There may only be one outfit choice for Dayanara Diaz at Litchfield Penitentiary, but out here in the real world Dascha Polanco is all about personal style — even on game day. Rocking a dark purple lip, a New York Giants tee, and matching red sneakers on the sidelines of a Giants versus Jets game, the Orange Is The New Black star shared her best Sunday Funday outfit tips with me. And, thankfully, they mostly have to do with staying comfortable. "I have to be able to stretch and move because I'm going to jump," she says as she dances on the field as the Giants warm up. "Also, so you can twerk."
"Your apparel makes or builds your confidence," Polanca continues, explaining that she loves to incorporate "colors" and "patterns" from her Dominican culture into her everyday wardrobe. It's no wonder that Dascha Polanco was chosen as an NFL apparel ambassador, representing women who love sports and, of course, her Latina heritage.
For many female football fans, pink rhinestone encrusted jerseys aren't going to fly simply because we're women. Polanco's inclusion as an NFL apparel ambassador is a step in the right direction for the female fan because she values wearing clothes you feel comfortable in — which sometimes means not subscribing to our currently established gender norms. "It's important to me because I represent the majority of women out there. And for Latinas, I have to represent them, it's who I am," Polanco says. "Whether you're curvy, you're not, you're slim, whether you're a little extra in other places, whatever you wear, your apparel makes or builds your confidence." She adds that smelling great doesn't hurt either.
Polanco grew up in a New York Giants household and credits her father for her fandom. "My father was a Giants fan and when you grow up in a household like that, it's pretty much instilled in you early," Polanco says. Although she grew up a football fan, Polanco attended her very first football game just this past week, which makes her even more relatable. "I am grateful, I'm humbled, I'm excited," she says reflecting on finally having the opportunity to watch her favorite team in person.
It's incredibly important for women — scratch that, all fans — to have style options out there that embrace their fandom, regardless of their gender identity. The NFL Women's Apparel T-shirt Polanco was wearing is one non-pink option any football fan can actually get behind. There's nothing wrong with loving a little bling, but it's certainly not for everyone. I, for one, am stoked to be able to rock my worn in green and white Jets gear — especially on days they're beating the Giants.
Images: Bennett Raglin/AP images for NFL Apparel