Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Standards of Dress: The high school graduation

 High school students, Pennsylvania, 1942.

I originally started this thread at the time of my son's high school graduation.  Like a lot of threads around here that get sort of started, it marinated a long time and I'm only know just getting back around to it.

Indeed, as an aside, I'll note that some marinate so long they spoil, and are discarded.  I usually have about 100 draft posts, some up to two years old, that are lingering around.  I shouldn't do that, as the older they get, the less likely it is that they'll ever be finished.

Anyhow, what I started to note here is that during the recent high school graduation I was surprised by how dressed down the crowed was, and I don't mean the students.  They were generally better dressed than many of the adults.  There are truly no standard in dress anymore.

Outdoor graduation, 1941.

Even as late as the 1960s a crowd of adults here turned out for a high school graduation would have been well dressed. . . nice dressed for the women, and suits and ties for the men.  Not any longer. T-shirts adorned a lot of the adults.

I'm not much better, I'll note. I think I wore a polo shirt in the school colors.

This probably isn't good, in all sorts of ways. For one thing, it  pre loads an assumption in the minds of the young.  Things here aren't the same as they are everywhere.  Indeed, I was recently in Houston in a business hotel and the men lining up for the early breakfast each day were definitely dressed.  Maybe our standards locally have declined more than they have elsewhere, which means when our kids end up in that environment, which seems to be the direction society is engineered to send them, there will be a bit of a learning curve.

Crowd of parents and well wishers at a segregated high school, Georgia, 1941.

Out of curiosity, if you've been to an event like this recently, how were people dressed?

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