I don’t get it. OK, I’ve moved into the 50+ crowd now and there are an increasing number of things I have trouble comprehending these days (just ask either of my girls). But I just do not understand why people cannot get properly dressed to go out in public. As Peter Griffin would say – It really grinds my gears. I’m at the mall the other day and I felt actually outnumbered by the sheer volume of people (usually female, usually under thirty – but I have seen some older Doozies) strolling by me dressed in what amounts to their sleepwear…. And I have to wonder why. Are they ill? If so then they’re infecting the rest of us by going out on their self indulgent shopping spree. Actually, being ill is an acceptable excuse to not be dressed appropriately in public (as long as you’re quick about it) You need to run out and refill your script or pick up your cold and flu meds – fine. Thats a fast errand and in my mind its perfectly acceptable to be out and about looking and feeling sub-par in that case.
So I guess what I need to address next is the ever popular “what constitutes appropriate dress in public?”. Most would say “it depends on what you’re doing” and that would be true. You don’t want to be bringing a knife to a gunfight – figuratively speaking. If you are a yoga instructor or a personal trainer your appropriate attire may be different from mine. I work in an office where the dress code is business casual M-Th with a dress down day on Fridays. We all have roles we dress for and reasons to dress differently depending on what we are doing. A night on the town usually means dressing a lot differently than dressing for a workday, or for sleeping. And this is where I have a problem. I neither need, or want, to see your spongebob loungewear or your scuffy fuzzy bunny slippers while you meander through Macy’s. That mode of dress – or undress as it were – belongs squarely within the 4 walls of your home. Seriously. I’m not kidding.
So what is appropriate dress for a run to the mall?. Casual, certainly. Clean – an absolute must. Let’s avoid looking like a wardrobe malfunction in the making- shall we? Your pants should fit well – and I have no desire to see your underwear so keep them pulled up PLEASE and thank you. (that one’s for the guys!) I grew up in an era where girls were expected to wear dresses to school and we always dressed formally for church on Sunday. It caused a minor scandal when one of my 4th grade classmates showed up to school in jeans one day back in 1970. Of course, by the end of that week we were all doing it, but before that – our parents were called or we were sent home to change. I can’t imagine that any of my former teachers would EVER have allowed any of us to attend school in our pj’s. But this is what happens every day in our public high schools, and probably public middle schools as well. I would not allow my older daughter to dress that way when she was in high school, but I see many many other kids dressing like this every day to go to school. And this is one of the reasons we sent our older girl and are still sending our younger – to a Catholic elementary school. It doesn’t become an issue because the school doesn’t allow it, period.
Yeah, you do have the right to dress how you please, but remember my other post about sending messages – Along with Great Power? The message you are sending when you go out in public in your jammies is this: “I’m too lazy and unmotivated to get dressed. I don’t care how I look, I have no respect for myself – or you. I’m a slob”.
“Etiquette and public speaking coach Holly Rauser of Morgan Hill (www.ConsiderEtiquette.com) says inappropriate dressing is a sign of a breakdown in respect, for oneself and others.
“The ‘Me’ Generation has become the Age of Rudeness,” she said. “We have overdone the self-esteem movement and forgotten to teach that other people have worth, too. We need to treat others with the respect that we ourselves demand.” Seattle Times Article, cited below as a related article
People WILL judge you based on your appearance. Like it or not,that isn’t about to change anytime soon – if ever – so remember that before you decide you don’t feel like getting out of your pj’s before you make that mall run, or go to class, or whatever.
- Has casual attire gone too far? (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
^ my response would be yes!