Photo by Salt Water New England

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

What Is the Right Dress Code?

 

For, say, a Saturday night at a nice urban (or light urban) club or restaurant, what would your ideal, enforceable dress code be?

A quote from an article in today's New York Times, "Leave the Sweatshirt at Home. Dining Dress Codes Are Back. A number of restaurants are betting that Americans want to get gussied up again, but not everyone is thrilled about the fashion screening"<https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/17/dining/restaurant-dress-code.html>, weighs in:

“At Les Trois Chevaux, we revere the style and finesse that can only be attributed to having New York swagger,” it said. “We expect our guests to arrive in proper dinner attire, and for you to celebrate the style that downtown New York City can bring.”

Lest there be any confusion, details followed: “Blue jeans, shorts and sneakers are strictly prohibited.” Diners were “kindly” requested to wear jackets.

41 comments:

  1. How refreshing! Always has been and always will be jacket and tie for me (with appropriate legwear and footwear).

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  2. On the Les Trois Chevaux website, diners are actually kindly requested to wear dinner jackets, lol.

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  3. After having a look at the Google images, I doubt I would ever visit the 3 Horses. I almost always wear a jacket (blazer or sport coat) and tie when dining out though. Even in Vancouver, where a jacket would mean a fleece with a company logo or a Vancouver 2010 jacket.

    David J Cooper

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  4. The Covid pandemic must be truly benind us if we are returning to dress codes for "dining in" at restaurants. For a couple years "proper attire" meant putting on pants.

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  5. It's so nice to be able to dress up again. (Alas, it seems to be more of a baby boomer thing as opposed to the youngsters.) Love that "lest there be any confusion" bit. Well done, Les Trois Chevaux!

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  6. Hallelujah! Perhaps not everything is lost.

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  7. I like dressing up for a nice restaurant. I would have a big problem with dress codes being used as an excuse to exclude people for other reasons, e.g. inconsistent enforcement based on one's race or orientation.

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  8. ROBERT REICHARDTMay 17, 2022 at 4:01 PM

    When it comes to dressing there can't be enough "swagger" for me.

    And it goes without saying that the typical American today is not only poorly, and tastelessy dressed, but also overweight. Doritos Uberalles. Not a good combo. Worse, most find this normal.

    Of course, it wasn't always like this - as proven by the viewing of any newsreel from exactly a century ago. Look at the 1920s crowds where ordinary men even wore summer suits, ties and straw fedoras to baseball games. The average person possessed a lot of natural swagger in those black and white images, and would today be considered a standout fashion plate. For example, I own a pair of Allen-Edmonds' Broadstreet Spectators (brown and cream) that originally came out in 1922. In 2012, the company produced an exact limited-edition copy of this classic for its' 90th-Year Anniversary. Now, if I walked about in these during the 1920s, nobody would notice - unlike today where they never fail to grab attention.

    Yes, bringing back swagger is a step in the right direction - and it can't come soon enough for me.

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    1. Robert Reichardt your comments would equally apply in the UK

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    2. How about we leave the fat-shaming in the 1920s as well? If you think insulting people gives you "swagger" you're terribly mistaken. I thought we were all discussing dinner jackets. Silly me!

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    3. Garrison HalibutMay 18, 2022 at 9:20 AM

      Most Americans in the 1920s weren't gobby-fat. Most Americans today are. And it won't do to blame the government and the food producers. I see what people order in restaurants and what they put in their shopping carts, and how much of it.

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    4. Agree and well-said. People need to step it up a notch.

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    5. I've read comments on a couple of forums about people today, including kids, are fatter than people in the 1950s and 1960s. They may be but not where I live. However, I do recall a comment my daughter made about the student body in the out-of-state college she attended for two years. She said she saw more fat students there. So maybe there's something to it after all.

      Regarding dress standards these days and in the past, I grew up in a more or less working-class railroad town. I'm afraid that few people were normally dressed up very much, although as I've mentioned before, my father wore his suit all day on Sunday. He was a truck driver. The memory of one man remains vivid to me. His business was on the corner where I crossed the street on the way to school. He was always wearing a suit and a hat. He looked exactly like George Raft, which may date me. He was a mortician.

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    6. Robert Reichardt, every citizen of the developed world is today overweight, very overweight (plus poorly and tastelessy dressed). Perhaps in Paris, but only in very few districts, people are still good looking.

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    7. It is unfortunate that several people here feel that it is appropriate to include their personal commentary about social issues when discussing these topics.
      Quite small minded to say the least. I could do without their opinions.

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    8. ROBERT REICHARDTMay 26, 2022 at 9:41 PM

      Yes, it is unfortunate.

      But I thought we were discussing - you know - steamed clams and mussels.

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    9. Oh good glad you agree. Would like to hear less about your political and social views when discussing something like clothing, eating out, or clams and mussels

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    10. ROBERT REICHARDTMay 27, 2022 at 1:53 PM

      In my country, we like to discuss such things.

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    11. Dear Anonymous 4:23: I am not sure what you mean writing "to include (...) when discussing these topics" and I am not sure if I want to know. Obesity is a very big aesthetic problem too. It's seldom connected to health issues but very often excused this way. Laziness? Perhaps. Personally I don't really care, but we, people who pay respect to the others (also in the way we dress) have to look at this. Tattoos, obesity, nose rings, athleisure "clothes" in very formal situations, the list is long. The world is not only "me, I, mine", I am sorry.

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  9. I can't decide what it means that this particular restaurant has to request people wear jackets. Would have assumed if the diners were paying $400-$500 for dinner, they would just automatically wear a jacket.

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  10. US style (so called) is at an all time low, of course. But in restaurants I am more bothered by people's cell phone use than clothing choices. I can chose not to look at them but not to not hear them. I remember a survey from years ago, around the time cell phones started becoming ubiquitous, and something like 60% of respondents favored banning cell phones in restaurants. I wonder what the number would be today. 6%?

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  11. I agree there has been a decline in social mores paralleled with a slovenly appearance, especially on college campuses across the US. It's nice to see restaurants seeking to encourage patrons to adhere to a higher standard, however, it's better when I meet people that care enough to dress well regardless. For instance, there is a young man that just started working in the sales department at the company I work for and he generally dresses well in slacks, a dress shirt, and wingtips. He supplanted another salesman who had been there longer to attend a conference because he presented better. In this case, it literally paid for him to dress well commensurate with a professional demeanor.

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  12. "Gussied up." Now, when was the last time I heard that expression?

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    1. I must be a dinosaur, I still use that phrase

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    2. I was thinking that it was a regional expression, like something Minnie Pearl would say. Or for the real dinosaurs here, Judy Canova or Dorothy Shay.

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    3. It's also a line in the film, Manhattan Murder Mystery, directed towards Diane Keaton's character.

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  13. For (gentle-) men, at the very least a jacket or blazer and leather dress shoes for an actual sit-down, table-clothed, and place set establishment.

    Kind Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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  14. A blazer will always be a must for me in a situation like this, with proper accessories! Cheers!

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  15. Diners were not kindly requested to wear jackets, they were requested to kindly wear jackets.

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    1. Now I can sleep at night.

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    2. Uh, what? How does one kindly wear a jacket? And why the split infinitive?

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    3. It is, technically, not grammatically incorrect to split the infinitive. This case, however, presents an awkward grouping of the selected words.

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  16. It's refreshing to hear dress expectations are back. It was becoming quite dismal. My husband and I have always dressed up, meaning dressing properly for every occasion. Uggs, stretch pants, and a hoodie are not even in my vocabulary. And don't even start me on men who insist on wearing baseball caps while dining in a nice restaurant. Always better to be over dressed!!

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  17. I was brought up to believe (and still do) that you can never be over dressed.

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    1. I wasn't brought up that way, but I sometimes have been.

      The problem is that, while there may be dress codes, they usually aren't written down. The exceptions are generally when they're stated on invitations, club rules, and the like. But like all social mores, adherence is expected, and punishment can be administered under pain of severe embarrassment. However, these things are not only complicated but subject to frequent change. It follows that there those among you who make the rules in the first place.

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  18. This is splendid!*
    *Andrew's comment above offers the most important caveat to the whole thing. I've seen rather explicitly discriminatory dress codes in a few places, sometimes borne of innocent cluelessness and sometimes borne of outright racism or other bigotry. But so long as Les Trois Chevaux and other likeminded establishments can manage to set a high standard and be inclusive at the same time, this news just about makes my day.

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    1. ROBERT REICHARDTMay 19, 2022 at 3:08 PM

      Relax. This isn't 1960 Alabama.

      And I'm sure Les Trois Chevaux, and "other likeminded establishments" are only interested in one color - green.

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  19. Once this becomes the norm perhaps we can move on to schools. When I was teaching I always wore a tie and either a cardigan or a sport jacket as did most of other of the faculty. Today I look at some of the teachers coming out of my granddaughter's high school and I am appalled seeing them in shorts, sweats, ripped jeans, and tee shirts. Some students are better dressed.

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  20. I generally adhere to a higher-than-usual standard in my dress, including wearing suits and ties to work four days a week. I stay dressed the same way if I'm going out to dinner one of those evenings, but I won't usually put a tie on if I'm not wearing one already.

    I often wear a blazer out to dinner on weekends, but not always. Last night I went to a Capital Grille near us to celebrate my birthday with my wife and 17-year-old son (20-year-old daughter being away at college), and as it was terribly hot earlier in the day, I wore a blue OCBD, stone-colored chinos with a light-blue ribbon belt, and brown loafers, but no blazer. Actually could have used the blazer as it was cold inside with the air conditioning, but it wasn't too bad. My son wore a casual button-front short-sleeve shirt and dark pants, with sneakers. My wife wore a smart outfit with nice jewelry. And we all had a splendid time.

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  21. Thank God. I am so excited to see dress codes make a comeback in Nyc.
    For dinner in the summer I will wear a university blue striped OBD with green GOTH pants and a Brooks blue blazer with cordovian weejuns with no socks of course.

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  22. What’s considered appropriate for women in such establishments?
    Is it a dress or skirt? What if I wore a jacket with jeans,?
    I’m not trying to be snarky, but truly want to know! Men’s rules seem to be more clear-cut whete womens’ rules seem to be a moving target.
    I’ve searched the internet for some kind of dress guidance for women, but I haven’t found any. The only rules i found were from vintage sites but the latest was from the 1930’s. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

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