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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Proper Attire

I'm going to go on what my children call an "old lady rant". This is one of those times when I definitely show my age.
I attended a funeral this past week. I was brought up to understand that there was such a thing as "proper attire" for such events. In other words, one does not attend a funeral wearing such things as athletic shoes, sweatsuits, or jeans. One also (in my world) does not wear loud colors to a funeral. Accordingly I put on a dark plaid skirt, a dark knit jacket, a turtleneck (it was cold) and a scarf. I wore stockings and a pair of low heeled pumps. My mother would have been proud.
To my astonishment, at least half of the people in attendance at the funeral service were wearing items from the abovementioned list of verboten attire.
Now, I know that as a nation, we went through this with the "flip-flops at the White House" episode last year. I know that in some ways we have beaten a dead horse on the subject of dressing appropriately. But this was a funeral!!
I have long since "given up" on my expecations for attire at the symphony, the opera and the ballet. Those bastions of culture were long ago made casual and informal. I go with no expectations that anyone will "dress up" (other than me, of course). I have also given up on dress expectations for fancy restaurants, church services and business conferences. But I really still thought that weddings and funerals were somehow sacred and still dressy.