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LARSON: Clothes can keep folks in the pink

Susan Larson

Susan Larson

This dreary weather actually brings back an uplifting memory of a phone call I received a few years back. When I picked up, my neighbor Marge said, "I just wanted to tell you how you lifted my spirits today."

"How?" I asked. "All I've done all morning is yardwork."

"But it was that bright pink outfit you were wearing. Looking out at that gray sky and bare trees, you looked like a big flower moving around. It cheered me up so much I just had to tell you about it."

I looked down at my raspberry-colored sweats. Since even my house was gray, they obviously would have been the only color visible from her window on that dreary day. And that made me think of times I've been cheered up at the grocery store just by standing in line behind a woman in a beautiful outfit or a man wearing a colorful tie instead of the grunge-wear that seems to be so popular these days -- like what they call "eye candy."

Not everyone needs to wear electric blue or neon green to brighten my day, but I do wonder why so many people don't make the effort to at least look decent. Even when I sub, I see teachers showing up in wrinkled cargo pants and faded T-shirts, hardly what I would call professional, much less uplifting to their students.

And then there are the modern day bands. Remember when coordinated outfits were part of the presentation? Something that enhanced the mood of their music and visually contributed to the concept of being "in sync?"

Last summer at an outdoor beach concert they asked the audience to dress in beach attire. They even sponsored a table decorating contest to really set the stage for the performers. With all the Hawaiian shirts and halter tops, and tables adorned with driftwood and seashells, it looked to me like the next best thing to a Margaritaville cruise.

And then the band came on. One guitarist was wearing a Braves T-shirt with a hole in it. The lead singer wore a gray athletic T-shirt with a stretched out hem and what appeared to be a few bleach stains. OK, I grew up in a beach town and I know that you don't dress up to sit in the sand like Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello did in those beach blanket movies. But these these guys looked like they'd just changed the oil in their car and didn't even clean up.

I'm not suggesting going back to the '50s look with matching turquoise tuxedos and black satin lapels. But if people are asked to pay $25 and dress for the occasion, is it asking too much for the performers to get in on the act as well and not wear clothes so cruddy they would be tossed in the Dumpster at even the lowest end thrift store?

Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at susanlarson79@gmail.com.

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