I went to visit Eldest at school this weekend. It was the weekend of their first game (Saturday), so I got to experience Austin in full game-day glory. Can you grasp the concept of 150,000 people shoved into one relatively small area, all dressed in burnt orange? I felt positively blasphemous in my turquoise tank top.
Now, normally, Austin fashion falls into the "anything goes" category. It's quite the melange. There's a bit of every possible fashion sense to be found in Austin, which makes it pretty groovy in my book. You'll always be grounded to the Longhorn aesthetic by a goodly number of students in their "Hook 'Em Horns" orange gear, but it's usually a small smattering, just enough to remind you of where you are. The goal of fashion in general here is to wear what you like, like what you wear, and hope that a little piece of you shines through.
Game days, on the other hand, are a completely different story. The entire city's fashion aspirations magically align, and suddenly everyone looks fantastic in burnt orange. The goal suddenly becomes totally different. A little more challenging in some respects. On game days, it is imperative that you wear something, ANYTHING, in the only color that exists on the color wheel: burnt orange. However, you still want your personality to make an appearance, so the big trick is to search for clothing items that are your style but made in that one hideous, unifying color. The entire second floor of the Co-op is reserved for women's clothing (with a stunning array of styles but not much in the way of color selection)! I saw girls in cute little shift dresses in burnt orange, polos in burnt orange, flip flops in burnt orange, Soffe shorts in burnt orange, baseball tees in burnt orange, and on and on it went; it was truly a sight to behold, this veritable ocean of orange threatening to pull you under in its insidious current.
Something strange overcomes you when you go to Austin. Even those of us with no school spirit to speak of suddenly have the urge to "throw the horns" and buy something hideously orange. Even me. Yes, even me.