Saturday, January 27, 2007

Undressed for Success

Does anyone get dressed up for anything anymore? There are beautiful clothes in beautiful stores everywhere, but is there any place left to actually wear them?

I'm planning a theatre weekend in London in early March with friends, and last night's dinner discussion turned to trip attire. I was thinking that a London theatre weekend would be a great chance to get all gussied up. Surely, the Brits still dress for an evening out.

Alas, my friends (who frequent London on holiday) tell me that no, people don't dress for the theatre there, and that most people go cas and wear jeans. Aaargh!!! Has denim pervaded everything? What's wrong with people? Doesn't anyone want to dress nicely for anything anymore?

I also can't believe what I see people wear to church. Jeans, and sometimes even shorts, are now "acceptable attire" for church. Even at Easter. When did that happen? And, more importantly, how can we put a stop to it? It's a slippery slope, and soon, we'll just be wearing our pajamas everywhere. I mean why bother to get dressed at all?

It's not like we have strong fashion role models these days. When designers consider Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen as "style icons", we're really in trouble. I remember when they wore diapers, and I'm even less impressed with their attire now. Miniature women in mammoth sunglasses does not a style icon make. And heck, now we can't even get some of these famous fashionistas to wear under garments, let alone appropriate exterior attire.

I understand why we have become utterly obsessed with watching the "red carpet" scene before Hollywood award shows. It's the only time we get to see people dressed up anymore. We're starved for elegance and style in our real lives, so we pile up in front of the TV before the Oscars to try to fill that void. I know women who actually get dressed up for Oscar night to sit and watch it on their televisions. Sad that it's come down to this, isn't it?

I'm getting ready to redo my wardrobe for spring 2007, and I really want to stock it with some beautiful, stylish things, which means I'll be the one out there who is completely overdressed for most everything. Maybe I can start a trend....but I seriously doubt it.


Pearson said...

Agree that we lack genuine glamour in these benighted times, can't help but think though that attending church isn't a time when we miss it - wasn't one of the issues in Genesis that Adam & Eve put clothes on?

M said...

Welcome, Pearson. Thanks for posting.

For me, on many fronts, the way we dress (or don't) signals a sign of respect. I would never think of showing up at a friend's wedding or a funeral in tattered shorts and a tank top -- I'd dress more appropriately out of respect. And I feel that way about dressing for church -- no need to be a glamour puss, but some respect and modesty in attire would be nice. Just seems to be lacking these days. But hey, maybe that's just me.

Miss Forthright said...

Pearson! Fancy seeing you here m'dear! Oh what tangled web links we weave.

As a Brit I can confirm that dressing up doesn't happen much over here anymore- unless you class short skirts and glittery tops at low-class nightclubs dressing up.

M said...

Same here -- people don't dress up anymore. Even work suits have given way to "business casual". You should see how scary "casual Fridays" at the office are now. Eek!

I guess that's why the "in" jeans are $200+ now....people stopped buying the nicer attire in favor of denim, so they decided to mark up the denim!

Look for me in London in March. I'll be the stupid American in the West End, all dressed up with no place to go. :)

Miss Forthright said...

Haha. That's a very good point you make about jeans.

Do you want some good restaurant tips and ideas for things to see while you're here?

M said...

Absolutely. Have visited London a few times and am now over the "touristy" things (although they are wonderful to see). Now more interested in seeing "trendy" London -- where to eat, shop, people watch, etc. Recommendations from the locals are definitely welcomed. Thanks.

SandDancer said...

Hello! I agree about dressing appropriately for the occasion and its nice to make an effort now and then.

I work in the theatre industry and on the whole people don't dress up for theatre nowadays. Its seen as a good thing in the industry though as it has been trying to shake off any notions of it being elitest. But people do still dress up for opening nights so perhaps try to go to one of those if you want a bit of ritz.

Love the dog by the way!

M said...

Welcome Sanddancer! Thanks for the "industry insight". I guess from that perspective, it's a good thing -- opens the theatre up to more people. Good idea on opening night -- I will Google to see what's opening while I'm there.

Baci the wonder Shitzuh is sitting here with me and sends waves your way. :)

Miss Forthright said...

Right, where to start....

1) Notting Hill
Get yourself a London A-Z. Get the tube to Notting Hill Gate and walk down towards Portobello market. Good shops there. Have lunch at The Electric Bar and Grill. Walk down towards Westbourne Grove. More good shops and lots of famous people live there.

2) St Johns Wood
Get off the tube at St Johns Wood. Walk round the corner to Cavendish Avenue. Paul Mccartney lives at number 7. Go back on the the main road and you'll find Abbey Road recording studios and the famous zebra crossing. There are also some lovely restaurants and pubs in the village. If you look on the A-Z you can do a nice walk from here to Primrose Hill-the set of loads of films and music videos. You can then walk down the hill into Regents Park which is absolutely beautiful. The zoo is also worth a visit.

3) If you book now you'd be able to get a table at The Ivy- the most celeb-frequented restuarant in London.

4) If you google it you might be able to find where Daniel Craig lives!

If you want any more ideas let me know.

P.S I'm linking you on my blog.

M said...

Thanks Miss F -- I have been to Notting Hill and Portobello Road but did not really know where to go once I got there.

As for DC....can't find anything specific. Cybersleuthing has come up with: North London, general proximity to Banker's Draught Pub, close to Primrose Hill area, if any of that makes sense. I'd never stalk him at his house....but I wonder where he hangs out for fun! Surely he must shop or eat dinner out from time to time. Although I hear that he's become somewhat of a hermit since the flick came out. :(

My hubby is celebrating a big birthday that weekend. Recommendations on a cool place to celebrate? Dinner/nightlife?

Miss Forthright said...

Well booking dinner at The Ivy is always worthwhile. Google it and you'll find contact details and a menu. Otherwise there's one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants, Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen, or Daphne's in Kensington, or The River Cafe. Menus for all can be found online.

A hotel bar might be nice for drinks- where are you staying? There's the Kensington Roof Gardens (google it) which could be nice too. Otherwise there's hotels like The Hempel in Notting Hill or Claridges... depends on your budget I guess.

M said...

Staying at Carlton Towers. Friends who are traveling with us always stay first time...I don't know much about it except location seems good.

We plan on doing a couple of theatre nights and dinner out. Arriving on a Thursday, leaving on Sunday. Boondoggle weekend to play and shop...not much sleeping anticipated. :) Flying out of Miami...fares were dirt cheap!