Well...here goes... [Pride in How One Dresses]

Well, I didn’t say fancy…

My hostess gift comment was part of my larger thing about showing respect to the host(ess) as a guest, since that’s what you do in Europe. They dress for having guests over as a sign of respect for the guest.

I guess I’ve gotten a little enamored with yesteryear. I was replying to that other fellow’s rather long comment.

Bringing a gift for a hostess has nothing to do with how you are dressed. Casual is not necessarily sloppy or dirty.

It’s about what’s appropriate for the venue. If I have a little shindig next Saturday afternoon, I’d rather you bring a little snack or a small bottle of goodness than polish your shoes. If it’s a black tie event and you show up in sweats, I don’t care if you bring Napoleon brandy and truffles-- you’re out of line.

Yeah, women used to wear heels and hose and skirts and girdles. Men used to wear dress shirts and suits and hats and ties. Phones were black and attached to the wall. Tv’s were furniture and cost half a paycheck. I, for one, embrace the change.

I dress like a slob most of the time. What makes you think I’m not proud of that?

There is dignity in self-determination.

What you are mourning, OP, is not dignity, but a particular style. Styles change.

As a woman, I can only speak of fashions for women of that era. They looked great but they were very uncomfortable. While I am from the 70’s, I saw the outfits my mom and grandmothers wore: Hosiery with garters, rubber girdles, undergarments nothing like the ones of today, slips, dresses, heels, gloves, hat and matching purse. Plus having your hair done up. Believe me, I can see why so much of it has gone.

Even back then people laughed at Donna Reed doing housework in pearls. And people back then dressed “inappropriately” also - look at the beats.
Some people got to be different. Einstein was photographed in casual dress. No one thought the less of him.
We just have different, and less rigid, dress codes today. Wearing a suit in Silicon Valley (unless you are a lawyer) is just as out there as wearing jeans to work in the '50s - but we don’t kick out good performers based on how they are dressed.
Some jobs require that you wear a kind of uniform - either a real one like a beat cop, or a kind of one like wait staff at some restaurants. Back then office workers had to wear uniforms too. Fewer do today. It doesn’t mean that people too pride in how they dressed then, or didn’t now. I don’t recall my father ever feeling proud about wearing a suit to work.

People stopped smoking and realized that if you wear the same suit day in and day out, even during the summer, you’ll start to stink.

My clothes may be casual, but at least they’re clean.

I’m looking forward to stovepipe hats and codpieces coming back into style.

Yeah, although those have been out of general use for so long that perhaps there might be unfortunate mistakes, wherein people switch the places for both…


Maybe that could become the new fashion for 2020… Give me a sec, gotta do a couple of experiments…

We live in a time when taking pride in how you dress is more focussed on expressing yourself, and feeling good about yourself, and much less about following social norms.

And I like it. I find myself much more at ease choosing attire that makes me feel wonderful (regardless of how much of a mad woman I may well appear to others!), over choosing attire, regardless of how restrictive or pinching simply to follow strict codes of; gloves with this, cover your head then, blah, blah, blah! No thanks!

Happy letting my freak flag fly! Love living in a time when others feel comfortable doing so too!

There was a time when most people were farmers and laborers. Working in an office was prestigious. So people tried to dress like office workers in order to present themselves as successful. They wanted to show off that they were not wearing overalls and uniforms.

Today, office work is common drudgery, and even low-prestige jobs like retail focus on “business casual”. So the way to show off is to look like you are NOT an office worker. Casual clothing conveys a message that you are above of the rat race, with no need to impress some middle-manager.

It’s like suntans. In farming cultures, people value light skin because it demonstrates you are a person of leisure who can relax indoors all day. In office culture, people value a “healthy tan” because it demonstrates that you are out on the beach rather than slaving away in an office.

The goal is always not to look like a working stiff.

This is an urban myth. Kennedy wore a top hat at his inauguration. — https://www.google.com/search?q=john+kennedy+inauguration+hat&biw=1440&bih=789&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjps7zfm9nKAhUGNT4KHSVoDMUQsAQIGw

I agree with this for the most part, though my personal way of expressing myself is to wear a dress, stockings and heels, to work at least. The dresses are because they’re much easier - slip one garment over my head and I’m almost done. The heels because I’m short and have been wearing them since I was 12 (though they’ve gotten higher over the years) and the stockings because they keep it freakin’ cold in my office. I try to make it funky with interesting accessories and wear vintage styles a lot.
I guess I’m of a mind half way between the days the OP is longing for and elbows’s freak flag. I like to see both men and women looking put together (and hats? yes please!) but not to the point where someone is uncomfortable. Referring to the dreaded spanx thread we have going on elsewhere, if shape wear in not comfortable for someone, for goodness sake don’t wear it. If you’d prefer to wear a tie to work; please do so. I do want people to do their own thing (I just kind of wish their own thing was a *teensy *bit dressier :slight_smile: )

Born in 1962, middle class, white.

If you want a better notion of how people dressed, the Dick Van Dyke show or Mad Men is more realistic. For work, middle class men wore a suit and tie, with overcoat and hat in cold weather. Women who worked wore dresses or, more rarely, a skirt outfit. Same dress code applied when going to dinner/the theatre/social events/parties/church.

Around the house, dads would wear sport slacks and non-Tee casual shirts or sweaters. Moms wore Capri pants with shell tops that zipped up from about 6 inches below the neckline. Nobody wore jeans.

For kids: I wore dresses or pinafores to school every day until I was in about 4th grade. After that I could wear a dress or slacks and a blouse. I never wore jeans to school till I was in 7th grade. At home we wore “play clothes,” casual pants and what we called “polo shirts” which were somewhat like T shirts except with no decal, just horizontal striped fabric. Only in the early 70s did my friends and I start to wear jeans even to play in.

The work dress code prevailed all year round. At home in the summer, Dads wore slacks with short sleeved cotton shirts. Moms wore Bermuda shorts with sleeveless shell tops. Kids wore non-denim shorts with polo shirts (for boys), sleeveless casual blouses (for girls), and canvas sneakers (both sexes) or sandals (girls only).

When my parents threw parties, Mom and Dad dressed like they would to go out to dinner. Kids were expected to say hi to the guests and then make themselves scarce.
I don’t dress anything like that, of course. But it does sometimes surprise me when we are at a nice restaurant and I see people in jeans.

Why the hell should I wear a hat? I look silly in hats. And this is Florida, where it’s much too hot to wear a suit (though I have to for professional reasons).

Hmm, a mind halfway. There’s an interesting perspective. By the way, “dresses are easier?” My girlfriend says the exact same thing and has the exact same reason! :smiley:

I’m all in favor of “people doing their own thing,” and I agree with ya, “their own thing” could look a little bit dressier. If you look well-put-together, people are guaranteed to take you more seriously. I was raised on this thinking and have never questioned it. I know firsthand that it’s true. I ran for Student Government last semester here at University of Hawaii - Hilo. The students seriously listened to my ideas because I dressed the part. (Sadly, I lost that election.)

To be clear, what you see on TV are higher quality clothes than the average person wore. Working men and women wore plain sturdy suits and dresses that would have survive many cleanings. Mad Men greatly exaggerates the sartorial style of the time, trust me on that, I do know. Women who stayed home weren’t vacuuming in their finest dresses, they were usually wearing old clothes and changing before anyone came to the house. Men dressed down for work as much as allowed, if they could wear a jacket instead of a full suit they did, often removing any kind of jacket and working in shirt sleeves all day.

It has been faddish for years for people to wear pajamas outside in public, and I actually see people doing this (obviously, not in the winter :wink: ) : to my mind, that’s going a tad too far in the informality direction - the impression given is that the wearer can’t even be bothered changing when they wake up.

That just gives an impression of slovenly uncleanliness - if they can’t bother changing, presumably they haven’t showered etc. either.

Wow…just…wow. Pajamas? In public?! See, that’s my point. I’d understand that if you were ill or something, but…oh my God…wow. :smack: :frowning:

For your sake, I hope you never visit a college campus.