Gone are the days when you would go to a fine dining restaurant and see all guests dressed up, clearly having put in the effort to look their best. Gone are the days when most working men and women dressed in anything close to formal business attire. Before the pandemic we were a casual society, and now in 2022 we seem to have given up entirely on embracing the importance of dressing well. I find this unfortunate, at times even offensive, and will do all that I can to buck this trend.
Hubby tells me that I am “shoveling shit against the tide”, but my passion on this topic is without restraint. When we recently went with friends to an upscale restaurant in Boston, everything was wonderful – the service, the food, drinks, and décor – except for the attire of most other guests. They wore hoodies, tee shirts, sloppy jeans, sneakers, ‘unkempt’ from head to toe. Why should I care what they wear? Because it affects the overall ambience, just like the lighting, music, and décor all do. The attire of other guests sets the stage for what type of setting you are in, and ultimately contributes to whether we feel harmonious.
On this evening the sloppy attire bothered me so much that I politely expressed my opinion to the maître d. He was polite in return, but of course could do nothing, nor did I expect him to. The next day I decided to send an email to the General Manager, not expecting a response, but simply to express myself. Even with my strong opinion on this topic, I do understand that most restaurants, struggling to stay afloat, would not want to risk losing customers with a strict dress code. I get that! Clearly, I am barking up the wrong tree.
Reader, if you share my sentiment, let’s buck this casual trend together, one elegant outfit at a time! When dining in an upscale and/or pricey restaurant, wear one of your favorite dresses or an elegant pantsuit. Guys, tuck in your shirt and put on a blazer – doesn’t mean you have to wear a tie, but dress to show some respect for the establishment and for the person you are with. Show some sophistication, exude some confidence, and don’t worry about what others are wearing. The positive reactions may surprise you.
One final point on this topic: dressing well, with all that it entails, is a learned social skill that we need to teach our children. How do we do that if we only wear hoodies, ripped blue jeans and sneakers wherever we go? How do we teach them the difference between dressing for Applebee’s versus The Capital Grille? Children learn from observing us, and they learn by example. Dress to convey gravitas when the situation calls for it, such as a funeral or even a holiday at home. This need not mean spending hundreds of dollars on a wardrobe; it just means having the basic pieces that will take you anywhere. And as far as objections to being uncomfortable – you bought the wrong size.
Yes, I am completely 100% committed to bucking this casual trend. How about YOU?