Bear-aphernalia for a virtual Cal day

Illustration of woman with Cal gear and Cal merchandise
Armaan Mumtaz/Staff

Cal Day may be virtual this year (gasp, sob, clutch heart), but that doesn’t mean we can’t put on our best Bear fit and show off our blue and gold paraphernalia. While we won’t be showing off our Cal gear at the festivities or, for you incoming freshman, acquiring flex-worthy fashion, there are still plenty of opportunities to wear, acquire or use blue and gold paraphernalia. 

Here’s a power ranking of Bear gear for a virtual Cal Day.

5. That free shirt someone (Erm, who? Can’t quite remember) handed you

If you’ve attended an event at California Memorial Stadium or Haas Pavilion, odds are you’ve come upon this kind of shirt. After one look, you can usually tell why they didn’t charge you for it.

But, hey, they didn’t charge you for it. You can question the design choices all you want, but in the end, these shirts were free. Occasionally, of course, there are some real keepers. The Cal throwback tees from the 2019-20 basketball season? The Joe Roth long sleeves? Golden. 

Now that Cal Day is virtual, however, it doesn’t matter how cool or uncool your shirt looks. When you go outside for the first and only time of the day, you’ll be repping blue and gold at no extra cost.

4. Flags

Wave it, fly it or hang it up, there isn’t a more consistent and satisfying way to rep Cal than a Cal flag. At face value, these bad boys can seem a little overpriced, but it’s a one-time cost for a lifetime of Golden Bear pride.

The flags bring utility at multiple levels. Parents and alumni can hang them outside their residences, students can decorate their new apartments with them and incoming freshmen can use them to fill up that empty space on their dorm walls.

They also get bonus points for the differing sizes and types (peep the Cal Pride flag).

3. A lighter

The Cal Student Store has yet to capitalize on this seemingly obvious market by not selling Cal-themed lighters, but a trusty fire starter is an absolute necessity. Whether you’re lighting your friend’s birthday candles or celebrating particular holidays in April, lighters seem to disappear just when you need them.

Cue you swooping in with your nifty self-customized lighter covered in Cal stickers to save the day. An easy way to make yourself the hero in any situation lacking in small, controlled flames, lighters warrant caution for their ability to burn anything to the ground. For that reason, they are not allowed in the dorms (especially Foothill) but can still come in handy.

2. Fuzzy socks

While fuzzy socks belong outside as much as they belong inside, they are ultimately at their best during long, lazy weekends when you spend more time on your bed than you do taking part in any physical movement.

Now that we are sheltering in place, life is one perpetual lazy weekend and fuzzy socks have never been more essential. It doesn’t matter what’s happening wherever, toes need to stay toasty, and toes are never toastier than when wrapped in a sweet pair of soft, thick, blue and gold-striped socks.

Whether you’re spending Cal Day in a variety of Zoom calls or just lounging about, it’s better when your feet are rocking it. 

1. Sweatshirt blanket

The sweater is classic college wear. The unspoken MVP on campuses everywhere, sweaters were the first piece of Cal gear in many a closet. 

The blanket is any student’s best friend. Whether it’s a cold day, a sad day, a sleep-in day or literally any day of your life, your true place is inside humanity’s oft-forgotten ace in the hole.

Now combine the two. The sweater blanket is a multipurpose tool with a Cal logo strewn across the back. Its soft interior and hard exterior are both comfortable, and allow for snuggling on a bed and picnicking on any terrain. While it lacks the hood and sleeves of one of its namesakes, it can still be worn as a piece of clothing, and now that you don’t have to physically go to class, it can be worn as your only piece of clothing.

The sweater blanket is ultimately a combination of two laws of the universe. You can never have too many sweaters. You can never have too many blankets. You can never have too many sweater blankets.

Jasper Kenzo Sundeen is the sports editor. Contact Jasper at [email protected].