We’ve lost our dress sense
WOMEN love to dress up; right? So pardon me for being a little fuddy-duddy this morning.
My question is: Are men becoming too careless and casual in their dress habits?
Has he, in other words, abandoned his sense of dressing suitably and when the occasion calls for it to compliment his partner?
The thought struck me one evening recently when we attended a show at the Guild Theatre. The women were beautifully turned out while many of the men were Harry Casual to say the least.
Not so long ago it was unthinkable to wear anything else but a suit for the office.
Most men put on dinner jackets and black ties for the theatre. Anyone turning up at a decent restaurant in an open-necked shirt was likely to be shown the door.
When one went to town on a Saturday morning it was always in a blazer and tie. A certain formality was demanded by a man’s social or business position, by his ambitions, by his respect for convention and by the example of his womenfolk.
A young chap used to look forward to his first suit. When his father bought him one it was a thing of pride, for it showed that he had grown up. And the day his first evening suit was achieved – well, that was something else!
How things have changed. For most social occasions nowadays, jeans, T-shirt and takkies will do and office workers, even those who have direct contact with the public turn up in open-necked floral shirts, slacks and even sandals and you’d swear that some of the female staff were about to set off for the beach rather than preparing for a day’s work!
Some of you will argue that “clothes do not make the man,” that one good thing about the modern age is that it has done away with stuffiness, formality and undue concern for convention; that this is an open-air age of sport and relaxation; that a man can work as well in casual clothes as he can in more formal attire; that he can worship his God just as well in a T-shirt and jeans as he can in a black suit.
Please, this is not an appeal for a return of Victorian stuffiness or a bid to put men back into the stiff, dull clothes of yesteryear. And I do not argue that because a man is welldressed he must automatically succeed.
Life is not like that. But don’t you think that a return to greater “appropriateness” in dress and to a sense of “occasion” in clothes would be of benefit to everyone?
Casual clothes are for the occasion for which they are suited – knocking about at home, in the garden and watching sport.
For the office and formal occasions, which demand a smart, neat appearance, it would be a pleasant change to present ourselves accordingly.