Editorial Edification | WSJ – Jacket (Not) Required
The Wall Street Journal has one helluva’ concerning claim if I have ever heard one – The imminent demise of the formal wear requirement. While many, including myself, would not deny the apparent decline of the formal dress requirement over the course of the decade, we all note the complimentary resurgence of well dressed fellows.
Dapper Dan – we salute you. However, we do believe the WSJ claims are a bit of a stretch. To declare the swelling waters of casual dress are none less than a slowly approaching tidal wave to wipe the formal dress requirement into extinction, is – in one word, precocious. Like all trends and movements, even the doing away with mores limited to the opulent confines of fine dining establishments are subject to the rise and fall of tastes and, with regards to style trends – the contents of our wallet. Case and point – look to the evolving trends currently underway, shifting from a utilitarian fashion with a non-specific income tax bracket, to styles still very much utilitarian yet reflecting better times on the horizon – safari themed collections, designs reminiscent of aviators who glamorized flights, and others. The economy already suggests that it may not be too soon to polish off those old cufflinks.
The rise and fall of formality in commercial establishments can only be told by the future restaurants and clubs to be opened hoping to revive and if not coddle the quiet loss of the tradition, before the jacket and tie requirement whither away into ephemera; should it ever happen. Why we think it is an untimely prognosis? Because of the alternative claim being made of the return to favor for being a well dressed gent. If anything, the suits role as an active, primary tool and vehicle for male expression has never run so well and sits with engines revving for greater destinations. We acknowledge that many more gentlemen are no longer gunshy over the stopping power of the blazer, coat, and tie. We see no reason for the extinction of formality behind the closed doors of more exclusive spaces when the suit is readily becoming known less as a uniform for power and conformity, and more so as a blank canvas for said expression. With the growing public embrace for the suit and its component parts, the return to formal dress being encouraged in more places may well be a possibility as well – seeing that the widespread acceptance for formal dress soon become an obvious and apparent truth. Conversely, we will clarify that we aren’t saying that individuals associate dressing-up with having become more casual, rather that dressing formally suggests less of a perceived stigma for being drab and predictable.
Nonetheless we do agree with them, it is a shame. We like dressing up when we don’t have a reason to, and certainly enjoy when we are all encouraged to. Dapper Dan and all fellow gentlemen – Keep fighting the good fight.
Note: We gotta’ say, we love this picture. We all can say we have found ourselves in either one of their shoes, and in close unacquainted company of the other. Maybe not with the Teenwolf beard, but you get the idea.