// Gameday fashion: Target Field’s opening has blended business casual with, well, just plain casual //
It happens slowly. You notice a bit of corporate eye-candy amidst the game jerseys, a pair of high heels here, a well-tailored suit there. Maybe a guy takes a little more care eating his Big Dog, straining to not get mustard on his tie. Gradually, you start to question your choice of shorts, sandals and giant foam finger. I mean, you know it’s the North Loop. But it’s still a Twins game, right?
With its proximity to dozens of design and architecture firms, big-league corporate offices and pricey condo developments, the new Target Field has witnessed a slight tweak in its demographic. Suddenly, it’s not so rare to spy a few suits out there on the Plaza, especially before an afternoon game.
Has the new stadium, with its stylish step-up from the Dome’s frumpiness, inspired Twins fans to dress better? Or is it simply that more Downtown office workers are playing hookey at the games?
We strolled through Target Plaza before a recent afternoon game to find out.
Steve and Dick
DTJ: It looks like you’ve come straight from the office. What was your wardrobe strategy for going from work to the game?
Steve: I’ve got a jersey in my bag with a hat. I’m just gonna change in the stadium. But I don’t think it would be taboo to sit through a game in a suit and tie. It wouldn’t make me feel uncomfortable.
DTJ: Have you noticed people dressing nicer for the new stadium?
Dick: No, they’re still wearing clothes you can puke on.
DTJ: Hey, is that a Blood Brothers T-shirt?
Alex: Yeah, I got it years ago when I saw them play at the Quest.
DTJ: Cool. We like your clay-colored moccasins and your superhero helmet. Do you find yourself planning an outfit when you come to the Warehouse District for games?
Alex: Actually, this is the first time I’ve been down for a game. And this is what I normally wear most days, anyway.
DTJ: Given the stadium’s stylish design, do you think fans will dress better to come to the games this year?
Alex: I don’t think it’s so much that fans will dress nicer, but more nicely dressed people will probably be coming to more games.
Chris and Mike
DTJ: So one of you went with the Twins jacket, jersey and hat. The other just has the hat. Is there such a thing as too much Twins gear?
Mike: No way.
Chris: Yes. The Twins, I believe, are a more modest baseball club, so in my opinion this hat is all you need.
DTJ: Do you guys think it’s more acceptable this year to wear a suit and tie to the games?
Chris: I’ve heard that there’s a lot of people in the area that just work until noon, then come down to check out a few innings, and then go back to work. You might see, like, the CEO of Wells Fargo down here in a suit.
Mike: I think the outdoor part of it is gonna have an impact. No matter who you are, it’s gonna be shorts and a T-shirt.
Kelly Johansen and Jon Herzig (the Purple Pimps)
DTJ: Wow. What’s the deal with the purple suits?
Kelly: We’re the official, unofficial mascots for the Vikings. Last year, we went to every home and away game. It wasn’t easy. And it definitely wasn’t cheap. But for almost every single game, we got on TV. We’re the Purple Pimps. We’ve got a website, purplepimps.com, a Facebook page with a ton of fans.
DTJ: Would you ever consider doing that for the Twins?
Kelly: Way too many games. We’re doing this today because we’ve got an NFL draft party we’re going to tonight.
DTJ: So tell us what you’re wearing.
Kelly: These are fitted purple suits that we had custom made. We found some tailor guy out in New York to do this. We got the white ties, the four-pointed white pocket squares.
Jon: My dad actually made the hats. These horns are hot glued in.
DTJ: Does chic fashion have a place at a professional sports event?
Kelly: You know, with a lot of people, it’s about comfortable clothes. Maybe a little baggy, a little frumpy. We like to come to the game and really look the part. I have been seeing a lot of people in the shirts and ties. I don’t know if they’re doing it intentionally, though. I came to the opener straight from work, in a suit, and I heard a few people commenting about it under their breaths.
DTJ: We couldn’t help but notice your khakis. Did you come straight from work?
Nathan: Yeah. I did that last week, too, and I actually changed into my Twins gear in my car in the parking lot. This week, I didn’t. That was just too much hassle. So today I’m just rocking the ball cap.
DTJ: It’s nice and understated. Do you think too much Twins gear can be a nuisance?
Nathan: Definitely. Especially when you see the huge number of horrible knock-off jerseys around. You can see why eBay stays in business.
DTJ: Do you think the stadium’s design is inspiring fans to dress nicer?
Nathan: That’s a good question. That would make sense. But looking around, it’s definitely not the case today.