Picture three wolves surrounding an American flag with dream catchers swirling in the wind. That is the scene for one of many wildlife shirts.
For some BYU students, wildlife shirts are a humorous fad. Other students see these shirts as a form of expression. Julia Jones, a 24-year-old senior from Dallas, believes her wolf shirts represent various aspects of her personality.
“I am like a wolf, and that is why I have so many wolf shirts,” Jones said. “Some days I enjoy being in a pack, while on others I want to be that lone wolf.”
Jones found her beloved wolf shirts on a trip to Los Angeles, Calif., during her sophomore year. While meandering along one the coastal boardwalks, she found a store selling an array of wildlife apparel. She now owns four similar shirts from her road trips across the southwest.
While some students wear these shirts for their popularity, Jones also wears them for their comfort. She later discussed the reception of her wild wardrobe from students.
“When I go to school wearing these shirts, guys look at me differently, but with more respect,” she said. “I feel like some girls look at me like I am stupid, but I don’t want to dress up everyday. So many girls at BYU dress like they are on a date, and that’s not my thing.”
Robert Mayfield, a 23-year-old from South Jordan majoring in business management, discussed the positive responses he receives when wearing his favorite wolf shirt.
“Whenever I wear my wolf tee, I get a lot of positive feedback,” Mayfield said. “People love wildlife tees. There is an appropriate time to wear them, and they unify us as wildlife people.”
Mayfield pioneered a group of approximately four to five people for a weekly event called “Wildlife Wednesday.” It started as “Wolf Tee Wednesday” but grew into an array of animal shirts. Mayfield said in the past they have had around 20 people participating in their animal shirt day. To participate, people wear a wildlife shirt every Wednesday on campus.
“I have been saying this for two to three years, wolf shirts are all the rage,” Mayfield said.
Morning Jensen, a 21-year-old from Dallas, majoring in communications, does not wear her favorite shark shirt with a pack of friends every Wednesday but loves how the shirt makes her feel. She finds the conversations that arise from wearing such apparel to be humorous. In regards to their status as a fashion item, Jensen believes they will eventually die out but forever remain for the truly dedicated.
“For right now, they are going strong, and I think they will last for awhile,” she said.