This weekend I attended my hubby's 10 year high school reunion at a ritzy Connecticut all boys boarding school with picturesque views and vineyard vines galore. Of course the hubs was no help when I asked what to pack for the Saturday evening cocktail reception and sit down dinner, so I packed my trusty black dress as well as a brighter, preppier option that ended up being the chosen one for the evening. (The 4 inch Michael Kors, however, proved an ill advised decision when faced with cobblestone.)
The festivities were attended by multiple generations, all celebrating a variety of reunion milestones. But the more salt than pepper hair and weathered smile lines were not the giveaway as to exactly which anniversary each group was celebrating. Rather it was the self-assigned dress codes that earmarked the decades.
A herd of long haired, rambunctious guys in wrinkled Nantucket reds, denim and Birkenstocks (which I didn't know were even still around) screamed class of '05 through swigs of bottled Bud Light. The class of '00 was slightly less rumpled, but ties and closed toe shoes were still scarce. The largest bunch of graduates were decked in full suits, ray bans, and accompanied by frosted blonde women with high neck lines, low heels, and a plethora of pashminas. The generation gap once you jump beyond the year 2000 is more vast than any other such valley. Is it purely age, or the style wisdom that comes with experience that causes men to replace Birkenstocks with Brooks Brothers? (I have to admit to owning a pair in college, but they have long since been donated, or burned, whichever got them out of my closet faster.) Though I am a New Yorker, I feel at home among the preppy, and can't help but smile at Nantucket red and madras (even in early May). I just wish the generations would get on the same page when it comes to sandals and cocktails- the two should not be in the same room (and yes, for this purpose, Bud Light is a cocktail).