Reclaiming the Best Look in the World.

I want to talk about a matter of serious import to me and to many other men who have either abandoned or who are struggling with the Mormon faith.  This concerns a nearly universal mandate that focuses on the external, and yet is perceived by many to be a reflection of internal purity and righteousness.

Recently, a dear friend of mine has chosen to perpetuate this cultural commandment.  While I have the greatest respect for Bored in Vernal, I cannot let her propagate the Myth of the [so-called] Best Look in the World unchallenged.

I abandoned white shirts many years ago.  Though they appeared clean and pure, I feel like they portrayed an image that ran counter to the blackness in my dark soul.  My first experiments seemed harmless enough–a white shirt with blue pin stripes from Armani, a powder-blue oxford broadcloth, but before long, I was distracting the Elders with dark checkered patterns and pink shirts with french cuffs.  What’s more, I liked it–it was like the little polo rider above the pocket was crying out, speaking for me, “Look, this is me! This is who I really am!” It felt good to stand up and stand out in the legion of white-shirted conformists.

Soon I realized that yes, black was slimming. Black hid stains.  Black worked just as well at work as at the cocktail parties I was now attending.  Everything that had been hidden from me by a life in white shirts was revealed–no longer could they pull the wool over my eyes.

As I write this, I want you all to know that I’m wearing a black shirt. I take my black shirt philosophy seriously.  Sure, there are variations among us black shirt wearers–purists may scorn those who wear, say, charcoal grey or black broken up by red and orange stripes, and the debate between pants-deniers and those who want to reach out to fellow pants wearers has been worn ragged by the media.  But I just wanted to say to all my fellow black shirt wearers, and those of you who are considering a life in darkness: I’ve got you covered.

The original Man in Black.

9 Comments

  1. I love the angel/devil aspect of your diptych above: the innocent in white (delicious!) and the badass on the left. I clearly have a thing for innocent Mormons in white shirts.

    I like the phrase, “I only wear black until they make something darker.” I’m entertained by the thought of you attending cocktail parties (horror!) while at the same time freaking out elders with your black (shudder!) shirts.

  2. I have to agree. White is just so blah. Maybe it’s my own disaffection with the MC, but I really just want to hose down the guy on the left.

  3. Best photo I’ve seen in a long time. And I join the cry for the pink shirt with French cuffs. (What the hell are French cuffs? I demand an example!)

  4. I guess I can see the reasoning behind both black & white shirts. A white buttoned shirt makes me want to spill something on it (or jump the innocent inside it, just to see if he’s really that innocent). However, a white shirt that’s open (like in the vid) turns that on its head. An open white shirt says, “I was an innocent guy, but look at me now!”, which I find to be an inherently sexy sentiment.

    The black shirt on its own is inherently sexy (to me)—whether black button-down or black t (anyone else swoon at the beginning of Pushing Daisies‘ recap when the camera zoomed into the pie maker in his hot black t?—it says, “I’ve cast off the white shirt & lay no claim whatsoever to it.” An open white shirt is the gateway shirt to the black shirt.

    (cross-posted)

  5. I like your style.

    I would also like to see the pink shirt with french cuffs, or the black striped shirt.

    I’ve not once worn a white shirt since I walked out of an LdS chapel for the last time. Not once.

    I also hate chest pockets.

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