Over the weekend, I celebrated my birthday with an amazing (and very rich) dinner at Le Coucou. My husband and I rarely go to “fancy” restaurants, it doesn’t fit our style–too hushed, not a lot of energy (though the kitchen at Le Coucou which is open was super entertaining). All in all, it was a gorgeous, memorable experience.
But there is one thing I can’t stop thinking about that bummed me out. It was the attire of the men sitting next to us, who were with their wives. The men were both wearing jeans and t-shirts. Maybe they thought they were nice T-shirts, but nonetheless, they were collarless, clingy t-shirts, they both kept fidgeting with over their two hour dinner. In fact, there were plenty of people (women and men) in everyday, fairly schlumpy attire at the restaurant.
I’m so over people not dressing for the occasion and making an effort. Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for jeans and tees (lots of times in fact), but when you’re entree costs as much as your shirt, and you are at a restaurant where it is meant to be a fine-dining experience, where the chef spent years honing his/her craft and hours in the kitchen to present his/her very best, I find it a sign of respect to in turn do your part. Try to be a part of the festive spirit. There were some dressed up people (I wore my Nili Lotan silk leopard print blouse, black pants and Alaia boots that are my evening go-to), and it was fun to see what they were wearing. If you make an effort, you become part of the aura of the evening. How sad would it be if everyone had shown up in jeans and tees? It might have sucked the energy and elegance out of the room.
So here’s to making an old-fashioned effort (like Jackie always did). My mother instilled the idea in me and my sister and I have tried to do the same with my daughters. And this isn’t the first, or last, time I will write about this topic (while I am sitting at the computer in my white T-shirt and jeans)!
Agree!! We attended a small, intimate 50th birthday party for a friend last year at high end restaurant … both of the wives wore jeans … I had try hard not to let it ruin my evening. Ever since then I have been on the same campaign as you.
So well articulated.
Hello! Greeting from Zurich. I love your IG and came to read your blog also and this topic was giving me something to think about. Well I am Italian living in Switzerland. I grew up with the mentality of “dressing” up. Dressing up for Sunday lunch, dressing up for first school day (every single school year) dressing up for Saturday supper. Even having hair done! This I think you do by the way only in Italy. Going to the hairdresser before and appointment to have your hair fresh blow dry. Since I am living in Zurich things changed because here people are more casual. Not that they don’t have possibilities to buy nice clothes but the majority I think thinks that doesn’t want to be judged about the dress are wearing. So I changed also a bit my attitude. I still love to dress up but I wear more what I like instead of what “protocol” says I should wear on a formal or elegant dinner date. Recently I was in Miami at an upscale restaurant and people close to me were wearing flip flops and shorts. This I find really impolite and I agree 200% with your statement. For the other I think everyone has his own way to see themselves elegant. Some maybe spent 500 dollars for a t-shirt and certainly thinks is the best they could wear for a elegant restaurant night out.. keep writing! Sara
Agreed! Growing up my mom made us get dressed to go to the doctor or get on a plane. The first time we went to a Broadway show we thought we had to wear suits! Now, I go to the opera and see people in hoodies.
Let’s start getting dressed again. I love a good tee and sneaker, but really looking forward to the return of tailoring.
Catherine M. says
Amen! I feel the same way about going to the theater or a musical production (symphony, etc.); no one seems to make the effort to dress anymore, and it’s a real shame. I understand that certain aspects can be uncomfortable (hello, nylons), but it’s as much about respecting the venue or the performers as it is acknowledging that it’s a special occasion which calls for a special effort.
Agree! I love dressing up and making an effort… I love clothes actually and always looking for the occasion to wear them. I work on a VERY casual environment where almost everyone goes tot he office in jeans and sneakers and I actually miss the days of no-jeans policy 🙂 (Everyone at the office would hate me for saying this). I still stay true to my style of making an effort for the office but sometimes I feel out of place LOL…
I couldn’t agree more. I love jeans and t-shirt but I wouldn’t go anywhere wearing them. I think we live in a time where making an effort is seen as something that limit one’s freedom. I know people who think that the most important thing is “to be authentic”, even if it means being rude or shabby.
The rise of the athletic wear worsen the situation. So many people go everywhere dressed for the gym!