cBurnt Orange

The Official Burnt Orange - Pantone 159

The Official Burnt Orange - Pantone 159


Today I’m going to rant about how much I hate the color “burnt orange.”

Burnt Orange was chosen for the official color of UT Austin in 1967. Before that, UT colors were just orange and white. The beginning of this atrocity can be contributed to Darrell Royal, the “winningest football coach in UT Longhorn history.” Apparently, the original bright orange football jerseys tended to fade to light yellow when washed in hot water, so Darrell changed the color to burnt orange. There are a lot of variations to the color – from tan to scorched, but the real actual official color is “Pantone 159.”

I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the color, and frankly, there’s gotta be a reason why no other major college has it as their official color. Clemson University, Virginia Tech, and Auburn University are the only other colleges that use it, according to Wikipedia.

I guess that could be a good aspect, since it makes us so “special” – but do we really want to be associated with such an ugly color?

You know you're in Austin when you see something like this. - photo by Eric Schulz

You know you're in Austin when you see something like this. - photo by Eric Schulz


This awful color might be the reason why Austin isn’t known for being the most fashionable place in the world. No matter how fashionable other people are, the people wearing burnt orange (and Austin is infested with them) blind you from seeing anything else but them.

And scarily enough, from being surrounded by it so much, it makes you lose your perspective and makes you think ‘oh, it’s actually not too bad, really.’
I actually have bought my first burnt orange sweatshirt this year, and my boyfriend’s first reaction was “Oh my God, you’ve finally been brainwashed!!” and I realized with horror what had happened.
Five years. Five years in Austin and I’ve lost my sense of color. I have to get out of here soon, before I turn into one of those crazy Texas-Exes that can’t own a single thing that is not burnt orange.

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7 Responses to “cBurnt Orange”


  1. 1 Caitlin W November 14, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I agree!! Personally, I know I look TERRIBLE in this color. Still, I own three burnt orange shirts. . .it’s like you can’t avoid the madness.

  2. 2 jeffbechdel November 14, 2008 at 9:33 am

    I know a lot of people complain about the color, but I don’t really have a problem with it. I mean, if you’re part of the masses and everyone’s wearing the same color… does it matter that you don’t think you look good? I say we all give up our civil liberties and follow the dictates of the University on all matters—what to wear, what to eat, when to study… Think about it. No more tough decisions or self-consciousness!

    But seriously, when I was deciding between UT and the University of Maryland, I tried to convince my mom (who was not a fan of me being so far from home) that the beautiful burnt orange of UT would help ease her empty nest-ness. Yeah, she didn’t buy it either.

  3. 3 Saul November 14, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I don’t really have a problem with burnt orange, per se, but I really dislike the word ‘winningest’ as applied to Coach Royal.

    Darrel, I doubt you or whoever applied that ridiculous moniker to you will ever read this but: ‘winningest’ is not a word. And not only is it not a word, it isn’t even a cute, catchy made up word. It’s just stupid.

    That is all.

  4. 4 jeffbechdel November 14, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Saul, you will hate this Rolling Stone cover: Fleetwood Mac comes back. Whatever you do, just don’t knock the Mac… when I’m within earshot. Hahaha.

  5. 5 Holley N November 14, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Hey y’all! OK, so obviously I’m a minority here, but I honestly like the color. I know a lot of people that really don’t care for the color either, but I like it and I guess it’s a good thing since there is a lot of burnt orange going on in my closet. About that picture though, whenever I go by a burnt orange car I’m always the one to point out that it is the most ridiculous looking color for a car. Double standard right? haha

  6. 6 Kristin November 16, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    I actually like it for three reasons: 1, it’s the only one of it’s kind…there are other oranges out there (Auburn, Okie State, Pepperdine), but none are “burnt” like ours; 2, it’s actually more of a fashion color than most schools…they just call it “pumpkin” or “rust” or something; 3, it’s way better than maroon or gold and black like CU (where all my HS friends went). And hey, at least they picked white as our second color…who can have a problem with white! I do agree, however, that burnt orange CAN get old after awhile…and there are only so many colors that go with it. Nonetheless, you can’t go to school here in Austin and NOT have at least SOME orange in your closet.

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