In Oysterville, every day is Casual Friday… almost!

May 31, 2013 | 4 comments


Oysterville Gothic

It is our custom to begin each day with a cup of coffee and a discussion regarding menus and sartorial necessities of the day.  It goes without saying, that both categories are dependent upon the over all plan for the day – whether or not we will both at home and whose turn it is to cook, plus whether or not our activities call for anything beyond our usual Oysterville Uniform — Levis.

Today, for instance, even though Nyel will be working, it’s an ‘early out’ day at school so we will defer lunch until 1:00 or 1:30 and have a bowl of chili together here at home.  In the late afternoon Nyel has a physical therapy appointment in Ilwaco and will meet me afterwards at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum where I will be attending the Opening of their new show, “From the Water to the Woods: 125 Years of Rail.”  After that it will be home for a late night supper of eggs and bacon.

Usually, Nyel wears a suit or at least slacks and a sport coat with shirt and tie to work.  That’s his own decision.  As far as we know, there is no ‘dress code’ for teachers these days.  Certainly not for subs.  Nyel usually relaxes his self-imposed standards on Fridays and wears Levis in place of the slacks and eschews the tie.  He calls it “Casual Friday,” although he has never worked in a place that had such a designation.  When he worked at the bank in the sixties, it was suit-and-tie every day.  By the time we owned the Bookvendor, every day was casual.

As for me, a retired homebody, it’s almost always Levis!  No thinking required.  On days like today, though, we often wonder about the appropriateness of our clothing choices.  Ordinarily, we would dress up a tad for the Opening at the Heritage Museum but that’s a little complicated for Nyel going, as he will be, directly from Physical Therapy.

Truth to tell, I don’t know what he decided to do about that. Our discussion became sidetracked with considerations of clothing choices in general.  As in, are Levis always appropriate these days?  And, are there still jobs here at the beach which require employees to have a dressier-than-everyday wardrobe?  And how long ago was it, anyway, that I owned more than one dress?

I think the answers to those questions are probably “no” and “yes” and “BR (Before Retirement)” respectively, although I did have to think about it.  Only the other day I was sitting as a judge for the Senior Projects – a requirement of our school district for graduation from high school.  One of the items on the evaluation sheet is “Appearance.”

The rule-of-thumb for students is that they should dress as they might for a job interview.  Some kids need to be coached ahead of time concerning appropriate attire, just as they have to practice how to shake hands and make eye contact with the judges.  During my morning-long tenure as a judge, everyone passed the Appearance category (and all the other categories!) with flying colors.

I wondered idly whether my 1953 graduating class would have needed assistance in that category had we even had such a graduation requirement.  I also thought that, as a Senior (Citizen, that is), I could use a little sartorial coaching, myself.  And, as is often the case, I was bemused by what I choose to ponder now that I am retired.


  1. Nancy

    Remembering SRHS, 1953 and the Dean Of Women, Eleanor Murray. There was a dress code, no “pants-shorts-capris-bermudas-skorts-pajamas” whatever we called that which was not a skirt, a garment which was two sided (one for each leg) as are Levis. The guys wore them, but we females were not allowed to wear them on campus. We also wore “heels, gloves and hats” when we went into “the City” (by the Bay). As I thought about the requirements for the Senior Projects, I said, “Hooray” for whomever created them. What a gift for the seniors!

  2. Stephanie Frieze

    Yesterday was Senior Exhibition Day at Gig Harbor High School. The senior teachers coach students about how to dress for the occasion, but in the past we’ve had some who looked like they’d just parked their lawn mower for the guys or were on their way to a cocktail party for the girls. Everyone I saw looked appropriate yesterday and it’s fun to see them dressed up. Like you, I attended school when the only day girls could wear pants of any sort was Year-Book Day and frankly, we looked better on a daily basis than most high school students do now. I don’t know about IHS, but jammie bottoms and even slippers are common at GHHS. My mother taught me that how you dress tells people how you feel about them. Maybe when we allow students to dress however they want they lose respect for the building…the whole hat thing. Don’t get me started.

  3. Jo

    My high school years were during the days of dresses or skirts, only, for girls. The dresses could not be more than 2 inches above the knee. The next year at the University of FLA., I attended classes in flip-flops, cutoffs, and a halter top. Times change, but I miss the days of dressing for the occasion. My wardrobe was much more varied.

  4. Linda J

    My friend’s son was going off to a private college a few years back. There was a dress code, and one of the rules was “no dungarees.” He had no idea what dungarees were, of course.


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