Skip to comments.Nice jeans. But should you really wear them to the opera?
Posted on 03/09/2005 9:47:25 AM PST by qam1
NEW YORK They've been part of the American "uniform" for years, worn to casual restaurants, house parties, and some workplaces.
But as jeans become more expensive, they are also becoming more ubiquitous, showing up everywhere from Midwestern churches to Broadway shows. Nothing is off limits, it seems. Or is it? Among those who buy high-priced, designer denim or who simply don jeans frequently - there's debate about where it's appropriate to wear them.
The tug of war over jeans etiquette is particularly prevalent in New York City. Here, people tend to be more creative about their appearance, and are often more demanding about how fashion-conscious people should look, says Dannielle Romano, editor at large for DailyCandy.com, a fashion and trends website.
Many 20- and 30-somethings here have theater backgrounds, for example, and often say it's inappropriate to wear jeans to theater and other cultural performances out of respect for the performers and the surroundings (even though the venues themselves have no official dress codes).
"I am all in favor of the current denim revolution that we are having, but I do feel that there are times when jeans should be left at home," says Lisa Kerson, a jewelry designer in her early 30s, whose parents insisted that she look nice when going to a play or traveling on a plane. "I still get bothered when I see people wearing jeans to the theater, ballet, opera, etc.," she says in an e-mail.
Melissa Popiel also prefers not to see denim at the theater, or at an engagement party. To her, jeans are OK for a house party or a casual dinner, but not for traditionally dressy places. "I don't like going to cocktail parties and seeing people in jeans," says the advertising executive, who's in her late 20s.
Ms. Popiel estimates she owns about 15 to 20 pairs, including premium brands, and has paid as much as $200 for a pair.
Many others are also paying big bucks for their jeans - from $150 to $1,000 or more per pair. Celebrities, in particular, are making jeans their garb of choice for appearances on talk shows and at some red-carpet events.
That, say fashion experts, sets the tone for the masses, who are encouraged by features like one in the Jan. 24 edition of Us magazine, "Hollywood's 10 Hottest Jeans," complete with suggestions for buying "premium" denim ($140 or more).
The concept of designer jeans is not new, however. They were also hot in the 1970s and 80s.
Are these jeans made for parties?
Etiquette experts offer few hard and fast rules about jeans, but among them are the obvious: Leave them in the closet when you're attending a wedding, or if your workplace bans them.
"A lot of it has to do with the appropriateness of the kind of jean you're wearing," says Peter Post, grandson of manners maven Emily Post and author of the book "Essential Manners for Men."
It comes down to determining if the jeans are for fashion or work. A pair that you do yard work in, for example, are "probably not appropriate to be wearing to a restaurant that night," he explains.
Mr. Post has seen men show up in quality restaurants wearing denim, which doesn't bother him as much as how sloppy their appearance sometimes is.He recalls seeing a man dressed in a T-shirt and old rumpled jeans. "He hadn't taken any care to step it up just a notch, to say to the woman he was with, 'You know, you're really important to me. I want to look good. I want you to look at me and be proud of me,' " he says.
Dark denim is making it easier for men to comfortably wear jeans in the evenings, especially since black jeans are no longer "in." But no matter how hip a certain style may be, some places are still off-limits.
"I probably won't wear them to a funeral," says Robert Smith, a 30- something businessman in Rockton, Ill. But in the past few years he's started wearing them everywhere else - to church and to most work-related functions.
Not the fabric but how it's used
The good news for jeans devotees is that standards for judging people on their appearance are loosening a bit - at least among women under 40. A recent study by Cotton Incorporated indicates that Generation X-age women (26 to 39) are less concerned about first impressions when it comes to dressing than they were 10 years ago, and more often are taking the approach that "you can't judge a book by its cover." The reverse was true for women boomer-age and older.
Alice Harris, author of the book "The Blue Jean," attributes the rise of jeans to casual Fridays in workplaces, which shifted the way people viewed dressing.
"We've actually gone back to a much simpler way of looking at it," suggests Post of the changing attitudes. It's not that certain materials, like denim, are bad. "It's what you've done with that material."
My entire church, including the pastoral staff wears jeans. Are you seriously saying that none of us have respect for God?
"Unless you have respect for yourself and G-d, you aren't really worshipping Him anyway."
I respect God and I respect myself. Perhaps you shouldn't judge people you don't even know.
NOt a prob....
Nothing wrong with jeans. It's the dips who wear them that is wrong. If worn right they are sharp and neat looking. Cool too. Saw a young girl in a restaurant today with sweats on, shirt and the sweats were down below her naval and the shirt was too. Couldn't believe it but your description of a biscuit that blew up fits it to a tee.
I will make a confession here. I have a magic closet. Old clothes dissapear and new clothes manifest themselves withing the closet as needed. Luckily for me, the high priestess of the magic closet, learned a long time ago that clothes that I don't like, like slacks never wear out because they're never worn, and now the priestess only summons the clothes that I'll wear.
The key to the text you quote is the phrase "a poor man in filthy clothes." Like I said in at least one previous post, if the person can't afford, better, that is fine. But, in a church situation, where you know each other, and you KNOW the other person is NOT poor and they insist on dressing like a slob in G-d's house, it shows a lack of respect to the Holy Spirt, who is grieved by our disrespect; to the Messiah who gave His life for them and to His Father who is above all things.
I read an article on an artist in NY. He had a closet full of identical black clothes. He lived in this giant loft apartment that had nothing in it but a sleep mat, books, some toiletries and his art supplies.
The guy was pretty damn rich, but he really just wanted to paint and not be distracted. Kind of cool, actually.
Or you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. Ever heard that one?
We have a section of the church (like a large walk in closet) which is filled full of dress clothes (for men and women) in various sizes for people who want to dress more appropriately for church but can't afford to do so.
How do you know about Ann Taylor then. VERY EXPENSIVE.
Whatever. I just don't go to "cocktail parties" and judge other people by the clothes they wear.
In your opinion, is someone who is attending their church dressed in casual clothes, or jeans (for example) a "slob"?
In one word: Yes.
You would have made a wonderful Pharisee.
Ann is my seamstress. She makes all my clothes for cocktail parties.
Wow. You really DO want to make poor visitors feel uncomfortable.
"We have a section of the church (like a large walk in closet) which is filled full of dress clothes (for men and women) in various sizes for people who want to dress more appropriately for church but can't afford to do so"
I assume you don't force these people to change their clothes in order to worship the Lord in your church. I hate to even think that you would insult someone by even suggesting that their clothes aren't good enough for you. If these clothes are just there for those who WANT them, that's fine. But wouldn't it be nice, in a perfect world, if rather than give a poor person your hand-me-downs, you would forego your own NEW clothes, so that they could have NEW ones.
You should read her profile where she says she wears muslim clothes. It made everything else make sense.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.