I am exhausted by the dignity-stripping nature of “business casual” dress. It has turned us into slobs and released our inner schlubs. It needs to stop.
There. I said it. Someone had to.
As I type this, I’m sitting in first class on a flight from Boston to Chicago. Next to me is a man in his late 30’s. He’s dressed in an uninteresting French-cuff shirt with an open collar with British tan gabardine slacks and draw-string Ecco hiking shoes. Across the aisle from him is a man in his early 50’s in “The Uniform”: a blue oxford shirt, stone- or tan-colored chinos, black socks and unpolished slip-ons. The loafers appear to be either Prada or knock-offs thereof. Naturally, he has his “dork clip” on his hip; his Blackberry at the ready for the moment RIM’s servers choose to operate as advertised. (Editor’s comment: no one ever got seriously laid while wearing a dork clip; nor explaining why they’re called “wing tips”.) I have a colleague who wears nothing but The Uniform. He professes to only own one white shirt. He pouts and makes quite a fuss when the situation requires him to “dress up.”
There’s another guy a couple of rows back with a rumpled white dress shirt, untucked, under a black blazer with wrinkled, soiled khakis. He’s old enough to know better, too.
For God’s sake, wash and iron your damn pants and tuck in your shirt! Have you no pride? You’re an educated professional, working in what is still the World’s Greatest Economy! Millions of people around the country to say nothing of the rest of the world would give anything to be in your seat 3C, having your every food and beverage wish fulfilled. Why do you insist on dressing the same way you did when your parents came to visit you in college?!
Whew. I feel a bit better. Oh wait. There’s more:
How is it that women can manage to get dressed up for a night on the town and the best the guys can seem to muster is the now-ubiquitous untucked shirt with the sleeves rolled up and an old pair of jeans? Or The Uniform–the same one they wear to work–or worse, the “dress t-shirt”? As they guys on ESPN say every Monday, “C’mon, man!”
And yes, I commit all of the sins noted above. But at least I recognize them as sins.
P.S. Hey Ladies: FYI. Leggings aren’t pants.
P.P.S. Ok, I’ll make an exception just this once when the leggings are worn like this.