Why Do We Let Girls Dress Like That? – WSJ.com

Mohammed Alim Khan (1880–1944), the last Emir ...

Mohammed Alim Khan (1880–1944), the last Emir of Bukhara. Image via Wikipedia

All of which brings me to a question: Why do so many of us not only permit our teenage daughters to dress like this—like prostitutes, if we’re being honest with ourselves—but pay for them to do it with our AmEx cards?

via Why Do We Let Girls Dress Like That? – WSJ.com.

After you answer that question — and good luck with that one — tell me/us why the attire you see on both sexes of all ages no longer, in far too many instances, is appropriate to the place or occasion? Let’s take an example near and dear to my heart. (after you ponder the following, go back and read the entire article — interesting)

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away (isn’t that how all good stories are supposed to begin?) there was a judge conducting jury selection in a case somewhere in Texas. Moments after one of the prospects asked to approach the bench, the unsuspecting judge was rocked back on his heels. Well, back in his over-stuffed chair anyway.

There “it” was. Marching down the aisle between the two sections of seating, coming to share dark secrets with hiz honor, was this nattily attired person.  Nattily attired if attending a beach blanket bingo party, that is.

Resplendent in his tank-top, shorts and 88 cent shower shoes (not even the courtesy of Birckenstocks), he sauntered right down for some conversation. The conversation was short. Once the startled judge got his heart restarted, his tongue out of the back of his throat and his gizzard to pumping again, he simply said “your attire, sir, is inappropriate for court and you may be excused and will appear on another day.”

The real trouble began later when I published (yes, I was that judge) my now-infamous Court Dress Code. Clean and pressed jeans were allowed — after all, we’re (thankfully) in the “sticks.” A jacket was preferred for men, but not required. I think it was the requirement that men wear a tie that garnered the most attention. Yes, I know it was. Without any doubt.

I say “trouble” only if one considers it to be a problem to be accosted at the Horseshoe Bay “500 of your closest friends” parties by every single male who either had gotten a jury summons or feared the very prospect now that the draconian dress code was in the wind. “I’m not wearing a damn tie to your court or any other” was the frequent greeting, to which I silently pondered “how will this play in (federal) Judge Sam Sparks court?”

Not to worry. I had the solution. I just knew that a rent-a-tie business could nicely add to my eventual retirement. Not really, of course, but I did garner a nice collection contributed by guys who obviously had not cleaned out their closets since pre-1980’s. Everyone’s favorite was the “fish tie.” If you turned the tie horizontally the tip was a fish-head and for a tie-tack … you guessed it, a huge faux gold-plated fish hook.

That dress code came and went. Another took its place and has remained for many years with moderate success punctuated occasionally by some hapless soul who gets his ticket punched to return another day.

But here I have digressed. The question was, and is:  why do so many people seem clueless about attire appropriate to the occasion and place?  The court is but one place, but one would think that almost anyone knows that the courthouse, with the potential to get on a jury looming high on their horizon, requires a certain degree of decorum and solemnity. It has been suggested that dressing down is a ploy to avoid being picked. Maybe, but I don’t think so.

So answer me. Why?


About Gil Jones

CPA/Attorney/Judge by training and trade. Hobby nut at heart with BMW m/c, computers, ham radio, kayak fishing, photography, hiking and, starting in 2010 some semi-serious running and bicycling (road and mountain bikes). Retired after 16 years on a Texas District Court bench and since 2013 have been mediating cases. I am a Credentialed Distinguished mediator (TMCA).
This entry was posted in judge stuff, Life and sea stories, Philosophical-Inspiring-Interesting-Whatever, serious and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why Do We Let Girls Dress Like That? – WSJ.com

  1. Butch Kemper says:

    I found this quote attributed to Sam Sparks on the Wiki page you referenced:

    “When the undersigned accepted the appointment from the President of the United States of the position now held, he was ready to face the daily practice of law in federal courts with presumably competent lawyers. No one warned the undersigned that in many instances his responsibility would be the same as a person who supervised kindergarten.”

    Judge Sparks sounds like a very interesting person with a terrific sense of humor.

    Don’t give in on your dress code. It is too bad that our school districts do not have the courage to implement a uniform code instead of trying to create a dress code that addresses what the kids wore last year.


    • Gil Jones says:

      LOL. Judge Sparks has been quite outspoken on the topic of lawyers and some of the motions and other pleadings they file. He has issued orders in poetry and sarcasm that are interesting. Elected judges don’t get to do that!

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