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Are British Men Scruffy In Their Clothes?

(106 Posts)
Grandad1943 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:25:54

In recent months I seem to have become aware of how poor and "scruffy" British men have become in their dress. It would seem that with many males these days to "slop around" in a sloganised t-shirt and a pair of jeans which often look as if they have been worn for days/weeks without washing seems to be the "norm".

I am one who especially if I am going out will make an effort to smarten up with at least a clean semi-formal button-up shirt, a pair of smart casual strides, and a pair of Smart shoes, never trainers.

However, it seems that I and males I associate with are part of a dying breed, as many men, even on an evening out, look as if they have just got up out the chair and walked out the door in whatever they have been wearing all day or even for several days.

The above has been brought to the fore when on Saturday a male member of staff came into the office dressed as above after a couple of days off. His line manager (a woman) "had a right go, reminding him that smart casual was the dress code for the office. He stated that it was Saturday he was not officially working and he had only come in to check on his work for Monday.

So thoughts on male dress sense in today's world?

Luckygirl Tue 14-Jan-20 09:29:25

The priority for me is that people should be comfortable. For some that might involve dressing up to go out; for others it involves casual gear - each to his own I say!

12Michael Tue 14-Jan-20 09:32:56

I like many today are happy dressing casual , in my jeans , although I do not wear pumps as footwear.
Its seems the baby boomers, who were in there teens in the 60`s try to fit in with many younger than themselves .

Gaunt47 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:38:07

Well, there's comfort and there's grunge! I have to agree with Grandad1943, that many men do seem to dress sloppier nowadays.
But I often wonder where they shop for their clothes. Most clothes shops are filled with clothes for women, and there's a very small section in the corner for men.

tanith Tue 14-Jan-20 09:41:09

One of my GSs is never out of his shorts come hell or high water the last time I saw him in trousers was at a wedding. He’s just comfortable dressed how he wants he does have some tidy shorts for outings however but his knees are always on show. 🤣 He’s one of the happiest people I know.

Hetty58 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:41:56

The line manager was being unreasonable to expect work dress code for somebody just popping in, not working.

I don't mind casual clothes at all (jeans, t-shirt and trainers) as long as they look clean. I do prefer a nice ironed shirt, though. It gives the impression that a man has made an effort to look smart. Jeans and a shirt seems smart enough for most occasions.

JenniferEccles Tue 14-Jan-20 09:42:08

I agree and think it’s a generation thing.

Older men often are more smartly dressed than younger ones who are invariably in a uniform of scruffy jeans and trainers.

My husband doesn’t even own a pair of trainers!

TrendyNannie6 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:55:05

live n let live I say, as long as clothes are clean and the man is too, does it really matter, for God’s sake the poor man only went into the office on a day he wasn’t working, she sounds a right idiot. Men are a lot more relaxed nowadays in the type of clothes they wear. Doesn’t matter a jot to me, it’s how they are as people not what they are wearing

Patsy70 Tue 14-Jan-20 10:11:09

I agree with Grandad1943. So many men make absolutely no effort to look smart, both young and old. I think it is a question of pride. You can still look smart wearing casual clothes, as long as they fit well, are colour co-ordinated, clean and pressed and the shoes are polished. My OH is not the most stylish hmm but if I mention that he's not dressed appropriately he gets very annoyed, so to avoid an argument, I say little. However, his daughter is getting married this year and he has actually forked out to have a new suit made, and wanted me to help him choose the style. In the meantime, I am ordering him some new clothes, and if necessary will take them to the tailor for alteration, as he is on the large side and it is difficult to get off the peg trousers to fit him. Thank you for starting this thread.

Patsy70 Tue 14-Jan-20 10:12:21

Also, European men are so much smarter, even in their casual wear!

Grandad1943 Tue 14-Jan-20 10:17:49

Just to comment that smart Casual dress is a strict rule in our offices as a client or customer can walk in at any time, and often do.

The person in question in regard to his clothes choice is a junior member of an assignment team who go into other companies to carry out safety audits, incident investigation etc and therefore there has to be a strict dress code for such work.

He has not been with the company long, and in that, there has been no problem with him up to this point.

However, what I hope to gain from forum members in their replies would be, do they feel there has been a "lowering of standards" in men's dress, and if so should that be accepted and reflected right through society including work life.

Personal hygiene is also an issue I feel, but that at times is in both men and women. That stated, it is not a problem for us in our office at this point in time, but on public transport, I believe it has become an often and very offensive problem.

timetogo2016 Tue 14-Jan-20 10:20:31

Give me scruffy jeans/t/shirts any day to pj`s/onesies.
I hate dressing up so I go smart casual but I think that`s my age.

M0nica Tue 14-Jan-20 10:21:45

Horses for courses. What you wear in your own time is your own business. What you wear for work is somebody else's business.

At a practical level DH works in a hazardous environment and nobody would be allowed on site without approved workwear. Similarly, a bank, shop, doctor's surgery will expect staff to dress in a style that projects the ethos of the employer.

Would you have confidence if a locum GP in an unironed T shirt, ripped jeans, scruffy hair and unshaven? Wouldn't you feel uneasy that his medicine was as sloppy as his dress? because he has chosen not to bother to meet accepted professional stadards of dress.

hazel93 Tue 14-Jan-20 10:22:20

Totally agree TN !
DS and his friends are always well groomed whether in shorts and flip flops or a three piece suit.
On the other hand I often see men of a certain age and cannot help but think "Are you sure " ?

Teetime Tue 14-Jan-20 10:25:13

I think its lovely to see a smartly dressed man whether that's jeans and a shirt/jumper or a three piece suit - depends on the occasion. I had a job to 'de-formalise' my husband after 40 years in an office but his jeans/chinos etc are always clean and well pressed. He is very lucky to be a 6ft stock size - looks good in clothes. If you are on a budget, are a non stock size or height its more difficult but I agree you do see a lot of grungy looking guys around.

TerriBull Tue 14-Jan-20 10:27:07

My husband is always well dressed in a casual way, chinos, Gant sweaters, ironed casual shirts, Timberland deck shoes, he plays a lot of golf, so Lacoste polo shirts in the summer usually. He buys good quality stuff, and like me looks out for discounts, he knows his style, he wouldn't go out looking like a scruff, I appreciate that. He also doesn't like trainers, regards them as gym wear and that's where he wears his, unlikes our sons who have a multitude of trainers for all purposes. He'd probably agree with the OP, but each to their own. We have friends where the husband is a bit of a scruff, he's a really nice person though, but suffice to say I'm glad my husband still takes a pride in his appearance. I like to shower and put clean clothes on each day and I have to say I wouldn't want to have to put up with a partner who didn't have the same attitude.

GrandmaMoira Tue 14-Jan-20 10:27:37

Grandad - You asked if standards should be lowered for work life. Standards have changed as in the past all men would have to wear suits for office work. Nowadays most offices allow smart casual styles for men. It's usually only the most senior people wearing a suit with jacket and tie.
I find it is generally only older people who dress more formally outside work now - I hesitate to say a specific age but probably older than baby boomers like me who tend to wear jeans. I only see ladies in their 80s with shampoo and set hairstyle, skirts, tights, court shoes, formal jacket.

NfkDumpling Tue 14-Jan-20 10:32:56

When my DH retired he stopped shaving, threw out all but three of his ties, and only has one suit which doubles for weddings or funerals. A shame because he looks good in a suit and tie. But, the beard is trimmed and he wears ‘smart casual’ when he goes out. If he didn’t I’d tell him ’orff.

Chestnut Tue 14-Jan-20 10:35:58

There has been a steady trend towards casual wear since the 1960s but it does sometimes seem to have gone too far. I have photos from 1965 of some 15 year old teenage boys wearing a suit and tie just for a casual trip to the park with their friends! Things changed a year or two later though. Now men of all ages often look very scruffy even in expensive designer clothes.

henetha Tue 14-Jan-20 10:36:45

Not me! I'm in my 80's... jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, comfort pants in the house... I've never had a shampoo and set in my life. Clean but comfortable, that's my motto.
As for men, each to his own..whatever they want.

HettyMaud Tue 14-Jan-20 10:43:03

Grandad1943, I totally agree with you. My DH remarks on how scruffy a lot of people are today and says they have no pride in themselves. There are wonderful smart-casual clothes for men these days. Seems as if standards have dropped in most aspects of life - clothes, TV programmes, newspapers..... I cringe at some of it.

Ellianne Tue 14-Jan-20 10:43:55

I agree with a previous poster that European men look smarter, even in casual wear. When we lived in France my husband was always taken for British before he opened his mouth . I think a lot of it has to do with the colours European men choose to put together, lots of pinks and peach, and by that I mean trousers as well as shirts. We very rarely see that in the UK. And no bulging pockets on the Continent, the man have bags!!

Nortsat46 Tue 14-Jan-20 10:51:05

GD1943 I totally agree.
We were discussing this yesterday, while watching Bargain Hunt on BBC, where all of the contestants were wearing very shabby looking jeans and ill fitting t shirts. I love Bargain Hunt but cannot imagine my partner (or me) going on the programme dressed in such a manner.

We were at the Royal Festival Hall recently for drinks and a concert and had both dressed in ‘nice’ clothes. We noticed many people wearing joggers, trainers and t shirts (what my partner calls ‘round the house’ clothes).

Not dressing nicely when going out, would undermine the occasion for me. But ‘each to their own’ ... 😎

Cherrytree59 Tue 14-Jan-20 10:52:46

I do agree that dressing in a professional manner probably
does gives the client a feeling confidence in the ability and service of the professional involved.

However a few years back my DH was in considerable pain and whilst various doctors discussed and couldn't agree on cause or treatment, My DH's condition was getting progressively worse.

Eventually I went with him to see yet another consultant.
We were both slightly taken a back when what a young version of my old Geography teacher shook our hands.
Casual check shirt, tweed jacket with cord patches (seen better days) brown baggy cords and suede trainers.

He pressed a nerve on my husbands arm causing him to virtually collapse in agony.
Said 'Sorry, but the good news is I know what the problem is.
If you wish I will operate and fix the problem'.
True to his word he did.

If the consultant had been in fancy dress, it would not have mattered. His confidence and reassurance were what mattered.

Our dentist, who I have the utmost faith wears jeans and white trainers.

JessK Tue 14-Jan-20 11:37:31

Always amazed how smart European men are even in jeans, tee shirt and no socks. Definitely more to do with how you wear something rather than what you wear.