I'm no clothes horse. Nor am I, in my estimation, an uptight prude. But, I have to say that one of my greatest critiques of current American society is the incredible depth to which the standard for acceptable public dress has fallen. I think the point at which my disdain for society's sartorial slouch crossed the line into disgust was the occasion of President Reagan's death. As I watched coverage of the crowds filing past his flag-draped coffin in the capitol rotunda, I was, frankly, angered by the shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops worn by the majority of those who believed they were "paying their respects" to Reagan. There was no difference between that crummily clad crowd and the one waiting in the line for Space Mountain at Disney Whirled. It was as if Passing of a President was on par with Pirates of the Caribbean.
Contrast the dress of those filing past Reagan's coffin with pictures of those who filed past Kennedy's in November of '63--all of the men were in suits and ladies wore dresses. I don't think a coat and tie should have been required for entrance to Reagan's repose, but had I been in charge of the capitol police that day, I would have at least refused entry to the man wearing the t-shirt with a picture of a rhinoceros and the caption "I'm Horny!" underneath. That was just plain disrespectful.
As I travel through airports each week, or shop at a mall, or go out to dinner, I am amazed at the number of adult men in shorts and t-shirts. I admit I wore shorts and t-shirts in such public places--until I was TWELVE!!
For crying out loud, people, have a little self-respect.