6:57:36 PM

The lost art of dressing for the occasion

I realized something this weekend… many people do not know what is appropriate attire for various types of occasions. For example, I attended the Easter vigil service Saturday night and was shocked to see a number of people in tattered jeans, some girls in what can only be defined as club-attire, and several guys in gym shorts and running shoes. Then on Sunday I went to a car show in the park and there were women walking through the wet grass in 6-inch heels and mini-dresses.

When picking an outfit a number of factors need to be considered:

Practicality – Is this outfit going to work with the place I am going and the activities I am going to be doing? Wearing high heels to the park when it rained the night before is silly and just makes the person tip-toeing through the blades look silly.

Appropriateness – Does this outfit fit in with the type of occasion, does it speak to what I personally think about the place/activity? A ball gown or tuxedo isn’t for strolling through the park. Gym shorts are ideal for bike riding, a game of pick-up basketball, or lounging in the park but not a nice dinner out.

Personality – How am I communicated my personal style and tastes with this clothing choice. Fashion shouldn’t be limited to dressing like everyone else. A personal spin needs to be given to each outfit.

I think with the prevalence of jeans and the more laid-back mentality we see around the world, this idea of dressing for the occasion gets pushed to the side replaced by comfort and ease. My grandparents generation had a better understanding of this. They dressed up in hats, heels and dresses to attend church on Sunday. (Remember Judy Garland in Easter Parade?) They gardened in old tattered clothes that could be dirtied and they didn’t wear those same clothes to the dinner table that night. What would it take to get back to this ideal? Do we need to?


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