The Last Time I Dressed Up (Writer’s Workshop)


I don’t do dressed up. Neither does Mary. Jeans and polo shirts for me, jeans and a knit top for Mary. Before the stroke, it was khakis and polo shirts. Even when I was working. For a while, I had to wear a tie, so then it was a light blue Oxford cloth shirt and one of my five ties. I had six, except I taught a class in Hawai’i and one of my students, telling me that no one in Hawai’i wears a tie, cut it off me. Just as well. I didn’t like that tie.

The last time I can remember wearing a suit and tie was after I was laid off in 2008. I had put resumes out and got a call from an insurance company who said they needed trainers. This was post-stroke, so I had to get a clip-on tie and dig my one suit out of my closet and have it cleaned and altered. I got all dressed up and Mary drove me to a location way north of where we live, to a small office, where someone read questions to me and took down my answers, then asked me to show up for a training session that evening. I walked out after the interview, got in the car, and never looked back. The whole thing had an “Amway” feel to it. (With apologies to people who work for Amway.) I was a professional trainer, they wanted an insurance salesman. If I wanted to do that, I’d walk into traffic, praying for someone to put me out of my misery. (Again, with apologies to insurance salesmen.)

We did stop at Walgreens for chocolate bars and other stuff on the way home. So the trip wasn’t a total loss.

Kat’s prompt was, obviously enough, “Tell us about the last time you dressed up. What was the occasion?”

34 thoughts on “The Last Time I Dressed Up (Writer’s Workshop)

  1. I never liked to dress up. The last time I dressed up I wore a cocktail dress to a black tie business event. I was uncomfortable, unhappy, and in NYC. The thing I remember the most about it is I had on a $10.00 costume jewelry necklace that a socialite woman mistook for the real thing. She gushed over it, I smiled as if I were the real thing. The fakes do not even know the fakes.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Willy Dunne Wooters once mentioned something to me about wearing a slip with a dress. I told him that the last time I wore a slip was to my father’s funeral, which was twenty-five years ago. It was a half-slip and the elastic was giving out. During the entire service I was afraid it would end up around my ankles.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hate suits and ties. It’s been awhile since I last dressed up–probably over a year. In my closet I’ve got quite a number of ties that I hardly ever wear. They were mostly gifts aside from a couple ties that my wife bought me when I needed to do a dressy thing like our daughters’ weddings.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  4. When I was an IC design manager at Micro Linear, I wore black Levi’s 501 jeans with the rear labels removed, what Mom used to call “good school shirts” in sold colors or minimal patterning, and a loosened necktie, never pulled all the way up. My favorite tie was covered with an array of cartoon Sylvester the Cats running on hind paws with front paws outstretched, all on a red background. Individual Sylvesters were small enough that it looked like an abstract pattern at a distance.

    After taking a job as a sole contributor at a different company, I never wore a tie to work again. Hated the things.


    1. I wouldn’t have a tie on until I was in the classroom, and I’d put it on before class, in the room. All those years at St. Ignatius meant I could do it without a mirror, and the advantage of a Windsor knot is that it’s always straight. But I was really happy when they decided to go “business casual” (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and could ditch them once and for all.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I get dressed up for date night with my hubs when we go to concerts, but I don’t wear a lot of make up, just nice clothes. I don’t blame you for leaving the training. Those are the worst!


  6. I don’t mind to dress up now and again. I don’t actually LIKE to dress at all. I like pajamas. But the outside world sees me in blouses and skirts, sweaters and trousers…make-up, jewelry, scarves — bleh. Pajamas are where it’s at 🙂


    1. I see people in their pajamas all the time. Doesn’t bother me. I like clothes you can throw in the wash, where if you get a permanent stain you don’t feel bad about throwing it away. I don’t even need a suit for the casket, since we’re going to be cremated.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I live in jeans too (and tracksuit trousers for work, in a gym), so I quite like to dress up sometimes. The last time was New Year’s Eve – I wore an expensive dress that I bought for £10 at a charity shop 🙂

    I’m impressed you’ve had a tie cut off you like that!


      1. I went to a barbecue place in Fort Worth that had the same rule, and also hung the ties on the wall. Must be a Texas thing, although there might be a few places in Kansas City that do the same.


    1. I’m surprised the lady had the guts to do it, but it was so absurd I laughed like heck about it. There are barbecue joints that cut neckties off like that, as well as a few bars. Really, a tie is an expensive piece of cloth that’s a magnet for stuff to get spilled on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Our attire, while at home, is sweats and t-shirts. When we go out, we wear jeans and I sometimes wear leggings and tunic tops. During my last 2 years at work, we were allowed to wear jeans. I was a commercial property/casualty desk underwriter and we didn’t greet the public. I loved it!

    I like to dress but not dress up. I paid my dues in the corporate world for 50 yrs. Bye, bye!


    1. When I interviewed for my last real job, the guy doing the interviewing said “Just don’t show up naked.” When I think of the number of times I showed up at a client site in a suit, tie, and brogues and was greeted by someone wearing jeans and tennis shoes, I just have to laugh…

      Liked by 2 people

  9. totally agree that the trip was not a total loss if you ended up with chocolates.. I am not a dress up kind of gal too (and now my almost 11 YO DD is determined to change that:))


  10. I never had a day in 43 year’s of working where I didn’t wear a suit, tie and dress shirt. I sure wish I worked during the “dress casual” era. Now I dress “up” for weddings and funerals and the like. I remember certain restaurants would require that suit coats be worn; they even had an assortment of coats for customers to wear if they were not aware of the “rule.” Looking back, some of the norms seem ridiculous now but they were not questioned.


    1. Like I was telling someone else out here, most of the clients I visited when I started traveling wore sport shirts and slacks, and I’d be wearing a suit and tie. EDS in Plano, TX was an exception; you couldn’t leave your desk without putting on a jacket, even to run to the men’s room. That’s Ross Perot’s company, which explains a lot….


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