Where Has All the Classy Clothing Gone?

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Every generation has its own fashion trends. Every era also includes groups who “do their own thing” so-to-speak, regarding fashion, perhaps ruffling the feathers of the more straight-laced segments of society. For instance, on the Frontier, strong-minded, active women pushed the envelope by ditching their cumbersome skirts and wearing the knicker-style work pants marketed toward men in those days.

The 1960s and 70s are marked by hippy clothes and “the flower child,” trends that basically used anything and everything as an easel upon which to spray paint psychodelic patterns and, of course, flowers. Also, who can forget leisure suits?

Along with styles of pants, dresses, hemlines, and overall fashion sense, hairstyles, eyeglasses, shoes and other accessory items changed with the time as well. However, no matter what era we‘re talking about, there is always (or, at least, used to always be) available classy clothing and people who wanted to look classy when they went to a job interview, say, or to a party or church, or to entertain friends and family in their own homes.

Have you noticed how greatly the quality of clothing has declined? Maybe that has something to do with the vanishing act classy clothing has played in recent years; people might figure that since dyes fade with a single washing, and clothes fall apart with normal wear and tear nowadays, it’s simply not worth investing in a classy wardrobe when pajama pants, a Doors t-shirt and a pair of crocs will do.

When I pull out the old boxes of family photos, one of my favorite parts of all the imagery contained therein is to see the clothes. Yes, some of the outfits are quite funny (Think: tube socks and shorty-shorts on all the guys) but mixed in with the humorous shots of legwarmers, big hair and electric blue eyeshadow pics are the ones where everyone is dressed in their best for Christmas or those that allow us to catch glimpses of daily life from the fashion point of view of the WW II era or the 1950s.

Kids today would likely consider even the casual wear of long ago rather “formal.” This brings to mind a memory of my own childhood that includes the Italian grandfather of my best friend. He used to visit from Italy, every few years. What I remember most about him (aside from the fact that he would drink peppermint schnapps at 7:30 a.m., was that he always wore a suit. I recall watching him work in his son‘s garden in a suit. I now know that it was part of the psyche of his generation. He was from another country of origin and was visiting the United States. It called for decorum and classy clothing.

Music, finances, locale, Hollywood and personal conviction are all issues that prompt fashion decisions. I must say, however, that I usually consider myself an open-minded person and can appreciate individuality even if someone’s choices do not suit my own preferences but lately, I find myself mourning the loss of classy clothing. It almost feels like wearing classy clothing would make you stick out like a big, sore thumb, almost to the point of looking ridiculous rather than stupendous.

Some say it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed; however, when society no longer holds itself to any moral standard concerning fashion, there’s no more bar to aim for. I cringe every time I see men enter business establishments or other people’s homes without first removing their hats. I cringe when I see adults slinking around convenience stores in pajama pants and slippers, complete with parts of their anatomy on display for all the world to see.

My husband had a scheduled meeting last year on an affluent client’s property where he was to meet with a project manager regarding some work that was being done. The project manager happened to be a female, who showed up to this meeting with my husband and the affluent client, wearing cut-off shorts, a tank top and flip-flops. It sparked conversation in our home for the next several days for both


Writer Bio: Judy Dudich

Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.

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