Suiting Up

It’s amazing to see what folks wear to the State Fair.

In addition to just walking around, YA and I have two times every day at the fair to just sit and watch the fair world go by: while waiting for the dog dock diving show and the parade.  For both of these, you really need to score a good seat about 30 minutes ahead of time.

The basic uniform for the fair is shorts and a shirt.  Of course, shorts covers a lot of ground: khakis, cut-offs, lycra/spandex.  Long, short, shorter and really short.  All kinds of colors.   Men tend to t-shirts – lots of sports logos and graphic tees, although not very many political slogans this year.  Women wear a bigger variety of shirts – some graphic tees but more casual print tops.  From very loose to painted on.

An overwhelming number of woman wear sandals, some high heels, some tennis shoes.  Men are almost all about tennies.  A few sandals but not many.

Of course, there are lots of other outfits – joggers, yoga pants, jeans, the occasional dress or skirt.  Some folks are strutting their stuff, others are pretty well covered up. If you can imagine it, somebody is probably wearing it at the fair.

Me and YA?  We’re right in line with the majority of fairgoers.  I’m khaki shorts, print top, birkenstocks.  YA is black shorts, solid color top, birkenstocks.  Every now and then I might wear a t-shirt, but not so far this year!

Have you ever had to wear a uniform?

46 thoughts on “Suiting Up”

  1. From August 1969 until February 1972 I wore olive green in the Army (then again for reserve duty from early 1974 to mid-1976). I didn’t like it the first time, but after dressing very sloppily for a couple years, the occasional uniform felt pretty good.
    Only one job after 1972, and that one part time, required a uniform. I was a campus cop for a semester while an undergraduate in 1975.
    Now an old required guy, Khaki pants in cooler times and khaki shorts in warmer ones have become what I wear.
    I imagine going someplace dressed in drag (just for the shock value of it, and just once), but I’m not that brave.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Rise and Go To The Fair, Baboons!

    I am headed to the Fair where you can find me in the Master Gardener Booth from 8:00am – 12:00 noon. I am wearing something uniform-ish. My MG Tshirt and name tag.

    Hope to see you there.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wore a nurse’s uniform at my first job in the hospital lab, and I think that’s the last time for a job. And skirts (or a nun’s habit) were the unspoken uniform when I started teaching at the parochial school, though when I moved over to public school (1972), pants were allowed.

    Then for choral performances often required something required like Black Pants/Skirt, white shirt, or in one case, brightly solid-colored shirt. And of course, Folk Dance performance costumes are off the map!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. OT: WordPress progress – It seems WP is letting me Like and stay logged in, IF I open our Trail page from the New Comment message they send me via email. This means that TBB opens in a different browser (Microsoft Edge) from the one I normally use (Firefox). (I had tried – unsuccessfully – to do that when I first started having problems…)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I wore uniform at grammar school, and deviations were not permitted. When leaving or arriving, caps had to be worn. If you were in town on your way home and were caught in uniform with no cap, you would be instantly told to put it on, fortunately that didn’t arise much. Male teachers were “masters”, in the unpleasant old style of teachers being gods . If you saw a master or, after we joined up with the adjacent Girl’s Grammar, a “mistress”, woe betide you if you didn’t raise your cap and address said item as “sir” or “miss”.
    I don’t miss it.
    Come to that, I didn’t master it, either.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I occasionally had to wear uniform when driving trucks, and hated it, but it couldn’t be helped. For seven years at the Coop, it was just dark navy trousers and polo shirt, plus a jumper under some other name, plus fleece for cold weather. Pretty similar to most truck driver uniforms in the UK now, nothing smart about it, and I’d sooner wear my standard dress of Levi’s and proper shirts. Yellow vests and steel toe caps are universally compulsory now. I refuse to wear either of these items now I’m retired.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. So it’s ironic that I identify with two distinctive teenage groups from times past, both of which have a dress code, from which I won’t countenance deviations. The Teddy Boys from the fifties, and the Rockers from the sixties.
    It’s kind of lost its magic, but for some reason I just won’t give them up.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. Teddy Boys.

          As soon as I saw today’s title, I knew you were all in for it. I’ll try to contain the words, I do find it difficult.
          The Teds were the possibly the first of the nineteen fifties rebel gangs, cults, movements, whatever you want to call them. The word “cool” wasn’t used in the UK, possibly until the eighties. But they were different, smarter, cooler, than all the others. Though I admit that sitting in cafes, playing cards or whatever, with nothing much to do, sounds less glamorous than the supposed lifestyle of the American teenager of the time.
          Anyway. I thought I should check a fact or two before shooting my mouth off, and according to someone on Google, the name Teddy Boy was coined by journalists in 1953. Straight away, I contend that it was earlier.
          The Teds are forever associated in the UK with Rock’nRoll. But they actually predated it. The first R’n’R record is touted by many as being “Rocket 88”, a great record from the year of my birth. Adult singer, adult lyrics (buying a fifth of whiskey was not suitable for the stuff that finally broke the white teenage market), a solid, exciting, RYTHMN AND BLUES track, and I defy the world to prove different. It was not Rock’nRoll. Nor were any of the hundreds of tracks from various genres, which people hear on YouTube, with little knowledge, and claim to be the “first” R’n’R record. Going back to the dawn of time!
          So when the Teds were conceived in 1951, none of that was on the horizon in the UK. When Bill Haley finally appeared a very few years later, they seized on Rock’nRoll, and soon became even more notorious than they already were. So Rock’nRoll got the blame.
          In 1951,things were deadly dull. If you weren’t a farm boy. I guess you all know that Savile Row in London is a street of elite, expensive tailors. One tailor decided to design a new suit for young “guards officers” to wear. To this day I don’t know exactly what guards officers are, but you can bet it’s nothing that a left winger like me wants to be part of. This suit was based on the long jackets of the Edwardian era, and by coincidence I have a newspaper from 1951,with a large picture of a male model wearing this suit. The jacket is referred to as a “swagger coat” Now I THINK this is how it happened. The guy had made up a number of suits, maybe for modelling, I don’t know why a “made to measure” tailor would otherwise have ready-made suits on hand. The anticipated rush from unpleasant young upper class people never happened. So he he sold the suits off cheap to working class teenagers, whose imagination had been captured. The nationwide tailoring chain, Burtons, designed a version, for an affordable price, and the thing took off, and the notorious teenage thugs, the Teddy Boys, were born. My dad refuted the idea that they were named after Edward the 7th, which in itself proves that they were. I don’t know if “Teddy” was the one that invented that style of dress, but he wore it, and it was popular in his era. But what looked suitable for a man who was born old and boring, was changed in subtle ways for the new teenage market, using elements from the sharp dressers in cowboy films, for instance, with their different style of long coats, string ties, etc.
          I always say, I love the music of that era, the clothes, the style, and the dancing. I wish the thuggery hadn’t gone along with it. But I can’t help it.
          We were down on the farm in Devon, and I was little. I didn’t discover R’n’R and Teddy Boys until I became tired of the pop scene in the late sixties. But it all just got hold of me and I don’t want to let it go.
          I married Jane in 2002, at age 51, in a new black “drape” suit, as they’re called. My old suits were long gone. It doesn’t get a lot of use round here, though last year I stunned everyone, just for the hell of it, by disappearing during our first “event” since the lockdown, and coming back in my fifteen year old blue drape suit, black velvet shawl collar, black velvet on the pockets, The jacket is three quarter length, the trousers are tight, with an unnecessary button sewn at the bottom of each leg, non uniform, I admit, but I like it. String tie, crepe “brothel creeper” shoes. I look pretty ridiculous at 71. But it was the greatest fun to see people’s shock, and people were asking me what exactly I was doing.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. When I started at the Duluth Arena-Auditorium (now the DECC), we had to wear black pants/shoes, white shirt, black necktie and we were provided with red blazers and usher-type hats. We looked like a high-school band. About 3/4 though my tenure, we got a new boss. She changed our uniforms to khaki pants, white shirt, paisley necktie, and bright blue/white horizontal-striped sweaters. I thought we looked awful and I told her so. I said, “Don’t you want us to look professional?” She said, “No, I don’t. I want to be able to spot you in a crowd.” Being the snarky person I am, I replied, “Then how about oversized clown shoes, an LED flashing bowtie, and a helmet with a revolving emergency light?” Clearly, my critique did not go over well. Years later, I bumped into her and she admitted that I was right…we looked ridiculous and should’ve stuck with the more ‘professional’ look.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’ve heard tell that Queen Elizabeth always wears the solid colors with the matching hat, and bright colors so that she can be seen in a crowd by her security. I don’t know if that’s actually true or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And did you know that the beautiful Judith
        Durham, who never really was a “sixties”
        girl, modelled herself on the Queen, who, unlike me, she always admired?

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Today on my work computer, WP won’t let me like anything. Oh well.
    I had the band uniform for 10 and 11th grade. Then we ordered new uniforms and they didn’t arrive until mid-year. So our Marching band uniforms that year were red windbreakers, black pants, and baseball hats that said “JM” on them. (John Marshall high school).

    As a stage hand we had black or dark blue T-shirts that had the union and local number on them. Not required, but encouraged so at least people knew who we were.

    I do have a fancy black dress shirt with the college logo embroidered on it for events at the college. I have both a long sleeve and short sleeve versions. 🙂 Haven’t gotten the nerve to cut the sleeves off one of them yet.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Trumpet. Haven’t played in years. I still have the embouchure i suppose (do brass players ever loose theirs??) or at least I can still do the buzz. Probably don’t have the endurance anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. There seem to be two kinds of band uniforms these days. Having seen the parade four times now I feel really sorry for the kids who are in the long pants and jackets and big hats, they look supremely uncomfortable. The other side of the equation seems to be khaki shorts with T-shirts or polos and tennis shoes. They don’t look as professional but they look a lot more comfortable.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. My boarding school had several uniforms that rotated with the seasons, but only for those of us who were actual boarders. The students who just attended classes, but lived at home, could wear whatever they wanted. After that, there was the girl scout uniform.

    The children’s hospital in Basel issued and washed the uniforms we were required to wear, and I suppose the various job I’ve had waiting on tables and working in institutional kitchens were uniforms of sorts, although we all wore different ones. The common denominator was the color – white or light blue – and a fabric that was easy to launder and dry, and didn’t need ironing.

    The wife of the Danish diplomatic family I worked for in Moscow demanded that I wore two different uniforms: one for the daily work around the apartment, and one for when she entertained. When she rang her little silver bell to summon my services as the dinner table, I was supposed to appear in the black dress wearing a small white apron. When I returned to the kitchen to stir the pots and prepare the next course, I was supposed to cover the small apron with a larger blue and white striped one that also covered my chest.

    At the very first dinner she hosted for the Danish ambassador and his wife, as well as the first secretary and his wife, this protocol fell apart. As the dinner progressed, I was accosted repeatedly in the kitchen by the ambassador who had had too much to drink. I got so flustered trying to keep his hands off of me, that I forgot to remove the striped apron. What a nightmare that was.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. You’d be surprised, Fenton, at how often that sort of thing happened back then (this was in 1964). It was especially unfortunate in this particular situation, however, because a few weeks later, the ambassador was in a position to give me an ultimatum when I found myself in the position of not having a job.

        The family I was working for had to return to Denmark for a period of three months to help make arrangements for an official visit of then-Soviet leader Krushchev to Denmark. I was asked to return to Denmark with them and work for them in a rented cabin on a beach near Copenhagen, an offer I declined because I hadn’t been in Moscow long enough to see everything I wanted. Also, there was the small matter of the woman I was working for treating me like I was an indentured servant, treatment I wouldn’t put up with on my home turf, and I was bold enough to tell her husband that.

        Because I had been issued a diplomatic passport – remember, Moscow behind “the iron curtain” back then – the ambassador summoned me to the embassy. When I also declined his offer of working as a clerk at the embassy for that three month period, he informed me that I had forty-eight hours to find another job. He wasn’t going to be responsible for an unemployed Danish girl with a diplomatic passport on the loose in Moscow, he said. I’m sure he was pretty confident that that would prove impossible.

        As it turned out, he was wrong. An Australian nanny that worked for a family at the American embassy was leaving, and they hired me to take care of their three kids. Best job I ever had.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m not surprised, Margaret. Disgusted, that’s all. I always seem to come across to people as naive, but I’ve come across a few sexual predators, my own dad included. At least he wouldn’t have tried to hold anyone to ransom, the way that ambassador did. But he would never have thought anything he did was wrong, women were there for his benefit, and in his mind, they welcomed that.
          I’m glad that you were able to confound this guy, anyway.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Well, apparently I have been given all the rights that some of you have lost. I can open the blog any old way I want to and I seem to be able to like everything from everyone. I don’t have any idea how long this new freedom will last. I’m not at all used to it.

    I’ve worn one uniform or another for most of my life. In high school there was the heavy woolen band uniform, as well as the gym uniform girls had to wear. Boys just had green shorts. Girls had sort of a green and white striped cotton onesie that zipped up the back. Horrible. Later I worked as a waitress at 1970s Country Kitchen. I wore the orange and white checked ruffled dress with the brown vinyl apron over it – ugh. Even later I traded my usual jeans and peasant top for a white nursing uniform with a stiff starched nursing hat pinned to my head, panty hose and white work shoes. I wore that through the late ‘80s into the ‘90s. I had a green polo shirt with the DNR logo on it when I worked there. I haven’t had to wear a uniform for a long time though, and it’s nice to be able to dress in clean casual clothes for work now. I am very close to never working again… 😊

    Liked by 4 people

        1. I enjoy wearing a tool belt; It makes me feel productive or capable or something. With my bad shoulder this spring and not being able to do much, the one day recently I wore the tool belt, it felt really good!
          Uniform? No. Sexy? Depends who you ask!
          “Are those tools in your belt or are you just glad to see me?”
          “Do you know how to use those tools?”
          “What’s a man like you doing with tools like that?” 🙂


        1. I’ve never liked the image of tool belts for some reason I’m not sure of. Maybe it IS because I somehow see it as a uniform. And they look as if they would hamper you or stab you. I’ve never had one or worn one. It’s easier to just put things on the ground, then use up considerable amounts of time looking for them.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. School gym uniform – navy shorts, white blouse, white tennis shoes with crew socks, bra or undershirt for girls.

    Band uniform – Winter wool uniform with black pants, gray jacket, spats, and a hat (though I don’t remember what kind).
    Summer marching uniform was navy shorts, white top, plaid cummerbund, white tennies.

    Work – started out in white nurses dress, white pantyhose, white nursing shoes (no cap, thankfully!). Later could wear white uniform pants and top instead of dress. Later still white pants with colorful top (worked pediatrics). Moving to NICU, initially white scrub dress, then blue scrub dress, then green surgical scrubs, and finally blue surgical scrubs with regular tennies.

    Church choir – robe with stoles at my home church when growing up. Now it’s “wear black” along with a stole to match the liturgical occasion. (We are a special events choir so don’t sing every Sunday).

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I had a choir robe as a teenager, and a rather goofy navy blue gym suit when in junior high It had elastic around the legs, sort of a poofy effect. Since then, I’ve been issued T-shirts or sometimes vests for various things. I was never in band or anything, though.

    I like to wear my old Minnesota Humane Society T-shirts to the Fair. There’s no booth anymore, but the T-shirts still make me think of the Fair.


      1. Mostly because they had trouble getting volunteers. Most of the longtime volunteers are aging and unwilling to commit to the six hour shifts. Also the fair moved the booth to a new location. The old pet building was an actual building with a floor and walls. The new one has a partial floor, but at the very back of the booths there’s a foot or so of grass, and there aren’t walls, just a canvas backdrop. In a heavy rain, it’s not very weatherproof.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.