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When Clothes Made the Man (or Woman)

June 6, 2014

(left, another 1930's couple, on their wedding day)

In the past, people tried to look their best in public.
Now their appearance seems to broadcast their worst qualities.
Have people stopped trying? 
Philip Wyeth is particularly disgusted by the way
women behave and dress.

by Philip Wyeth

There is a wonderful black-and-white photograph of my grandparents when they were a young couple in the 1930s. Grandpa Nat sports a confident Sinatra grin, his arm around the younger Barbara who stands thin and prim, wedge heels tight together and her body wrapped in a long wool coat. A man and the woman he courted, taking on life in the face of the Depression and the coming war that would draft him while she was left behind to nurse their newborn son, my uncle.

city-hipster.jpg(left, flash ahead to the genus homo erectus, Portland variety)

Eighty years later and we have the easygoing hipster couples I see here in Portland with nary an opinion or a spine between them. He has no muscles, she has no ass. He wears tight jeans, she wears tight jeans. He wears plaid flannel shirts, she does the same.

They both have tattoos that are more lifestyle accessories than signs of hard living or military camaraderie. They like the same kitschy folk bands that are not fueled by testosterone but accented by the pings of xylophones. The only way you can tell them apart is that he has a beard and she has bangs.

Meanwhile in the general female population seen downtown or in malls, they all wear the same provocative outfit regardless of age: tall hooker boots made of synthetic leather, sleek tights that show every curve and crevice in titillating detail, and some cute, cheap top from Target that accentuates the best features of their bust. From behind you can't tell if they're 15, 30, or 45. (If for propriety's sake you're "lucky," at least they'll be wearing a monochrome "skirt" made of the flimsiest t-shirt material.)

As a man you can't help but look at their exposed crotches and become aroused--it's an unexpected free striptease on a public street --but you will not be satisfied. Even though this is how prostitutes dress to sell their bodies, it's just modern women's way of feeling "sexy and empowered." Never mind that they're completely oblivious to the alliance between the gay fashion designer, the coked-up celebrity endorsee, and the gossip magazine racket that convinced them that the whole tacky getup was this year's trend.

Frankly, I'd rather see women in a (tasteful) dress or skirt than be subjected to this incessant barrage stimulation without release. It can be intimidating to encounter what looks like a dolled-up hooker on the prowl, easy to be fooled into believing that behind the catwalk strut isn't just another uncreative follower with no real identity or confidence. How do you in good faith hit on a woman dressed like this without treating her like a slut or exposing her as a trendy drone when deep down you can't take her seriously?

leggings2.jpg(left, average young woman today,
not to be confused with a prostitute.)

Apparently today's super-empowered feminized women are oblivious to or simply don't care about the consequences of how their behavior impacts men. "Oh, my outfit provokes you? I and my female sisters will no longer be oppressed so deal with it!"

It's like we're living an inversion of Saudi Arabia, where it's the men who treat women with haughty disregard in public.

But to what end, ladies? You outnumber us in college, every desirable job is open to you, and now there isn't any shame in being immodest even while running errands around town. Look sexy on Friday night at the club, I get it--but showing me a topographical survey of your ass while I'm trying to shop at the goddamn grocery store?! Overweight fifty-year-old women in skin-tight black spandex and fuck-me boots babbling on their cell phones while ordering deli meat?!

Past oppression may be the eternal justification to fall back on in the case of any female act that comes under scrutiny or censure, but my god, consider the sheer banality and shortsightedness of a movement that finds it reasonable, courageous, or at the very least not questionable for women to be hoisting giant bottles of laundry detergent into a shopping cart while their labia is exposed through millimeter-thin gray leggings for all to see!!!

It's an obscenity, a parasitic termite eroding the last vestiges of decency that would make our culture worth fighting to preserve.

Women's whimsical needs are as insatiable as the locust, and since men have been virtually neutralized in our society no pesticide exists to check their blind and ravenous pride parade as it marches in shameless full regalia down every sidewalk from coast to coast.

(left, Walmart world.)

Oh, the banality! I really don't think this is the type of zesty female empowerment that Camille Paglia had in mind. At least Hester Prynne and Lady Chatterley knew their society's conventions and understood the consequences their actions would bring. Today's women however are unshackled from cultural mores, liberated beyond the concept of shame, and unconcerned about the impact on others. "If it makes me look hot, propriety be damned!"

Elsewhere Wyeth reflects on the war between the sexes:

How many of us men graze against woman's warm glow during pleasant exchanges with a female cashier, bank teller, waitress, or phone operator? Saddest damn truth in the wide spectrum of male suffering right there. A truth that is unknown, unseen, and uncomprehended by the so-called intuitive fair sex which lives like a celebrity in complete oblivion to how grueling each day can be for "the other half."
Philip Wyeth is the pen name of an exasperated observer of the human condition. Having previously lived in Washington, DC, Miami, and Los Angeles, he now finds himself in Portland, Oregon--the spiritual epicenter of America's silent decline which he calls "The White Death."

First Comment from Brian:

I live in Portland Oregon, and this article is too true. I have actually thanked random women for wearing a dress, by complementing them. The full beard thing I don't understand; perhaps hipster laziness? I sport a Van Dyke, but keep on top of it's trimming. I never understood the tattoo craze, especially a tattoo on a woman's chest; Yuck. You can't improve the beauty of breasts with tattoos.

Perhaps it's because I'm 44 years old, but perhaps today's youth have nothing wholesome to pursue? Everyone in Portland, but me, is in a band. And it seems that most of Portland's young adults want some sort of stardom and notoriety, with little of the effort and work required.

Portland is filled with Left-wing wishful thinkers, and they make me think about going to a church to be around actual different people.

Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Comments for "When Clothes Made the Man (or Woman)"

DB said (June 8, 2014):

Wyeth is spot on. I cannot enumerate how many times I have been praised by males for my modest and feminine manner of dress. As a teen, the owner of the arcade always gave me free coins simply in appreciation of my full length dress. He said, "Too few females wear dresses these days. Thank you for dressing like a woman.'

I have received many similar praises over the years. At banks, groceries, when out to dinner... Men do hunger for what has generally been lost. As do women, who also yearn for times when both men and women dressed and lived in their proper roles.

More recently, I had an experience, in a Walmart parking lot. ( The irony!) A young man approached me in his car and rolled down the window. I expected he was going to ask me for directions. But he said, " You are a very attractive woman, I thought you should know that. Thank you for dressing in a manner that no one else does anymore."

This young man was not lustful, or disrespectful. Rather he appreciated my modest feminine manner. I thanked him for his kind words and we went our separate ways. That young man, is a quality person and seeing youth like this gives me hope for the future. Not all youth is lost.

This is my experience. Which proves that quality men are not extinct. Neither are old fashioned values.

BTW- My eldest daughter has followed in my footsteps and she receives the same praises. Oh, and we do not own any denim. :) We don't miss it!

Tony B said (June 7, 2014):

It amazes me that there is no mention in these articles or their comments about the common deportment of women these days and the increase of rape, real or contrived by some greedy female to enslave some man's income or just to get him out of her life, kids or no kids.

It's easy for women to insist that men must simply "deal with" their public erotic displays. But when men really deal with it, by reacting in the way nature tells them to, the whole community pounces on them. First the women, then the cops, the corrupted and criminal judges, and finally the even more corrupted politicians who write the statutes.

"This man said something I didn't like" is now a crime but women can say anything they please to men and the double standard allows it, even condones it.

So actual rape, even murder, is now worse than crime. But women in general, not necessarily the victim, cause these worse than crimes more often than not by their completely selfish "lifestyle choices" including their totally uncaring attitude toward the emotions they raise in men.

For some desperate men it translates to: "Well, hell, if your life is going to be ruined, might as well make it 'worthwhile,' huh?"

When first working at a school over ten years ago, I was amazed to see first grade girls wearing tight pants with suggestive slogans across their rears. This comes from a very stupid Mama, no one else. These youngest may have been innocent of the real meanings but it was obvious that only slightly older girls had no illusions of the intent of the slogans.

And the school (of evil intent) had no problem with it.

Where the hell are the dads? . . . That's right, they no longer have a real say because they can easily run afoul of "the law" if they try to raise their own kids.

Yet flag waving idiots continue to call the U.S. a free and "Christian" nation.

CF said (June 7, 2014):

Mr. Wyeth's observations are so spot on, it's priceless.

It is reassuring to learn that I am NOT crazy, nor alone, in my view of these pathetic societal de-evolutions. The last thing the Neither-New-Nor-Order World Order wants is the Sheeple to become real human beings.

Recently, I observed something that this article brought up immediately: Photographic evidence. This very sad state of society, or what's left of it, is easily seen in photos, when compared to those of the past; which Wyeth did so painfully well.

In studying some photos of various types of workers, in the United States, from around the 1880s to about 1900, it became clear to me that we are now really missing something.

In those photos: The clothes were extremely utilitarian. The people were tougher looking, muscular, and strong from their labors. There was a no-nonsense attitude. People seemed more at ease with one another. Many were immigrants, but they had a very different attitude than what we see today. If going on a work break, or calling it a day, the men in the photos - who looked lean, were likely going to really chow down, or head to their nearest pub.

No one looked like they were going to «fit in a quick workout at the gym», or hurry up and «catch that hot-yoga class.» To see how they looked and held themselves, you just know they would have laughed at such ideas. [Why workout (more) when already possessing forearms of iron, from one's daily labors? Why work more when your exhausted from really working?] And no one had their head buried in the sand, oops, I mean in (yet invented) cell phones, either.

America, and much of the world, had an energy, a can-do attitude based on fortitude, true strength, both physically and within, morally... Yes, now we really are missing something. Granted, it is by design, but no matter - all the more reason to take back our true humanity.

The solution? Look to the past: Men better start setting the standard (again), and begin disciplining out of control, vulgar women. But first, men better start applying that discipline to themselves, and become true men.

Pierre said (June 7, 2014):

good for a laugh but don't dwell here too long.
Thought I'd chase up on that photo of the woman at the trunk of her car...or is it the car at her trunk?

people of walmart gallery, by golly.

reminds me of the david dees walmart graphic, sad but true.

Victoria said (June 7, 2014):

A Moslem man of my acquaintance told me once that in advising young women how to dress he said, "Wear anything you like", which was then followed up by "But don't expect me to respect you (if you're dressed immodestly)". It might be a good thing for all women to remember this.

This is not to let men off the hook, either. Most of them are not much to write home about these days, with their two extremes of dirty unkemptness or else a level of 'metrosexual' grooming that would put most women to shame.

Yet again, too much emphasis on our 'right' to wear whatever the heck we like and too little on our responsibility to society at large (and the younger generations in particular) to set an appropriate example for grooming and proper attire when out in public.

Debra said (June 6, 2014):

“It's an obscenity, a parasitic termite eroding the last vestiges of decency that would make our culture worth fighting to preserve.”


I cannot imagine what it must be like for men to have to be subjected to this endless array of provocation. Though aware of my surroundings, I keep “blinders” on at all times when I’m in public. It is rare I allow something to get my attention. Maybe, that is a good thing.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousness [are] like filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our inequities, like the wind, have taken us away. 64:7 And [there is] none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee: for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our inequities.

Sepp said (June 5, 2014):

Advise to all suffering men….


The only way to rebuild a nation is to start a new one. Find a woman of your ‘gusto’ with whom you can become “ONE IN FLESH’ and start replenishing the planet with kids of your liking.
If you don’t know what that means I can let you know what the three fundamental prerequisites are to become ONE IN FLESH.

That’s God’s first and foremost directive to get a meaningful life. If you read the Bible you will see that this is from the very beginning the way he wants it to be and if we men not follow suit we get what we have today.

The family is the starting point and nucleus for your new nation. So start one.

If it is a problem for you to find a woman where still women are women, write me an email to

I found mine, thanks to God for eternity.

JG said (June 5, 2014):

I recently witnessed a sad encounter between a young lady who was sitting on the sidewalk in front of an upscale bar with mini shorts that exposed her genital area and a man who was talking to her in his dress clothes.

An argument then ensued and the man's friends started hauling him away. He then started shouting obscenities at her, calling her a "c**t", and she responded by calling him a "midget dick".

We have come quite a long way from the Ozzie Nelson era of the 1950's let alone Romeo and Juliet.

A woman who exposes herself losses a lot of sex appeal because nudity is 90% imagination. Once the nudity has been revealed the mystery is over because the flesh has already been revealed.

This is why pornography can be so addicting because it preys on the imagination of sex through electronic images that help stimulate all the carnal desires. And, this is why some men enjoy the porn more than their wives because of the vanity of their imagination. Yes, as scripture tells us, it's the imagination of man's heart that's evil.

Magda said (June 5, 2014):

This article by Philip Wyeth was a pleasure to read and very introspective. In Islam one of the signs of the end times is that, "people will walk around nude and yet they will be wearing clothes".

Unfortunately,this has come to pass and nudity or semi nudity has become the norm whilst the spiritual virtue of modesty is no longer prized. The materialist mindset has taken over and this age is characterized by the characteristic of spiritual impoverishment.

There is no excitement or attraction to the other when we are the same, the features that attract have been muted or dispensed with and we are left with a sorry mass of blah. Like having perpetual sun without the wonders of the moon, along with its qualities of rest, and peaceful tranquility to counter the busyness and movement of the day.

This is a precursor to the coming of the Anti-Christ whose system and way of life will be materialist, self centered, as well as socially dead and fruitless.

Al Thompson said (June 5, 2014):

I loved this article. About two weeks ago I was around a group of people and I saw a lady I know and she was wearing a dress. I actually marveled at the fact she was wearing it. I walked up to her and said: "It's about time you wore a dress." Well, she took it at first as an insult, but after I told her she looked great in the dress she calmed down.

I was around another group of people and a lady I know was wearing a dress. She always looks great, but with a dress, she was a heartbreaker.

Ladies should be wearing dresses. And, if the woman is a little overweight, don't wear Spandex as a fat body looks really gross. And besides, women should be dressing more modestly and with good taste. I'm a bit corpulent myself, and I hate looking in the mirror, If I get any flack about being fat I always use the line: I may be fat, but you're ugly and I can diet.

I think the fatness of everyone stems from the nutrients being taken out of our food. So the body doesn't process it properly. With that in mind, it is best not to wear tight fitting clothes and the ladies should stop dressing like men. It is a sad state of affairs if I marvel at the fact that I marvel at a woman wearing a dress. I stare at them as if they are a very pleasant oddity. If I'm in a crowd, sometimes I'll get a bit sarcastic and say: "Wow! Look, she's wearing a dress!"

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at