I feel like this might rattle a few feathers because lets be honest, I have seen how some of you dress and show up to events. ..
I also think that this needs to come with a few disclaimers. The first being that I said you can’t be over dressed but, that doesn’t mean that as much as I wish I could, wear a princess gown everywhere, that I can. Besides that’s not what I mean. You also have to be dressed for the task at hand. The second disclaimer being I have been caught at Walmart in my Pajamas… So, I mean we all have our flaws and this one comes with a little story. Pepto was still just a little puppy and I was in college. My phone which lives in a constant state of almost being out of power, also acts as my alarm and I had only one charging cord. While I was taking a shower Pepto decided that my phone cord looked like a great toy to play with and left it in pieces. It was late and I was in a hurry and just wanted to get a phone charger so as much as I hate to admit it I was one of “those people”… The last thing is that I love my leggings and old t-shirts as much as anyone, I just don’t think that you should be wearing them everywhere.
While I have to admit that I am turning into a cranky old lady, I am always so surprised when we show up to weddings, funerals, graduations, award ceremonies, benefits, etc. and I see people that are dressed in dirty or holey jeans and a t-shirt or something else completely unappropriated. I know that not everyone is like me and enjoys getting dressed up, I only get to do it once in awhile and I actually enjoy pulling out a pair of slacks, a dress or a skirt and a pair of heels. While it’s something that I enjoy I also think that it shows some respect to the event that you are attending. When did it become acceptable to not wear dark colors and just wear everyday clothes at a funeral? When did it become acceptable to wear workout leggings to any and every event that you go to? I always like seeing the little old men and the little old ladies at the events. While the older generation may not have the latest styles they are generally always neat, clean and presentable, which is something that is sometimes seen in the youth of today but seems to be fading. When I was at a wedding awhile ago it was a pretty casual and the scale went from rolled off the couch after binging a Netflix series to a lady wearing a beautiful full length pretty formal gown. While I found myself somewhere in the middle I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the girl in the gown was! She looked like she showed up and really cared! She took the time to pick out a dress just for the wedding and put effort into looking her best and I would much rather be noticed for putting more effort in, then being the one to roll in looking like a hobo.
While it pains me to see the formality of weddings, funerals and the likes getting more and more casual, where it truly pains me the most, is to see the lack of “uniform” at horse shows and rodeos. The NCHA has a rule that if you don’t have a cowboy hat and long sleeve collared shirt when you are in the pen you can receive a fine of $200 the first time to having multiple offences giving you a suspension. While their is many that grumble that this is too strick, I think that it should be enforced at more associations.
At most western events it is expected that when you preform or compete you have a collared long sleeve shirt, cowboy hat and boots on. Most rodeo’s you are suppose to have that if your in the arena or behind the chutes but I’ve found that at many they tend to not say anything, especially when it’s a parent(Which aren’t parents suppose to be the main role models?). While at most of the event’s I go to I am so surprised at the amount of contestants that take off their collared shirt and cowboy hat as soon as they are out of the arena and don’t put it on until they head in.
I’m sure that the argument for not enforcing the dress code is that we are trying to get more people introduced to the sport and they might not have the right clothes and then for the littler events they might argue that it doesn’t matter because there won’t be a real crowed but I would argue that both of those things are why we need to enforce them! When people are trying to get involved having a clear definition of what the dress code gives them one less thing to worry about! I am always amazed when I work a small show, or go to an amateur or youth rodeo when I think that no one will be there that is not there specifically for a friend at the event and end up meeting someone that saw something was going on at the fairgrounds and wanted to check it out! For those people that are expecting to see cowboys and cowgirls and instead they see baseball caps and hoodies, I am sure it is quite a disappointment.
I don’t know much about other sports but when you see baseball players they generally dress like one another and you can pick them out in and off the field, same with football and heck even Karate! When people think of a cowboy they instantly think of a cowboy hat and boots and I seriously can’t think of anything cooler to wear!
While scribing at a small reining I always like to make a bet with with the judge on if the contestants are schooling or are going to show, while walking in. At a resent event we were amazed at how many people showed and didn’t bother to put on chaps or even take their tails down. I know that it’s a lot of work, technically doesn’t matter and it’s hot but that’s just part of the uniform. I remember as a kid at the open shows I use to ride with a guy and he said “even if they say jackets (in the English classes) and hat’s are optional, if the judge is still wearing theirs you should be wearing yours.” Those are words that I have lived by! Sometimes it is just too windy and too hot and the judge will loose their blazer and hat and I will too but, for the most part they stick it out a lot longer than most and their out in it the whole day!
I know that I’m sure most will think that I’m just a cranky old lady and I need to just accept that times are changing but I don’t think you can argue that theirs something magical about taking in a rodeo from the stands and watching all of the competitors in jeans, button up shirts or jackets and cowboy hats. It just wouldn’t be the same if they were in baseball hats and hoodies… the magic is found in that uniform…
You might also argue that workout leggings are just your personal fashion and that’s fine I just hope that you take a little bit of pride in that fashion statement. I have seen plenty of girls dress them up extremely nice and I guess it all boils down to the effort…
Take a little bit of pride in what you wear and how you present yourself! You never know who might be watching and I hope that you give them a little bit of the magic of being dressed for the event or job at hand.