A few weeks ago, I found myself watching a special on one of our local news stations about the 100th anniversary of the St. Louis Zoo. I thought it was so very interesting. It was really amazing to hear about the beginning of it all, some parts dating back to the World's Fair in 1904.
But what I thought was the most intriguing was a picture they shared of a group of visitors back in the 1930's (if I remember correctly).
The women were wearing nice dresses. The men were in suits and ties. The children followed this pattern, looking very classy as well. Everyone topped off the ensemble with a hat to match. The narrator commented that the people would wear their Sunday best for a day out like this.
Classy. All of them. Just for a trip to the zoo.
This got me to thinking deeper about something that has been on my mind for a while now. Why has our culture fallen away from classy attire, even for trips to the zoo...or to the theater...or even to the store?
Have you ever looked at pictures from the 50's or 60's of a group of people walking along a sidewalk? Or footage from those years of just something simple like a fair parade?
Or this picture I found from 1956...
...notice the women, who are just visiting what I think is Disney Land, wearing dresses. The men are wearing nice shirts and pants, most are wearing hats.
Do you know what my family would look like if I went to Disney Land?
Pretty much like this. This was the day we went to the zoo in the spring.
Is it a good or bad thing that we have drifted away from classy? Over the course of the last 40 years or so, women have gone from always wearing skirts and dresses to hardly wearing them at all. In fact, if I see a woman wearing a skirt at Wal-Mart, I assume it has to do with her religious beliefs, not because she just wants to look feminine or likes skirts.
And what does this mean for me? I am a self-proclaimed, t-shirt and jeans girl. When it comes to comfort, I'm all about it. I'm frumpy, I know. But I wonder what it would be like if I began to think and dress like the authors of Feelin' Feminine? "To encourage, inspire, and challenge ladies to rediscover the treasure of dressing in a feminine manner."
It's not just women, though. I don't see men wear ties all that often. No suits. No shined shoes. Maybe you see a man in a suit and tie if he's going to work in a nice, business office. But you wouldn't see this if you went to a Harvest Festival in the fall.
Are we better off now? Or have we lost something that made us a classy culture?
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