The Thinking 

Hurricanes and Fashion, Part II

November 1, 2012


JAMES P. writes:

Elizabeth McBride writes:

Are you serious about the way New Yorkers are dressed after the worse storm in recorded history? Should they dress up in suits for the men, gowns and heels for the women?

I encourage everyone to search for images of past hurricanes — e.g., 1938, 1944, or 1954.

Here are images from the 1938 New England hurricane and its aftermath. How did they find time to dress?

—– Comments ——

Karen I. writes:

I live in an area that was absolutely devastated by a flood several decades ago. I have no doubt my grandmother was wearing a dress when the National Guard came to rescue her and her family from rising flood waters because my father said she never wore pants, not even once.

I was wearing sweatpants when Hurricane Sandy hit us. Unfortunately, my children won’t remember me as being always well dressed, the way my father remembers his mother. Children do notice these things, even if they don’t say anything.

Laura writes:

I agree, children notice these things but could never express what they see. A mother is holy to a child. Anything that undermines her dignity affects him.

Mrs. R. writes:

When I read your comment that anything that undermines a mother’s dignity affects her children, I immediately thought of all the people who took the opportunity Wednesday (Halloween) to dress like fools (at best) or tramps (at worst). It is so sad to me that people have no respect for themselves anymore and that they do not see that a lack of dignity results in a lack of respect from others.

Terry Morris writes:

How did I somehow know that Elizabeth’s knee-jerk, emotion-driven, liberal reaction to your post wouldn’t end well for Elizabeth?

In typical liberal fashion, Elizabeth ignored the central message you were trying to convey, choosing rather to focus on the completely irrelevant issue of “fairness,” or “generosity.” Note to Elizabeth:

There is nothing unfair, or ungenerous about stating the obvious reflected in a photograph, regardless of the circumstances. And no one is ignoring the seriousness of the situation, nor the human suffering, nor anything else the people in N.Y. are experiencing due to the hurricane. But when you look at that photo, how can you not see what Laura is describing? Diversity – which we’re told is great, and wonderful, “our greatest strength,” etc. – it turns out, just reduces us all to the least common denominator.

To be honest, I’m a bit offended that people in N.Y. dress much the way that I do. Apparently most of ’em do. On the other hand, I’m always the one who’s “over-dressed” at special events, and during special occasions. But you tend to expect that where I come from.

Note: I dress casually – jeans, boots, tee-shirt, and a light jacket when it is cool, primarily because of the nature of my work.

Laura writes:

To be honest, I’m a bit offended that people in N.Y. dress much the way that I do.

Good point.

New York is America’s premier city — more sophisticated and cultured presumably. If New Yorkers dress like schleps and slobs than there is no sophistication or high culture. So the standards in New York deprive people elsewhere of something to aspire to, if only on more formal occasions. I think that’s what I was trying to get at.

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