February 23, 2010
How my parents dressed compared to how I dressed as a parent
I know fashions change like the wind changes directions. And there are some fashions that are peculiar to one generation, like powder blue, polyester, bell bottom tuxedos with ruffled shirts, or zoot suits. Sometimes those fashions make brief comebacks in following generations. But thankfully my dad did not wear clothes like that when I was a kid. I might have been mortified in front of my friends.
I don't knock anyone's fashion choices, but when I was a kid I might have. My dad wore jeans and t-shirts, or button down shirts. He went through a period wearing western shirts, boots, and hat, but a lot of people did that. And it wasn't over the top. I even had boots, large belt buckle. The western style has been around for a while, I guess since it came into fashion in the old west. Even so that style is not for everyone, but to me it was ok and I never felt embarrassed. And of course when not wearing the dress cowboy hat, most people I knew wore baseball caps. It kept the sun out of our eyes, in a casual way.
Since I had an office job most of my career while my children were growing up, my attire was khaki pants (like the docker brand) and button shirts. I also wore jeans and t-shirts when not at work. As part of my recent clean-out of my clothing heap, I got rid of thirty t-shirts that I no longer wanted to wear. Or put it this way, I used to by event t-shirts, like scout shirts, running shirts, triathlon shirts, etc, and then wear them and never get rid of them when I bought new ones. Oh, don't worry, I still have one box of shirts I like.
I think that with the trend toward casual wear in our country also standardized men's clothing fashion here, to a general casual look. Ties pretty much went away in the workplace, and people seem to have siimilar clothing styles. Maybe it's related to the mass-produced clothing marketplace. Maybe it's that most men were never really very fashion-minded. At least not the common man like me.
Recently we went to the Science Museum to see the Titanic exhibit and there was one photo in there of thousands of workers going to work on the huge ship and almost every one of them had a flat-cap-style hat on. I remember also my grandfather's generation, almost everyone wore a hat. But the styles changed to derbys and fedora's and other taller, formed hats. I remember my great grandfather and grandfather never leaving the house without their hat.
So, because I liked that look and it brought back good memories, I'm now sporting a nice, casual fedora-style hat. And I kind of like it. Should I bring back my bell-bottom jeans and tie-died t-shirts to go with that?