Something that dismays me a bit is the dressing down of America.
We really noticed it last night. It was a very nice restaurant we went to, and while I didn't wear a dress, I wore nice slacks and a sweater, and Ken also wore slacks and a sweater. While we were eating, they seated someone next to us, and the guy was wearing jeans and a denim shirt. They were also going to the comedy show, which was not a dressy event by any means, but the restaurant WAS--or at least it should have been.
It was really apparent this past summer, too, when we took our cruise. There were two formal nights in the dining room, when women were expected to wear dresses, and the men tuxedos, suits, or sport coats and slacks. The kids initially didn't seem thrilled by this, but once they got dressed up, I think they realized how fun it can be to be just a tiny bit elegant. They both looked great, and they both commented several times on my "cool" dresses. Unfortunately, even on the formal nights, some of the guys at the table next to us were wearing very casual clothes, including baseball caps. I sent Royal Caribbean an email about a few concerns (as well as compliments) I had, and one of them was that if they are going to have a dress code in the dining room, they should probably enforce it. We really wanted the kids to see and experience a dressy occasion and formal atmosphere, and while they did get to experience that, it was spoiled just a little bit by seeing the casual attire at the next table.
Believe me, I'm as casual as they come, she wrote, while lounging in her flannel pants and sweatshirt. However, on the occasional event or night out when I have a chance to dress up, I really enjoy it, and as my folks like to say, I "clean up pretty well." It's fun for me to wear a nice dress, and pretend for a little while that I'm a tiny bit elegant instead of the klutz that I usually am! I think we've lost something in becoming overly casual. Maybe a sense of refinement, style, and grace, or maybe just a sense of believing that we can be butterflies for a night.