Dressing down: The new high fashion

You know you are in Southern California, if…That catchphrase popped into my head last weekend when I attended a lovely event at a lovely hotel for which the invitation said, “Cocktail attire.” As I walked in, I swear I could hear the Boston matrons gasp.

Most of the women leapt at the chance to break out some jewelry, that little black dress and a pair of heels, but even some of the ladies were a bit casual. And then there were the men. Let’s just say most of the waiters were better dressed.

Tropical shirts abounded, along with short-sleeve shirts over T-shirts. At least there were no ball caps. There were coats and ties of the average-businessman variety, but don’t be looking for the slick or tailored dudes you see at the Bacardi party. This is not the East Coast. It’s not even L.A. And I suppose overall, that’s a good thing.

Part of my problem was that I was raised by a real pair of fashionistas who loved getting dressed up. I think, though, that men truly underestimate how much most women adore seeing a man in a suit and tie, and simply drool over a tuxedo or dress uniform. I got over expecting any such thing in my day-to-day or even night-to-night activities, long ago. My husband was on the forefront of the “Jeans and running shoes can go anywhere” movement.

Fortunately, our lives have not had a lot of call for fancy dress. He does own his own slightly-outdated tuxedo, however the only time you will see him wear it is on Halloween. He makes a dashing Dracula.

Maybe I will become nonchalant about our changing dress code one day, but I suspect I am at that age where one accepts she will never feel quite right in cutting-edge fashion. No matter how hard I try, my mother’s voice will always ring out as I step up to the mirror. “I think we need to dress that up just a bit.”

 

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