Wednesday, January 12th, 2011...7:37 am

#154: I’ve Decided: It’s “Don’t Dress Up”

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Despite the confusion the New York Times brought to this issue,  I’ve decided after much deliberation and observation that the official How Not To Act Old dictate should be “Don’t Dress Up.”

The Evil Young are much more likely to go out looking like they cleaned the basement, got drunk, danced all night, had sex eight or nine times, slept for 20 hours, then rolled out of bed and went out for pizza without ever once combing their hair much less changing their clothes.

Middle-aged people, by contrast, try to look all cool and casual, but their jeans always fit and are freshly laundered and they’re otherwise tidy and pulled-together.  Not, I must add, that this is always a good thing.  Here’s the Pres in his Mom Jeans.

And how do you know you’re really old?  You show up for everything from grocery shopping to movie watching to plane riding way too overdressed: coordinated clothes, polished shoes, matching accessories.  You dress like you care.  Like anybody else cares.

Sigh.  When I’m dressed wrong these days, I almost always err on the side of being too dressed up, even when I think I’m dressed down.  I worry about which boots to wear with my jeans.  String on a necklace over my sweater.  Think I look hip and relaxed.  Then get to the seminar or the party feeling like I’m wearing the equivalent of pearls and white gloves.

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