Does American Dress Reflect U.S. Decay?

"Yesterday I was going to go to Wal-Mart.  But I could not go since I could not find my pajamas".  - Cheap humor - that even I find funny and use at times 

Actually, one could argue that men almost never dressed sensibly and women sure used to dress wonderfully, but even men were better than they are now at least at one time.  Let me pick on men first.  

If one believes the old movies and photos around the gangster time of Al Capone, then it would seem that every man always wore a suit and a hat even if taking a bath.  But perhaps, we have not seen all of the scenes from those years.  It would appear that if a male was going to go to work and take his machine gun to the local bank in order to make a withdrawal, then he had to first stop at the "men's warehouse" of the day to get a proper suit, shirt, tie and hat first.  That was because one could not rob a bank and look like a schmuck while hanging out on the running board of a car shooting bullets.  And apparently if Eliot Ness was after you, he also needed to wear a proper suit, tie and hat or he had no chance.  And over time, that fell off, but at least in business most of the years I was in it we all wore suits and ties.  But perhaps starting 15 years ago, we wore suits but ties became optional.  I recall keeping an emergency tie in my desk drawer in the event customers came to visit us.  And now of course it is even less formal than 15 years ago. 

I will pick on women less, since they will likely beat me.  But women in my mind always had more sense in clothes, or at least used to.  Long ago most women wore complex outfits with either skirts or dresses.  Then women had their revolution and could wear slacks.  But even then, they dressed far better than the males.  But lately I see them losing even that standing as some of the young girls now wear slacks at half mast like their male friends in order to fully catch up to the plumbing repair man look. 

It now seems that even with all of our conquests in clothes freedom, that the US almost has gone the other way and now has a uniform - blue jeans.  Anyone dare to wear anything else other than a geek like me?  I do not dress any better, I just am not a blue jeans person.  Is this good?  I am not so certain I like the new dress code as much.  Maybe it seems that it shows we all respect others less now.  Can that be true?  Is everything now just about us and not about people we meet? 

I have travelled much for business and have likely over 2 million air miles and have been to over 30 countries.  When I would travel for business I usually did not dress too badly.  The reason for that was not concern for others, but that I was unwilling to pack huge amounts of changes of clothes.  Therefore it was mostly business suits and if I was casual, I would forget the tie but still wear the rest of the suit.  A few places that I visited - Tokyo and Singapore to name two - were quite fashionable in the evening - at least in the nicer places in their cities.  Both men and women dressed very nicely.  I admit that I liked that a lot.  I enjoyed being around people who dressed nicely.  It seemed to make the evening - more special, more memorable.  And maybe, just maybe, the problem is me. 

And so, what does this say about us?  Do we no longer care to dress nice for others around us?  And no, I do not know the answer to this, but it has bothered me at times.  Is this just one more sign of decay in America?  Since I do not know the answer, I would love to hear comments.    And by the way - where are those pajamas!  I do need things from Wal-Mart !

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