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The List: October 7, 2019

The List: October 7, 2019

Last week, I joined a busload of friends, neighborhood moms, and some of our kids for a day trip to New York to see Aladdin on Broadway. The day before, I had spent, arguably, too much time trying to figure out what we should wear since it is October, yet it was supposed to reach the mid-90s during the day. I wanted us to be comfortable since it was a long, hot day, but still appropriate for the occasion. 

As we walked into the theater, my one friend turned to me and said, “Are we getting old, or does no one get dressed up anymore?”

We are getting older, but it’s sad to see the state of things. So many people looked like they had (literally) rolled out of bed. Others were in cut off shorts, and flip flops like they were having a day at the beach.

Society has become so casual, and I think it’s a shame because if you’re not getting dressed for a Broadway show, or a holiday party, or even a wedding, what are you getting dressed up for? What is worth celebrating?

The List - October 7, 2019

Growing up, one of the biggest lessons my mom instilled in me was the importance of and value in having proper manners. We wrote thank-you notes and referred to adults as Mr. or Mrs.

When I was older; I never went to someone’s house as a guest without a gift. And when we went out, whether it was to a neighborhood restaurant, the Boardwalk in Wildwood New Jersey, or to see a show, she made sure my brothers and I were dressed well.

Back then, it may have felt old-fashioned, but now, as a grown woman with kids of my own, I think it’s one of the best gifts my mom gave me. I didn’t know it at the time, but all these little things she made us do, really set me up for success, in so many ways.

Understanding how to operate in society helped me advance in all areas of life. Knowing how to be courteous, and mannerly allows me communicate well with just about anyone. Because I treat everyone with respect, I get it in return. 

It’s been a huge point of leverage for me. 

Even more than my success, what she gave me was a guideline for how to live life well. If you’re going to do something, or go somewhere, do it the nicest way you can. When she put us it that special outfit, weather it was a dress for Easter or an extra cute tee shirt and shorts at the shore, she was showing us that we were doing something that required extra attention and it was worth respecting and celebrating. 

I wonder, what do you think about how casual our world has become? Let us know in the comments below. 

Other things on The List: 

2. Sale Alert: Need a new raincoat? This Cole Haan packable coat with a hood has been a reader favorite for years and is on sale for $130.  Grab it now. 

3. Con: I cannot get enough of the drama and stupidity surrounding WeWork. The video included in this article explains the flaws in their business plan well, and this article sums up the debacle that is their corporate culture

4. Add to Cart: I love this pajama set by Splendid, makes me long for a weekend I stay in my jammies past 7 am. 

5. Good Stuff: H&M has SO MANY GREAT PIECES this fall. I have my eye on this cozy sweater, this brown sweater would be perfect for Thanksgiving, and this off the shoulder cable knit sweater looks so much more expensive than its $40 price tag. Stay tuned for a more detailed post this week. 

6. Bill’s Brain: If you haven’t watch this 3 part documentary about Bill Gates, put it on your list. It’s absolutely fascinating. 

Have a great week everyone!

 

The List: October 7, 2019

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Annie

Monday 21st of October 2019

I have just read all of the above comments and totally agree, it is polite to dress appropriately for the occasion, it shows good manners and respect for the company that you’re in as well as self respect. Also agree that a perfect example comes from watching old movies, people seemed to exude an inner confidence partly due to knowing they were making the best of themselves, this in turn is often greeted with compliments which reaffirms self confidence and that makes us give our best to those around us which has a knock on effect. It’s not about being snowy or flash it’s about projecting the best version of yourself which increases positivity around you. I think we all have those people in our lives who make the extra effort which in turn makes us want to dress up even if we’re just going for coffee and we all know people who will turn up anywhere half dressed that will make us feel overdressed. How we present ourselves affects how those around us interact with us, it is human nature to judge how someone may be feeling about themselves based on how they present themselves even if we do get it wrong. We all know that true beauty comes from within and some people really do struggle in knowing how to make the most of themselves, we all have different budgets and lifestyles.

I would love to see an article on how anyone can look presentable for all different ages/budgets/occasions as I think it would benefit us all and in turn it would be great for everyone to input their tips from basic ideas for going to the supermarket/ taking kids to school to celebrations and formal occasions. Maybe it is worth putting all of this advice out there for others to read and add to. Some of the best tips I find come from our mothers and grandmothers who lived in eras where things were not so readily available yet they still maintained classic looks even whilst at home yet they still had busy lifestyles.

Also I read the comment about H&M and I do agree with what you said, there is so much waste now and shops are producing and selling clothes o cheap and fast. The idea is to buy classic clothes and some of these basic retail outlets are great for people with a lower incomes to buy basics the problem is when we buy too much into what we don’t need and fashion is so throwaway. Times have changed since we bought staples that we were sad to let go of because they were too old and worn, people seem to have a wear once attitude as that is how clothes are presented to us as fashion literally changes to the opposite for the next season. We need to learn what looks and feels good on us season after season, enjoy what we wear and invest in good quality. That’s what I love about this blog, our wardrobes have been overly filled with things that are not always personal to us and reorganising what we have makes us appreciate what is already there instead of lusting after the latest obsession which won’t be around next season. I really enjoyed reading the comments on how you all still dress up. I personally love to see people dressed up even if slightly overdressed as it shows the anticipation of what they expected the occasion to be was high and they also look like they have taken the time to look their best for people around them even if they are doing it only for themselves. It can only be a good thing if we make the most of ourselves and celebrate everything good about ourselves and our lives .

Annie

Monday 21st of October 2019

Hi I love your blog. I read it all the ti,e and it helps me to stay focused and on top of my wardrobe% I turn 40 next year and it is amazing to find a blog written by someone with similar goals. I too do not want to dress like a child and follow endless trends yet I do want to take pride in my appearance and look the best I can even more so now. I have spent this year decluttering my wardrobe and clearing things from my late 20’s and early 30’s as they no longer suit my lifestyle and also now look very dated. I have done this with each season as there was so much I was holding on to for sentimental reasons but if I did not reach for it I donated it, some still with price tags. I feel so much better and find it much easier to put together a streamlined look appropriate for the occasions I now have in my life. Thank you so much for your fabulous articles , you’ve been a huge help!

Also I got the H&M sweater you linked a few weeks ago and it it so lovely, really cosy,warm and stylish as well as affordable.

Thank you, I look forward to your future posts.

Kind regards

Annie

Alison

Sunday 13th of October 2019

Just wanted to comment briefly on the H&M comment. I thought also that it wasn’t a good company, but I just listened to another podcast talking about fast fashion. While fast fashion still isn’t great as a whole, there are some companies that are better than others. H&M is apparently trying to make better/more sustainable/socially conscious choices in their materials. Two sites to check out are Fashion Revolution and GoodOnYou where you can see the ratings of various companies/brands. I think if we can, yes we should be doing our research and buying from environmentally/socially conscious companies, but not everyone can do that. Buying from H&M is still a better choice than Forever21, etc. just wanted to put that out there! Thanks for a wonderful post!

Mrs. Todd

Thursday 10th of October 2019

I am wholeheartedly agree! How much more of an effort is it to put on a pair of nice pants and a stylish top, give some consideration to what shoes are appropriate, than to grab whatever is on top of the clothes pile?

Kathryn

Wednesday 9th of October 2019

Oh, no, I did not think you were saying that! You're right, I was speaking of a very specific situation. I agree that we've become too casual. For me, I am amazed when I see people in public, in pajamas, or in what appear to be pajamas. It makes me wonder on a deeper level what that person thinks of her/himself. I meant, and did not communicate well, was my hope that younger people may be positively nurtured and influenced by an enriching experience. The feeling of being uplifted in your heart can translate to a desire to project that feeling to the outside world. I think that shows in the ways we choose to present ourselves to the world. There are many people who know better than to wear cutoffs and flip-flops to the theater (for example) and do it anyway. But for those who do not, I see an experience like a play or symphony as a gateway. Change from the inside, out, in tiny steps.

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