Monday, April 03, 2017

Comfortable Enough?

'You can never be overdressed or overeducated.'
                                       Oscar Wilde

Time and again, I've harped about the importance of dressing well, though obviously to apparently deaf ears. Tragically, the immortal words of Oscar Wilde seem to have conveniently slipped their collective minds since even my own friends, who really should know better, habitually schlep their way to dinner in flip flops and ratty shorts.

Or even worse, the ever ubiquitous, sweat-drenched active wear. Before you even need to ask, no, you can't wear musky sweat-drenched gym tees and stained sweatpants to dinner either! Is it so terribly hard to ask for a quick shower and change? Quite a few times we've caught our own Mad Madison committing just such a sartorial sin.

Even our perennial transgressor,  Diffident David, begrudgingly admits dressing well does make everyone look just a tad better, which only leaves me ever more puzzled by his insistence to join the devil-may-care tatterdemalion movement.

Paul : So you're saying you prefer to look terrible? 
David : No. 
Paul : Then what could possibly be the reason? 
David : Sometimes you just don't want everyone else at the table to feel uncomfortable because they are underdressed. 
Paul : Perhaps they should have thought better then. 

Flabbergasted I was.

Admittedly it was quite an epiphany on how the rest of the world thought - nevertheless it did little to change my general outlook on looking presentable. Dress way down just to fit in?  Really? Though it is generally important to have all your friends and guests feeling utterly comfortable at the dinner table, I certainly wouldn't advocate dressing down just to suit them. So if they were to make their attendance in generic garbage bags, should we all hurry off to change into similarly disastrous ensembles to match?

Perhaps they should have thought harder instead on their unfortunate accoutrements.

These days you can't even try blaming economical constraints. With industrialization and mass marketing making readymade clothes easily available to all, what cheap excuse is there to be bundled up in a raggedy tee-shirt and rattier shorts out in public?

When you could be dressed like the gentleman below!

Dress badly? How is that even a thing?

I'm not saying preen for an hour before the mirror picking the perfect outfit to head out. There's no need to splurge a month's pay on something sinful just to waste it on an evening either. Simply dress to fit the social occasion. Just as I wouldn't jog on a treadmill in my bespoke three-piece, neither should you arrive for dinner in your omnipresent active wear! Or even that rumpled layabout shorts and tee you wear to laze about at home.

Seriously when did it become totally alright to wear the same sloppy togs to work, to the gym, to dinner and to work? Has Casual Friday turned into a Dress Down Week?

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