Friar Flashback: A Century of Friar Fashion

by The Cowl Editor on January 19, 2017


Photo Courtesy of

by Meaghan Dodson ’17

News Editor 

Over the past 100 years, Providence College has undergone major academic, architectural, political, and social changes. Among the most radical of these transformations, however, has been the evolution of PC fashion.  Friars have paved the way in everything from mascot outfits to religious garb, and as the College enters into its centennial year, it is important to recognize these groundbreaking achievements! Take a look at just a few of the standout style icons who have dominated the College’s fashion history!

Friar basketball has achieved victories both on the court and on the runway. Ray Flynn ’63 and Vinnie Ernst ’63 (left) boldly led their team to two NIT chamionships in the 1960s. Equally bold, however, were their fashion choices, as here the two sport mid-calves, short-shorts, and T-shirt style jerseys. Lenny  Wilkens ’60 (center), was a three-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, and it is easy to see why. With his black T-shirt jersey and soft smile, Wilkens undoubtedly intimidated his competitors with his looks as well as with his basketball skills. Finally, during the 2014 Big East Tournament, Bryce Cotton ’14 (right) showed off the latest in Friar fashion. Cotton looked calm and confident with his black sleeveless jersey and knee-length shorts, and he seemed to play as effortlessly as he looked, leading the Friars to their second ever Big East championship. Cotton was named the tournament’s MVP, and he went on to finish his college career as the College’s fourth all-time leading scorer.

Friar Dom has had perhaps the most radical style evolution in the College’s history. Friartown’s mascot made his first appearance in 1963, and since then has repeatedly made headlines as one of the most iconic mascots in the NCAA.  Often claiming the top spot as “America’s creepiest mascot,” Friar Dom has energized Friartown with his enthusiasm and dance moves for over 50 years. From his simple 1963 origins (outside left), Friar Dom later adopted a more mature look with an age-lined face and receding hairline (inside left). In recent years, he coupled a more youthful appearance with a white hood that framed his famous face (inside right). In January of last year, however, this avant-garde Friar changed his appearance yet again: rocking a black hood and wider-set features, the newest Friar Dom will continue to make a name for both himself and PC.

And finally, although fashion trends may come and go, fashion lovers should know that Friars are forever. The Dominican Friars have been sporting a timeless look since the day the College’s doors opened in 1917. In preparation for the centennial celebrations, the current family of PC Friars (right) recreated a photo of the founding Friars (left) in front of Harkins Hall.  What more can be said? White habits, Birkenstock shoes, and, of course, the Good News of the Gospel never seem to go out of style.