I was up in the archives today, digging for info about North Dakota’s first oil boom (in 1951) and realized two things: Dickinson had more grocery stores then than they do now, and 2) Society is so informal these days.
I mean, did sweatpants even exist in 1951? (I write as I’m at work [after business hours] in my work out clothes for my pending sweat session)
Nobody gets dressed up anymore, actually, no one gets dressed anymore. They put on clothes, but they don’t get dressed. If you’re a Mad Men lover, there’s a great episode, For Those Who Think Young, Season 2, Episode 1. In the opening sequence, Peggy, Joan and other characters are seen getting ready. And they’re getting ready. They put me getting ready to shame. They all have on this complicated but gorgeous set of undergarments that, no matter what your size, clothes would look great on top of because your underwear has created a great shape for you. And because of said undergarments, there would be no wardrobe malfunctions. Everything would be kept where it should be… underneath.
We don’t get dressed anymore, we throw on clothes. There is no planning, no layering, no building an outfit. It’s all slapped on. Or worse, instead of hitting the closet, we just roll out of bed.
Sure, it started with jeans, but jeans are not the problem. Jeans would be great on most of the people I see out in public. People complain about the fashion world, but there is no fashion. It’s hoodies and jeans or some work-acceptable variation of that. (And I am totally guilty of the hoodie-jean-flip-flop combo most days.) Put on a skirt! Put on a tie! Make some effort in your wardrobe. We have so many more devices that make our lives easier than they did 50 years ago. We have the time to put ourselves together.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, keep your jammies at HOME. Jammies do NOT belong out in public. If you really REALLY need something at Walmart and a shower would just take too long, at least throw on jeans and a t-shirt, maybe a hoodie. Ladies who need extra support, a sports bra is both comfy and restrains the girls. Brush out your hair, and if you’re like me and are greasier than a T-Bird, spray a little dry shampoo in and pull that hair back. Finish up by either washing your face or swiping a toner over it and brushing those teeth. Guess what, you’ve spent maybe 5 minutes getting ready and you look way more presentable than you would have just rolling out of bed.
Your clothes, your hair, your make up, your body, they present an image to the world. And you shouldn’t care about what someone says or what they think when you’re put together, clean and confident. Who cares if you mix purple and lime green with brown houndstooth pants and denim shoes? Is everything washed? Does it fit well? Did you take a shower? Guess what, eff them! But when you don’t care enough about yourself to practice basic hygiene, it tells the world you don’t care, so why should they?
It’s one thing to not care about what the world thinks. It’s different when you want the world to think you don’t care about yourself.
For Jack Donaghy’s take on the deterioration of American fashion, click here.
Has something changed that you wish hadn’t? Is there something you miss about times-gone-by?
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To start an Areavoices blog, contact Katherine Grandstrand at 701.456.1206 or kgrandstrand(at)thedickinsonpress.com.