Most Americans think certain foreign uniforms are funny.
Like the wigs of British barristers in court, or the sashes of diplomats at coronations. And of course the British tall sentry hats and the Beefeater uniforms.
But there’s plenty of other uniforms that seem quaint or unnecessary.
Every time I see a judge in a robe I laugh. If Congressmen can chair an investigation, judges’ robes seem like a pose or a security blanket.
The lace collar on Judge Judy’s robe is worse, as are the stripes on the Chief Justice’s sleeves. And the stripes on admirals’ sleeves make me think of HMS Pinafore.
Boy scout uniforms look ok on the kids, but on the parents look like they just never grew up.
Some of the more elaborate winkles that nuns wear are startling, and also the nurses caps from some nursing schools.
Candy striper nurse’s aides’ uniforms seem really silly, but in a corny sweet way.
For one, that after the passing of CJ Rhenquist, so went with him the braid on his sleeves (the CJ gets to* personalize * his robe). For another, that the stripes on the cuffs of an admiral’s service-dress uniform are his insignia of rank, not decorative froufrou. And for yet one other, that hardly any modern day non-cloistered sister wears the elaborate wimple-and-veil get-up, except for full-dress special ocassions; nuns in service-oriented (teaching, nursing) orders usually wear work-appropriate clothes, and nurses wear scrubs on an everyday basis – heck, even admirals most of the time are wearing “work” uniforms appropriate to the ship or post they’re at.
BTW I don’t think that it would be so generally viewed as “funny” that diplomats wear their sashes at formal State Ceremonies – if anything, the general feeling of “funniness” would be towards the whole white-tie-and-tails or morning-dress-and-top-hat outfit for ultra-formal ocassions.
So the real question becomes, are there any forms of special-ocassion or trade-identifying “ceremonial vestment” , so to speak, that strike us as anachronistic or quaint. The traditional chimney-sweep get-up has been mentioned. For what it’s worth, I’ll throw in the outfits worn by many hotel bell staff/apartment house doormen, who could just as well do it in shirt and jacket.
I know you’re being silly, but the “new style” unifoirms that teams like the Devil Rays wear need to die. Long-sleeve spandex under a vest? Ugly. And those new helmets with “vents” in them? Do they really do anything useful? No, they just look dumb. I’m very glad that at least some teams (mostly the older teams like the Sox, Yanks, Cubs, etc…) have kept to the old styles. Though if they want to go really classic, they should bring back the “raglan” style with the 3/4 length sleeves.
Stewardesses, er, flight attendants wearing low heels and skirts. Christ, can we move on to the 21st century? If there’s a job that calls for a lycra jogging suit and gym shoes, it’s flight attendant.
And, this is off subject, but it’s also high time the airline industry got rid of the willowy flight attendant. When I fly, I want the flight attendant to be a woman of substance, someone who could instill fear in the drunk in aisle 5 as well as the screaming kid in aisle 35, not to mention the pussy terrorist trying to set fire to his shoe in the lavatory. Do I want Gwyneth Paltrow patrolling the aisles? No. I want Serena Williams. And if she wants to wear her butt-hugging fuschia mini dress instead of respectable navy pants, that’s okay with me, too.
Actually, Rehnquist’s stripes are a nod to a Gilbert and Sullivan play :
In a bit of acknowledged whimsy, Chief Justice William Rehnquist decided to personalize his judicial robe with 4 gold braid stripes on each sleeve about 5 years ago. All the other Supreme Court justices wear the traditional unadorned black judicial robes. The inspiration for the gold stripes came from the costume worn by a character in the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, “Iolanthe,” first staged in London in 1882.
I’ll see your Swiss guard and raise you two evzones
In the world of porn, the wearing of scrubbies by real nurses have wiped out all but the last vestiges of white linen tight-skirted fetish nurses. Nun porn still holds stong in Italy, but relaxed dresscodes by the Church may cause that to wane as well. Compulsory wearing of the hajib and chardor by Moslem women, combined with thousands of them now forced into prostituion by the Iraq war and the prevalence of cell-phone cameras has ushered in a new age of that form of uniform porn.
But the the strongest attraction is the Japanese Schoolgirl Uniform. People complain about prepubescent American girls in slut-wear fashions, but, on sheer tons measured teaspoon by teaspoon, I’d bet that more mastubatory spendings are offered up to the image of girls dressed in propper school uniforms than as hip-hop divas.
Got that right - after 3 or so years I still feel like an idiot wearing that getup in public. I’ll wear a kilt in Colorado without feeling the least bit self-conscious, but middle-aged people never look good in Boy Scout uniforms.