I have fought on the front lines of the dress code wars for many years now.
My generation was forced to dress up for every “special” event when we were young. We dressed up to go to school, to restaurants, to movie theaters, to travel (bus, train, plane), to anywhere outside of our own homes, and we did it because our parents insisted on it. That was simply the way things were done.
When we became adults, my generation rebelled. We were against the “stuffed-shirts," against the tyranny of formality, and we changed the rules of society. We did it so thoroughly and successfully, and brought the “dressing up” quotient down so low, a new dress code had to be established that never would have been necessary for our parent’s generation.
We became the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” generation. That was probably our lowest moment as dress code protesters; a bit of an eye-opener about how low we had gone. We had made pants the only necessary item of clothing. Can’t go much lower than that.
When we became more responsible adults, we began to see some exceptions to our dress code absolutism. Sure, a lot of us showed up to work dressed far more casually than our parents did, but we really didn’t want to see our bankers or financial advisers dressed in flip-flops. There were certain industries where the workplace dress code still made sense.
And we also didn’t have a problem with dress codes in really expensive places trying to maintain a certain image. For instance, going to a casino in Monte Carlo shouldn’t feel like going to a riverboat in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Dress codes still seem to work when they are applied judiciously and appropriately.
But there’s one place where the dress code has never worked, and seems like it will never work, unless drastic steps are taken. That place is, of course, the golf course. Most golf courses still insist that their golfers wear collared shirts and appropriate shoes, but yet, you’ll never see a collection of more hideously dressed people accumulated in one place at one time.
I think it’s because focusing on collared shirts and appropriate shoes isn’t addressing the actual problem. With that in mind, I’ve taken the liberty of putting together a short list that should be added to the collared shirt and appropriate shoes requirements.
These rules are presented free of charge to golf courses across America as a public service. In no particular order, they are…
*No lime green slacks
(This will put the lime green slacks-makers out of business, but shouldn’t they already be out of business?)
*No checkered slacks
(Save those for Bingo Night in the church basement.)
*No checkered shirts
(Unless you are also going to be a tablecloth after your round.)
(This really should be a world-wide rule, but we have to start somewhere)
(Note: It’s not 1927.)
*No Safari Hats
(Unless, of course, you are golfing on the Serengeti)
*No shorts with dark socks
(1967 called to say that your grandfather wants his look back)
*No sock suspenders for men
(I’ve seen it. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it, but I really did)
That’s a good starting point I think. I’m sure those of you who golf more often than I do have even more items to add to the list. Feel free to send me your suggestions.
I’m accumulating the list for the betterment of society.
No need to thank me.