Here’s my Dad and Uncle Pres hoofing it down the Midway of the San Francisco’s Golden Gate Exposition on Labor Day, 1940. Wives and kids are presumably somewhere nearby out of camera range. Maybe Dad and Uncle Pres dropped them off at the Aquacade while they stepped out for a quick one at Shanghai Lil’s.
It’s Labor Day. A holiday. Nobody’s going to work later, yet, as you’ve probably noticed, they’re both dressed to the hilt in business suits with vests and floppy pants, dress shirts, ties and, in Dad’s case, a jaunty fedora. Their overcoats are draped over their arms in case the fog comes in. They’re in their comfort zone, a newspaper guy and a building contractor. It’s just how guys dress.
Okay, now here’s two normal American guys of today. They’re roughly the same age as Dad and Uncle Pres in the first picture (early thirties). And, like Dad and Uncle Pres, they’re out for a summer holiday, if in a slightly warmer climate.
These guys would probably rather be shot than make a fashion choice, but they’ve made some nevertheless. For one thing, they’re both branded. Their tee shits tell us they’re Aeropostale kind of guys. The man on the right is also a Sony kind of guy. If we could read his hat we’d learn something else about him.
I have no intention of making pig jokes about them – they look pretty much like the rest of American hetero guys in their thirties today – on a summer Saturday when they’re not going to work later.
My question is simply…is this all there is? Couldn’t we guys get together and figure out how to look a little more interesting without going all the way back to 1940? Or having to send stuff to the cleaners? Besides, I hate floppy trousers as much as you do, but jeans and tee shirts just don’t feel that cool any more.