Have we gotten too casual as a society?  Too lacking in a certain appreciation for our surroundings?  Or too irreverent of grand places?  Or perhaps we’ve lost that sense of occasion?  Scroll down to the very bottom and share your thoughts on this in the comments box.  Would love to know what you think.

The reason I ask this is because just this week I had the privilege of visiting the House of Lords for the first time.  The function  attended was titled, ‘An evening with Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu: why Sickle Cell?’ Hosted by Diane Abbott MP and shadow home secretary.

diane-abott
The Right Honourable Diane Abbott, Member of Parliament                         and Shadow Home Secretary

Given that I was going to be at work for most of the day, I gave some time to consider what I would wear.  I didn’t want to be dressed too formally, so I struck a compromise and went for ‘smart chic’ – a black dress, sunflower colour cropped cardigan, black knee high boots, with an orange choker accent.

The evening went very well. Between Diane and Dame Elizabeth, there were plenty of interesting stories and reflections on the challenging journey of bringing Sickle Cell Disease, an illness that predominantly affects black people, more into the mainstream.

During the photo sessions many people came out to take pictures of the two women.  Now, I’m a pretty laid back, live and let live, sort of person (I believe), but I was surprised to see just how casually some people were dressed.  A couple of them even wore ripped jeans!  It made me look round to be sure that we were indeed in the House of Lords and in such auspicious company as an MP and a Dame.

ripped-jeans

Casual dress has also become quite routine in other places.  I know of a church that discourages the donning of jeans during Sunday services (extreme approach I think) and advocates a more ‘well-dressed’ style of clothing.  Some say, the danger is that this puts youth and sinners who’re not regular church goers off from attending.  Others say it gives people a sense of reverential awe for not only where they are i.e. the House of God but also who they came to seek i.e. God Himself.

Should people have made a greater effort in what they wore to the House of Lords that evening?  And does it matter what people wear to church?  Share you views, I want to know what you think.