A Mormon college's skinny jean ban (not)

The Internet soaked up a skinny jeans story yesterday when some writers thought Brigham Young University had banned the tight pants. It turns out that the confusion revolved around rules at BYU's sister school in Idaho over those really tight pants the average Americans can't fit into.

The story revolves around student who said that that a testing center employee told her she couldn't take the test because her pants were too tight. Later reports reveal that there was confusion between departments, but the school ultimately does not ban skinny jeans.

Outlets like The Atlantic Wire to ABC News picked up the story. The Huffington Post another outlet that caught on with a post titled "BYU-Idaho Dress Code Prohibits Skinny Jeans: Report." Adding "report" somewhere in your headline means that the writer thinks he or she can get away with posting just about anything and be absolved, I think.

If you read through the post, you'll see an evolving story--seven paragraphs into the story.

But Kevin Miyasaki, BYU-I Student Services and Activities Vice President, clarified that there is not a skinny jeans ban per se. In an email to Gawker, he wrote, "We have not identified 'skinny jeans' as a specific violation of the dress and grooming standard."

He added, "The Testing Center has not made any new standard, nor has there been a ban of a particular piece of clothing."

So no ban. Butttt it still seems like those slim-cut J. Brands you've been hiding under your lofted BYU-I dorm bed are a no-no.

And then a correction at the bottom.

CORRECTION: Previously, this article incorrectly stated the university in question to be Brighman Young University, not Brigham Young University-Idaho. We have corrected the error.

It's interesting to see most of the posts jump off of a story from Gawker, considering the writer admitted she wasn't 100% sure the story was true (95% yes, but still). She did, however, do some follow-up by emailing school leaders.

Thanks to the confusion, the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News wrote on the policy to clarify the spreading rumors. From Peggy Fletcher Stack:

...[T]he school has no policy against these popular pants, BYU-Idaho spokesman Andy Cargal said Wednesday.

“The testing center had chosen to make their own adaptation of the policy,” Cargal said. “The sign was up for about a week. When the university found out, that policy was discontinued.”

The school expects students to dress modestly, he said, but “we leave it up to them to use their own agency to figure out what's modest and what isn't.”

BYU-Idaho clarified the issue on its Facebook page, responding to an article in the student newspaper.

Wondering if skinny jeans are allowed on campus? They are. BYU-Idaho's longstanding dress & grooming standards promote principles of modesty and restrict formfitting clothing, but skinny jeans are not singled out or prohibited. In addition, the Testing Center issue reported in Scroll has been corrected and is no longer in force.

So the Internet gets a field day over some pants. Less speculation and more clarifying with school officials could easily clear things up.

Skinny jeans image via Shutterstock.

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