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  #51  
Old 11-24-2019, 10:45 AM
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Standards of dress always evolve, or perhaps devolve. In 1911, at least in Britain, what we think of as a man's suit was still called a "lounge suit" and was considered fairly casual -- something you would wear during the day if you wanted more to be comfortable than to be well-dressed. It was certainly not OK during any evening event. I think this lasted until WWI, after which standards were more casual. Standards got more casual again after WWII. Possibly the great traumas and loss of life in those wars led people to be less fussy about such trivia as clothing.

Then in the 60's was the great cultural revolution against war and it's comrade, comformity, when in some circles the weirder the clothing you wore the better. (The irony was that if you didn't conform to non-conformity, you were a social pariah.) There was some backlash in the Reagan years, but freedom, once tasted, can't really be taken back, and it's been a pretty steady trend towards the casual ever since.
"Devolve" is a pretty good description of where we are now. In the last 10-15 years, large portions of society have blown right through "casual and comfortable" into "sloppy."

I'm not old, but I can remember a time when wearing jeans with rips or holes meant that you were extremely poor -- so poor that you couldn't even afford second-hand clothes.
  #52  
Old 11-24-2019, 11:13 AM
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"Devolve" is a pretty good description of where we are now. In the last 10-15 years, large portions of society have blown right through "casual and comfortable" into "sloppy."

I'm not old, but I can remember a time when wearing jeans with rips or holes meant that you were extremely poor -- so poor that you couldn't even afford second-hand clothes.
you know what rebellion is, right? ripped jeans were in style for a bit precisely because of your attitude.

it's funny watching Boomers complain about this stuff. Your parents were horrified that you wore frilly clothes and had long hair instead of keeping it in a manly high-and-tight, regular cut, or pompadour.
  #53  
Old 11-24-2019, 11:16 AM
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I suspect the general worldwide optimism was reflected by the attire. Times were good and people dressed to flaunt the new era. It was the start of a new century and events like WWI and The Great Depression hadn't been experienced.
An interesting theory, but what we'd now consider formal wear was standard practice long after WWI and the Depression.

I remember seeing an old home movie showing my parents on a driving tour of parts of the South down to New Orleans (a real expedition in the days before Interstate highways). In spite of long warm days in the car, my father wore a coat and tie while my mother was attired in formal-looking dresses. No jeans or short sleeves.

Times have changed. We're a lot more informal/casual/sloppy in our dress, and I'm as ''guilty'' as most. I've long been basically living in jeans when off work.
  #54  
Old 11-24-2019, 11:26 AM
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<snip> I remember seeing an old home movie showing my parents on a driving tour of parts of the South down to New Orleans (a real expedition in the days before Interstate highways). <snip>
(bolding mine)

You aren't just whistling "Dixie." We used to drive from Baltimore to Northern Alabama to visit my mother's kin. As recently as 1969, it took 22 hours to make the trip; Tennessee was the worst.

Now it takes my folks roughly 12 hours with pit stops.
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  #55  
Old 11-24-2019, 11:46 AM
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In the early 1950's my father was an auto mechanic, he came home from work everyday showered and put on a suit and tie. The men in the neighborhood would congregate in the front yards and talk for a while and then he would come in and strip down to his boxer shorts for the rest of the evening. By the middle 1950's he no longer did that. He was born in 1916 and all of his photos show him in a suit and tie.
  #56  
Old 11-24-2019, 12:37 PM
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The past truly is a different world. Or take your choice of different pasts and worlds, still normal in places. But for most, it was worse then than now. I wonder how informal dress correlates with improved plumbing and sanitation.
  #57  
Old 11-24-2019, 12:48 PM
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Personally, the sooner mens neckwear (any and all kinds) dies a horrible screaming death the better, don't give me the bovine excrement excuse that "your collar isn't fitted right", I simply find neckwear *uncomfortable*, just as I find turtlenecks uncomfortable (even if they're tactical, and slightly darker black...

neckwear serves no *functional* purpose and is nothing more than useless cosmetic frippery and/or a sign of mindless conformity

If I ever gain possession of the Infinity Gauntlet, or get the powers of the "Q" Continuum, I will "Snap" 100% of the neckwear in the multiverse and all parallel dimensions out of existence.

the move towards casual clothing is a *good* thing.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:57 PM
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To be clear, it is the thrashing, not the walking stick, you have earned. The obtuse construction was the result of my having to adjust my spats while composing
  #59  
Old 11-26-2019, 01:22 AM
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Why the neat clothing?

1) Primary reason: culture. They wore that because that is what people wore. I know that sound like a circular argument, but it is the core reason.
2) Deodorant. The lack thereof. With less showers available, washing was less frequent. With less showers and no aircon and no deodorant, everyone had body odor. It was normal. The clothing provides a neat *appearance* which shows that one is still taking care of one's appearance, despite smelling like the south end of a northbound hog.

and
3) Cellphones.
No seriously, listen to me.
Why do you feel safe to go out today wearing clothing that is disrespectful to those around you? Why do they not just kick the shit out of you?
Because you have an instant means to summon help, including police help.
The ease and speed of access to outside help has made our culture immensely safer, so there is *much* less incentive to conform with the public image, because you don't have to conform to survive any more.
  #60  
Old 11-26-2019, 01:38 AM
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2) Deodorant. The lack thereof. With less showers available, washing was less frequent. With less showers and no aircon and no deodorant, everyone had body odor. It was normal. The clothing provides a neat *appearance* which shows that one is still taking care of one's appearance, despite smelling like the south end of a northbound hog.
Myth about the past #876


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3) Cellphones.
No seriously, listen to me.
Why do you feel safe to go out today wearing clothing that is disrespectful to those around you? Why do they not just kick the shit out of you?
Because you have an instant means to summon help, including police help.
The ease and speed of access to outside help has made our culture immensely safer, so there is *much* less incentive to conform with the public image, because you don't have to conform to survive any more.
Gee, I wondered why that guy in the formal suit didn't kick the shit out of me yesterday for walking along the street wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Now I know. It was because I had a cellphone!

🤣
  #61  
Old 11-26-2019, 02:51 AM
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and
3) Cellphones.
No seriously, listen to me.
Why do you feel safe to go out today wearing clothing that is disrespectful to those around you? Why do they not just kick the shit out of you?
Because you have an instant means to summon help, including police help.
The ease and speed of access to outside help has made our culture immensely safer, so there is *much* less incentive to conform with the public image, because you don't have to conform to survive any more.
Hate to break it to you, but informal clothing came in long before cellphones.
And, RioRico, I grew up in the '50s and our showers worked just fine. In New York we didn't even have water meters, so we could take longer showers than today.
And we even had indoor plumbing.
  #62  
Old 11-26-2019, 03:53 PM
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I'm thankful for the yoga pants, daily showers, and indoor plumbing.
After reading the Hornblower books I gained a new appreciation for refrigeration.
  #63  
Old 11-26-2019, 04:02 PM
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Reading reprints of Lil' Abner I can't help noticing that he wears a shirt and suspenders. Of course he was supposed to be the very definition of a hick. Still you've got to wonder how prevalent the type of clothing you see in that video were.
  #64  
Old 11-26-2019, 05:01 PM
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Sub-Genre: sleepwear


I confess a deep-seated personal preference for bedtime nudity, which doubtless influences my attitude.

It seems obvious enough that sleepwear is mandated by both physical circumstances and cultural norms; where dwellings are drafty and chilly, and modesty is valued, it's "natural" enough to wear clothes to bed; I understand why sleeping caps were popular, even indispensable. I also recognize that the latter consideration explains the abundance of sleepwear in the classic Hollywood movies and TV I grew up with (b. 1955).

But even as a kid, it freaked me out that people put on so many clothes at bedtime. For some reason, sleepwear outerwear-- "bathrobes"-- seems like overkill. I appreciate that such garments come into existence for practical reasons, but I'm thinking of etiquette that seems far too prudish and elaborate. It just seems annoyingly absurd that people clad in full pajamas or sumptuous nightgowns would feel compelled to add a bathrobe to pick up a newspaper from the front doorstep in order to remain within the bounds of civilized decency.

Last edited by Little Brøther; 11-26-2019 at 05:03 PM. Reason: posted by accident; emendations needed
  #65  
Old 11-26-2019, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by MarvinKitFox View Post
3) Cellphones.
No seriously, listen to me.
Why do you feel safe to go out today wearing clothing that is disrespectful to those around you? Why do they not just kick the shit out of you?
Because you have an instant means to summon help, including police help.
The ease and speed of access to outside help has made our culture immensely safer, so there is *much* less incentive to conform with the public image, because you don't have to conform to survive any more.
I didn't realize all those people in the counter-culture/hippie/punk/non-conformist groups of the 1960s, 1970s, & 1980s all had cellphones.
  #66  
Old 11-26-2019, 07:18 PM
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The past truly is a different world. Or take your choice of different pasts and worlds, still normal in places. But for most, it was worse then than now. I wonder how informal dress correlates with improved plumbing and sanitation.
I expect them to correlate positively but I'm not sure there is a causal link between the two. Perhaps, as societies get richer and move towards most people thinking of themselves as middle class, there is less emphasis on dress as a social class marker? If you have any guesses, I'd like to know.
  #67  
Old 11-26-2019, 07:24 PM
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As my avatar suggests, I’m a fan of the Victorian era, and especially how people dressed.

I think the proliferation of more formal attire was, first, a reflection of a far more formal culture, with a much more stratified society. Manner of dress had significance as a reflection on your station in life, so people would want to dress as best as they could, so as to be treated as well as possible.

It is also true that people generally owned fewer clothes, emphasizing repairs (I’d venture that far fewer people can sew these days) over replacement. If you are only going to have a few choice items, it would make sense to ensure that you have clothes that can be used in formal occasions, since that is more likely to cover all circumstances a person might find themselves.
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Old 11-26-2019, 11:49 PM
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Keep in mind that 100 years ago, people didn't have as many clothes, not to mention fabrics and style choices. Most clothes were made of sturdy cotton for summer, wool for winter. I do note that the the delivery men, paper sellers, and delivery drivers are in shirt sleeves and sometimes a vest, not an actual suit jacket or coat. One shot had a Chinese child in what we would call a Mao jacket today. But businessmen were expected to wear suits, women skirts and blouses (women in pants? Not yet!). Keep in mind that we don't see any of this stuff closely so we can't see how worn out some of these clothes are. The poor might only have one outfit. Most folks had two or three. Only the rich had evening wear.
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Old 11-27-2019, 03:52 AM
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My parents are in their early 90s. Neither has ever owned a pair of jeans, my Mum only started wearing trousers in her 70s and if we go out, even just to the pub or the supermarket, my Dad will wear a jacket and tie. And he won't take his jacket off in mixed company as it's 'impolite'.
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Old 11-27-2019, 07:40 AM
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That reminds me of the ff. essay from Joseph Epstein:

"The Perpetual Adolescent"

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Dressing down may first have set in on the West Coast, where a certain informality was thought to be a new way of life. In the 1960s, in universities casual dress became absolutely de rigueur among younger faculty, who, in their ardor to destroy any evidence of their being implicated in evil hierarchy, wished not merely to seem in no wise different from their students but, more important, to seem always young; and the quickest path to youthfulness was teaching in jeans, T-shirts, and the rest of it.
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  #71  
Old 11-27-2019, 08:35 AM
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"Devolve" is a pretty good description of where we are now. In the last 10-15 years, large portions of society have blown right through "casual and comfortable" into "sloppy."

I'm not old, but I can remember a time when wearing jeans with rips or holes meant that you were extremely poor -- so poor that you couldn't even afford second-hand clothes.
Or of course having deliberately slashed clothes meant you were staggeringly wealthy.

http://www.afashionhistory.com/quick...shing-clothes/
  #72  
Old 11-27-2019, 08:48 AM
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But even as a kid, it freaked me out that people put on so many clothes at bedtime. For some reason, sleepwear outerwear-- "bathrobes"-- seems like overkill. I appreciate that such garments come into existence for practical reasons, but I'm thinking of etiquette that seems far too prudish and elaborate. It just seems annoyingly absurd that people clad in full pajamas or sumptuous nightgowns would feel compelled to add a bathrobe to pick up a newspaper from the front doorstep in order to remain within the bounds of civilized decency.
It is a robe, not a bathrobe, and the main reason to use it is not decency but a lack of heating.

Last edited by Nava; 11-27-2019 at 08:50 AM.
  #73  
Old 11-27-2019, 10:07 AM
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When I began working as a mail clerk in a government department, I wore a jacket and tie every day. When I retired a couple of years ago as a senior finance officer, I wore a short-sleeved dress shirt and my good jeans most days, with a tie and dress pants only if I was scheduled to meet the CFO.

On the other hand, for a good part of the winter, my normal bedtime attire is a flannel sleepshirt and a flannel nightcap. (My normal bedroom temperature of a midwinter night is 15-16ºC, and I don't like heavy covers.)
  #74  
Old 11-27-2019, 10:17 AM
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Or of course having deliberately slashed clothes meant you were staggeringly wealthy.

http://www.afashionhistory.com/quick...shing-clothes/
That's an unusually silly article.

Renaissance slashed clothing was entirely different. The slashes were carefully crafted in complex and elaborate patterns, and meticulously sewn to prevent ripping. It required much time-consuming work by skilled tailors or seamstresses. The fabric certainly wasn't damaged, any more than it is in making any clothing. The purpose was to create a remarkably beautiful, opulent look, with a contrasting underlayer showing through.

This is the exact opposite of randomly slashed jeans, which create a dressed down look.

Last edited by GreenWyvern; 11-27-2019 at 10:18 AM.
  #75  
Old 11-29-2019, 07:40 AM
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It was my impression, growing up in the '50s and '60s, that one "dressed up" in order to appear as affluent as possible.
There was a lot of "what would people think"?
  #76  
Old 11-29-2019, 08:12 AM
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The Kennedy years loosened up a bit (he didn't wear a hat to his inauguration)
False. Google “Kennedy inauguration top hat.” There are many photographs of Kennedy wearing a hat at his inauguration.

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/hat-trick/
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  #77  
Old 11-29-2019, 11:02 AM
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This is the exact opposite of randomly slashed jeans, which create a dressed down look.
Things came full-circle on the randomly slashed jeans. Once upon a time, you got that look by wearing a pair of jeans daily for a couple of years until they got destroyed. Then the fashion designers deliberately got hold of them, painstakingly re-created every rip, tatter, and slash (I don't remember if they took care to prevent additional ripping), and sold new "distressed jeans" for $200+.
  #78  
Old 11-29-2019, 06:26 PM
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That's an unusually silly article.

Renaissance slashed clothing was entirely different. The slashes were carefully crafted in complex and elaborate patterns, and meticulously sewn to prevent ripping. It required much time-consuming work by skilled tailors or seamstresses. The fabric certainly wasn't damaged, any more than it is in making any clothing. The purpose was to create a remarkably beautiful, opulent look, with a contrasting underlayer showing through.

This is the exact opposite of randomly slashed jeans, which create a dressed down look.
A form of that is now currently popular.
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Devoré (also called burnout) is a fabric technique particularly used on velvets, where a mixed-fibre material undergoes a chemical process to dissolve the cellulose fibers to create a semi-transparent pattern against more solidly woven fabric.
Another variation is to create lace patterns with holes, also intended to reveal contrasting undergarments.
  #79  
Old 11-29-2019, 06:43 PM
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Things came full-circle on the randomly slashed jeans. Once upon a time, you got that look by wearing a pair of jeans daily for a couple of years until they got destroyed. Then the fashion designers deliberately got hold of them, painstakingly re-created every rip, tatter, and slash (I don't remember if they took care to prevent additional ripping), and sold new "distressed jeans" for $200+.
this brought back memories of the lead singer of Def Leppard.
  #80  
Old 12-01-2019, 04:02 PM
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Clothes were expensive, and most people had very few changes of clothing.

So you could tell how wealthy a person was by the way they dressed.
I've been reading through the works of Charles Dickens, and I've noticed how, upon a character being introduced into the story, Dickens almost always provided a detailed inventory of what the person was wearing. People keep telling me he did this because he was paid by the word, and that may have been part of it, but the more I read, the more it seems that he did it because, in that time, you could pretty much tell everything you needed to know about a person by how they were dressed. And, of course, in that period (and well beyond), most common professions had their own distinctive "uniforms" that instantly identified them.


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It was my impression, growing up in the '50s and '60s, that one "dressed up" in order to appear as affluent as possible.
There was a lot of "what would people think"?
Ha! Yeah, as a kid in the 1970s, I remember having to get "dressed up" for certain things, and recall hating my mom's explanation, "So people won't think I'm a bad mother" as a very silly reason for wearing uncomfortable clothes. It was still a time of distinction between "school clothes" and "play clothes", which made elementary school P.E. class very annoying, trying to play sports in hard-soled leather shoes.


It's similar to how the clean-shaven look for men seems to have grown out of the Great Depression and the phrase, "No son of mine is going to look like he can't afford to shave!" emphasized the idea that a beard made a man look poor.

Last edited by Mister Rik; 12-01-2019 at 04:05 PM.
  #81  
Old 12-01-2019, 09:53 PM
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I miss the days when NFL coaches wore suits when they were on the sidelines on Sunday.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:34 PM
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Or of course having deliberately slashed clothes meant you were staggeringly wealthy.

http://www.afashionhistory.com/quick...shing-clothes/
Wow, that article is either extremely ignorant or extremely sarcastic. The slashes in wealthy person's clothing in the middle ages had finished edges. They weren't just tears in the clothes.
  #83  
Old 12-02-2019, 12:33 PM
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as a kid in the 1970s, I remember having to get "dressed up" for certain things, and recall hating my mom's explanation, "So people won't think I'm a bad mother" as a very silly reason for wearing uncomfortable clothes.
An IMO non-silly version of that, which would have occured in the early 1970's when I was in my late teens or early 20's:

We went to visit my maternal grandfather. My parents asked me to put on clothes that weren't patched, because, they said, while they understood that wearing patched jeans was the style (we patched our own, though, after we'd worn holes in them ourselves; paying money at the store for already-torn clothes would have been the exact opposite of the point), my grandfather wouldn't understand about the style, and would instead think that my parents didn't have enough money to buy me new jeans.

I wore new jeans to visit my grandfather. In my world, patched jeans meant anti-consumerism and bare feet meant freedom. In his world, patched clothes and bare feet both meant desperate poverty.

I became adult in a time, place, and subculture which had the luxury of being able to assume that of course we could all afford shoes and new blue jeans, and could therefore dress otherwise as a matter of choice. And that was/is a luxury; one many of our parents and/or grandparents didn't grow up with.


-- Your mother may have grown up in situations in which only severely neglected or desperately poor children wore play clothes to more formal events. If you're young enough not to have lived through that cultural shift, yes it can look silly from the other side.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:42 PM
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I was reading recently about the men in the London gun trade, who wore their best clothes to travel to work, changed into their working clothes at the factory, and did the reverse at the end of the day.
Clothes were relatively expensive, and also sent signals about the social class you inhabited, and the degree of deference that people expected to be treated with. Almost all clothing, no matter how worn, had at least some second-hand value and could pass down through multiple owners before it was converted to rags - and even then it had value.
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Old 12-02-2019, 01:56 PM
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I came up with a theory about why people have taken to wearing pyjamas in public without embarrassment.

It all comes back to cars. When parents take children on visits and are going to get home around or after the children's bedtime it is sensible to change them into their sleepwear for the journey so they don't have to wake them up to put them to bed. If they stop at a shop or other kind of rest stop on the way home they may well take the kids into the shop in their nightwear. So younger people have gotten used to being out in public in pyjamas. They don't have a sense of taboo or embarrassment about it.

Feel free to shoot this down
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:57 PM
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I'm a desk jockey. Computers. Small Government. I wear the same thing to work that I do for just about anything else. Jeans, tee-shirt with a fleece pullover, vest and boots in the winter. I lose the vest and sometimes fleece in summer. May wear shorts on a warm day.

I'm so used to that as my comfortable acceptable outfit that 'dress' clothes are very, very weird and uncomfortable.

Today, at home I'm recovering from a hip replacement. Because of the swelling, and bandage, I'm in sweatpants. It's odd. I'd rather be in my jeans. I don't feel like me.
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Old 12-02-2019, 04:19 PM
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I've been reading through the works of Charles Dickens, and I've noticed how, upon a character being introduced into the story, Dickens almost always provided a detailed inventory of what the person was wearing. ...
It seems to me (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that British writers in general pay more attention to how people are dressed than American ones do. Even modern-day ones. I think British culture puts more weight on how people dress than America does. Dress seems to have been important to British musicians, from the 60s (Mods and Rockers) going forward. While American punk rockers tended to a disheveled look, Britain had stylishly dressed punks like Paul Weller, et. al.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:34 PM
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I think you could say that for Western Europe in general.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Paperweight View Post
I miss the days when NFL coaches wore suits when they were on the sidelines on Sunday.
A lot of the European soccer coaches dress up immaculately still. Some wear tracksuits but the elite coaches tend to wear suits. There's actually a funny meme about it comparing to NFL.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bq_St0uCAAEMK45.jpg

Last edited by Boycott; 12-02-2019 at 06:53 PM.
  #90  
Old 12-02-2019, 07:32 PM
jz78817 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Springtime for Spacers View Post
I came up with a theory about why people have taken to wearing pyjamas in public without embarrassment.

It all comes back to cars. When parents take children on visits and are going to get home around or after the children's bedtime it is sensible to change them into their sleepwear for the journey so they don't have to wake them up to put them to bed. If they stop at a shop or other kind of rest stop on the way home they may well take the kids into the shop in their nightwear. So younger people have gotten used to being out in public in pyjamas. They don't have a sense of taboo or embarrassment about it.

Feel free to shoot this down
Or maybe it’s just because what you wear doesn’t indicate social status anymore. You can go to men’s wear house today and get a suit for <$200. Billionaires today wear t shirts and jeans. Nobody cares what you’re wearing within reason.
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