Manners Matter: Fashion Forward

Dear Miss Manners,

Styles are changing all the time and I am now accustomed to grown men wearing short pants to church on Sunday and to anniversary dinners at upscale restaurants that begin at 8 pm.

I can’t accept the practice of men wearing grimy baseball caps at any occasion and I suspect that some of them are hiding a couple of perch or other small fish under these wretched headpieces. Something is causing that smell! What say you?


Liberty Grove


Dear Lenore,

I too lament a time when people were more formally attired. As I’ve said before, I don’t like when people walk around looking like unmade beds. Scruffy shoes, pants that are riding too low – as either an attempt to be street or as a result of denial about one’s true size – untucked shirts, unshaven faces and topped off with a hat like you describe. We are talking about men here for the moment. Unfortunately, women’s fashion faux pas will take another column to sort out.

When I see men such as these, I have a desire to chase them with a razor, a bar of soap and directions to the nearest men’s store.

I agree with you about the hats, however, I don’t know how to explain the phenomenon. Try as I have to understand it, there is a strong need for some men to break their hats in to a degree that borders on its destruction. The more you and I would want to throw one of these caps away, the more likely they are to think that the cap is perfect as is. If it’s any consolation, a lot of the ones that I’ve seen have been laundered. Naturally, the laundering was not an attempt to get rid of any odors, it was to further break the hat fibers down.

Let’s just chalk this up to one of life’s mysteries, shall we?

Good luck,

Mary Pat