If you often find yourself sitting about at home in your pajamas, chances are that now and again someone comes to the door. This happens to me more than it used to, since I spend so much time here perusing the internet for job openings. I mean to say, one gets out of bed, eventually, and then one obtains the necessary black liquid and plunges into the electronic world of job applications. It used to be that one would go to an actual store or business and fill out a paper application or deliver a paper resume. Not so anymore! Sure, for part-time jobs, that's still often the case; but this isn't the norm anymore for full-time positions. In a way, this is good--applying online is much easier than printing out resumes and carrying them hither and yon. Now, a click or two of the button sends the cover letter and resume instantly. And yet, it lacks personal presence. But there it is.
So, there you are in your pajamas--and I should add that what I am about to say applies to gentlemen only--and someone knocks at the door, or perhaps the mail has arrived, or you have to sign for a package. Your first instinct may be to run for the closet and change. Well, forget that. The truth of the matter is that it's been the custom for many a decade that a gentleman in pajamas--and preferably robe and slippers (the complete bed-time ensemble)--can thus receive visitors of equal (friends, family) or lesser status (tradesmen, postal workers, neighbors, etc). If you're like me, you're probably reading this and thinking "Have I been mysteriously transferred to a perfect world?" Ha-ha! No. But it's one of those things that make life grand!
Blue jeans are not, however, totally unrelated to the above. While I've been sitting at home without a full-time paid position (I'm certainly not jobless--I have more to do now I think than I did with a job!--looking for work, keeping up the house, writing to people, sleeping and so on), I've had much less chance to dress up in any way remotely resembling Beau Brummel:
Chance to wear suit and Fedora, nil;
Chance to wear blazer and dress pants, nil;
Chance to wear pajamas, blue jeans and the like, 99%
Now, again, the pajamas I like. You can really dress up with pajamas, a nice robe and a pair of slippers and look every bit the gent. But the rest of the time--well, it's blue jeans or similar.
Some of you may be thinking, "Why not dress up anyway?" Well, for a few reasons, I simply can't wear a suit at home:
1) Why put wear and tear on the suits, shirts, etc, when the only one who will see me is mostly me?
2) There's a great deal of housework to do, and the finery will simply end up covered in dirt, dish water, trash, you name it.
But--I grow weary of donning blue jeans and t-shirts, and this has led me to a take a slightly new course. Well, one other thing has as well, but I'll get to that. The new course is this: Except for working in the yard or home fixing and painting projects, no more jeans. No, instead, I'm going to don the khaki or blue dress pants, and polo shirts (since the weather's turned warm). Good, gentlemanly causal wear. If they do get dirty, and they will, it's not as much of an issue as a wounded suit or tie. Besides, such pants and shirts can be pretty inexpensive if they need to be replaced. A Fedora or English Driving Cap isn't out of place with such an ensemble, either. And I'll look more the gent than just sitting about in jeans. Not that blue jeans are a sartorial faux pas. They have their place; I'm just tired of the very casual look day in, day out.
So, what's the other reason? I know I've lamented it before, but since I've begun writing here it's become still worse: Men dressing like slobs. Walk out the door almost anywhere and you will see herds of lads hurling themselves about in shorts, flip flops, a t-shirt and a baseball hat. That's great for the beach. It's not great for going most anywhere else. For example, this past Sunday was Easter Sunday. Perhaps some of you are Christians and were at Easter services. I'm a Catholic myself, and was at Mass of course, as every Sunday, on Easter. And what did I see? I saw three men dressed as they should be--myself, one 80 year old guy, and one other fellow about my age. The rest of the men you would think just strolled in from a long and somewhat difficult day at the seaside; a bunch of disheveled, severely under-dressed blokes.
I'm pretty sure that anyone reading this, religious or not, would agree that if one does go to a religious service of some sort that due respect should be shown. Of course, these same men would wear this outfit for most any event. If they could meet the Queen of England, and be admitted in such an outfit as described above, they would do it. Nothing in life, apparently, has any gravity for them, including God.
The whole image these lads convey isn't one that says "I take life pretty easy" but "I really take nothing seriously, I have no respect for myself or others; I dress however I want with no regard for anyone but myself. And I'm lazy. I just can't be bothered putting actual clothes on." The way one dresses really does say a lot about a person; not everything, to be sure, but it does provide some dim intimation, at the very least. For example, put a well-dressed gentleman together with a slob and you will see in the gent's face that it is only manly, gentlemanly restraint which prevents him from whacking the slob in the shins with his walking stick or umbrella.
In a word, I am absolutely sick of this culture of wimpy men, lazy men, feminized men, un-cultured men. And that's the other reason for my eschewing blue jeans except for very specific applications--that is, using them for their original purpose only, which was physical labor. I think the under-dressing problem has gotten so bad that there really needs to be a huge surge of gentlemen dressing and acting like gentlemen, and even dressing a bit better than they normally would at home or at the zoo and what-not. Wear some nice pants, a good shirt, and a decent, non-baseball hat, that's my plan!