Greetings from Slob-ville

Or, as some people call it, modern-day Philadelphia

Cowboy boots, tight jeans, a plaid shirt hanging out. I am not describing the rodeo I attended. Regrettably, no. I went to brunch last Sunday at one of the nicest restaurants in the city, XIX at the Bellevue. This is an upscale affair, we’re talking about here. Gourmet Bloodies, a raw bar, the works in a glittering room. Which is why I was astonished to see what people consider proper brunch attire.

Certain dignified traditions have gone by the wayside in my lifetime. No longer do people dress up to travel. In fact, they seem to consider wearing the least attractive clothes they own suitable for travel these days. (I secretly wonder if bad customer service by airlines is a chicken or egg thing. Maybe they started treating customers badly when they began looking homeless.) Jacket-required restaurants are often filled with jacketless people, often in jeans. It just seems as though good taste and pride in one’s appearance is sadly (and ironically) out of style. [SIGNUP]

Back to brunch. I was sitting with a clear view of the raw buffet and couldn’t help but notice the parade of unfortunate and offensive fashion decisions parading under those dangling pearl light fixtures. Leggings with Ugg boots were a common choice. So were skinny jeans that were not on skinny people. The plaid shirt and cowboy boots were on a woman, by the way. Most of these people looked like they’d just rolled out of bed. Actually they looked like they were headed to the all-you-can-eat pancake event at IHOP. The lack of syrup at the raw bar must have confounded them.

There were others like me. A few men in jackets, women in dress pants or suits with scarves and jewelry. We were the relics. All of us were over 30. It seemed that he younger the person, the worse their clothing choice was. As someone who loves great designers, general good taste, and appropriate attire for all occasions, this experience made me want to go around handing out citations. Sadly, I could not think of a governing fashion body that I could pose as a representative for, and I don’t think my personal opinion would have much clout.

On our way out of the dining room I passed a tall, slim young woman wearing a gray silk belted tunic dress with opaque black tights and tall boots. She looked absolutely lovely. Hip, youthful and yet appropriate. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to give her an award (again no governing body to represent). I just wanted to let her know that she’d restored my faith in our youth and our future as a civilized species. It was a good moment. Until I saw her date, that is. He was wearing a plaid shirt and jeans.

KELLY ROWELL lives on the Main Line. Read her previous posts here.