Trendy, comfort the appropriate attire in today’s casual age

Sault Star columnist Nadine Robinson weighs today’s fashion with ol’ time etiquette.

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I was heading to a friend’s house the other day to curl up on the couch and watch a movie. I started to wonder what the appropriate attire etiquette would be in that case, because the last time they gave me a hoodie and shorts to change into, so could I show up in my own comfies?

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Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to leave the house in jogging pants. It was not formal enough attire for the unwashed masses, even for the people of Walmart. That said, Walmart was not in my city when I was of the age where I was being told what I could or couldn’t wear.

We also never had a discussion about yoga pants/tights because they were a trend that hadn’t yet begun. Tights back then were pantyhose, typically translucent and with ugly cotton gussets, with full feet as well. You’d never leave the house wearing only those “tights.”

A friend’s teen recently told me that the “old” woman she works for told her that she couldn’t wear yoga pants/tights to work anymore. The teen was astonished. “What will I wear, if I can’t wear jeans and I can’t wear tights?”

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My closet has that answer. I have a row of dress pants hanging with dust that has built up on the top edge at the hanger because of lack of use lately, especially as pants were optional for online meetings throughout the pandemic. Nowadays, when I dress business casual, I’m pulling from that rack or sometimes wearing coloured jeans or dress cargo pants, often black, beige, or burgundy.

On weekends and evenings, out come the jeans (including ripped ones), and athletic wear, including jogging or yoga pants with hoodies or t-shirts.

It seems strange that my brain was trying to decide if I should wear comfy pants with no holes, or less comfortable jeans adorned with holes and rips. All of this decision making in the name of dressing to leave the house. How is it that pants with holes in them are even a thing in Northern Ontario, let alone anywhere? It does seem absurd to pay, typically, more for jeans that are pre-damaged.

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(I realize how old I sound writing this, and can almost hear my grandfather saying the exact same thing, only in his refined British accent. Then again, he would wear a dress shirt and sweater vest when he was dressed down at home.)

I also remember being told “blue and green should never be seen” and this is another rule that seems to have gone by the wayside. One of my favorite outfits is a pair of dark jeans and a forest green “momma bear” shirt.

How about “no white pants after Labour Day”? Is that still a thing? I personally don’t own any white pants purely out of practicality.

I do typically follow “wear darker pants than shirts,” “match your belt with your shoes,” and “never wear white socks with dark pants.” Also, in business situations, I won’t wear a ball cap, or logo clothing, unless we’re on a golf course. I believe that less is more with makeup, and I prefer quality pieces of clothing over disposable fashion.

With all that said, I did wear the jogging pants to go watch the movie in a couch cocoon, but stopping at the store for snacks was a bridge too far.

Nadine Robinson’s column runs most Saturdays. You can reach her at the.ink.writer@gmail.com or on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @theinkran.

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