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Manners Matter: George Washington's Rules for Clothing

When was the last time you went to the grocery store and DID NOT see an adult person wearing pajamas? Leggings? Leggings are not pants. Pajamas are for sleeping. Is it just the pandemic or are people content to present themselves any ole way to the world?

The Bible tells us not to worry about clothes or our appearance. But, it also tells us that husbands and wives belong to each other. It reminds us to be modest, not to lust, and to not willful provoke lust (lasciviousness). There is absolutely nothing modest about a pair of leggings and a flesh belt. Even in the gym, this attire makes one a spectacle. Specific to pajamas, the Bible may not mention them, but I just cannot see Jesus or the apostles walking the streets of Jerusalem in their bed-wear.

Family is always the second filter through which I view the world. What are we teaching children when adults do not even bother to comb their hair, bathe, or change clothes before facing strangers in public? This communicates a lack of respect for oneself and everyone you encounter. Jammies out in public is not a good look on anyone who moves under his or her own power.

What about the USA? What happened to age old sayings like "the clothes make the man" or "dress for the job you want, not the job you have"? The impression our attire makes on others is instantaneous and impactful. Showing up in jammies tells me that you do not value your own time or reputation enough to even put on a pair of pants. It says that you also could not care less about what people you encounter thing. It says that perhaps you have no reason to get out of bed. Are you unemployed? Uninspired? I. Just. Don't. Get. It.

President Washington truly understood both modesty and dignity. Presenting oneself with both is of utmost importance if one wishes to succeed, avoid offending others, and protect one's reputation. This is one traditional rule of etiquette we should definitely revisit with a vengeance. I am, frankly, tired of being uncomfortable on behalf of inappropriately dressed adults. Down with jammies! Leggings are not pants.

Here are a few rules I drafted to help us teach the next generation this valuable lesson:

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