Sunday, March 2, 2008

Dressing down


Something that dismays me a bit is the dressing down of America.

We really noticed it last night. It was a very nice restaurant we went to, and while I didn't wear a dress, I wore nice slacks and a sweater, and Ken also wore slacks and a sweater. While we were eating, they seated someone next to us, and the guy was wearing jeans and a denim shirt. They were also going to the comedy show, which was not a dressy event by any means, but the restaurant WAS--or at least it should have been.

It was really apparent this past summer, too, when we took our cruise. There were two formal nights in the dining room, when women were expected to wear dresses, and the men tuxedos, suits, or sport coats and slacks. The kids initially didn't seem thrilled by this, but once they got dressed up, I think they realized how fun it can be to be just a tiny bit elegant. They both looked great, and they both commented several times on my "cool" dresses. Unfortunately, even on the formal nights, some of the guys at the table next to us were wearing very casual clothes, including baseball caps. I sent Royal Caribbean an email about a few concerns (as well as compliments) I had, and one of them was that if they are going to have a dress code in the dining room, they should probably enforce it. We really wanted the kids to see and experience a dressy occasion and formal atmosphere, and while they did get to experience that, it was spoiled just a little bit by seeing the casual attire at the next table.

Believe me, I'm as casual as they come, she wrote, while lounging in her flannel pants and sweatshirt. However, on the occasional event or night out when I have a chance to dress up, I really enjoy it, and as my folks like to say, I "clean up pretty well." It's fun for me to wear a nice dress, and pretend for a little while that I'm a tiny bit elegant instead of the klutz that I usually am! I think we've lost something in becoming overly casual. Maybe a sense of refinement, style, and grace, or maybe just a sense of believing that we can be butterflies for a night.


buckoclown said...

It is unfortunate that standards are not enforced.  If you have a dress policy, or are an upscale establishment, you should enforce those standards.  Not doing so may result in immediate gains, but your reputation and long term prosperity are compromised.  Kind of analygous to every day life as well :o)

aimer said...

Wow, I so totally agree with you! I thought that maybe I was the only one who felt this way. Like you, I am as casual as anyone but when the place or event calls for dressing up, I'm happy to oblige.  My pet peeve is women wearing jogging outfits any where except when they are jogging!--Sheria

mpnaz58 said...

I agree with you...the dressing down of America has overstepped its boundaries.  Go into any church (Catholic, because thats all I know) and you'll see pews filled with people in shorts, jeans, revealing low cut tops, and pants...the gamut of casual.  Now I'm not saying you have to dress to the nines, but a little respect goes a long way.  Just this morning at mass, people in cargo shorts, flip flops, unruly hair (like they just got up)...come on...have some class~
xoxo ~Myra

jimsulliv3 said...

In the restaurant-lounge my family used to own, wearers of T-shirts, shorts, caps and thongs (flip-flops for the younger generation)  were sent to Bubba's Bar-b-cue Joint or a reasonable facsimile.


queeniemart said...

i think it is good for any person to get dressed up for a special night and go out and be makes you feel better about yourself and a little make up and hairspray plus a well fitting dress or tux never hurt anyone. I don't blame you for being irritated.
hugs, lisa

abaleman666 said...

i agree.  in my profession, esp. at the elementary level, many of the women dress down in what i call 'dowdy teacher dress' or 'dowdy teacher slacks' with that horible holiday themed sweatshirt.  uck.  i think (esp if the kids are in uniforms) that the teachers need to look more professional too.  i dont wear a suit to work, but i also dont go bare legged, bare sleeved/ tank topped, or wear anything with an elasticized waistband.  no we dont have a/c and it gets hot in the spring and early fall but then thats the breaks.

visit the rant anytime :D

rdautumnsage said...

It's not just restaurants, it's funerals and other somber events. I rarely put a dress on (I'm a tomboy to the limit)...yet I won't dress down when the event calls for something more formal either. I was shocked at Doc's mother's funeral at the amount of people who showed up in gaily wear, jeans, bright colors and just tacky dressing period. Doc and I both wore black....When did we lose such respect for the deceased we stopped mourning them and doing that?

Even if Doc and I just go to the Olive Garden, we are both put off by guys who wear baseball caps all through dinner. What happened to manners? If you come to my table at home wearing a cap, your going to have it knocked off your head, to me it's disrespectful. (Hugs) Indigo

luvrte66 said...

I'm glad to hear that so many of you agree with me on this! Indy, how awful that people wore casual clothes to Doc's mom's funeral. That's just shameful.

If we ever sit down for dinner together, I'll make sure I leave my baseball cap at home. <grin>


fremoris said...

I've posted a long comment in my journal on this topic.  Thanks for sharing this concern with us.  You are right on the money!