See if you can top these Dolphins fan outfits (Credit, Niema Hulin)

It’s time to take those paper bags off your heads and replace them with something fan-tastic. We’re talking tailgate costumes. From the simple to the extravagant, we’ve got the tips you need to create your own homemade tailgate outfit that celebrates our beloved Miami Dolphins.

Color Me Fan

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The first step to creating your homemade tailgate costume is getting the right colors, and Dolphin fans know they’re aqua, orange, white and navy blue. Go beyond that lucky jersey you haven’t cleaned since 1972 so as not to wash away that memorable season’s good luck. Painting one’s face and body is a popular and easy way to incorporate the team colors into your tailgate costume. Many fans even make it a group effort, painting words and phrases on their bare chests (not recommended for ladies). If body paints are too extreme for you, deck yourself in the colors from head to toe. Rummage through your closet and find all the aqua, orange, white and navy blue items you can find, From leggings to tutus, there’s no right or wrong. Simply combine them and strut your stuff at your tailgate party.

Dolphins, Dolphins, Dolphins

There’s no question about it. Miami’s home team mascot is a smiling dolphin. And why not? Dolphins are some of the smartest mammals in the world, next to us superior humans, so it makes sense to include a dolphin in your tailgate costume. Dolphin-shaped hats and props are conservative options, but for those with a bit more courage, create a dolphin-shaped body costume. The crowd will cheer for your fan bravery. Including the dolphin logo on your costume as much as possible is a clear indicator that you are a true fan.

It’s Theme Time

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Creativity is the most important tool when creating your tailgating costume. Many fans try different themes from game to game, mixing up the fun all season long. Think of someone memorable, an occupation or character and make them into a Dolphin fan. Imagine what a Spartan warrior would look like if he “fought” for the Dolphins. You can even modify last year’s Halloween costume to reflect your Dolphin love. There are no limits to what your mind can create, so don’t be shy. Some fans have even mimicked gangsters, rappers and other celebrities to create their awesome tailgate outfits. Consider Lady Gaga and go from there! Themes are a great way to get your friends involved too, so pick out a theme and get everyone to come dressed up. Group themes make the tailgate party much more entertaining.

Accessories and Things

Beyond the clothing and face paints, accessories add luster to your tailgate outfit. Those Mardi Gras beads you don’t know what to do with have finally found their purpose. From goofy glasses to top hats and sailor scarves, it’s time to take your tailgate costume to the next level. If you’re working with a theme, consider all the accessory options appropriate for that design. Simply donning a wig will add great definition to your costume. And don’t forget the football gear – shoulder pads and helmets make for the best accessories. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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Emerson Otto is a freelance writer covering all things Miami. His work can be found on