It was certainly true of my dad. He started his career in the late 1930s. He worked in an office. By the time I came along he was wearing his 1940s-style suit with wide lapels. He had a white shirt, oxford shoes and fedora hat.
I remember he used to pay me 10 cents to shine his shoes. I would watch him shave in the morning, using a shaving brush and a mug of shaving soap. In the winter he wore a vest, complete with a pocket watch, with a thin chain draped across his stomach. And this was his style, right up until the day he retired in the mid-1980s.
You can see the kind of clothes he wore if you watch a black-and-white movie from the 1940s. Or, maybe featured on Mad Men, which was channeling the 1950s, although I'm sure the Mad Men suits were cut with a little more style.
My mother was marginally more up-to-date . . . but not by much. She never wore slacks, only a dress or skirt. And I remember she wore a hat in church. It was a big day (whenever that happened, sometime in the 1960s) when the ladies were no longer required to wear a hat in church. Horrors! But you'd never catch my mother in church with a bare head.
I make fun of my parents, but in truth, I'm no different. As I confessed a few blog posts ago, I'm a man of the 1990s. I still wear my Dockers, my polo shirt -- my corporate casual dress shirt when I go out to a restaurant. For special occasions I still wear the navy blue blazer that I bought in the 1990s (although B made me buy a new suit for her son's wedding last spring). And dress shoes for me? Penny loafers.
|Fashion of the future|
But what has me worried is my son. He wears a black cap emblazoned with the word "Devil" across the front. He sports a hipster's short beard. He invariably dresses in skinny jeans and a black t-shirt with the name of a rock band on it -- "Bad Breeding," "Fight Like Apes," "Warm Brew," "Rat Fist," "Night Riots."
Now, to be fair, my son is not quite 30 yet, and he is in the music business. Still, is he going to be wearing a "No Brain" or "Karma Killers" t-shirt 40 years from now when he goes in for his Medicare checkup?