Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dressing Up - Again?

Good News – You gotta take what you can find.

In these crazy times, it’s good to see this – young men dressing up again. Credit (or blame) Mad Men – a show I’ve never seen – I really don’t care. I just say. “Thank God!”

“The older generation, say 45-plus, look upon success as being able to dress down,” said Marshal Cohen, the chief analyst at NPD Group, which tracks retail sales. “They think being able to wear jeans is the epitome of achievement.”


I’m not a dress-up freak. I enjoy being able to wake up in a crappy mood and say, “Whew – at least I don’t have to wear a suit” – throw on a sweater and khakis and still be better dressed than 75% of the work force. On the other hand, I still wear ties and sport coats – sometimes more than once a week!

Even in these times, dressing up has to count for something. I may have shared this anecdotal evidence before: When I wear a tie and/or coat to work, the execs (and the mail guy) will greet me as I pass in the hall. If I wear khakis and polo shirt, they look right through you.

As my dad always said, you can never really overdress. If you show up at an event and everyone is casual, just take off your jacket. If that doesn’t quite cut it, remove the tie. When all else fails, roll up your sleeves. Of course, this advice came from a guy who marched across Germany in the Spring of ’45 wearing a tie. Even though he hadn’t changed underwear in 6 weeks, he still shaved and wore a tie. (He told me that was a 3rd Army thing – Patton and all.)

Another reason I enjoy dressing up some is that I can have my “Mr. Rogers moment” when I come home from work. Changing out of my work clothes, into more casual togs completes the transition from work to home.

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