Comfort is King

I came across this article and it reinforced a strong belief of mine–a revolution in formal wear is coming. The article is about a rising trend in young children of wearing pajamas to school, but I think there are wider-reaching implications here. I guess what I’m driving at is this: the suit and tie are on their way out.

I came across this article and it reinforced a strong belief of mine–a revolution in formal wear is coming. The article is about a rising trend in young children of wearing pajamas to school, but I think there are wider-reaching implications here. I guess what I’m driving at is this: the suit and tie are on their way out.

Before even finishing the article it was obvious how this trend began–college kids. Naturally, young kids want to emulate their older counterparts. When I was in college there was always at least one student who attended class in pajamas, presumably having just rolled out of bed. I’ll admit, in most cases it was more likely a fashion statement, some attempt to appear aloof and above it all, but that doesn’t mean the pajamas were any less comfortable. The fact that it was “cool” (no pun intended) to dress that way does not detract from my position that comfort is king. Indeed, I think the very essence of that coolness lies in the comfortable nature of the clothes. The logic is simple: one chooses to rebel by discarding traditionally accepted formal clothing in favor of something more comfortable.

Now, I’m obviously no fashion expert (as anyone who knows me will confirm), but I’m going to trust my instincts on this one. Suits are bad enough, especially in the summer, but the tie is such an obviously useless piece of fabric it boggles the mind that it’s still worn. Of course, wearing a tie has its roots in tradition, but traditions change. I’ve always felt that “the truth bubbles to the surface,” and by the same token, people gravitate toward comfort. Look at the Victorian age, when women wore the most restrictive clothing imaginable and men wore powdered wigs (for the record, I’m no history expert either.)

There has already been a trend toward more casual clothing, and I think that trend will continue. In the ’50’s the suit and tie were the norm for office work; today it’s business casual. If kids these days are wearing pajamas to school, how are they going to tolerate restrictive clothing in the future? I’d like to see us move toward a more Indian or Chinese style of dress. To me, that type of clothing proves that you can convey formality without sacrificing comfort. Then again, I’ve never worn a sherwani, so if my prediction does come true let’s hope it’s as comfortable as it looks.

-Matt

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Comfort is King

11 thoughts on “Comfort is King

  1. miker says:

    I can confirm the aloof comfort clothes in class trend is alive and well. I see kids walking around campus in various states of scruffiness and undress all the time. they usually wear their sunglasses in class too. its clearly a nod to their coolness – “dude i got soooo wasted last night I woke up 5 mins ago!”

    im sure working at a university spoils me, I wear torn jeans and t-shirts to work all the time.
    I just can’t imagne typical business administrators will ever break the slacks and tie cycle. fact is, just like cars, fancy clothes are expensive and establish your position in society at a glance – especially to those you want to impress.

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  2. Don’t get me wrong–I think there will always be a need for formal wear, at least until and if we attain some kind of Utopia where social hierarchy has been eliminated. I’m also imagining this revolution taking place over a very long timeframe–perhaps hundreds of years.

    The necktie is deeply rooted in European culture, and hence our own. As the world becomes more interconnected, it’s not crazy to think that other cultural trends will integrate with our own. Combine that with the natural tendency toward more casual and comfortable clothing, and I think my prediction is pretty sound. I guess time will tell.

    -Matt

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  3. I think you’re right about this, in general, Mattdude. Work clothing has clearly been moving towards a more casual style, and will probably continue to do so.

    However, I don’t think suits and ties are pointless, and I don’t think they’ll disappear completely. What greater sign of respect than putting your appearance over your comfort? I think it’s a solid, respectable tradition to dress formally for business meetings. (Sounds funny coming from me, but that is how I feel about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    — Voidious

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  4. Y’know, it’s a pretty good point that the very fact that you’re uncomfortable is a demonstration of respect. In that case there may be a limit to just how comfy we’re willing to get.

    I guess part of my thinking is that we’ll move away from the need for overt demonstrations of respect. This assumes we’re moving toward a more egalitarian society with less rigid social hierarchies. Then again, such equality adds even more value to a display of respect.

    -Matt

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  5. The other major component of this, in my opinion, is a trend toward practicality, and away from useless frill (like a tie). Look at all the extraneous fins on old automobiles, or the grotesque appendages on some of that 80’s clothing. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like over time extraneous decoration gets eliminated in favor of something more “sleek”.

    -Matt

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  6. Yes!! That’s the ticket yo. I didn’t notice your link at first and did a little searching. Turns out that thing is actually called a “Mandarin” collar!

    -Matt

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