Casual or not casual ? The grumbling revolution.

Jan 13, 2013

19th ProtestThere was a time, not so long ago, when men wore ties of great quality with three-piece suits. At weekends bow ties would be donned and suspenders kept up their pants. No matter the trade, or the social level, man was dressed to impress, from bankers and sales representatives to professors and doctors. Hats, caps, gloves, scarves were proudly worn and completed a formal, intelligent look. It was a time that was more elegant, before the invasion of ‘casual’.

It began with Friday, from the imagination of a very Americanized manager. The idea of “Friday wear” was introduced. The older generation of office workers, and city dwellers that had for most their lives spent well dressed in woollen suits and polished oxford brogues were ordered to be young and “cool”. Essentially, jeans became part of the workers wardrobe, and even those who would rarely stretch beyond a pair of beige trousers and a bow tie at the weekends were now donning denims. Soon the older generation retired taking with them their hats and braces, pathing the way for this new breed of dressers to rule the roost. With suspiciously bright white teeth and shiny grey suits a new man now ran the cities. Even their shirts became less formal, often with the top button unleashed to emphasize the tan they had picked up from their holiday in Majorca. Language changed, and even food became faster and more American. At lunch there would be no shame in ordering a portion of “French fries”, there’s no chance of them staining their bright white teeth. Of a more formal occasion man no longer dressed in his dinner jacket and best silk bow tie. Now a “tux” was worn with synthetic leather loafers and a polyester tie.

The situation was untenable, and the significance of dress was losing ground. The new code of costume was found everywhere, in tight jeans and shirt, a brown jacket in linen-wool blend carelessly thrown over the shoulders, never shaved. It became normal, even trendy, to look like this, it even became intellectual but their concepts were as hollow as their appearance. Who knew, for the first time our Grandfathers were better dressed. Societies fashion hierarchy change, people looked down when they used to look up. Students were the people that fashion was aimed at and the older generation, and more traditional dress sense was ushered to the corners of society. People learned design, not to create perfect tailoring or how to work with the best materials, but instead to sell brands and get every tom, dick and harry in a cap of some sort. Professionals no longer attended meetings and conferences dressed in suits, but in trainers and ripped jeans. Sales representatives abandoned their ties to resemble their customers. Young MPs attended the National Assembly neck naked, not wearing a tie. . Even the Prime Ministers thought it trendy to wear cufflinks with naked ladies on them.

Britain was all but finished, 62 million citizens with the right to vote covered head to toe in clothing made in China all for the sake of “cool”. But in the depths of society, a revolt was brewing. Dozens of young people, disappointed not only by the quality but by the unethical sourcing of clothes, hypothesized a change. Young managers in acrylic sweaters were swept away, and citizens, disillusioned, began to favour their Grandfather’s old clothes. The time has come! Ties, hats, and bow-ties were back and the revolt began ...

George Marsden

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