Dear young people: stop dressing like crap

Let me ask you a question: If you were called into court for an appearance – nothing serious, mind, just

Let me ask you a question: If you were called into court for an appearance – nothing serious, mind, just a mild telling off over a minor infraction – what would you wear?

At the very least, I imagine any of my contemporaries would wear a well-pressed shirt, possibly a jacket; skirt or slacks, a bit of makeup, hair done as best as possible.

These days, however, it seems you can get away with wearing whatever you want, or at least that’s what this 20-year-old thought:

gym shorts

According to Fairfax media, 20-year-old Breanna Daphney Potter showed up for her court appearance in this outfit.

Had she just been for a run? Was she planning on going for one afterwards? Who knows?

But this article caught my eye, not because of what she was wearing, but because the Magistrate quite rightly ticked her off for her slovenly dress sense (not to mention driving on a suspended licence and to failing to dispose of a syringe).

Ipswich Magistrate Stuart Shearer said to the young woman, “Do you think it’s appropriate to come to court dressed as if you are going to the gym? This is a formal proceeding and you are expected to dress appropriately.”

Hurrah for Magistrate Shearer! May he become mayor Ipswich and king of the world.

Quite frankly, I’m tired of people lolling about in unflattering gym clothes, barely-there singlets (I’m told “side boobs” are a thing with younguns) and generally looking like they rolled out of bed, picked up whatever was on the floor and stumbled out the door without looking in a mirror.

Women are the worst offenders, in my opinion. Did no one teach them that first impressions last? Or that a little heel and a lot of class will open doors for you?

I’m not suggesting that everyone gad about in gloves and hats. Goodness knows, I was the first to reject those. But a little decorum would go a long way, don’t you think?

I worried that I was the only person alive who lamented the fact people wear their slippers to the cinema these days, but it turns out I’m not completely alone.

Writing in the New York Post earlier this year, Elisabeth Vincentelli lamented the way no one dresses up for the theatre any more.

“When people were invited onstage at a recent performance of Penn & Teller on Broadway, many women looked as if they had stepped out of a jazzercise class, while men ambled around in hideous cargo shorts.

“And it’s not just at the theatre where folks have simply stopped trying: Offenders turn up at the Metropolitan Opera in Crocs. A colleague who used to work at the Neue Galerie — a museum housed in a former Vanderbilt mansion — would see visitors in cutoffs.

“But high culture isn’t the only victim. At the airport, many fliers appear ready for bed in their saggy sweatpants — or even pyjamas.”

To Magistrate Shearer, an almighty “thank you” from the bottom of my heart for attempting to maintain the dignity of one institution, the courtroom, even if the people in front of you are a lost cause.

Do you agree that people don’t dress properly any more? Is it liberation – or laziness?