Fashion has evolved dramatically over the years, and what’s considered trendy today might have been unthinkable in the past. While some of these may sound judgmental, they reflect the real opinions of 13 baby boomers who raise their eyebrows at some of the fashion trends of today.
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“People walk around dressed like they just woke up. I actually overheard an angry diner complaining that he wouldn’t be allowed into a restaurant wearing his purple lounge pants. Basically, pajamas that people decide to wear outside the home.”
Lounge pants, as acceptable outdoor wear, represent a significant shift in fashion norms. Baby boomers recall a time when dressing up was the norm when going out in public, and wearing pajama-like clothing beyond the home was unthinkable.
“On the weekends, in a casual environment: Fine. However, when you are in your 30–50s and dressed like you are in high school, no, it wouldn’t have flown in the past.”
The acceptance of athletic wear as everyday clothing has blurred the lines between casual and formal attire. Baby boomers often associate such attire with youth and sports, and wearing it beyond those contexts may have been considered too casual in their generation.
“Especially if you obviously don’t do any yoga.”
Yoga pants have become a staple in many wardrobes, even for those who don’t practice yoga. This trend may be seen as a departure from the more formal and traditional fashion choices baby boomers grew up with.
“People in the past would have called people on it.”
Tight-fitting clothing has become popular in recent years, but baby boomers remember a time when looser-fitting attire was the norm. This shift in fashion emphasizes the evolving standards of body image and self-expression.
“Intentionally ripped or cut clothing – What is the appeal of…showing off exposed skin and basically removing any of the warmth or protection of wearing clothing? My favorite is pre-ripped jeans that sell for hundreds of dollars a pair. That would have both amused and disgusted people in the middle of the last century.”
The intentional distressing of clothing, such as ripped jeans, challenges traditional ideas of clothing functionality and aesthetics. Baby boomers may find this trend perplexing, as it deliberately undermines the practicality of clothing.
“Intentionally exposed bra straps.”
“Any item of clothing where your underwear shows. We used to have a whole suite of bras to adjust to varying necklines (and you can still buy them).”
Exposing undergarments as a fashion statement contrasts with the modesty often associated with earlier generations. Baby boomers may recall a time when concealing undergarments was a fashion imperative.
“Backpacks for adults, especially for work.”
The adoption of backpacks as a work accessory represents a shift towards practicality over formality. Baby boomers may remember a time when briefcases or handbags were the standard for professional settings.
“The blurring between “work” clothes and “do stuff around the house” clothing. I remember little old European men who wore slacks, shirts, and vests to do yard work. Now we wear tee shirts and jeans to go to the office.”
The merging of work and leisure wear reflects changes in workplace culture and dress codes. Baby boomers may have a more distinct separation between professional attire and casual wear in their memories.
“Baseball caps and trucker caps for everyday wear.”
Wearing caps as everyday fashion has become a common practice, but baby boomers might recall a time when hats were more formal accessories and not typically worn indoors.
“Athletic shoes on adults and not at the gym.”
The acceptance of athletic shoes as a fashion statement rather than just functional footwear signifies a shift towards comfort and practicality. Baby boomers might associate such shoes primarily with sports and exercise.
“Some 13-year-old girls are dressing like adults, when they’re still kids. Some 13-year-olds are wearing sexy shorts, miniskirts, midriff-revealing clothing, and way too much make-up.”
The trend of young girls adopting more mature fashion styles raises questions about age-appropriate attire. Baby boomers may remember a time when children’s clothing was more conservative and modest.
“In the past, people from the baby boomer generation typically wouldn’t wear clothing that resembled pajamas outside of their homes. Today, it’s not uncommon to see individuals wearing lounge pants, onesies, and other sleepwear-inspired outfits in public. Baby boomers might find this trend questionable as it blurs the line between what’s considered appropriate attire for different settings.”
The normalization of pajama-like clothing in public spaces challenges traditional dress codes. Baby boomers might view this trend as a departure from the more formal and modest clothing of their era.
“About contemporary styles, leggings on women would be “never wear,” to Boomers.”
The debate over whether leggings qualify as pants highlights changing fashion norms. Baby boomers may have different expectations for what constitutes appropriate bottom-wear compared to younger generations.
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