by Roy Hodge
As I often do, I was playing a little mind game with myself recently as I was looking at the list of column ideas I have covered since I started writing for The Patriot in 1979. I decided it might be entertaining (to whom I don’t know) if I chose a topic of an earlier column and without looking at that column I could write a column on the same subject today.
The article I chose was one I wrote for the April 24, 1979 issue of The Patriot.
The topic was “Men’s Fashion.” Okay, I’m sure that I’m as much an expert on that subject today as I was back in 1979. That statement, loosely translated and explained, means that I didn’t know a lot then and I don’t know a lot — maybe even less — now.
Here, without first reading the 1979 article, is the column I wrote this week on the subject:
I guess I could be considered as a “conservative dresser.” Although I do have some colorful, even “splashy” sports shirts, my wardrobe is usually a little laid back. I am retired now so I dress in the casual, maybe even a bit sloppy, fashion most of the time.
Back in 1979, if I was writing about men’s ties, I would probably mention that I wore one several times a week. I would probably say that back then I preferred a modest, not splashy tie, that I liked stripes and subdued not bold colors. I might have mentioned that I was quite casual, especially as the day wore on, loosening and re-loosening my tie.
Now, I would say that my taste in neckwear hasn’t changed much — except I hardly ever have to experience that taste. I still like modest stripes or solid colors. I prefer an in-between tie width, not really narrow and not wide enough to cover my shirt front. My tie-wearing experiences are quite limited these days.
In 1979, at work, I probably wore light colored short-sleeve shirts in warm weather; long-sleeve stripes or solids, often with sweaters over the shirt, in winter.
I have always enjoyed wearing sweaters during three seasons of the year. I used to wear sleeveless sweaters; I don’t wear them now. I have always preferred sports jackets to suits, but 10 or 15 pounds ago I had both.
Now that I don’t work my first choice is almost always a comfortable shirt or sweater, or both, in winter; in summer, a colorful sports shirt for dress-up and a T-shirt around the house and yard.
I often wore neat, gray slacks or clean, not worn or tattered chinos, to work. At home it may have been the more worn and tattered versions.
In 1979, I would have worn shorts at home or while running around doing errands in the summer. Now I wear whatever I put on in the morning during every season, chinos or jeans in the winter, shorts in the warm months and sneakers all year around.
There was a time — I think it was in the late 70’s — when fashion tastes went berserk and I followed along.
There were striped and plaid pants, outrageous colors, jackets without collars, very wide-legged to very narrow-legged trousers.
I’m glad to report that in a few years my fashion tastes, and almost everyone else’s, returned to normal, whatever that may have been.
Here is the column on “Men’s Fashion, 1979”:
Life was simpler once. For the important dress-up occasions I had a dark suit, a white shirt, two ties, a pair of dark socks and black shoes.
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