How does "Old Money" actually dress…and why?
"Old Money" dressed appropriately.
Article contribution by Byron Tully
Photo: Danial Deen Isa Kalebic & Janetira Attaskulchai (credit: @janetira)
There are numerous magazines, websites, books, and blogs that offer up advice on how to dress. Very few of them tell you why to dress. In The Old Money Book, I do.
The first reason you dress is because very few people look good naked, and, secondly, we have laws against taking that kind of liberty in public. (Wink, nod.)
Seriously, we dress to communicate. And we communicate so much to others before we ever say a word…by the way we dress. We tell them our aspirations, our occupation, our income level, our educational level, our family background, and most importantly, our values.
Let’s set aside the knee-jerk reaction of “I don’t care what other people think. I dress for myself.” Very few of us have that confidence, self-awareness, or freedom. Most of us are required to dress for work. Most of us dress well for an important event, like a first date, or the first time you meet his or her parents. We’re human. We care what other people think.
Some events, like funerals, require somber and reserved attire in order to be considered appropriately dressed. The job interview often requires a navy blue, grey or black suit for men or women. When you conform your dress to accommodate the event, you are communicating that the event is more important than your own sartorial preferences. You might prefer your favorite T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants, but you’re not wearing them to your brother’s graduation ceremony.
(If you dress however you please, whenever you please, without regard for the circumstances and you are very financially independent, you are called an eccentric. When you do this and you are not financially independent, you are called an idiot. And by the way, eccentrics don’t do what they do for public consumption: it’s just the way they are.)