Laura Binford and Jared Wright show off their College Night Side spirit in their style choices during the season. Photo by Jasmyne Ray/The Alabamian.
Next to the performances and athletic events, fashion is the most important element of the College Night season. By simply adding a hint of purple or a touch of gold to an ensemble, you’re showing the entire campus which side you’re rooting for.
Once you’ve been here for a while and have picked a side, you absentmindedly start adding pieces of clothing in your side’s colors to your wardrobe.
“It’s a way for people to express themselves and how much they love their side,” said Laura Binford, Purple side cheerleading co-captain. “And it’s really interesting to see what people come up with on both sides.”
If you’re a Purple, you’ll stick to the side’s classic purple and white, but with added cow print accents. For Golds, it’s as simple as pairing an all black ensemble with varying shades of yellow or gold accessories.
“I normally like to go with something cute but comfortable because [I’m] going to be doing a lot of yelling and jumping around and running,” said Jared Wright, choreographer of the Gold side show.
Cowprint is a rare wardrobe staple for Purples. According to Binford, it’s difficult to find cow print things.
“If you see anything cow print, you buy it,” she said. “You just get it because it’s very rare.”
Black is a good, neutral color that most people stick to when trying to figure out what goes well with their purple or gold pieces.
“If you can start out with black, you can add little pops of things, pops of purple or gold,” Wright said.
Binford, a self proclaimed “purple purist,” typically tries to stay away from gold and black because they’re the opposing sides’ colors but finds that it’s difficult to do since most of her clothes are black.
The most underrated and overlooked parts of College Night fashion, however, are the side buttons.
“It’s really interesting to see strangers and identify them as part of my purple family,” Binford said. While attending Bonnaroo last summer, she was constantly questioned about the meaning behind her PV buttons.
“For someone who isn’t a Purple or Gold, or if they’ve never heard of College Night, it can start a conversation,” Wright said. “It’s really nice to see people having the Purple and Gold pride around campus.”
For each night of the shows, the sides abide by a dress code: side shirts on Wednesday, casual side color attire on Thursday, semi formal attire on Friday and formal attire on Saturday.
“When that curtain raises I like to see everything that’s come together,” Binford said of opening night.
Wright loves seeing the effect that being in costume and performing live have on the cast. “Seeing all that put together and seeing the choices that they make within their characters and themselves and how they take it to the next level.”