When did we stop dressing like grown-ups? With every episode of Mad Men, I find myself longing for men in suits, ties, and those great hats that our daddies used to wear and women in shapely dresses, suits, and gloves.
Adults dressed like grown-ups for the first 12-14 years of my life, then it all went to hell in a hand basket. While leaving behind the classic late 50's/early 60's fashion, we never moved forward enough to coolness of The Jetsons, opting instead for dowdy fashion statements like platform shoes and drab pantsuits. Nehru jackets and lime-green polyester leisure suits sounded the death-knell of smart, chic fashion for men and women, I think.
President Kennedy is credited for single-handedly killing the men's hat industry, because he didn't wear one at his Inauguration. Even I know that's false, since he wore a top-hat for the occasion. OK, so we can't blame JFK for men shunning those lovely grey fedoras of a bygone era. Still, I would love to see them make a come-back. Guys, put away those baseball caps (unless you're actually playing baseball) and grab a real man's hat.
I don't know when women stopped wearing gloves, usually white ones, whenever they went out. I love the idea of gloves year-round. I am at the mercy of public transport and hate putting my bare-naked hands on handles, poles, and stairway railings. Yes, it's true, those white gloves would be mighty dirty by the end of the day, but I would feel so much safer having a bit of fabric between me and whatever's lurking on door-railings. Plus, they look adorable. But not with dowdy pantsuits.
Looking around the subway car this morning, I noticed very few people dressed for business - a few men in suits/ties, a couple of women in nice dresses, but beyond that it was sloppy, dress-for-comfort stuff. We all looked run-down and sad. Let's face it - if the people of New York City aren't wearing classic, neat styles, then nobody is.
I think we could change this sad state of fashion by bringing back men's felt hats and women's white gloves. I do not, however, advocate bringing back stiff girdles, garter belts and stockings - uncomfortable and a pain in the rear.
OK, I hear you all moaning out there, dressed in your sweatpants and running shoes. But I'd give anything to bring the Don Draper-Joan Holloway look back to the workplace.
Think I could pick up some white gloves at Bloomingdale's or Lord & Taylor?