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The Times You Were Most Underdressed...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
How about a little confession time? Let's open up and tell of when we were most poorly dressed for an occasion. In my case, it was undoubtedly about four years ago when I went to the wedding of a daughter of one of my wife's best friends. My wife told me it was going to be an outdoor wedding at Lake Arrowhead. Okay, I figured it would be hot, out amid the murmuring pines and the hemlocks and would involve trekking through some dirt, stones and pine needles. Okay, so I rose to the occasion with some sturdy, inexpensive, plain-toe, rubber soled brown bluchers from Timberland, nice cotton Ralph Lauren slacks in dark olive, a tan raw silk blend sport coat, a bronze colored tie and a Panama hat. Well, as it turned out, it was cool and overcast. Worse yet, the "outdoor wedding" turned out to be on the lawn of a posh hotel. So, there were all the other men in their navy and charcoal suits and shiny black shoes, and there was me...looking like a bloody idiot. Has anybody else some similar misadventures they'd like to share.? More commonly, I arrive overdressed, but those can be stories for another time.
post #2 of 16
There was a great thread about this at least a year ago. I can't really think of one to add, unfortunately/fortunately, because I almost never have occasions with a level-of-dress requirement, and I always overdress for any actual 'occasion' anyway. For example, I was one of maybe 2-3% of males at my college graduation to wear a suit and tie with my robe, and proper shoes. It did get hot that day, but it was a tropical glen plaid, so I did just fine. I guess I could bring up the suit I used to wear in high school to jazz band concerts, before I knew that pants could be altered, or that jackets came in sizes...
post #3 of 16
I used to swing dance a lot. When I started dancing in '98, a lot of people dressed vintage. I was one of them. However, going out 5-6 nights per week added up to a lot of ironing, dry-cleaning, and general primping. It also meant a lot of discomfort doing an aerobic activity in a suit coat. People in the scene, self included began a progressive dress-down which ended in wearing hoodies and wide leg nylon pants the raver kids wear. Wide-leg pants add grace and flow to one's movements, and hey, they are comfortable. They also went well with the drawer full of swing dance event t-shirts I had designed and get for free. I think it is understandable to dress this way when at a dance class and forgivable to do so at a dance at a studio (ie places that aren't public), but people wear these sorts of things everywhere--ballrooms, jazz clubs, everywhere. One day I just looked at myself in the mirror before heading out to hit the dance floor and thought "you look like a fool." So I headed back to my closet, put on some dark denim, a shirt with buttons, and out of retirement came a suit jacket. Nowadays I still have an array of UFO pants but they only get wear as pajamas, trips to the car wash, and maybe for a 3 am run to the supermarket.
post #4 of 16
I wore a DB with a skinny tie once. Not cool enough to pull that off I regret.
post #5 of 16
This doesn't strictly qualify as a case of being underdressed, but: As a fresh-faced junior at Interlochen Arts Academy, where the dress code frequently required a navy school-insignia blazer, gray trousers and striped repp tie, I had got as far as procuring a pair of black Florsheim captoes to complete this ensemble, but I had evidently failed to grasp the necessity of polishing these regularly.   After a certain choral concert partway through first term, I suddenly found myself the extremely mortified recipient of a tin of black shoe polish, bestowed publicly and in person (albeit with good humor) by no lesser figure than the President of the Academy himself. I came quite close to giving involuntary new meaning to the phrase "watershed moment" just then--most likely to the further detriment of my shabby footwear. Needless to say, I took great care always to polish my dress shoes following this experience. Of course, they'd've had to put me in stocks to get me to iron my shirts...that's something I still struggle with.
post #6 of 16
There was a great thread about this at least a year ago...
Was that the time when Kai posted his tapestry pants and A Harris his green piano tie? I think that may feel like a year ago but was much less. JJF
post #7 of 16
A Harris his green piano tie?
I shall keep that tie forever. One must never forget...
post #8 of 16
I've got a confession too, I'm afraid. In the early 80's, during my sartorial dark ages, my then GF talked me into buying one of those suits that were popular back then. It was a polyester glen-plaid thing with big shoulderpads and the coat only reached the waist. With this I wore an equally nasty black shirt and a skinny orange faux-leather tie with orange knit-gloves, you know the ones with the cut-off fingers. OK - I might have looked remotely cool for a brief shiny moment but then I blew it with keeping on wearing this outfit for well over a year after it's expiration date. I shudder to think of all the pictures that were taken of me during this period. B
post #9 of 16
OK - I might have looked remotely cool for a brief shiny moment but then I blew it with keeping on wearing this outfit for well over a year after it's expiration date. I shudder to think of all the pictures that were taken of me during this period. B
Probably very remote and very brief... With all the pix, surely you can grace us with one? Pretty please? Or then again, you have a son to marry off one day... JJF
post #10 of 16
People who imply possesion of pictures of me from this period had better keep their doors locked at night and their will current
post #11 of 16
A job interview on jeans an t-shirt. Why? My luggage was misplaced by US Airways, and I arrived at 2am to a middle-of-nowhere conneticut town. Lesson learned: Put tomorrow's attire on your carry on. Even better, do not check any luggage at all.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
joseanes: Your misadventure is the reason why I cling to the archaic practice of wearing coat and tie when I fly...although in contemporary airports I sometimes look as conspicuous and out of place as if I wear wearing George Washington's uniform.
post #13 of 16
Conversely, How about the times you were Most Overdressed. I was just finishing college in Maine and went for an interview to work as a Production Assistant on a Movie being filmed nearby. It was my very first job interview in the freelance world. I was always brought up that you wear a jacket, tie, etc. to an interview. Well, in the film biz, everyone in the production office, and certainly on a location shoot, wears Tshirts, jeans, etc. Very casual atmosphere. I show up, dressed to impress, and they just sort of laugh at me. I do get the job, heck, it was working for free anyways, but they tell me next time just wear jeans and a shirt. Oh well. Stevo
post #14 of 16
Ok. it was September 1978, I had just did a stint as a clothing saleperson at Proving Ground, a very popular spot for the polyester disco crowd which I will admit had a hold on me. Prior to this job I was trimming windows full time for a number of retail stores. Proving Ground was Mall store and I was burnt out on Mall environments. I read an ad in the help wanted section of the Boston Globe that Louis was looking for a window trimmer. Just the thing I thought, so I put on my best brown shiney polyester suit (with six inch lapels, bell bottom pants, sheer off white shirt with a collar so long that if it flipped up in your face you'd get a bloody nose and matching tie and pocket square). Well, I was carless at the time and took the bus into Boston from the suburbs. It started to rain, Hard, Buckets and no umbrella or rain coat and the first address I ended up at was a hair salon on the other end of town. By this time my shag haircut, well you can use your imagination at this point. Walking into what I thought was a palace, Louis was a bit intimidating to this country bumkin who smelled like rotten polyester and I'm sure looked like I was homeless. Oh, and I didn't mention the three inch platform shoes that were also soaking wet. Well, to make a long story short, the job was taken minutes before my arrival but the HR guy thought that my drive and ambition was worthy to try me on the sales floor for a trial period. Thirteen years later I departed for a new challenge and now own my own menswear store. I suppose when I write my Book called" Embracing my Past" I will use this experience in my first chapter. The rest of the book will be based on a great retail ride.
post #15 of 16
Can honestly answer "Never". I have often been over-dressed but never under-dressed. Remember I am in Sydney where its is sunny even in Winter. That means most of the population wears surfwear like mambo and Billabong.
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