An Exercise in Shallowness

It has come to my attention that some enterprising BYU students (and maybe BYUSA) have created websites to showcase BYU fashion. Since when has it become okay to judge other BYU students based on fashion choices?  I will have you know it was very frowned upon by other students when I invented my own 10.0 scale of fashion as worn by BYU men.  People told me that I was very shallow and judgmental.  I note, my judging only extended to male fashion. I never imposed my scale on BYU women. I felt like women were already subjected to enough unconscious (and quite conscious) judgment about appearances by the opposite sex. I wasn’t going to add to that.  My freshman year, I was asked by a male friend why it was that I always dressed like I was “going to the office.”  Also, the only compliment that I was given in the realm of my personal appearance my freshman year came because I was told that a dress I was wearing “was a good color for me.”  The dress was brown. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions about that statement, but they probably will not be very cheerful ones.

So these two new BYU fashion websites that aim to be The Satorialist amongst the Mormon college student set, are YFashion and YFashion Daily respectively.  I will not speak specifically about the clothing choices of the women featured in the pictures, because the featured choices generally include at least one of the following “skinny jeans”, tunics, leggings, and UGG boots. Those things do not reflect my personal style choices.  In particular, I have a pretty strong dislike for UGG boots.  I don’t know when it became a trendy thing to wear a cross between bedroom slippers and ski boots over “skinny jeans.”  Has anyone actually looked at the way their ankles look when wearing Ugg boots?  It isn’t flattering.

What I will do is take a sampling of the males featured and apply the same rigorous 10.0 scale that I applied to my fellow classmates. 

First, a general comment: Apparently, men at BYU dress much better in the present day then they did when I attended BYU. I make this statement judging the range of pictures featured on the website. When I was at BYU, I tried to assume that the average male would get a 5.0 on the dressing scale. Sadly, few males actually reached what I considered average owing to a variety of fashion blunders like wearing socks with sandals, wearing 1980s stonewashed jeans, and sweatshirts everywhere. Only one male ever scored about a 9.0.  Just call me the Russian judge of BYU boys clothing.  I was a tough, albeit silent critic.  Only to a few people did I ever actually divulge that I had this mental fashion scale, and none of them were actually men. At least, that is the way that I recall it.

Alright, let’s get down to some specifics since these people agreed to have their pictures placed on the internet and judged for their fashion.

This dude in a puffy coat, hooded sweatshirt, and some dirty sneakers – 4.5 (He earns less than average because of his choice of both a puffy hooded coat and hooded sweatshirt.  You are allowed one hooded object and no more; More than that is a .5 deduction.  Also, I am being kind. I am not taking off points for the white sneakers with this ensemble, which are also worthy of a deduction.)

The brave fellow in the turquoise cardigan and matching sneakers – 5.75 (This isn’t the kind of look that I would favor generally.  However, he earns bravery points because it takes a brave man to attempt a turquoise cardigan and matching sneakers. Also, I give you + points for wearing a cardigan that isn’t a hoodie.)

This half person with a snazzy backpack and the nautical sweater – ?? (I can’t award you any points, because I can’t see your full outfit, and shoes, jeans style, and jean length obviously weigh very heavily in the calculation.  However, the top half is not bad at all. I am not sure how many volumes of In Search of Lost Time that backpack will hold, but the nautical theme is very timely and appropriate for this season’s fashions.)

The male half of this picture – 6.9 (The nautical sweater again earns higher marks, and the excellent shoes pushes this lad up to being considered on the 7.0 scale.  However, I am not sold on the coat choice (which could have pushed him up higher), and the jeans length seems a tad short (although nicely masked by the good shoes), so a minor -.1 deduction. That is a very good score.)

This jaunty chap – 7.3 (He really could have been a contender.  He demonstrates the ability to wrap and utilize a scarf to his advantage.  He demonstrates the ability to use different knit textures at the same time.  That sweater alone would have earned him high marks. However, a few things go wrong when the picture zooms out to full length.  The pants length isn’t right for what is going on top.  And then there are the shoes.  The shoes really keep this outfit from achieving its full potential.  The Van slip-ons in the checkerboard pattern are all wrong.  And I am willing to forgive the hat part of this.  It is sad to see potential go unfulfilled.)

Cable Knit Guy – 7.6 (This guy comes a little bit closer to unlocking the potential of his outfit.  The cable knit cardigan is a delight to see.  Few men would have attempted that and pulled it off in my day at BYU.  He steers clear of some of the other problems mentioned above, namely, his jean length is good and the shoes (which may be some Sperry’s) are a good choice. I don’t generally like the wash of the jeans, but it works here.  However, two things are holding him back from a solid 8.  First, there is the braided belt, because, do men still wear those?  Then, there is an Apple Computer in the background, which I am assuming is his and that is just overdone and trying too hard.  Good haircut, though.)

This guy also is taking some risks – 7.5 (I like that it is February in Utah, and he is trying to pull off Topsiders. So he gets points for that.  However, I am not sure that the brown shoes with the rest of the black ensemble works here.  Bonus points though for trying to pull it off so convincingly.)

My scale is very, very difficult.  In college, I was very good at setting unrealistic expectations.  I could have majored in it.

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