I don't know if you've come across this, but I'll bet most of you have at some point. You pull on a snappy ensemble, kiss the wife adieu and head to work. When you get there you're greeted with this unfortunate comment: "You look sharp! Very business like. Do you have a meeting?"
That's just a symptom of the problem--the loss of the culture of gentlemanly dapper panache. These days, most people are of this mindset: A suit is for business, maybe a wedding or funeral. The rest of one's days are meant for jeans or shorts and perhaps, just maybe if they want to punch it up a bit, a polo shirt. How we got from the 1940s to now is too large of a horse to tackle in this particular post, mostly because this post is being written in the late eve, when gentleman are either a) preparing for the bedtime repast of scotch, whisky or [name your potion], or b) on the third course of a late night dinner party. I am n the "a" category" tonight.
But it is a sad state of loopiness when dressing well equals business, rather than pleasure. True, this is the same culture that mistakes casual-dress for men with dressing like a child or, at best, your common teenager.
We should define our terms though.
Casual-dress=[this is but one example, and a standard one] a blue blazer with brass buttons and white or gray pants.
Formal=tuxedo or morning dress.
Yet, most would call all of the above "formal." Now I don't mean jeans and a t-shirt don't have their place; they do, and so do shorts. But that's not even casual wear--it's either super-casual ("super" meaning "beyond"), or else sporting-wear.
None of this answers the question though: How to change these insane sartorial attitudes. When one watches Jeeves and Wooster one does not think, "Ah, Bertie is on his way to the old office." No, one thinks, "Now that is how a man about town ought to dress every time he goes out--Bertie must be headed to a restaurant or the Drones Club, or to the country to help a pal." Basically, when you see Bertie putting on a suit it means he is going outside of his flat, end of story. And he looks every bit the dapper lad. There's no office involved, for goodness sakes. Indeed, wearing a suit or else nice pants and a sport coat, from Bertie's time (1920's/30's) until recently, were simply de riguer.
This post isn't going to reach many people who don't already dress, or are thinking about dressing, like gentlemen. But let us encourage one another to do at least one thing to influence the world for the better--wear true casual-wear or suits as a matter of course, unless reason prohibits it for some reason (heat, illness, sports and the like, viz, times when one can't wear such an ensemble or other wear is called for). The more of us that can answer the "why so dressed up today, do you have a meeting?" With, "Just to dress up, to look like a gentleman" the more people will expect real men to dress thus.
If more men did, what a difference it would make! Dressing well makes one want to act better, speak better, and be more chivalrous; and it helps others want to do likewise. Women will begin to expect that real men dress like men, not like teenagers. The world will be more pleasant to walk about in.
Courage! Keep dressing like real men, and whatever happens--well, it's like what Guggenheim said when the Titanic was going down and there was nothing more he could do--when the most recent movie came out youngsters everywhere laughed at him, but in real life it was an astoundingly brave and gentlemanly way to face death: He had helped women and children to get to boats, and decided not to get in one himself so that he wouldn't take their ticket to safety. He then said, on behalf of himself and his friends, "We are dressed in our best and prepared to go down like gentlemen. And we would like a brandy."
Now that's a gentleman, dressed to the nines whether in life or preparing for death, bravely facing his own demise as he sacrifices himself to let women and children live. Lads, that's a good example right there. We, too, can aspire to being such true gentlemen! And it does take work--but it's worth it.