The Pleasure of Dressing Up
One of the questions I have been asked is “Why don’t people dress up anymore?” The other is “Why should they?” And I get the feeling that some of these interviewers wish that people would dress up for special occasions.
The Dress Doctors thought of dressing for the occasions as both a social duty and an opportunity. It was a social duty because the world has to look at you and it was an opportunity for you to wear something that would allow you to move beautifully through the world. So for work, dress needs to be tailored and dark, so that you can concentrate on what you’re doing and so can everyone else.
But for an evening out for pleasure …ah, then you can enjoy yourself. As one of the Dress Doctors put it in 1930, evening is a time for “make-believe, imagination, vivacity, glory, and splendor.” Why would you want to wear jeans and a sweatshirt when you can have splendor?
To illustrate my point, I offer a fascinator from Laura Hubka, the talented woman who led the first millinery workshop I ever took. This is one of those cocktail hats that I call “A Party in a Hat.” Put this creation on your head and you will feel playful and flirty, and full of clever repartee. When I show my college students such a hat, I hear a great many sighs and gasps. They seem to sense what a hat can do for you.