Reminiscing On A Time Before My Own

Reminiscing On A Time Before My Own


A few weeks back I was at an event conversing with an older gentleman.  It was quite a nice conversation and then it turned to men’s dress and it got even better.  I often enjoy talking with guys from a previous generation than mine about men’s dress.

We often hear or read about an era when gentlemen dressed like ‘gentlemen’.  The gentleman I was speaking with wanted to expound on those times a little.  He shared a few bits of those time with me which I will paraphrase the best I can, sadly my memory is not good enough to quote him, as his verbiage and grammar was certainly better than mine.  But anyway.

‘They didn’t have a dress code, everyone knew how to dress’, whilst referring to ‘business casual’ and the plethora of dress codes we now hear of.

‘You wore lace ups and you didn’t take your jacket off if you would be seen in public’, whilst referring to the dressing of men in general.

‘No one took off their jacket during a meeting, even if the most senior person at the table did.’  Whilst referring to dressing for the office.

Not saying that things should be that way these days.  But it is certainly some interesting things to think about.



Photocredit: Gentleman’s Gazette


  1. The gentleman you was talking he does have a point, now people don’t know when and what to wear and in most cases those people become a disadvantage to themselves. But what the Gentleman was stating is true because when wearing a suit in a meeting, business hosting events or meeting up with your date it gives off a sign saying you are sophisticated, mature and you know what you doing.

  2. I NEVER take my jacket off. This has been my stance i bought a tuxedo a while back. Sometimes it does lead to a little extra sweat while in the office or on the dance floor but all the more reason to make sure your suit is not just quality but also seasonal appropriate. I just look at all the guys in my office, walking around in baggy button downs and ties, knowing they have a jacket on the back of their chairs, and I wonder if they really think they look professional. My motto whenever anyone asks me “why don’t you take your jacket off” is “I WILL NOT YIELD!”

  3. I understand the intention expressed herein about leaving one’s jacket on while in public, but I personally find jackets often too hot to bear in our overheated offices nowadays. Besides, a jacket is (was) intended as outerwear, to keep the chill off out of doors. Why conform to this mania for decor indoors just so as to look “dressed”? It’s ridiculous. Why were men’s “sports” coats, or even suit jackets, invented in the first place but to serve the common man and collegiate “sports” rowing their regattas, and for other jacket wearers outside of offices and houses? The Army sack coat was the original men’s outerwear garment, converted to civilian use, so why don’t we go back to that day and age of the Civil War, when so-called “blue-collar”workers wore such coats to the factory, wood pile, and waterfront? Do you think that after working up a sweat on the job they hesitated to remove their confining cover to continue their work? I’m as traditionalist a dresser as anyone, and quite persnickety too, but I am also a nonconformist when I see no good reason to conform to society’s or to the company’s rules, whatever they may be. I question, in this present case, why some arbitrary period in the recent past should be held up as the standard for male dress etiquette today, when things like the prevalence of central heating and women (whose body temperatures make their sex perennially cold, therefore raising the average indoor thermostatic temperature) more common in the workforce.