Huey Lewis & The News had a great song, “It’s Hip to Be Square.”
We’re seeing a free-fall toward casual these days. One of my Israeli colleagues noted that jeans and sneakers in his country at an event would be classified as “business formal.” But he wears a suit and tie, so as to stand out in the crowd and not blend into it.
We have a slavish fascination with fashion. Women with bear legs in freezing weather, and wearing shoes that they constantly complain are killing them. Men with baseball caps on backward while they shield their eyes from the sun with their hand. Tattered and ripped jeans. Political comments on tee shirts. Bra straps showing. Men with hair colors never found in nature.
To each his own, I guess, but I’ve never sought to “blend in” with the herd. My buyers don’t want still another undifferentiated person in the group. They want someone obviously expert, successful, and willing to set one’s own course.
(I have reached the point where, if a woman tries to hug me in greeting in the morning, I check to see if her hair is wet, since “wash and wear” seems to be acceptable but saturates my shirts!)