Skinny Jeans: Too Suggestive for Mormon College?

By Arielle Milkman

Dec 7, 2011 1:49pm

Some at Brigham Young University-Idaho, a Mormon school, say skinny jeans are too risqué for campus wear:  students wearing the hip-hugging pants have recently been refused service at the school’s Test Center.

The department posted a sign that read “No Skinny Jeans,” and turned away several students who were wearing tight-fitting pants last week.

“I got in line, and the guy said that I couldn’t take a test because my pants were too tight,” Rachel Vermillion, a senior psychology major, told Scroll, a BYU-Idaho campus publication. “I thought he was joking at first.”

The staff member who turned away Vermillion wasn’t joking, as it turned out, and Vermillion did not take her test.

The university has no official policy concerning skinny jeans, but form-fitting clothing is generally off limits, Public Relations Manager Andy Cargal said.

BYU-Idaho follows a dress code based on “For the Strength of Youth,” a summary of the standards to which Mormon young people are expected to adhere.

According to the document, “Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner.”

Cargal said the college hasn’t introduced any new policies to crack down on skinny jeans specifically. The university instructed employees at the Test Center to take down the No Skinny Jeans sign last week, Cargal said.

“We don’t have a policy against skinny jeans. One department on campus took our honor code and they interpreted it in their own way,” he said. “University officials went to the Test Center, educated them, and the signs were taken down.”

The No Skinny Jeans sign, however, was a watered-down version of a series of anti-skinny jeans flyers the center had posted since last month, according to the Scroll.

In November, a sign posted on the center’s door warned potential violators of the dress code to wear looser pants: “If your pants are tight enough to see the shape of your leg, your pants are too tight,” it read.

The center later decided that sign was too harsh, so employees posted a lighter admonition instead: “If you don’t understand the Dress and Grooming standards, we invite you to go to the Lord ‘and ask in faith, nothing wavering’ for approval of the clothing you wear. The Spirit will tell you whether what you are wearing is appropriate or not.”

Zach Cooper, a student at the school, told The Student Review that BYU-Idaho’s strict dress code is “pretty ridiculous.”

“We already aren’t allowed to wear shorts or flip-flops, so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they banned skinny jeans as well,” he said.

Others said the BYU-Idaho dress code is in line with Mormon principles.

One commenter on The Student Review article, an individual identified as Lisa, wrote, “The school has high standards for dress and grooming to create an environment conducive to the Holy Spirit. If you don’t really understand and agree with that, you might consider another school.”

 

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