Dressing For Failure: How The Death Of Home Ec Unraveled American Fashion

May 8, 2014

The prosperity of the 1950s also undermined the rules of dress by giving rise to the suburbs. When in the city, Americans wore formal clothing in keeping with the seriousness of business transacted among relative strangers. They changed to informal clothing when in the country, where mud and brush required tougher fabrics and fuller cuts. The suburbs fell on the country side of the traditional dress divide. Suburbanites might spend entire days in informal clothing on their backyard patios, while increased leisure time put them into golf togs and other sports clothes. […] The problem isn’t that Americans wear Uggs; it’s that we wear them all the time. We’ve lost something that belonged to earlier generations of Americans: the graceful ease of suiting ourselves for all of life’s occasions.