Friday, October 5, 2007

Poor Fashions

By The Pleasant Times Etiquette Lady

Years ago, I wrote about the odd fashions that young people (commonly known as teen-agers) wear. I find that the styles I commented then on have persisted to this day, and I think that they have made my suppositions all the more valid! Read on and see what you think:

The way most teen-agers dress bothers a lot of people. "What," you are wondering, "does clothing have to do with etiquette?" Etiquette is not just about which fork to use! If the way you dress bothers people in Polite Society, then you are being rude. Here are some suggestions about wearing clothing politely.

When you get dressed in the morning, make sure that you put all of your outfit on, and put it on neatly. You do not want to look like this girl, described by Jonathon Swift (1667-1745): "She wears her clothes as if they were thrown on with a pitchfork."

When you go shopping, girls, make sure to buy a whole dress, not a half of one. Make sure it is ALL THERE before you take it home.

It is a good idea for the boys to try on their clothes before they buy them. I have seen a lot of ill-fitting outfits on boys, not to mention outfits that make me ill.

Dress up when you need to show respect. Please do not wear blue jeans and T-shirts to a wedding. This is the Bride and Groom's special day. Wearing T-shirts and jeans shows that basically, you don't care! I can imagine an exception to this would be that Blue Jeans would be permissible at a western-themed wedding, for the men.
The Wedding Dress
The Wedding Dress
Giclee Print

Kilburne, George...
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There are "dress up" occasions when the girls should wear dresses and the boys should wear ties. These are: Formal dinners (even if it is just your family in attendance, such as at Thanksgiving ), elegant restaurants, tea parties, church services, funerals, concerts, plays, your family's special occasions (recitals, birthdays, anniversaries), a job interview, a nice party, or in social situations where others will be made more comfortable if you dress decently. The Recital
The Recital
Giclee Print

Barbudo, Salvador...
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There are occasions when you should "dress down," in clothing that has been worn, frayed, and stained , or in heavy durable jeans and lumberjack-type clothing: When you are mowing the lawn, digging in the garden, deep cleaning the house, cleaning the attic or garage, working on a motor, painting the house, re-roofing a structure, fishing, hunting, cleaning out the barn, chopping wood, hiking through berry vines, etc.
Lunch Time



Lunch Time
Art Print

Hinton, W. H.
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Dress decently and in clean clothing when when you are doing every-day things that do not fall into the above categories. View yourself in the mirror before you go anywhere, and think about what others will have to look at!

Okay, maybe I am being a little hard about how teen-agers should dress. Perhaps they do not dress decently because they are poor. That's it, they're just poor.

The girls have to wear hand-me-ups from their little sisters. These clothes are painfully small; they show belly buttons and everything.

The poor boys cannot afford clothing, either. Sometimes they do not wear a decent shirt because they do not have one (or else they were in too much of a hurry to put one on). They also have to wear pants that are second-hand from their larger fathers, so the pants are rather baggy, and belts are too expensive!

The boys don't have the money for a hair-cut, so they do it at home, using a mixing bowl as a guide.

It is obvious that some boys and girls cannot afford a comb.

Some of the girls either do not own a jewelry box, or are afraid of thieves, so they wear all their earrings at once.

Since they admire their parents so much, they do not mind getting the clothing from their parent's generation down from the attic. I thought that everyone was glad that the 60's and 70's were gone! But I guess that if the teen-agers are poor, they do not mind wearing polyester fashion disasters.
Magenta Platform

My, all this is so alarming! Maybe someone should start a fund for fashion or something.

Just remember this: "As you treat your body, so your house, your domestics, your enemies, your friends. Dress is the table of your contents." (John Lavater, 1741-1801)
Children on the Seashore
Children on the Seashore
Art Print

Renoir,...
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First published in 1997.

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