For years, I’ve been annoyed at the slovenly among us. I’m hardly a tuxedo-clad metrosexual, but why do so many adult males dress like kids on summer break? Whether I’m at a tech office, a church service, or — heaven forbid — an airplane, it looks like the Sunday morning after frat rush week. Stained T-shirts over big bellies, ill-fitting Wal-Mart shorts, ratty gym shoes — and would it kill you to drag a comb through that shaggy mop?
Growing up in the Southwest, I’m hardly one for undue formality. Shorts and light shirts are essential for several months of the year. But if you’re afraid to carry a styrofoam cup because strangers keep throwing change in it, it’s time to re-evaluate the wardrobe.
It wasn’t always this way. Compare the crowd buying hotdogs at a baseball game; this first shot is from 1920s New York, the second from today.
Today’s men probably have 20 times the net worth of the Brooklyn Dodgers fans, even adjusted for inflation. We have greater sophistication, education and global retail resources. Yet those on the right would be pitied as street urchins and paupers by the gentlemen of Ebbets Field.
I’m not sure quite what to make of this de-evolution, but it appears something significant was lost in our rush to the casual.
What do you think? Is this an out-of-touch call for the “good old days” or should we re-civilize our wardrobes?