I was at a party recently, and I was talking to the host.  He was telling me that he was so happy he discovered the TV show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”.  He said it was the first time he’d turned on his television since “Mad Men” ended. And he proceeded to tell me things about the show that he particularly loved. And he was right- I watched the show and found it very entertaining.

But I started to think about what drew him to these particular shows. Did he just love all things “M”? Was he drawn to the sixties in NYC? What was it about these shows?

And I thought back to the party.  A cocktail party.  A true blue, all American party with expertly made cocktails and hors d’oevres. All served on beautiful platters, or matching glassware. Like they served at those parties. And he was impeccably dressed in a suit and tie, even though it was a Saturday night, while the majority of men were in jeans.

And I thought about how he reminisces fondly of going to the opera and how people wore formal wear.  And how people dressed up for the theater.  And they dressed for dinner…

And I realized he wants to live in a world that is slightly less casual.  He doesn’t like wearing jeans to work.  He likes hats and stylish overcoats. He loves carrying a briefcase, and having a real pen in his pocket.

So for write my blog Thursday I ask the question? Has the world gotten too casual?

I’m currently reading a book about the French lifestyle- (no worries- when I finish there will be an entire blog devoted to my thoughts and feelings on this book) The author discusses how she is always trying to maintain a certain standard of civility.  She states that as she was writing a particular chapter she was in black slacks, black long sleeve t, taupe cardigan and loafers.  Jewelry, hair, make up.  The full ride.  As I write, I am in a grey velour sweatshirt that is about a thousand years old, leggings with a hole in the thigh, and my sketchers furry slippers….(ok- I am wearing make up and my hair is half blown out) But…would I me more productive if I were dressed less casually?

Should jeans be worn to an office environment?

Should we dress up if we are going out for the evening?

What’s the line between casual and sloppy?

Do your clothes really say something about you?

Discuss…

86 thoughts on “Back In Time

  1. Oh what a can of worms you’re opening today! 😉
    I actually do think we can be too casual sometimes. And I appreciate the need and right to be comfortable but sometimes ppl can take it too far.
    As for when you’re writing at home … wear whatever makes you productive! Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s how I feel about working at home….comfort is key. And I agree….there’s casual, and then there’s casual…..I don’t want to go for the night and look like I’m at the beach…unless I’m actually at the beach

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  2. Yea I think this may be cultural too. I do feel like sometimes we’ve become too casual. People may change the way they carry themselves or treat others based on clothing. Do people in the office get a little too personal with each other if everyone is dressed in khaki shorts and flip flops? lol
    Maybe.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a great point. Do we treat someone a little less well if there attire is very casual? I admit, if I see someone dressed a little more I am more respectful. I don’t know why that is…ok…can of worms opened as I think about this

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve experienced this. When I was in college, I had been sick and was finally feeling better to head out and do some Christmas shopping. Being sick, I had not shaved in a while and I headed out in my usual jeans and jacket. I went in a store to look for a gift for my girlfriend(now wife) and was treated poorly. I went back a few days later after church and in a suit(and cleanly shaven) and they rushed to help me. I think it was appalling behavior and I hope I’m better about that when I work with the public.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It is a bit of a generational thing I think…my dad in particular is similar too, with dressing nice before going out.

    My daughter just recently asked me why the kids who go to catholic school have to wear a uniform. (She’s in public school in Canada who does not adhere to a dress code – there are some rules that take effect as of Middle School etc) My answer was fairly short and plain even though I have longer, more detailed response planned in my head (due to the usual rush rush gotta go here and there) but I will revisit this topic with her and draw on this post as a way to illustrate how some things have changed. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oooh…I love a learning lesson!! My father would never leave the house in sweatpants or a t shirt, and he’s really not a formal guy….but my parents are really big on how you present yourself. I’m very flexible with my daughters attire, but she really hasn’t pushed any limits (though this year she wants her Halloween costume to be “cute” which I’m guessing you know what that means….)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think is some cases we are too casual, but I would love to be able to wear jeans to work. I think in my job looking approachable is important. I don’t think people will think less of my skills is I’m in jeans, but some may seem intimidated by someone in a coat and tie. I love that flying is more casual. If I’m going to be on a plane for 12 hours, I want to be as comfortable as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you in theory about flying…I would wear pajamas if I could. But I admit, I love seeing pics about how people used to dress up for a plane trip and it looks pretty cool. But lakeetra made a good point…are we more respectful to those dressed more formally?

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  5. Yes, we are too casual. Better or worse? Seems a hot-button issue for some. 🙂

    I think dressing up was a sign of pride, of respect, and of a higher social standard.

    I was looking at an old photograph in the grocery store of mining workers just last week and wondering at how they all wore trousers, suspenders, button-up shirts, and hats. The foremen all wore suits.
    And I wondered the same things you did…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Back when I was married, I did dress up quite a bit. I was not one whose husband came home to a girl in sweats, but that was long ago. Around the house, casual wear for me. And I do have some oldies but comfy clothes that I still wear that have seen better days. But when I leave the house, I still try to be dressed well, make up and jewelry on. I’m not a perfectionist, but I do like to look as good as I can. I love a good fitting pair of jeans with nice top and cute shoes – and old fashionedly, I like my shoes/purse/belt to coordinate which I know isn’t in right now. LOL

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I love playing dress up. It makes me feel special. These days jeans are the rage, and I partake now and then, but nothing feels more feminine than dresses or skirts that twirl around the legs. Of course, I’m in the baby boomer generation. Today’s women don’t feel the same way. Ah well..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post! I have blogged on this before myself, but then I remember the 80’s the Lady Di decade when people dressed up. I always wore suits and skirts and dresses to work, even if I put a labcoat on top, never ever pants until about 2005. I remember wearing velvet dresses (a la Meg Ryan) on Christmas Eve….now it might be velour sweat pants. I think people are too casual now, even for church and funerals, but I am guilty too.
    What book on France are you reading? I find the french lifestyle very interesting, and have blogged a bit about France last April in Paris, and recently finished reading the whole Madame Chic series (3 books) by Jennifer L. Scott – which talks about how the french formal lifestyle. The house where she stayed as a college student was very formal, maybe too dressed up, (who wears A line skirts to clean the house), but I would certainly take the 4 course dinners every night! There is also a book in the series called Polish Your Poise which addresses manners etc – channeling Audrey Hepburn. They are a fun read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love madame chic!! I’m currently reading Tish Jett “living forever chic”. It’s very interesting. Must check out the poise books! I remember dressing for work too. Panty hose. Heels. I never wore pants either. Suits and dresses. I remember taking clients to dinner at restaurants that required jackets. My client was warm and took off his coat…they asked him to put it back on and they raised the air conditioning!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t think it should be an all or nothing thing. Pretty sure it has been shown that work environments that are more casual (at least to an extent) are more productive overall. I don’t like having to dress up for every single thing. That said, I LOVE getting to go all out every once in awhile and there just aren’t the opportunities. Hubby’s work hosts a huge party every year and, for a while, we would dress up and go to that, but… the event itself just doesn’t appeal to us so we quit going. Now, we don’t have that opportunity anymore. At least not one where we wouldn’t feel horribly out of place being dressed that nice. We also used to go to an amazingly nice restaurant on our anniversary, but that place closed up several years ago and there are so very few places left where being that dressed up is the norm. For me, I like casual to an extent, but we have gotten so far away from even having those “special” places and events it is nearly impossible to have a chance to really go crazy, unless it is Halloween.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. It shouldn’t be all or nothing. But sometimes I do want a special occasion to seem special cause everyone in the place made an effort. My husband turns 50 in December. I’d like it if we could go out and see people in something other than ripped jeans (no matter how pricey) and t shirts. My husbands office officially went to a jeans are ok policy, and my husband swears the younger employees are taking things too casually, but who knows…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. In a world where “elegant” has been relegated to how one fashions a particular subroutine into the code of a website’s bespoke shopping cart, there is little weight given to any sartorial choices too easily then made. The algorithm and the supply chain has become a most casual thing, and any remnant of L’esprit de l’escalier is but the stumble of misunderstanding the return policy.

    Of course we have become too casual in the presentation of self. We are totems of trends shopworn by a youth culture made perpetual rerun by ABBA playing the Apollo and Chuck’s All Star’s high step-in’ their way through those “Little Dragons.”

    And the signature cocktail served in industrial strength barns dilutes the occasional bon mot, falling unheard, and incapable of competing with the easy echo of flip-flop-flip flap.

    Don’t mean to sound too high hat. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True point…our choices seem to be made for us…that’s why marketing has become the hottest undergrad major….we’re really just sheep….

      And yeah…if I’m paying 15$ for a cocktail, why do I need to drink out of a mason jar?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I think clothes can indeed say a lot about you…For instance, I’d read in an article that Steve Jobs wore only one type of clothing( the grey T shirt to be precise) all the time so that he doesn’t spend too much time to choose his clothes for the day. That is super time conserving, right? I do think we can get a bit too casual at times but I guess in the end, what matters is your character and how you carry yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. And I admit to having a uniform of sorts….my basic outfit is the same, I just accessorize differently…but I still wonder how people look at what we wear…even today…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Comfort is tops for me, but there are levels to which I will not sink. I’m not highly critical of people’s choice of clothing; however, I do wish people would not serve communion wearing plastic flip flops. I’m laughing at myself as I write this, because some religions require/suggest a head covering. It seems my personal religion calls for covered feet, although I would approve of sandals.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. First, I love “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. Can’t wait for season two! About casual vs. dressy, sometimes I wish we were more conscious of how we present ourselves. We tend to be pretty sloppy. (I say that, of course, while in a pair of jeans, tee-shirt, slippers, no makeup, and air-dryer hair lol.) My husband and I are going on a cruise soon and we know that there is a certain dress code for dinner. Business casual for most dinners, but “dressy” for the gala night. My husband (who always looks nice for work) is thorough annoyed that he has to dress up on vacation involuntarily. I personally think it’s kind of nice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How good is that show!! Can’t wait for it!! So well written, and the clothes, and the sets!! Perfection! I know exactly what you mean about sloppy…when I see people out in certain outfits, I admit I don’t understand. What happened to clean? And though I know strategic rips are the fashion now, there’s a difference between an orchestrated tear and a hole in the armpit….

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve always been one of those “Dress at the level of employment where you want to be at” kinda guys but my career is capped. I no longer wear a jacket and tie to work but I’m not wearing a polo and khaki pants neither. I think the level of how you dress is directly related and corresponds to where you live.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny in New York, because here it is definitely by neighborhood. My neighborhood which is technically called Gramercy, is middle class and family, so there’s a lot of jeans and business casual and athleisure (I hate that word, though I presently sit in that exact type of outfit). My daughter goes to high school on what’s know as the upper east side, and that’s a really high rent district….lots of designer duds being trotted around.
      But in another note, I also grew up with the dress for the job you want attitude….I wonder if that holds true as much now

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  15. In my imagination, I dress really well, or at least in a way I feel makes me look cool. In practice, my health ;evel and laziness means I wear jeans and sweatshirts almost all the time. Being pleasantly crazy, I feel like it all works out and that people may see me as dressed better than I do because I would if I could if I tried if I cared…but I have gotten That Look from shopkeepers in one of the big New York City stores ones, that sort of suspected me of being a baglady or thief despite nice diamond rings and being polite and sober. Oh well–

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I had even bought a bottle of perfume there for huge money within the last half hour, and turned down all the free booze and snacks–it was some promo thing with Kilian the pefume maker there, and I wear one of his so bought a bottle of it, but it was such a fake-o scene, and I wasn’t fake. One of the silly girls came over and said could she help me try some perfume, and i waved the expensive new bag at her and said I’d already been hustled and spent the 175.00 or whatever it was, and her boss stared at her stupidity and offered to do makeup for me for free, since apparently everybody likes that. She made me look like a hooker baglady.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. And it kind of sucks…I mean…take for example the leather chaps and riding crop I’m presently wearing….I don’t know why I just got funny looks as I walked my dog….

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I like to dress up now & then, but it’s mostly leggings and hoodies & no make up for this girl. I’m as casual as they get. I still don’t know how to use a blow dryer & I’ve never had fake nails in my life…although I do love my pedicures. 😊 comfort over fashion, every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok…blow drying. I specifically get a cut that can air dry for the most part….but I recently bought a brush dryer, which is a hot stick with a round brush on the end, but it blows out air through the brush….I know I didn’t describe it well, but it seriously blows out my hair…

      Liked by 1 person

  17. It is interesting. I dress up to teach my classes and when I lived in NY and worked in the garment industry; I certainly dressed to impress along with running sneakers on and my heels in a briefcase. As an adjunct, I walk a good distance on two campuses and I wear ugly but comfortable shoes. Sometimes I rebel and wear heels because myself can’t stand the practicality of the shoes. I laugh and then when I see other instructors with sneakers on, we dress for comfort. I do wear my makeup. Sometimes at home, I get more done if I dress to work with a little make up and some starch!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m with your friend front he party… I miss dressing up. Every once in a while I’ll be on a bus in Chicago and I will see some ladies who are in their late 60s or 70s and they are really dressed elegantly with their jewelry, beautiful older clothes, lipstick, hair done nicely and a lovely purse and shoes. I smile and ALWAYS give them a compliment, because I miss those days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I wore a nurses uniform for 25 years which was great because everything else in my wardrobe was for a purpose other than work. I now work in research and loathe corporate wear (and black too I might add), so my work clothing in winter is usually trousers in whatever colour I feel like on the day (yes, reds and florals too), the brighter pairs also get worn on weekends and going out. Here there is “go casual Friday” which means jeans for a gold coin donation (it’s a charity fundraiser) and I only indulge occasionally because jeans just feels like it’s taking things too far. Summer is an entirely different story as I wear everything to work that I wear out- bright, muted, casua,l formal- you name it I wear it everywhere! I do love seeing people dressed up, especially if they have gone the whole hog into another era (1950s rockabilly for example), they stand out in a crowd and that’s great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I personally think how you dress says a lot about you. I am not talking about hanging out at home in comfy clothing, but when you are out in the world. It shows a certain level of respect if you dress the right way for an occasion. I have been to formal weddings with other guests in jeans and t-shirts or leggings, seriously the bride and groom(or whomever is paying the bill) deserve you to dress like it is a special occasion. I will say I do not always wear full makeup everyday but I am neat clean and not subjecting the public to questionable clothing choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you about certain occasions. I’m all for comfort, but when I see people at semi formal things wearing inappropriate (to me) clothing it drives me crazy. I think everyone should be there own person, but don’t wear old leggings to work….

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  21. I do think we have gotten to casual in public settings. At home, I love to be comfortable and will dress accordingly. But I hate how people now wear jeans to nice restaurants, clothes that look just like pajamas to the airport, and don’t get me started on how yoga pants are now deemed okay for everywhere, even when they are two sizes too small and show way more than anyone wants to see. My grandfather wore a suit every day, and his idea of casual was to take off the jacket and tie and possibly roll up his sleeves. I’d never want to be quite that formal, but there has to be a midpoint between what he did and how people dress today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My grandfather was the same way. Suit and tie every day, hat when he went out. And maybe that was too much, I still remember how nice he and my grandmother always looked. I hate the there is a term known as athleisure and people use it for more than school drop off and errands…. like a comfy pair of sneakers, but to a nice restaurant? Really?

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  22. I’m with Ann. It really bothers me when people wear pajama pants to the grocery store and sweat pants to church. My first thought is always, “Nice of you to dress up.” I know that’s snarky, but there has to be some decorum. And believe it or not, I once saw a guy wearing pajama pants with a leather belt at a restaurant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you kidding! That’s just crazy. And I miss decorum. When my daughter was younger I used to make her dress for holidays, and honestly she still dresses for a holiday. She hates it when we show up at my in-laws and her cousins are in clothes that she thinks should be worn for watching tv on the couch

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agree. Years ago, friends showed up at our house on New Year’s Eve in jeans. I was annoyed because I spent a lot of time and effort putting on a fancy dinner. The next year, the men showed up in tuxedos. It was a little over the top, but I think they got my message.

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  23. My daughter went out of the house with her pajama bottoms on and my mom just about had a heart attack. The kids would wear pajama type pants to high school some days. I wouldn’t leave the house at one time if I wasn’t showered, dressed, my hair curled and with make up on, ever. Now it depends on where I’m going. If it’s to the local 7-11 to get some milk or something, I’ll throw on a hat and leggings with a long top or sweats and I’m okay to go. When I go on date nights with the hubs it’s dress up all the way. I do believe some people can dress too casual for the occasion.

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  24. I respect the man’s nostalgia for wearing more formal wear than sweatpants, jeans, etc. My mother used to wear slacks, knee high hose, and a blouse to the doctor and dentist appointments. When I was a teen, I’d asked her why she dressed up to go to the doctor and dentist. She said it wasn’t dressing up. It was just looking decent when going to appointments. lol Unfortunately, I’m too lazy to do that most of the time, and wearing comfortable clothes is a priority for me. Although, I won’t usually leave the house without fixing up my hair to look half-way decent, but I bear the public streets and stores with the absence of make up often. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Make up is a different thing. I don’t care if I wear make up, but I just like when people wash their face. I think grooming has taken a back seat. My friends kids high school….they actually handed out deodorant to every student….

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I am a jeans and tshirt kind a girl. I dont dress up to often. On the weekend if I’m cleaning or working in the yard I dont change clothes if I need something at the store.. I go as I am. I probably am sloppy but I cant see changing to go to the store if I’m just going to do what I was doing before I left.

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