Inventing Informality: Clemente’s “Dress Casual: How College Students Redefined American Style”

Here’s a long-overdue look at Dierdre Clemente’s book “Dress Casual,” which credits — or blames — college students for the concept of informal clothing. It’s a must for every serious student of the history of fashion and culture, and you can order it on Amazon here.

* * *

Exposure to the world of tailored menswear enthusiasts, at least in its online incarnations, is often accompanied with sighs and lamentations on the casualization of American society. Casual Friday has seeped into the other workdays of the week, staining the pure white dress shirt and gray flannel suit with shades of purple polos, denim, and wildly designed running shoes. The most desperate menswear enthusiast simply refuses to live in the world that he sees around him and contents himself with being the only person in tailored clothing in a vast desert of “athleisure” wear.

But where does casual dress come from? What is behind this seemingly unstoppable impulse in America, and elsewhere, that prompts people to opt for comfort and practicality over starched collars and pressed trousers? Dierdre Clemente, professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (and an early contributor to Ivy-Style.com), explores this question, as well as the social significance of clothing and modes of dress in Dress Casual: How College Students Redefined American Style. Clemente examines men’s and women’s wear on college campuses and beyond from the early 1900s through the rise of the Ivy League style and into the 1990s and the emergence of business casual. Clemente is no mere chronicler of fashion, however. She utilizes clothing as a means to chart monumental changes in American society. As Clemente points out “Casual clothing matters because it is what Americans increasingly wore as they lived out the “big picture” changes of the twentieth century: the rise of the middle class, consumerism, suburbanization, higher education, and women’s and civil rights.”

Clemente traces the modern American wardrobe to the first half of the twentieth century when middle-class college students vied with administrators and fashion promoters over control of campus dress. Then, as now, college students cherry-picked the styles peddled by magazines and variously opposed the requirements of school deans, and created a wardrobe uniquely their own. College students were the driving force behind the creation of casual dress, not Hollywood, high fashion houses, or adult elites. Clemente argues that the spread of casualness from campuses to the adult world could only have been accomplished by the middle-class who, increasingly, sent their sons and daughters to college. It was they alone who had the demographic power, financial means, and tendency to blur the lines between class, race, and gender that would make casual the default mode of dress for all Americans regardless of background. Casual dress, then, was the battle flag of the increasingly influential American middles.

Countering contemporary images of fashion as a female centered industry, Clemente reveals that it was college men who first came to prominence as arbiters of casual style. The beginning of the twentieth century saw the emergence of a new young male, determined to control his own body and to define his own version of masculinity around idealized notions of athleticism, youth, and soft collars. Print exposés of college life, aimed at middle-class parents who aspired to send their own children to college, popularized the clothes worn by male collegians. Other popular magazines fostered the spread of casual styles to campuses across the country as student bodies vied with, and compared, one another. The era of the clean-cut, sweater-clad, pennant-waving college male had arrived.

Female college students underwent their own transformation as well though, unlike their male counterparts, they faced significant resistance from school administrators. School officials tried, with varying success, to mandate what female college students could wear in various social situations like attending classes or studying in the library. Clemente demonstrates that female college students faced the most restricting regulations on co-educational campuses. The heated mixture of young men and women, away from parental supervision for the first time, provided the battlegrounds on which students and administrators fought for sartorial supremacy.

Of course the administrators did not win. The wardrobe pioneered by college students, both men and women, was far too practical and versatile for the middle-class to ignore. Odd jackets, denim, casual shirts, and sweaters that could be worn in a variety of social situations gradually eclipsed the suit and other more formal garments, not only for college students, but middle-class adult men and women as well. Then, as now, American consumers looked to the young as the vanguards of style.

Clemente charts the changing wardrobe of the American college student in a way that will be satisfying for the collegiate style enthusiast. For instance, she details the collegiate male’s transition from the sack suit to the more casual sport coat or blazer as the foundation of daily campus wear. However, she also makes broader claims about race, class, and gender that elevates her book from a simple modern day antiquarianism to a work that makes significant contributions to historical discussions about consumerism, youth culture, and the increasingly blurred lines between the upper, middle, and lower strata of American society. Clemente is not the first to focus on popular styles of clothing and material culture to explain changing social conditions, however, she is the first that I know of to place clothes themselves at the center of the story in a modern context. What Michael Zakim did, in his ground breaking work Ready Made Democracy: A History of Men’s Dress in the American Republic, 1760-1860 for early American history, Clemente does for modern America. Dress Casual is a worthwhile and accessible read for both the lay-enthusiast and the scholar of social history. — PANI M.

47 Comments on "Inventing Informality: Clemente’s “Dress Casual: How College Students Redefined American Style”"

  1. Bravo, Pani, for this thougtful piece.

  2. Caustic Man | June 27, 2017 at 2:40 pm |

    Thanks for sending the book along, Christian. Wonderful read.

  3. A well-worn OCBD is just as comfy as a t-shirt or polo shirt. WWII-era fit khakis (think Bills M1) are much more comfortable than denim jeans. It takes all of ten seconds to knot a tie, and, if comfort is the matter at hand, I would put my old flannel blazer up against polar fleece any day of the week.

    Comfort isn’t the issue. Never has been. What’s the psychology behind the thumbed nose at collared shirts and sport jackets? Who knows.

    Let me offer a friendly edit of the latter portion of the first paragraph:

    The most committed tailored clothing enthusiast dares to stick out in world populated by people who–let’s be honest–have become thoroughly bored with themselves (who can blame them? How much can one do with a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers?) He quietly applauds himself for membership in a small yet recognizable club where good taste triumphs daily. He remains a flowing font of elegance in the middle of that vast desert that is, well, “athleisure” wear. Pity the victim of the “atleisure” movement. He is the worst kind of bland, the blandest sort of vanilla, the sleepiest resident of Snoozeville.

  4. Caustic Man | June 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm |

    S.E., Your edit certainly has a very specific point of view. I tried to be reasonably neutral in my imagining of a menswear enthusiast who may not actually exist. I couldn’t bring myself to be so partisan when examining the subject, but I’m certainly happy that someone did.

  5. whiskeydent | June 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm |

    SE

    The picture of someone sitting by himself and judging everyone else around him is not a particularly pretty one. By all means, celebrate your style and assert your iconoclasm. Putting forth a positive message will attract new people to the style.

    However, I don’t think its wise to use it as an ivy tower (pun intended) from which you can look down on those poor wretches below. After all, they view us as the odd ones, and there’s a lot more of them than us.

  6. My shortcomings as a writer noted and confessed, I learned a long time ago that having a point of view–even a “very specific point of view”–makes for at least decent writing. I haven’t yet read Clemente’s work, but I’m going to guess she goes beyond (mere) analysis and dares to move her words steadily forward with a point of view. The writer who thinks him/her self perfectly neutral–this is delusional.

    “Those poor wretches below”? I have to laugh. The t-shirt-jeans-Nike sneakers combo wearing fellows standing in line for their Cafe Macchiato are, I’m guessing, hardly poor. I’ll venture more than a few are hedge funder managers and day traders. And, as I approach old(er) age, I’m not sure I’ve used the word wretch in reference to another person. Like, ever. Only in reference to myself when I sing Amazing Grace.

    Take another look. I judge their clothes (not the essence of their collective being, mind you) as follows: bland and boring. That’s all. I even admit any attempt to psychologize the matter is futile.

    And, oh yes–I have no doubt they “view us as the odd ones.”
    All the better, as far as I am concerned.

  7. Oh, wait. I guess the phrase “He is the worst kind of bland, the blandest sort of vanilla, the sleepiest resident of Snoozeville” appears to go beyond just clothes. But it’s all about the clothes.

    Unless we want to talk about cars and houses too.

  8. Dr. Dierdre’s contributions and mentions on Ivy Style can be found here:

    http://www.ivy-style.com/?s=clemente

  9. I completely agree with S.E. on the fact that the decline in dressing standards has never been about comfort. It stems from a slackening of societal standards in that we no longer expect people to dress well.

    However, what’s as awful as this anything goes attitude is the lack of decently made, properly fitting clothes at good prices. Currently, we are plagued by ultra-slim fits from lapels to pants and everything in between. There are good people who do wish to dress well but fall prey to ill-fitting garments.

    “What’s the psychology behind the thumbed nose at collared shirts and sport jackets?”

    I wish I knew the definitive answer to this modern question. From what I can guess, there are certain people who feel that those who dress well feel superior to those who do not. Speaking just for me, that is not the case. I do try to dress well but I truly wish that I lived in an age where others were expected to dress to a certain standard as well. My dressing-up is a sort of silent protest in favor of a return to civility, not an act of superiority.

    One can only hope…

  10. whiskeydent | June 27, 2017 at 5:53 pm |

    SE

    Your words in your most recent post were exactly what provoked me. And yeah, you did disparage them. It’s not a big deal, but you did.

    If you want Ivy to endure and perhaps even grow, then a positive, welcoming and non-judgmental message is the way to go. As we say in the South, you attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

  11. Caustic Man | June 27, 2017 at 6:03 pm |

    Thanks for linking Clemente’ work for Ivy-Style. Both her work here and her scholarly contributions should be more widely read.

  12. PhillyTrad | June 27, 2017 at 7:40 pm |

    Really like this article, and always grateful to discover a writer/scholar on the topic that was previously unkown to me. I have worked on an Ivy League campus for last 20 years which has brought me into regular contact with collegiate style. It is tough for some young people on fixed finances to be Fashionable. However, it can be noted that some of them possess an inherent style regardless of their income or wardrobes. In my opinion, What they have in common is respect for their public presentation, And take care to distinguish themselves from those who roll out of bed and onto campus. It’s not difficult and need not cost a fortune.

  13. Looks like an interesting read. The kids vs. old fogey dynamic has, of course, been around forever, but I’m interested to read how she sees the more political “statement” clothing of, say, post-1967. I was there, and a lot of the clothes were as much “anti-‘oppressor’ ” as they were “pro-‘the people’ “…kinda like Madrid in 1938, but without the danger of being executed.

    Being a bum myself, in large part, I wonder how much of the jeans/tees/sneakers everywhere “style” is just adolescence being too lazy to change from play clothes, or hang things up, or avoid getting them stained. Throw ’em in the washer and dryer, pull ’em out and put ’em on.

  14. Patch pocketed blazers, sport/odd jackets of robust tweed, button downed oxfords (especially when rolled and wrinkled), old penny loafers (even the exalted Alden shell cordovans), “gray bottoms,” and without a doubt khakis–they’re all casual insofar as casual is here understood as style rooted in sport and country wear.

    Everything is relative, of course. Compared/contrasted with denim overalls and work boots and Nike running shoes, Trad in any form looks positively “dressed up.” Compared/contrasted with some of fops and dandies you’ll see on the streets of Manhattan, it appears rather “dressed down,” if you will. Casual.

    As always, the differences are subtle. Nuance dominates.

    The interesting thing about Ivy/Trad is that it stands in opposition to so many other styles simultaneously. Quiet, polite opposition, mind you. But opposition nonetheless. This may be the real charm of the look. When worn among the t-shirt-jeans-and-sneakers crowd, it sticks out. When worn among the more formally suited–whether Italian style or Savile Row–it comes across as relaxed, sporty, leisurely. It sticks out.

  15. Vladimir C. Stanojevic | June 28, 2017 at 9:20 am |

    Actually, the rise in “casual-ism” nicely tracks the DECLINE of the middle-class since 1973 / 1974 or so – not its rise.

    Anyway, interesting piece – to say the least. However, I think I agree more with Tom Wolfe’s thesis (found in Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers IIRC) that the origins of our movement to a near universal casualness of dress stems from the well-to-do fashionably radical / radically fashionable in the 1960s making a fetish out of the culture (they would say plight) of the working-class circa 1890-1941.

    Talk about cultural appropriation…

    @ S.E. Hear! Hear! Traditionalism isn’t simply a lifestyle much less just a style. Rather it is a way of viewing the world and a man’s place in it over time and placing the present within the context of both the past as well as the (possible) future.

    The remaining literate preppie-class as 21st shamans?

    Is that you William?

    Gore?

    But I digress…

    Besides, I always found those personalities who could suddenly and abruptly shift from, say, a neo-hippie style / world view to a euro-trash one more than slightly suspect – i.e. there is no “core” there.

    @ GS – Sad to say, but at this point civility IS superiority in our descent as a culture into mediocre banality wrapped in an anodyne egalitarianism.

    @ NCJack – Hell, I am a lazy bum who couldn’t ever be bothered to stop wearing the clothes mother bought for me when I was ten. Top that!

  16. Mr. Stanojevic, I agree but I would prefer a return to standards and civility in society. Our culture has gone to hell.

  17. Vladimir C. Stanojevic | June 28, 2017 at 1:28 pm |

    Mr. GS, I fear that the wait for any such return will be a wait for Godot.

    Gone is the steadying influence of multi-generational family, convention, tradition, courtesy, formality, and ritual (both sacred & profane) without which the very notion of either standards or civility cannot exist.

    Decay and conformity have replaced change and intellectual plurality (the twenty-tens are rapidly making the nineteen-eighties seem like a intellectually fecund Wild-West) so do we even dare hope for any reemergence of wisdom, discernment, informed debate, or any other of the hallmarks of a healthy culture?

    What is one to do? Throw a copy of Seneca at the idiot neighbor’s idiot dog when he relieves himself yet again on one’s front steps and, hoping for the best, that he carries it home with him?

  18. I wonder about the net effect the middle class had on Ivy style. I’ll go with negative. Very.

    One wonders if their influence gave rise to the sort of clothing that resembled the stuff their heroes in entertainment (Bob Hope, Lawrence Welk), politics (Nixon, Carter, Reagan) and industry (the local Rotary fellas) wore. Fussell referred to it as the “Klassy Kut 2 button suit.” Plenty of synthetic and non-iron “fabrics” to keep the wrinkles at a minimum. Good Lord.

    Thanks to the middle class, we’ve suffered hoodies, chalk white reebok hightops (remember aerobics?), the game of golf, and a variety of sandals. Boy oh boy do middle class men love their sandals.

  19. …and evangelical mega churches. One can’t underestimate the destructive influence of kitschy evangelical religion on American middle class tastes and sensibilities.

  20. Vladimir C. Stanojevic | June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm |

    Yes, all true as it goes.

    However…

    The UHB (still doomed and in terminal decline?) while always a bulwark of Ivy Style was never an aristocratic class rooted firmly in the blood and the soil and founded upon the sword – whatever individual pretensions might have been. Rather, it was a class rooted in merit, academic / economic / social achievement, Enlightenment values and culture and, as such, quite firmly bourgeois and middle-class however upper.

    Or, to put it bluntly and more personally, if an upper-middle-class, non-WASP, non-Catholic, non-Jewish, “guinea-wop-hunkey” from the sticks of Southern Misery could be accepted into it without any effort or ambition on his part simply by virtue of his state of being, it ain’t much of an aristocracy.

    Sorry…

    @ S.E. – I think the phrase you are looking for is nouveau riche or, perhaps, parvenu.

    Of course, one of the biggest sociological changes of the last 30-40 years is that the nouveau riche no longer aspire to UHB-dom. Rather they simply move up in size and scope alone – the tastes, styles, values remaining firmly lumpenproletariat only writ large – see Silicon Valley and The Real Housewives of Wherever.

    As aside it always amuses me to see the reaction of Americans when they encounter serious, old, landed Middle-European aristocracy of the fashionable dueling scar, small schloß, zero money sort for the first time. The men are somehow disappointed and almost horrified, the women swoon…

  21. whiskeydent | June 28, 2017 at 6:16 pm |

    Vlad

    I live in downtown Austin and thus am in constant contact with people in the tech industry. They bear little resemblance to your description.

    True, they don’t wear Ivy and they don’t dress up often, but they do wear well-made clothes. Except for the young Google workers down the street from me, they’re not hoodie-wearers. They dress in modern styles because, after all, they’re focused on the future and not the past. They’d wear Ivy if it were in style. It’s not.

    The successful ones also have invested a great deal in this town’s art institutions and charities. They do their homework and give to those that will spend their money wisely. They don’t throw it around for attention or to fulfill some duty of their class. They do it because they think it’s the right thing to do. They obviously have solid American values.

    Some are certainly arrogant, but it’s usually about their brain power or accomplishments. And most of them have the good sense to not disparage the middle class because they know that working people make and buy their products. They don’t stupidly bite the hands that feed them.

  22. @S.E.

    “the game of golf”? Sir, I demand satisfaction.

    Will

  23. Ain’t what it used to be, sacksuit.

    But then, nothing is.

  24. Vladimir C. Stanojevic | June 28, 2017 at 7:43 pm |

    @ whiskeydent – If I have given any personal offense, I humbly apologize.

    By way of a limited defense, please allow me to ask you an honest question – where is it (culturally speaking, of course) that the value system(s) that you see these individuals as having come from? That is, what sort of cultural / spiritual / philosophical tradition – if any – serves as a guide and a check upon their talents and ambitions?

    In my admittedly meager experience, the fellows who I know who went into tech on the knowledge side (as opposed to the financial side) did so to avoid or, in some sense, escape / drop out of what they perceived as a locally dominant culture that didn’t appreciate their very real talents. This includes a fair number of UHB types if you can believe that.

    In principle, this is all well and good and should be largely irrelevant – but, as we both know, it isn’t as “tech” stands poised to become a dominant force in our society and culture.

    I suppose my point boils down to asking the question what sort of impacts for better and for worse can one expect when a sector whose ethos to me seems to be one of “if it can be done, it will be done” (without asking should it be done or without even possibly knowing how or why to ask such a question in the first place) takes the reins of a culture?.

    I, for one, am not sanguine.

    A technocratic society which denies / dismisses the relevance / importance of past human experience and accumulated wisdom (broadly human nature tamed, tempered, and managed by culture) in favor of some always approaching future and infinitely receding into oblivion, largely irrelevant present seems to leave little room for either the human or the humane.

    It was this very making room for both the human and the humane (however imperfectly) that was the genius of the Western world from Greece onward in my opinion.

    Far beyond the scope of Harris Tweed vs designer tees I know…

  25. SE & Vladimir

    President Kennedy once said “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”

    I suggest you fellows read a little Robert Frost in your spare time.

  26. Vladimir C. Stanojevic | June 28, 2017 at 9:02 pm |

    @ H Korn – Ah, I had almost had forgotten about “The Road Not Taken” – sublime that Robert Frost was. Not quite the oomph of say Kipling but good stuff nevertheless…

  27. whiskeydent | June 29, 2017 at 12:33 am |

    The genius of America is that someone can rise to the top, regardless of where he or she came from. It’s about what you do, not what your daddy did. And frankly, it’s a threat to those who were born on third base and think they hit a triple.

  28. Thody Evans | June 29, 2017 at 7:27 am |

    whiskeydent

    The shortcoming of America is that a buffoon can rise to the top.

  29. Was a JFK quote just used to claim high(er) moral ground?

    Lest an observation about (the decline of) American middle class tastes grant someone permission to declare the observer’s soul dark and in desperate need of redemption, I’ll confess I’ve found plenty of spiritual food in the Psalms of David, Wallace Stevens, and Homer, among others. I’ll grant that poetry can be a muscular antitoxin to hubris. I don’t reach for Frost as often as

    Back to the embrace of casual: in terms of what’s happening in the larger culture, it’s either cause or symptom. I’m willing to say I haven’t figured out which. Maybe both.

  30. *
    “…for Frost as often as others.”

  31. @whiskeydent

    A fellow Austinite reporting in. Might be nice to have a meet up. It’s a shame the BB downtown in the Scarborough building closed. I’m not sure how long this has been the case – I only just noticed while cutting across town the other day. I can’t say I’m surprised.

  32. Prediction: Some version of ivy/trad–including jacket, OCBD, and tie–will continue live, breathe, and even thrive among “creatives” whose tastes run the direction of old New York/ New England. John Updike and George Plimpton come to mind immediately, but there are others. They’re not required to “dress up” for work (t-shirt and jeans would suffice), but they recognize the charm of the style, as well as the (formal) comfort. {May we also include one Christian Chensvold?}

    I’ve no doubt it will have pretty much disappeared in most workplaces by the end of this decade.

    “Managers,” accountants, and salesmen can’t be trusted with it. Architects, writers, editors, professors, artists, clergy, physicians, gentleman farmers, the rare attorney–these are the arenas where we’ll catch the occasional glimpse as the years go by. Not unlike the old Mercedes W114/115 and W123 models. The intermittent sighting. A cumbersome analogy, but I think it works.

  33. whiskeydent | June 29, 2017 at 1:33 pm |

    Vlad —

    It’s the incredibly fast rate of major change that I think drives a lot of people today. I was born in ’58. In my youth, we went from 8 tracks to cassettes, from manual to electric typewriters, black and white TV to color TVs and then VCR’s. Looking back on them, those don’t seem like giant leaps in technology. Only the moon landing was really groundbreaking.

    However, it’s a different world for those in their late 20’s to early 40’s. They grew up and matured in a time when change was the only constant. They don’t have the time to look back and they really can’t see how its relevant to their modern lives. Can you blame them?

    So the techies, in particular, are seeking to create the next “cool” thing. They’re hard-working, hyper-focused, ambitious and smart as hell. They speak English, but I understand little of what they’re talking about.

    When they get into their 30’s and 40’s, they tend to broaden their horizons some and look more at what’s going on around them. If they’ve made it big, they start to contribute. Michael Dell has dropped a ton of cash on this city, and so have many others.

    JDD —

    I’d be happy to meet up for coffee or whiskey or whisky as the cousins spell it.

    Funny you bring up the BB closing. I tipped the Statesman and Business Journal about it. The Statesman did nothing with it, but the Journal did a short story.

    I also let CC know about it, and I was planning to write a piece about how BB couldn’t make it in a hot, hot market. CC pointed out quite correctly that we shouldn’t bash them if we didn’t know the answer to why they closed. They could simply have lost their lease. Or it could be an example of how ALL brick and mortar retail is hurting. To my knowledge, no one ever got why, ergo no story.

  34. Vladimir C. Stanojevic | June 29, 2017 at 1:58 pm |

    @ S.E. – Amen. Add gracefully decaying, quasi-Southern derelicts to your list and change that to “…Mercedes W116/126 and R107 models.” and I’m all in with whatever the hell it is that you are selling around here…

    Re your earlier post – if it is both a cause and a symptom (historical determinism?) then that would imply that ol’ Spengler was right and I do so hate it whenever a valid observation implies that Spengler (and Nietzsche) were right as that would seemingly raise them both some to the level of secular prophets which is simply too tragic a thought for me to entertain or, at least, entertain too often…

  35. Vladimir C. Stanojevic | June 29, 2017 at 2:27 pm |

    @ wiskeydent – I appreciate your thoughtful reply – not something that the internet is known for. While I am about fifteen years younger than you are, I grew-up in an environment where both WW I and WW II (and, maybe even more importantly, their aftermath) were not only within living memory but a central reality of life. So you will have to forgive me if I turn a jaundiced and jaded eye to anything smacking of what I perceive as ill-considered, ungrounded, unframed, or uncontextualized radical utopianism – the road to hell and all that…

  36. Henry Contestwinner | June 29, 2017 at 4:00 pm |

    Mr. Korn,

    JFK? Poetry? I hate to say it, but aren’t those subjects… off topic?

    Well, as long as you mentioned him, I’ll link to a nice video on JFK that PragerU did. Although there is nothing of interest from an Ivy-Style angle, the piece goes into his political views, contrasting them with what current Democrats stand for.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-Qg_4zqpDI

  37. Henry

    Yes. Off topic. Only defense – I was compelled to call a spade a spade, as you would say.

  38. Henry

    A piece by President Kennedy’s grandson refuting the nonsense that JFK would a Republican today.

    http://addictinginfo.com/2016/01/22/jfks-grandson-obliterates-ted-cruz-fantasy-that-jfk-would-be-republican-today/

  39. Great video, Henry, relevant to this article or not. JFK probably wouldn’t be a Democrat if he were alive today but I can’t say he’d be a Republican either. The fact is he was a patriot, a religious man and, clearly, a gun lover (having been a life-long NRA member). Draw your own conclusions.

  40. JFK’s grandson makes him sound like a Tea Party man. On par with Reagan frankly.

    Today, navy RL mesh golf shirt, poplin red pants from Trimmingham’s, dark brown long wing shoes, black Titleist glove and an 11:00 tee time with azure sky, light breeze, low humidity, three mates and a wallet full of “drink” money. There will be Cohiba’s present as well.

    Cheers,

    Will

  41. Re; casual professional dress. I think its partly a case of companies loosening dress requirements in lieu of salary increases. Lets face it, one can get by very cheaply (though not all do).What if today, I had to buy one decent suit a year, a couple of dress shirts 2 ties, a new pair of shoes (or having the old ones resoled) and the cleaning bills.
    A friend of mine owns a shoe store that sell Aldens as well as doing repairs. Its the rule rather than the exception, that young men would rather pitch a pair of shoes than pay for heels and half-soles (about $75).

  42. 11 over.

    Will

  43. whiskeydent | June 30, 2017 at 4:00 pm |

    Through how many holes?

  44. S.E.

    I sold paper in a 1966 111 coupe in the ’90s. Neither the car nor the clothes look the worst for wear.

    Cheers,

    Will

  45. Henry Contestwinner | July 6, 2017 at 4:07 pm |

    Let’s step back a moment, and look at it another way. Imagine a politician with the following views:

    * Pro military
    * Lifetime member of the NRA
    * Pro 2nd Amendment
    * Anti-Communist
    * Favors tax cuts
    * Opposes Affirmative Action
    * Anti-abortion

    Where would this politician feel more at home? I’ll have to side with GS and Larry Elder here: we can’t know for sure, but these views—held by JFK—comport more with Republicans and the Tea Party than with Democrats.

    As for the polemic quoting JFK’s grandson, all of the grandson’s information is second hand, and filtered through familial lenses. Better to stick to what’s on the record.

    And yes, Mr. Korn, I do, on occasion, use the phrase “call a spade a spade.” What of it? Certainly you are not one of those ignorant boobs who thinks that the spade in question is a racial slur—right? http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=spade

  46. Times change. So do men. Kennedy’s views might very well be different, if only by 10%, were he alive today. Seems a dead end to speculate what individuals would think if you plopped them in a different time and place.

    Given the right circumstances, even Henry could be a liberal.

  47. Henry Contestwinner | July 9, 2017 at 3:58 am |

    Well, as the line goes, “If a person is not a liberal when he is twenty, he has no heart; if he is not a conservative when he is forty, he has no head.”

    So plop me in that time reversal machine and take me back to the blissful ignorance of my youth, and whoosh! Indeed, a liberal I would again be!

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