Jayne Dawson: Should we be surprised by our lax dress codes?

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We’re all about the comfy now, aren’t we?

Those classic British attitudes: the stiff upper lip, the backbone, the-grin-and-bear-it, they’re still there, lurking, I have no doubt.

But they are not discussed nearly as much as our need to be comfy.

Take those parents in pyjamas. A headmistress has found herself in quite a situation for requesting that parents put on clothes before dropping-off their children at school. It wasn’t setting a good example she said, when mums (it is mainly mums) turned up still in their nighties.

It was even less of a good example, she said, when they turned up in those same pyjamas to collect their children at the end of the day, or attended school meetings in them.

Yet the admonished ones have not hung their heads in shame, but instead come out fighting, asserting their right to wear what they like.

For those of us yet to cross that barrier, still doggedly differentiating between awake time and sleeping time by means of our clothing, it is all a bit jaw-dropping.

I couldn’t be a daytime PJ wearer myself. It’s all a bit too close to that recurring nightmare I have where I’m walking down the street in just my vest - but I can sort of see where these people are coming from, in a world where comfort is paramount.

Pyjamas as daywear are not an out-of-the blue phenomenon, we have been travelling this road for a long time.

It started with jeans - bear with, I can explain.

They were for many decades, rugged, tough and uncomfortable enough to cover the backside of any cowhand. You had to channel your inner rugged cowhand to even get them on. Denim was tight and uncooperative.

To even get your jeans on took a lot of commitment. You had to lie on your back, fold your stomach into a knot and then begin a long, slow, painful ascent with the zip. Worse still, to shrink them to fit involved sitting in a bath of water for longer than was comfortable.

But then came Lycra, and subsequent generations became denim innocents unaware, as they stepped into garments made soft and pliable as pyjamas by this wonder ingredient, that jeans had ever been uncomfortable. After that, the comfort garments rained down upon us, and we were pushovers for their seductive charms.

Our feet grew accustomed only to kindness as we encased them in Ugg boots, a sinful design of furry sheepskin.

Our toes spread and sighed in happiness every winter, so we spread the joy to summer by taking to Crocs, a plastic shoe of startling ugliness - but again a joy to wear in its wide, undemanding flatness.

We spread the love to waistbands, allowing elasticated middles to leave clothing designed with the elderly in mind and leap into the mainstream, so that anyone of any age can now wear elastic around their waist without shame. And then there was the onesie, the pinnacle of our retreat into childlike comfort. Grown adults covered from head to toe in a furry baby suit. With ears. Hard to believe they exist.

Just to make doubly sure we need never be uncomfortable again, we have decreed that the next Big Thing in fashion will be sports luxe: aka clothes that allow us to sag and bag wherever nature intended. Sports clothes move with the body and ideally that body should be toned but, you know, willpower is a fragile thing.

So there you are: the tailored, the tight, the formal, the fancy - gone.

The underpinnings were the first to go - women rolled off their roll-ons decades ago and a good thing too. And we are rapidly giving up on the restrictive outer layer. Now, to slip into a garment that is tight across the back, slim around the arms and hugging around the legs is as shocking as jumping into a bath of scalding water.

So from all that comfiness to pyjamas at the school gate is really not such a big stretch. We have only ourselves - and Lycra - to blame.

Goodbye to Sir Terry - we will all miss you

Thank goodness it’s February because January was the bleakest of months.

On the final day, when it seemed the month had already claimed more than its fair share of talented people, the death was announced of the man who once would have made it all seem okay.

Because it was that quality that made Terry Wogan so successful, popular and loved. He just made everything seem okay.

He was chatty and cheerful, funny and whimsical. He just seemed like a lot of fun.

When he died on Sunday, there was no massive outpouring of grief as there was when David Bowie died earlier in the month, there was just a quiet feeling of affection and loss.

Terry was just one of those welcome, comforting backgrounds to our lives.

Much as I like Chris Evans - and I do very much like him - I mourned when Terry Wogan gave up his own Radio Two show.

I liked the Irish chat, the blarney, the wry look at everything, especially himself.

I understand why a group of loyal listeners formed themselves into the TOGs - Terry’s Old Geezers and Gals - because he created a world that people wanted to be part of, something essentially decent and kind.

There was dry humour but no unkind edge to Terry Wogan, his style of broadcasting had probably become old-fashioned but because he was such a master of his art, we didn’t notice.

The TOGs will miss their main man, we will miss our national treasure and Children In Need will miss its chief host.

It was a charmed life, as he said himself many times, and we are all sad that the charm had to end.

Get a Grip! Do I see the new Dad’s Army Film or not?

My dilemma is this: shall I go see the new Dad’s Army film?

I was sure I would. I wouldn’t exactly say I have thought of little else since the making of the film was announced, but it has definitely been in my sights.

Enough for me to notice that there is a very long time lag between the making of a film - in Bridlington in this case - and its release in cinemas. A. Very. Long. Time.

But now it is out there and, sad to say, not getting very good reviews.

I’ve seen the clips and Toby Jones, although an excellent actor, does not seem right for the role of Captain Mainwaring - though I doubt anyone ever could be since Arthur Lowe made that part so completely his own.

Plus, I keep remembering that time I went to see the film version of Bewitched, and was sadly disappointed. I should have stuck to reruns of the old series.

Which is what I might do with Dad’s Army. Just can’t make up my mind. Like Godfrey, I am dithering.

Diana, Princess of Wales. PIC: PA

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