Monday, July 25, 2005

Appropriate Clothing

Robin Givhan of the Washington Post deigned to critique the clothing choice made by Mrs. Roberts for her two children (link here). In that same article, she also critiques the shoe choices of Northwestern's Women's Lacrosse team.


I don't know if Ms. Givhan has children. I don't know how old Ms. Givhan is. But when I was growing up, in the '50's & '60's, every kid I knew had three sets of clothes: church/dressy, school, and play. If you went to Catholic school, you wore a uniform. If you went to public school, girls wore dresses or skirts and boys wore slacks and collared shirts. T-shirts, jeans, and sneakers were for play. Dressy clothes were for church and special occasions: church, Easter, dad getting nominated by the President for the U.S. Supreme Court.

My closet is still organized along those principles, although "work clothes" have supplanted "school clothes." I have tried to instill these principles in my children--the idea that you dress appropriately for the occasion. So, yeah, my boys have worn knee socks, oxfords, and short-pant sailor suits. My girls have worn dresses with crinoline petticoats, starched white collars, boys, and patent-leather maryjanes. Being at the White House, Dad being nominated for the Supreme Court, meeting the President--these are major life events. So why not dress up the kids? After all, these may even have been their Easter outfits and at the rate kids grow, they won't be able to wear them much longer. (One reason why short pants on boys are a good idea!)

The women on the Lacrosse Team looked like they took Ms. Givhan's advice about dressing in Gap-style clothing (and price point), yet she criticized them for wearing flip-flops. Perhaps she did not note the irony: learning to dress appropriately begins at home at a young age, when the adults--okay, when mom picks out the outfits. So which would you rather have, Ms. Givhan? Flip-flops or "Old World"?

(H/T: The Anchoress)