Friday, November 19, 2010

The Art of Dressing Up

Is it a lost art in modern America? Certainly not in my mind but I have been stunned on several occasions on what others chose to wear to what I would consider semi-formal events.

Last weekend hubby and I attended a bull and oyster roast put on by the PTA from our children's elementary school. The event was held at the local Elk's lodge (not necessarily formal but can be dressed up) and we paid $35 per person for dinner and unlimited drinks.

This is what we wore and we were by far the most dressed up people at the event:

Here is what the other people wore (not actual pictures of people from the event):

The dressed up jeans and t-shirt. I don't have a problem with this look if you are picking your kid up from school or taking them to soccer but to a $35 per person event? (Photo credit Google images)

There was one other guy wearing a sport coat and tie besides hubby. The third best dressed guy had a dress shirt on and cargo pants and army boots. I am not trying to rag on anyone, cargo pants and army boots are ok but for a $35 per person event? And he was the third best dressed guy in there. (Photo credit Signal One)

The woman were especially lacking. I don't think anyone else was even wearing a casual dress. I saw 2 women with outfits like this, dress slacks, nice top, accessories, well pulled together. This I can live with for the type of event we were at. (Photo credit Express)

Is fashion like politics were everything is local? I didn't grow up here so maybe no one dresses up but I have run into this all over the country as well. When I lived in Colorado I was appalled how few people wore dresses to annual work Christmas parties, although everyone did look very nice and no one wore jeans. Last year hubby and I spent a long weekend in New York City and while there saw a Broadway show. Hubby wore almost the same outfit, I substituted a knee length black halter dress with gold shoes and accessories. We were some of the most dressed up people at the show! On Broadway for goodness sakes. If no one dresses up for a Broadway play these days, when do they dress up?

It isn't about cost either. Both the dresses I described cost $20 each, 1 from Dress Barn and 1 from Target. With both outfits I spent more money on my shoes, $40 each pair from Off Broadway. After investing say $80 total with dress, shoes, and accessories, I have worn each outfit at least 5 times and will continue to wear the outfits for years to come.

So what is it? Am I old fashioned? Has dressing up gone "out of style"? I feel like in my everyday life as a mom and nanny I don't spend much time on myself. I relish the few opportunities a year that I get to get dolled up and truly look pretty. Do other people not feel this way?

Don't even get me started about people wearing jeans to weddings and funerals. That also makes me crazy but is a whole other blog post.

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