Road Trip! And Mormon Fashion[?]

This happened.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a motel room in the beautiful state of Oregon in stage one of my second cross-country road trip. The mountains surrounding Bend, where I’m staying for the night, are still snow-covered and Spring is easily a month behind everyone else. Tomorrow I’m off to the also gorgeous state of Idaho, then Utah, so on and so forth. Road trips are good for a lot of things, as many liminal spaces are or can be, but this one has me thinking about regional fashion. Walking around Bend I realized that hiking boots aren’t just for lesbians and actual hikers, here. They’re unisex fashion! Colorful rain jackets, cozy woolen socks, Crocs, and comfy looking loose-fitting pants are all over the place. It kind of makes me want these weird beach shoes that I saw in Berkeley once– imagine if Crocs and Sperry had a baby. You have to imagine because I can’t find them on the internet.

Anyway, thinking about regional fashion made me think about when fashion and utility meet. San Francisco requires layering year round, the desert likes it if you wear light colors, etc. Thinking about fashion and utility made me think about fashion and religion, which then made me think about how I’m going to Salt Lake City for the first time, which obviously made me think of Mormons. Since I don’t believe in a God who talks to certain people about what all of his followers should wear, I’m just going to call it “fashion.” It’s all the same, really– an outward expression of something abstract.

While I’m excited to see what non-Mormons are wearing these days in SLC, I’m MORE excited about thinking about Mormon underwear, which looks like ill-thought out swimwear:

Lumpy bits = no sexy times


EW! It’s so lumpy in all the wrong places. I want a set.  Actually, Mormons are totally on point with this season’s trends. All white, all the time.

Represent, Temple dresses!


What up! Just a couple of normal bitches.


I’m guessing it’s got something to do with some idea of purity? You have to be pure when you agree to spend eternity on someone else’s imaginary planet. I always imagine the LDS ladies sitting around on each of their tiny planets, Le Petit Prince style, waiting on their jerk husband to get through with his other planetary wives and come visit.

Check out the Temple garments for LDS dudes!

Temple Penalties look like sports penalties. That's dumb.


They're doing "the sign of the nail" with their hands. Your guess.


That is crazy! They have to wear a little apron or something! Doesn’t that Temple penalty guy look like an early Muybridge experiment?

Now what’s interesting is that all this Mormon business looks a lot like a less interesting version of Islamic dress. Check it:


Same designer?


Mormon or Muslim? MUSLIM!

SIDE NOTE! Did you know that there’s something called Islamic Fashion Week and that you can see some amazing shit in it? Like this:

Excuse me. I want that hat.


Is she also doing "sign of the nails" or whatever?


Anyway, back to how God makes all religions dress the same. Now look at what ultra-Orthodox Jewish men are wearing to this funeral:

Why are we all fighting all the time??? Everyone loves all white, little hats, and long dresses. More importantly, how did I get from thinking about Crocs meets Sperry, to charting common fashion threads throughout various world religions? It’s possible that after many weeks of packing up my 7-year life in California I’ve finally lost my mind a little bit. At any rate, how can I get into a Mormon Temple this week? I brought an all white outfit and I can probably throw something around my head if I have to. Anything that gets my ass a Le Petit Prince planet.


About Michael von Braithwaite

Does it look like I'd wear it on a boat, at an eccentric person's estate or accompanied by a peacock on a chain? Yeah, I'll probably buy that.


  1. blevit

    Nice—I never new the Mormons were Muslim style-biters!

  2. jonanna

    I like to call Mormon underwear “Jesus panties.” Wait –do Mormons even believe in Jesus? Whatever.

  3. When I was in Malaysia a few years ago, I was struck by some of the Muslim girls’ fashions. It’s not one of the more conservative countries dress-wise, so they rocked really colorful hijabs and tunics or T-shirts or dresses over jeans. I would love to see IBC write up some of their looks (stuff like

  4. you forgot to mention Mother Mary who wears the same style 🙂

IBC LOVES your brain, and we encourage thoughtful, lively discussion. We will, however, moderate comments that are abusive or disrespectful. Stay classy!

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