Mar 4, 2006

On Dressing For The Weather


(Toledo, OH) First off - I admit that I am middle-aged, and my sense of fashion is not what it once was. I rarely give much concern to what I wear beyond one consideration - whether or not the articles are clean.

While acknowledging my aforementioned reduced awareness of the nuances of modern style, I nonetheless feel compelled to weigh in on a fashion phenomena I have been observing with greater frequency.

I am speaking of teens wearing shorts and flip-flops.

Now, remember that this missive is being composed in Ohio. In winter. While there is still snow. And icicles.

I see young people at the university, at the store, and at the gas station wearing summer attire, and I simply do not understand the mindset of someone who goes outdoors in twenty- and thirty-degree weather dressed as I might if I were to go to the beach in July.

Sure, I was young once. As a kid my mother chased after us with gloves and hats that we would attempt to leave behind. As a teen I sometimes opted for my leather jacket over the less-cool parka.

I GET that.

I never felt the urge, though, to venture out of the house in wintertime wholly unprepared for the elements, nor do I ever recall anyone I grew up with dressing in such a manner.

In my uncool mind, flip-flops and shorts in the winter are not stylish, daring, or edgy.

They are just plain idiotic.

With that I will now put on a dorky sweater, geeky thick socks, and finish waiting for the last of my improperly-clad teens to get home. Shivering.


valbee said...

I totally agree. It's as though they have something to prove, although I haven't quite figured out what. My own kids rarely wear coats. They have them, but they never wear them. And yes, I still opt for my leather jacket on occasion, such as tonight when The Boyfriend's band had a gig and I needed to look... well... sorta kinda like a rock chick. :) But I was thankful for a car heater in excellent condition once I left the club. That and no ice slowing my rapid progress to said car.

Is it spring yet? :)

-Sepp said...

This isn't really anything new. I used to see Americans in Germany walking around in shorts and a sweat jacket in January and February all the time. My parents thought we were fools for wearing jeans with holes in them so, I guess the next generation has to have it's own signature fool fashion.

historymike said...

Sure, sepp. I might look the other way on shorts, but flip-flops?

Hey Val - do your kids do that odd fashion of sticking their arms in their coats backwards, so that the arms are the only body part actually in the coat?

When I get after my most notorious coat-haters, they try this pseudo-compromise.

valbee said...

No, I haven't been exposed to that particular placation. But your kids sound creative. :)

JM works for Rocket Patrol now, so he actually will wear a coat on days he's out ticketing. When he's not working, he parks as close as he can and runs.

JL wears a hoodie. And then complains about being cold. But here's the best part: I GAVE him one of my old coats, a completely unisex coat from the construction company I used to work at. This was my winter coat for a few years running and I'll still put it on now and then. JM will wear that in the house while he's complaining about being cold, but when he goes out he'll just wear the hoodie. And complain about being cold.


Hooda Thunkit said...


You know, a couple of car breakdowns during a typical Ohio winter just might change some minds about what is fashionable.

There is nothing more "influencing" than an icy blast up your shorts and a few frost-bitten toes, while hiking for help because of a broken-down ride :-)