Back in my day: a rant in which Connie wraps her shawl tightly around her shoulders and expounds on the good ol’ days

Hoo Boy!  I’m getting old.  I’m losing hope for humanity in a number of respects, but one that just drives me up the wall and I can’t quite articulate why is the current refusal to dress up for anything.  Does that make me shallow?  Maybe. 

But in my day, we brought jeans to the forefront, but we didn’t wear them everywhere.  It just wasn’t done.  And there was a period of time when one was expected to iron their jeans so they had sharp creases down the front and back. 

Clubs and discos often, usually, had a dress code:  no jeans.  We didn’t wear jeans to church.  We certainly didn’t wear them to work.  My first demonstration was for the right to wear jeans to school.  Yes.  To school 

And when we did start wearing them to clubs and restaurants, we did so with heels, full makeup and the advent of the very expensive, very trendy Designer Jeans. 

And now?  Now, I can’t believe what people leave their houses wearing – me included.   

I think we’ve taken Casual Friday too far. 

I keep predicting a return to dressing up for events and every time I think the wheel is turning, I end up at the Walmart with folks in their pajamas.  There is something not right about this.  And I can’t put my finger on why it bothers me so much.  Generally speaking, I’m a live-and-let-live kind of chick.  What is this bug up my butt with people dressing any old way they want to? 

I am often appalled at what I leave the house looking like.  I’ll catch a glimpse of myself in a shop window or store mirror and just cringe.   Jeez, Connie, you couldn’t brush your hair?   

And yoga pants!  Now, I am a yoga pant enthusiast.  They are practically my uniform.  I live in them.   

But the ones that look like tights?  These do not need to be worn out of the house with nothing less than a tunic.  If your top doesn’t at least come to your thighs, it looks like you forgot to put your pants on.  Drives me up the wall.  And so, I wear the very elegant bootcut yoga pants.  Yeah, I’m rationalizing.  I love yoga pants – the greatest invention of all time.  I am particularly in love with the dress yoga pants – you know the ones with a waistband and pockets.  I have them in every color.  I’m wearing them today – that way I don’t have to change for yoga class after work.  Imagine yoga pants for yoga class! 

But honestly, I live for occasions to dress up.  A simple black cocktail dress, heels, and my great-grandmother’s pearls.  Timeless, elegant, flattering to all.  Or for really festive events, my sequined blazer (though I often wear that with black jeans and turtleneck.)   

And hosiery!  My god!  Bare legs!  In public.  In a dress!  We ran around in hosiery with runs in them before we would show up with bare legs.  It was just NOT DONE.  I still can’t bring myself to do it.  I am the last woman in the United States to still buy pantyhose. 

Since the COVID lockdown, I’ve noticed that we’ve gotten yet more casual.  I went to the gas station the other day in yoga pants, my wearable blanket and my house slippers.   

Things have just gone too far.  Sure, it was only the gas station and it does prove I’m not hung up about my appearance but doesn’t it too also show a lack of respect?  My comfort is more important than presenting well.   

And what exactly is “presenting well” – another cultural norm that changes constantly.  In my mother’s youth, the grocery store required makeup, a dress, and heels.  In her adulthood, a relaxing of that to curlers, housedress, and comfortable shoes.  And now?  Whatever the hell you’re wearing when you decide you need groceries. 

I want a return to dressing up – at least at some venues.  Not all of them.  I enjoy a quick dash to the gas station for Cheetos without worrying about donning makeup and clean clothes.  But I want to go to a fine dining restaurant and see folks in their finery – not the clothes they wore to work.  

When is this wheel going to turn? 

2 thoughts on “Back in my day: a rant in which Connie wraps her shawl tightly around her shoulders and expounds on the good ol’ days

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