for your first NASCAR race
By Joe Kukura
The first rule for any rookie NASCAR racegoer is simple: act like you’ve been there before!
True NASCAR gearheads know that the right gear and apparel can not only earn you major style points at the track, purchase but it’ll make you stand out and feel right at home among a—shall we say, sovaldi sale enthusiastic—jampacked crowd there to show off their own race-day pride the only way they know how.
The good news for you is that we have you covered from head to toe with these dos and don’ts for easygoing fashion types, or for those who want to make a bold first impression.
The only question is—how bold do you feel?
The first thing to remember is that if your gear is not official, then you’re not official. So regardless of your level of ambition, the first stop must be the official NASCAR shop, which has all kinds of official custom apparel and accessories to prove your diehard support for the greatest live event in sports. Some tracks, like Dover International Speedway, will have their own official line of apparel and accessories to deck you out in the colors and insignia of the Monster Mile, for example.
The second thing to remember is that comfort is key. When you’re at the track all weekend long, it’s just as important to feel good as it is to look good. With that in mind, here’s a style guide for the novice fan and tips to properly prep yourself for race-day glory.
DO bring foam fingers, flags and banners. You should already know this, but having flags, banners and custom-made signs at any sporting event—especially NASCAR—is truly the No. 1 way to represent. Tie one to your RV, the tailgate of your truck or the trunk of your car and let everyone know you mean business. Besides, it’s a great way to break the ice while tailgating.
DO wear a full-on racecar driver costume. Look, we won’t judge you, but if you want to go all-in at your first NASCAR race, then go all-in, full Kyle Busch M&M style. Nothing’s stopping you!
DO rock your Crocs. We get it, you love your Crocs and we love you, so if you’re looking to coordinate colors to match the ones on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevy SS, then by all means, rock ’em.
DO show a little skin, but at your own risk! Ladies, this one’s for you. We know you want to strut your stuff at the track (and the guys do, too), just be mindful. Your tank top and short shorts seem great at high noon, but not so much when the sun goes down or the rain kicks up. And don’t forget to load up on the sunscreen. Opt for colored sunscreen and do some face painting.
Meanwhile, that cool NASCAR leather jacket you borrowed from your uncle won’t be so cool on a sunny and sweaty afternoon. Layer your outfits right so you can make changes when the weather inevitably becomes unpredictable.
DON’T wear heels. Sure, high heels and a sundress are sexy, but when it comes NASCAR—a bikini top with hiking boots is even sexier. Frankly, ordinary sandals or high heels are not recommended. You’ll be walking quite a bit, and you cannot expect to be walking on pavement all weekend. You’ll be trekking on gravel, dirt paths or grass at some point during the race.
DON’T wear white shorts (we mean it!). White T-shirts are cool, but white shorts are a major NASCAR faux pas. After all, with all the debris and dirt flying around, they won’t remain white for long. As a matter of fact, they probably won’t be white ever again. Simply, white is for church, not NASCAR.
DO wear headgear. Baseball hats, bandanas and cowboy hats are traditional NASCAR attire. Don’t leave home without one! Helpful in both warm and cool weather conditions, they prevent sunburn and help retain your body heat if it gets cold or rains. Bandanas are also great accessories for covering your mouth in dusty conditions, but they won’t keep the sun out of your eyes.
DON’T bother with cosmetics. Lipstick, blush and eyeshadow are not your friends when you’re at the track for a long, hot, dusty day. Face paint for the kids, on the other hand, is obviously a must.
DO wear sunglasses.
First of all, NASCAR isnt’ NASCAR without great people-watching, but you definitely don’t want to get caught staring. And you have to anticipate the sun being very bright, especially with glare bouncing off the cars. Those shades can save your eyes through the weekend.
DO bring back the fanny pack! Did somebody say fanny pack? Yup, sure did. Some people think fanny packs are a fashion faux pas. But guess what? Those people are wrong!
At NASCAR, fanny packs are as cool as you want them to be, not to mention they’re incredibly convenient. Keep necessities like lip balm and sunscreen close by without having to lug around a bulky backpack and bumping into people all day. Besides, some even have holsters for those beverages you’ll be hoisting. You know, the Budweiser kind to go along with your Kevin Harvick koozie—score! You can also stuff ponchos inside and cold hard cash knowing it’s safe.
Security can also be a concern, so they’ll want you to empty your pack to examine the contents. So by bringing a fanny pack, you’re not really holding up the line. But if you insist on backpacking, purchase a clear backpack from the NASCAR store and waltz right through security.
Now you’re all set for your first NASCAR race. Your next step is to splurge on some flashy apparel and hit the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit when it returns to the Monster Mile from Oct. 2 to 4 for the Challenger Round of the Chase.
And when all those people come up to you at the track asking where you got all that awesome gear, act like you’ve been there before.
Visit Dover International Speedway to purchase its official branded gear and apparel, and get on tickets to the Sprint Cup Series today.