The men were almost uniformly clean-shaven, hair was trim, and everybody looked presentable. Unlike Americans, nobody looked like they had been interrupted in the middle of pulling their engine.
I am guessing that there are two factors: one is that there is enough poverty in Asia still that if you have holes in your clothes, it *might* be because you can't afford clothes without holes. (At suburban US shopping malls, I doubt this is the case.) So if you go out in ratty clothes, you might look poor instead of uncaring.
Second, Asian values tend to favor relationships over rules. Thus, your connection to your family is much stronger, and your family's status is as or more important than the status of all of the individuals. So if you go out looking ratty, it reflects poorly on your family, and that matters.
Everybody looked very well scrubbed, sort of like I imagine the US in the 50's to be. I got home, looked in my closet, and said, "Look at all this JUNK!"