In my part of the world, formal dress is a clean Hawaiian shirt, and as the lady sings, California "is cold and it's damp."
When I was a lad, men wore suits to all manner of occasions, and hats were just on their way out. My mother wore a hat, sometimes with a veil, and white gloves to work. When my father was in college, he and his friends went to concerts by subway, but they wore tails. Or so he said. I wasn't there.
Today, formality is turning the bill of one's baseball cap to the front, and using a fancier belly-button jewel.
We've lost something. The country might be a better place if
- Men wore coats and ties more often.
- Children addressed adults with "Sir" and "Ma'am."
- The "f-word: and the "s-word" were as taboo as the "n-word."
- Ladies wore hats to church, and they played the organ there, and not guitars.
Although this is a "do as I say, not as I do" thing, for the moment, I am serious. There is a reason why the Jewish havdalah ritual, which ends the Sabbath, includes thanks for separating the everyday from the holy:
Barukh atah Adonai Elohaynu melekh ha-olam, ha-mavdil bayn kodesh l'chol.Separating work from leisure, school from play, a place of worship from a fast-food joint, children from adults, mixed company from "the guys," all with appropriate dress and speech, strike me as good things.
Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the Universe, who distinguishes between the sacred and the secular.
Stop slouching, put on some decent clothes, throw the chewing gum away, and clean up your language. And, "You have such a lovely face. Why cover it up with all that hair?" We'd be better off if we did listen to our mothers.
UPDATE: Corrected some typos. I find it hard to proofread on line.