Whatever happened to …

… dressing up to go downtown?

Today’s topic is courtesy of Sheila Stewart who also contributed this post on her family blog.

Would you have old family photo albums with pictures to compete? As Sheila and I tend to do, she shared a song. This one is a classic.

If you’re old enough to remember this song, you’ll be old enough to remember the series “I Love Lucy” from the 1950s. As luck would have it for this post, there was a comment from Ethel Mertz on a show today.

Lucy, I have never ridden on a subway in my blue jeans, and I’m not gonna start now.

So, everyone draws the line. I’ll admit that I’ve never dressed up to the extent of the pictures in Sheila’s post. But her post and her prompting got me thinking about what I wear in various situations.

Most were things I learned as a kid, that I still mostly do today.

  • I may wear lounging shorts or sweatpants around the house but definitely will put on shorts or pants if I’m going “downtown”
  • In the classroom, I started wearing sports jacket, shirt and tie, and dress pants but morphed to jacket, shirt and tie, and Dockers. Dry cleaning bills were a killer
  • While I usually do wear a baseball cap, I won’t wear it inside and I wear it with the visor pointing forward
  • If we are going “downtown”, I’ll dress what I consider appropriate – nicer clothes and shoes if we’re going to a restaurant – since our downtown is also a fabulous park, I’ll go much more casual for a dog walk – anything that doesn’t attract fur
  • When going out for a date, I will always wear something a little fancier
  • I don’t own a suit – I rented a Tuxedo for my wedding and rented a suit for my daughter’s wedding – so it would cost me money to dress like those in Sheila’s pictures
  • Growing up, blue jeans were basically play clothes but these days they are good to go for almost any scenario of going out

Basically, in my world to answer Sheila’s question, I don’t dress up to go “downtown” but I will change from my really grubby clothes to something that’s appropriate.

Again with the music, this song came up on my MP3 player as I was out for a bike ride this afternoon and, Sheila, I think it says it all. We’re a different generation and don’t wear pantyhose with blue jeans. (Actually, I’ve never worn them with anything)

Things definitely have changed over the years and there’s a big thing for my wife that she screams at when we’re out and see it. “You don’t wear socks and sandals!” Second on her list are people that wear sleep pants out in public.

But, as he cues another song, it’s not all bad. Terri Clark assures us that old grey sweatpants turn women on. How could she lie about something like that?

For a Sunday, how about sharing thoughts with Sheila and me?

  • Do you dress up when you go “downtown”? Quotes because everyone’s concept of downtown may be different
  • Will you wear a hat indoors? Will you wear it backwards?
  • Will you change clothes in the middle of the day because you’re going out and you wouldn’t be caught wearing your casual clothes in public?
  • Do you own a suit? What do you wear to weddings? What do you wear to work?
  • Why don’t “those pantyhose go well with blue jeans”?
  • Do you wear socks and sandals?
  • Do you wear sleep pants out in public?
  • Do you own an old grey pair of sweatpants? (I do and I love them)

Feel free to answer any/all of these questions? And, also feel free to add any other of your thoughts about dressing up to go downtown. That’s what the comment section is for.

This is a regular Sunday morning feature around here. You can check them all out here. Feel free to reach out like Sheila did if you have an idea for a future post.


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