I completely agree with this article. I have yet to find a restaurant that has
a dress code in Salt Lake City. My wife and I want to get all dressed up and go
out on special occasions, but there is no guaranteed we won't be sitting
next to sleeveless-sweatpants-guy. I have noticed that in Manhattan and
Chicago, there is a culture of dressing nice that I really admire. Maybe it is
a big city thing
You have nailed it, but it is deeper than merely appearance. Correct usage of
the English language is gone with misspellings and grammatical errors showing up
everywhere, not just in emails, postings and tweets but in news articles written
by people who supposedly have a degree in journalism. Etiquette is also gone.
People fight over parking spaces. TV shows accentuate drama over substance. I
think what we are witnessing is a general decline in the society in general. I
am hoping that the pendulum will swing back at some point.
Dressing causal and grammar errors are bad in the same eyes? I guess I will
stick with the dressed down crowd then.Stuffy is out with the money is
It's about time! Great article, cheap shot at Wal-mart, no reason to
disparage others for cheap humor.
On a just completed weeks long business trip I had plenty of time to observe
folks in airports. Oh, the horror. A very large woman wearing hot magenta
sweat pants with a large PINK written across the behind along with a tank top
that was bursting from its load; hairy men with not enough covering, and like
you say, dirty laundry straight out of the hamper. How hard can it be to at
least put on a clean pair of jeans and t-shirt. Or upgrade to a button-down?
Just a hint here. Your clothes, no matter what they are, will look better on you
if you lose 10, 20, 50, 100 pounds. The obesity epidemic is making poorly
dressed Americans look even worse. Let's get some exercise, folks, and lay
off the Krispy Kremes.
I agree entirely. When I got married I was a jeans and a t-shirt guy. Shorts in
the summer. The shirt was usually black or grey from Walmart with a design on
it. Now, after 4 years, my wife has finally got me dressing up, and I like it.
The most dressed down I get now is a nice pair of cargo pants, with a polo or
button down when I'm out in the winter, and a nice pair of cargo shorts and
the same polo's and button downs in summer. It's not that much effort,
and I actually like it. So come on guys! Ditch the slob look and lets look like
adults again in stead of teenagers.
I think the author is attempting to address too many separate (though related)
issues at once here. The result is a scattered rant that doesn't actually
have much substance or sufficiently discuss the issue. I think the real problem
is that our casual is too casual, but our "dressed up" is too
"dressed up." Ties are a great example. Particularly in Utah, the
prevailing culture is that you aren't in your best if you aren't
wearing a tie (if you're a male). What exactly makes a colored piece of
cloth knotted uncomfortably at one's neck worthy of praise? It
doesn't look any nicer than a nice collared shirt with the top button
undone and no tie, but don't you dare show up to church without one or you
aren't showing respect to God. Same goes for white shirts. Why can't
our dressed up clothes be more comfortable/easier to take care of, and our
comfortable/easy to take care of clothes be more dressed up? It shouldn't
take an hour to look nice, and if it does, you can't expect people to take
the time to do it.
I was at Disney World a couple of years ago and the entertainment wasn't
the rides but people watching. I sat on a bench for several hours and watched
one horrible dress ensemble after another walk by. People - seemingly oblivious
to how bad they looked. Just as alarming was the number of over weight people.
We are a fat, out-of-shape country. I couldn't help but muse it would be a
great time for a leaner meaner country to attack and take over. If that happens,
I hope they have some good diet ideas.
I don't think it's America so much; it's Utah. When I visit
friends back East or even in California, I notice that the general level of
dress is higher.My pet peeve is the way parents dress to go to
events at the school - band concerts, graduations, etc. If you kid has to wear
a tie, you should probably take the time to put on a real pair of shoes.
I so agree with this article! There are now women who have never owned a dress.
Yes casual is nice... and I dress casual when I can, but there is just something
to "dressing up" and going out with your handsome Husband or Beautiful
wife... it just feels different... more elegance perhaps, us actually use table
manners. You would NEVER think of going into a nice restaurant in a tank or
shorts, flip flops, Stomach or Breasts on a woman. This one gal was so low cut
there was nothing left to the imagination and I felt like leaving her a dollar
for the show!...There are now people who go to work dressed horribly. Pregnancy
is beautiful but I don't want to see your barely covered stomach!What
happened to self pride? What happened to looking your best in some situations?
Instead of not caring what you look like? I like dressing nice to work, make up
some jewelry looking professional... Sigh We are slobs! WE ARE looking a lot
like Walmart people!
I can't say I see what the author sees up around where I live.I
guess that either means we have a higher standard of dress here in the Pacific
Northwest, or else maybe we're less judgemental.
I appreciate the humorous candor with which the article was written. As a
personal brand and style strategist who helps people in Silicon Valley discover
their personal brand and design their personal style, I constantly deal with
people's struggles to move beyond the lowest common denominator of being
too casual. An "anything goes" attitude lowers the perceptible quality
of a person at work, home, and socially. If you don't dress and present
yourself to a higher standard, you cannot possibly expect others to hold you in
high regard. I say, "When you show others who you are, others will believe
you."I do take issue with a point made in the article that,
humor aside, must be responded to. The mention of hairy men eating tikka masala
makes me wonder if the author has an ethnic bias against Indian men. I am a
well-groomed hairy man who loves tikka masala. Leave our hairiness alone. The
point really is to appropriately cover areas of the body when in public. And the
point certainly applies to all persons and of all ages.
Agreed.It's a Utah think more-so than most other places.I still wear slacks and dress shirts to work, but most of my peers
do not.Likewise -- Going to the store and seeing girls in
pajamas?Women dressed like truck stop hookers?Men looking like the
just walked away from a beer and lawn-chair?And here I thought the
70's had hit rock bottom with women's halter tops, and men
wearing dress shirts unbuttoned 2 or 3 button holes!
I live in the East and slobs are everywhere!
I can only compare what my college students wear today to what I remember from
the sixties. I would have to say that kids are better groomed and more neatly
dressed. I think a sure sign of old age is propensity to complain that the
rising generation is going to heck in a hand basket and that their music is too
loud. Fortunately I have avoided these symptoms ... well ok, may the music is
getting a little loud.
I promise, it isn't just Utah! And "Understands Math", your
comment sounded pretty judgmental to me!
Even the Beatles wore suits and ties on the Ed Sullivan Show. How times have
changed. I hate neck ties but come on guys we can still wear a nice dress shirt
Great article, Doug, but lose the T-shirt in your photo and you'd get more
cred. Mike Royko only dressed like that when he played 16" softball.
I thought to make a comment on someone's sartorial choices yesterday at
work. Apparently, everyone else thought it was funny, but after I said it, I
realized that this is really not something Jesus would do, and I spent the rest
of the day apologizing. How is this different, though writ large?The
scriptures refer to the Proud as those who wear expensive fabrics. I've
heard it said many times in church that "everyone can afford a suit,"
and this is a lie. It's also a lie that in all cases, other people will buy
suits for someone who can't. And, in today's body-conscious world,
those whose molds don't fit cannot buy them at the local stores. We are all
The People of Walmart. Who are we to judge?
But wait tell they have to go to court for living their lives as slobs and every
one dresses in a dress or a suit and tie and cleans themselve up by bathing and
OK, I'll add my two biggest pet peeves regarding attire - women who
don't cover up sufficiently on top, and pregnant women who wear those
ultra-tight tops. Ugh.
No, It's not just Utah, as some folks have stated. I also grew up in the
60s and 70s. There's been a general decline in how one dresses, male and
female, since the mid/late 60s. This has nothing to do with have/have nots. If
you look at pictures from the 50s or earlier, people even dressed up to go to
the ball game. I have a 1951 photo of a Thanksgiving family get together. The
men were in ties and the women were dressed up as well. Many of these folks were
hard working blue collar workers, and some highly educated. But everyone dressed
up, regardless of socio-ecomonic lever. Now, people go to church in clothes one
wouldn't even wear to recreational outings 50 years ago. It has nothing to
do with income level. We have generally become a nation of slobs!
@JediTobyTooele, UTThe scriptures refer to the Proud as those
who wear expensive fabrics. I've heard it said many times in church
that "everyone can afford a suit," and this is a lie.========= I've bought dozens of $300 and $400 suits at
Deseret Industries for less than $15That's what God is meaning
by "PRIDE", and insisting on or only wearing expensive fabrics.I know "Mormons" who wouldn't be caught dead wearing
anything from D.I., let alone be seen shopping there.P-R-I-D-E
When I was a kid my family lived in Germany. I was often reminded that I
represented Canada. We knew who the Americans were at that time - mid 60's
- because of how poorly they dressed. They were the ones with rollers in their
hair - the ones that looked like they threw on the first thing they picked off
the floor. I am appalled that this lack of respect for their person has invaded
Canada. I remember a comment about the so-called comfort clothing. If it
isn't comfortable then it doesn't fit you. Why have we decided that
cut-offs, old T-shirts, ripped jeans, stockings with runs in them are the height
of sartorial excellence?
Man!, I couldn't agree more with this article!!How we dress is
merely a reflection of who we are on the inside. Period.Wearing
pajamas in public?! Tacky, utterly tacky. You want to look like a slob (guys)
or a frump (ladies)?.....knock yourself out.But I promise you
this:1) If you continually dress like a slob, you will eventually
become one.2) I will absolutely think less of you. No, not as a
human being....I'll still hold a door open for you or pull you out of a
burning car, but less of you in terms of how much (or how little) I trust you to
interact with me and others with class, civility and dignity. Sorry, but if I
have to choose between interacting with you or the person next to you who's
dressed with some class and holds themselves with dignity, they get the nod.3) I will never dress like that. That's not "I'm better
than you" arrogant pride. That's "I know who I am and I will act
like I matter at ALL times."
This article is ridiculous to me. I agree with JediToby. It's annoying he
uses the people of Wal Mart as his low class comparison. Who cares if someone
wears pajamas outside, who cares if someone wears a tanktop to a store. I think
it's funny that people want 'Dress Codes' at a restaurant.
Wearing 'sloppy' clothing only affects the people wearing them. If it
bugs you that the guy next to you wears sweat pants while you eat at a different
table, you need an ego check. For me there is a time to dress nice, but that
does not mean that I feel uncomfortable around those that decide to wear less
'Fashionble' Clothing. It's up for personal interpretation. Times
change, look at what we wore 200, 150, 100, 50 years ago.
Easy options for me. Skirt and a blouse instead of shorts and a T-shirt.
Slacks and a sweater in place of jeans and a sweat shirt. Messy bun instead of a
pony tail. Tinted lip gloss vs. plain Chapstick. Takes the same amount of
time..may be take seconds more to put in earrings and use perfume.
I live in the Midwest, and if you think Utah is behind on the times, wait till
you see what's coming!
Oh brother. Dress nicely if you want and mind your own business about everyone
#1 comment: I love MOST of this article!I completely agree that many, if
not most people, have become lazy, uncouth and unconcerned with modesty and
decency and grooming, etc.. But, as the gap widens between the poor and the
wealthy in these latter-days, we must be careful not to get caught up on our
Rameumptoms. I know many people who would love to dress themselves and their
families with more etiquette and decorum, yet are quite unable to do so. If we
are going to complain of their appearance we need to be ready to offer something
better that they may not be able to provide for themselves.
#2 comment: I think that to class people as "Wal-mart" type people
is completely unfair prejudice and supposition. Wal-Mart is a blessing for
people who cannot afford department stores and the like. D.I. is not available
in Every state. In Fact even the Goodwill here in my state can often have the
same prices or be even more expensive than something brand new at Wal-Mart or
Ross, etc. Lastly, Didn't your mother ever teach you not judge those
who may be overweight (according to your scale), until you have lived their life
and been given their circumstances?
It seems that the preferred fashion style for many Americans is to make yourself
as ugly as possible.Between piercings of every imaginable body part,
tattoos of all kinds -- usually full of skulls and other grotesque images,
clothing that is designed to look worn out and dirty (costing a lot more to buy
because of all the work it takes to make it look that way), unshaven men (and
some women), hair of all colors and looking like it was combed with a
mix-master, we've become a nation in which there appears to be an ongoing
contest for Slob of the Day.Imagine this: Forty years from now, can
you imagine all the little old ladies sporting wrinkled tattoos?
Along with the degradation of appearance, there is also the dreadful degradation
of manners and the increase of foul language. Can they be related?
I haven't noticed what was going on in this world because I don't have
any visual field at all. Last week one of our church member brought in her new
born child to church. I didn't know she was pregnant. Anyway, I won't
have to look harder next time when I go to restaurants which sound scary.
Hopefully Gene Therapy for my eyes would be available soon so I can enjoy the
sight seeing away from crouds.
Agree with the article. My experience has led me to believe that the
uber-casual attire mode causes or is related to poor manners in dinning,
inability to engage in adult level conversation and in general broadcasts a
"I don't give a care for myself or others" attitude.I
have a hard time taking supposed adults seriously when they wear teen-age styles
into their 20'such as "Home-boy" shorts complete with
Name-that-Team tank top and askew ball cap. The same for those who expect the
world to sink to their slovenly level of table manners, speech and dress.We do send messages or signals by dress, manners and speech. Ask anyone
who interviews people for employment. The first 30 seconds are critical, and
you don't get do-overs for a first impression.Manners,
commitment to a reasonable dress code and ability to speak, read books and
converse as an educated adult are still admirable traits to aspire to or
master.The last thing the world needs is an over-the-hill high
school sophomore wanna-be.
I thought I was going to disagree with this article when I read the title. I
thought the author was going to spew out junk about work attire. As in, we
should all be wearing tucked-in dress shirts and ties to work. But,
after reading the article, I just have to say, "Well said." I agree
100%. Good article. The author surprised me by writing something that makes
sense. I don't see a whole lot of that coming out of news media these
@21MOM: Doug has hit it on the nose here. In terms of the weight issue brought
up by a few of the poster let me tell you this. We have, as a society, gotten
fatter over the last 100 years. Look at all the people around you. Most people
have pretty good sized bellies and when you see them in clothes too tight then
it looks bad. Plain and simple. America is becoming obese due to over
consumption and a lack of exercise.
It's perplexing.... because yes, we are more casual, but the same time we
are obsessed with superficial beauty in equal extremes. I am glad that in
today's workplace, at least in my industry, that what you do is more
important than how nifty you dress..... or if you are sporting a 6 pac.... or
have perfect legs.so yes, at the end of the day, I will take hairy
arm pits over a pretty face if the arm pit dude can actually do something more
than look pretty.
to Understands MathOr maybe, its to discern what people are wearing
under their coats w/ all the rain in the NW??Seriously(?), there are
numerous people who wear flip flops where I work. Its lazy and unprofessional
IMO.Don't even get me started on people who wear wool caps when
its 85 degrees or shorts when its 35.
to JediToby"We are all The People of Walmart." Speak for yourself. I like to get my essentially useless swag made in China
from Target re: A Guy With A Brain (yesterday afternoon)Agreed. As for point 2, I agree especially with those who have tat sleeves.
You are not Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2 nor is your skin the Sistine Chapel.
per one old man"Imagine this: Forty years from now, can you
imagine all the little old ladies sporting wrinkled tattoos"Actually, I have. I have said to my friends who have kids in Elementary School
or Jr High that if their kids have any interest in medicine/science encourage
them to become plastic surgeons... In 25 yrs or so, there will be a real
The People of WalMart is an entertainment website, for those who think this
author is singling out people who shop at WalMart. It features photos of
outrageous and unusual dress and grooming encountered by people while shopping
at WalMart. (Obviously, those submitting photos would be WalMart shoppers,
themselves, so it isn't a commentary on everyone who shops there.)
Nothing is more demeaning than a male or female going into a store(even Walmart)
looking like they just got out of bed. When I see someone like that my first
thought is that is the way their life is - unkept, disorganized and no
self-esteem. I don't understand how especially women allow themselves to
get so huge and yet they wear clothing that is for young people. What happen to
re: Erika"The People of WalMart is an entertainment
website...,so it isn't a commentary on everyone who shops there.)"You are correct. It isn't a commentary. Its a reflection.
I'd like to see people take their hats off more, such as when they dine or
enter places where there should be a modicum of respect.
Thank you Captain Obvious.Can you also tell the guy at the 24 Hour Fitness
locker room that it's not okay to walk around naked, even though so many
others do it? Seriously, you have a towel, use it!I know, a topic for
another day, but it's this general malaise of sloppiness,
I-can-do-what-I-want-so-I-will, and lazy attitude about life. Take some
pride in what you do, even if you're just going out for eggs and milk.I still wear a shirt and tie to work and people comment like I'm
over-doing it. Whether you're representing your employer or your
family, your dress says how you feel about that thing.
Doug, fashions have changed in recent years.Actors and singers are
wearing suits and nice dresses on TV -- Justin Timberlake had a song "Suit
and Tie", and "How I Met Your Mother" is always mentioning suits.However, the older generation, who live through the sloppy 1980s, is
looking pretty bad.Some of them are still clinging to schoolboy haircuts,
or toupees that try to make them look as they did when 20.
I recently attended a dance (for adults, not teens) that was clearly advertised
as "formal or semi-formal" dress. Many showed up in tuxedos/formal
dresses. Many showed up in suits and nice dresses. A dismaying number, both
men and women, showed up in blue jeans and T-shirts, and even some shorts. I
completely agree with Doug Robinson on this one. Our attitude is reflected by
our dress, and we express our attitude with our dress. If we take a date to a
"formal" dance dressed in "casual", is it any wonder our
relationship with said person will likely also be excessively casual?
please don't wear golf shirts to weddings!
Doug,Is that a t-shirt you are wearing in your picture representing
your professional work at Deseret News? Just asking... :)