Tuesday, July 5, 2011

#237-Charting Apostolic Fashion

Editor's Note: A friend asked me if he could post on youth congress' predictions. I said yes. He asked to be anonymous. I consented.

The above is a picture of Columbus and crew doing what the White man does best.... Command and Conquer. Imperialism. Etc...

Except now we do it through material elitism and an Apostolic Identity that seeks to obfuscate any identity that does not find one going to church in a suit and a tie, with a clean shaven face.

And you think it's a coincidence that Congress will be happening at COLUMBUS, OHIO this year? Pssssst.

The Fashion Predictions of North American Youth Congress.

With North American Youth Congress just a hop, skip and a jump away I thought I’d take it upon myself to do something a little different this year. In years past I’ve waited until after Congress to write about and discuss the years fashion choices. But this year I thought I’d try to make a few predictions, and we’ll see which ones pan out. (Please excuse that these predictions apply only to the men. I know nothing of women’s fashion, and the ladies always look the same to me. Crazy, but the same none the less)

It seems that among certain sects of the fabulous UPCI that there is a constant struggle to distance ones self from looking too bougie. This often means adopting extremely campy articles and accessories to set ones self apart from the majority. In years past this has been lapel flowers, flooded pants, vintage waistcoats, combat boots and the male equivalent of jeggings. This year promises to be no different. A quick look at the J&HP Lookbook can provide some insight as to what we might see.

First prediction: The Ascot.

Ah yes, the ascot. The rich mans popped collar. Because nothing quite says “I think very highly of myself” like 1920s fashion, that no one else, including the fashion savvy of New York, London, Milan and Madrid, is wearing. Be forewarned at youth congress this year; you didn’t accidentally get transported back in time by a magic blow dryer. That guy really is wearing something that people haven’t worn since the collapse of The Ottoman Empire.

Second prediction: An Assortment of Silly Hats

Expect to see not only the newsboy caps, but fedora’s


Pork Pie Hats,

and bowlers.

I won’t even be surprised if one or two gentlemen rocking a top hat. (That’s not a joke, we’ll see it eventually) I expect the super secret, invite only VIP room to resemble the first class lounge of the Titanic, including a string quartet and an old guy with a monocle.

Third prediction: Men’s Spats

Since most people have no clue what that is I’ve included a picture. Spats are the white things covering this gentleman’s shoes. (This picture was taken in the VIP room of 2009 youth congress) Now I know what some of you are thinking. That’s a stretch. No one would really wear those. I thought the same thing the first time I saw a daisy on a lapel, but I was unfortunately mistaken. Spat’s and top hats – mark my words – they’re on their way.

Fourth prediction: Knickerbockers / Plus-Fours / Parachute Pants

If you were like me, you watched the halftime show of the Superbowl this year and thought “What is Usher wearing? He looks like he just escaped that hospital from It’s Kind Of A Funny Story.” But if you were really saved, you thought “Youth Congress outfit idea!!” I don’t really know what to say about this one other than to encourage anyone who sees it to point and laugh.

Now, there will probably be much more outlandish fashions than I could ever predict, but the general theme is still there. A small, very small, percentage of young men at Youth Congress this year will be dressed like they just played 9 holes with William Howard Taft.

I often enjoy it when I spot one of our prized young men and their ridiculous attire. Part of me laughs, part of me throws up in my mouth, but part of me just wants to know why? Are they trying to get attention? Reactions? Do they really think they look good? Low self-esteem? Too high of self-esteem? That’s what I can’t figure out. Any normal, sane, logical person with even a sub par knowledge of current fashion looks at the predictions I made and thinks “Yeah right, no one would wear that”, but there are a few people in our movement who see those things and think “My swag would be at five million! You’re not ready for the swaggy swag I’m about to bring in my spats and pork pie hat!”

I just don’t get it.


  1. Awesome article. Never been to youth congress, but have been to Winter Youth in Toronto, Ontario. Part of me felt out of place just wearing a business casual church appearance, but later convinced myself I'm one of the more 'normal' ones.

    One of the 20somethings in my church was discussing his plans to dress up in a kitche nerdy appearance, in which another commented, "So you'll end up just looking like everyone else at youth congress."

    By the Joel, you're pictures don't work.

  2. I'm gonna do something crazy, something that might get me thrown out, something that makes people run up and pray for me like I have AIDS or perhaps possessed by some rebellious demon.

    I'm gonna wear jeans.

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  4. When in Columbus... gentlemen, go full, vintage, retro Columbus style ... the dresses, tights and platform shoes are so 15th century masculine ...

    or we can go with the colonial capri pants, tights, long haired wigs and ruffled shirts ... if colonialism is your thang!

    Just make sure your skirts are below the knees fellas ... we'd hate for the nickname conquistadores to have a negative connotation.

  5. Now the challenge to all Youth Congress Attendees:

    Take pictures of people wearing these and post it on the blog. I need to see somebody worshiping (Er, flirting in the hallway) wearing parachute pants. I need to see this. Need.


  6. I wear crazy stuff to get attention! I NeeD ATTention!

    Sometimes people just enjoy different fashions and wear it to please themselves. Is that so hard to believe? Khaki, white and blue- just gets so boring.

    Fashion communicates important stuff about your inner life. My inner life wants to communicate with bright colors, ridiculous frills, and a couple of giant flowers in my hair.

    I'm totally gonna bring glory to God with my outrageous fashion statements.