The Evolution of K-State Apparel

As most of you know by now, I wear my purple and white every day that I can. I love seeing other K-Staters doing the same! But wearing K-State apparel hasn’t always been a trend. Looking back through the history books (the Royal Purple), I’m examining the evolution of K-State apparel.


In the 1950s and 1960s, K-State apparel was hard to spot anywhere! Students didn’t tend to walk around campus sporting their K-State t-shirts and ball caps. In fact, I’m not sure they manufactured many lines of K-State apparel back in those days. If you were able to spot someone showing their K-State pride, it was generally a letter jacket with the block letter ‘K’. You could go to a K-State sporting event and not see a single person wearing K-State apparel (pictured left)! As for the K-State marching band, they wore the old style Willie Wildcat.

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By the 1980s, K-State apparel had become quite a bit more popular. Most of the clothing featured the old style Willie, but the K-State ‘K’ was still wide spread as well. Students still didn’t walk around campus dressed in their school gear on a daily basis.

1982_old_willie_largeFinally in the 90s Bill Snyder was at the helm of the football team and K-State had a new logo, the Powercat. As our football team became better, students started to show off more school pride and the new logo. Even with this new logo though, apparel written with ‘Kansas State University’ was popular. You can even see the K-State band director wearing his ‘K’ jacket in 1995.

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Today, K-State students and fans are in full Wildcat gear all the time. K-State t-shirts make up the majority of student wardrobes, and you wouldn’t DARE be caught at a K-State game without wearing purple. The Powercat has become a daily symbol and recognizable all around the county.

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What is the most noticeable change in K-State apparel over the years though? The guys’ shorts have gotten longer and the girls’ skirts have gotten shorter.

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Jordan (25)