Dress for the Occasion, Please!

how to dress nice dinner

I’ve been here in Texas for about a week and a half and am really enjoying my time out here! The people are wonderful, the Mexican food is to die for, and I’m starting to like the cowboy boots. However, there’s one thing that I’ve noticed here, and other places around the U.S., that really needs to change- dressing appropriately for dinner!

The other night, my boyfriend and I went out to dinner at a pretty nice Italian restaurant in the “nice” part of town. I wore heels, a little black dress, and red lipstick. My boyfriend wore a button up, slacks, and dress shoes. I called ahead to make reservations for 6:30 to ensure we got a table. Luckily, it was a week night so not many people were out. When we walked into the restaurant, I looked around and took in the ambiance, enjoyed the smell coming from the kitchen, and smiled at the waiter who took our drink order.

Upon getting settled at our table I began to notice more details of the restaurant and the little things that made it charming. However, there were some not so charming people that, how do I put it, took away from the restaurant’s overall feeling. Seated at the bar, was a middle-aged man wearing a t-shirt with a line of sweat down the back. He also wore running shorts, white socks, and Reeboks. I hope he enjoyed his Pinot Grigio.

Waiting for a table outside was a family of three. Dad wore a tight v-neck t-shirt with a backwards hat. The son (whom I’ll forgive because he was young) wore athletic shorts and a sports jersey. Mom wore flare leg jeans and a wife beater. I get it, you’re a busy family and Italian food means comfort food, but maybe the more appropriate restaurant based on your attire would have been Olive Garden.

Finally, seated with her husband a few tables down from us was a young woman wearing flare leg jeans, a t-shirt with a cartoon on it, a messy bun, and some sort of a canvas bag as her purse. Her hubby, while not the fashion expert himself, was wearing jeans and a polo, which, in my opinion, was more appropriate for the restaurant.

My point in this blog post is not to rip people to shreds and make fun of those who don’t have a sense of fashion, the purpose is to bring light to an etiquette conundrum I’m seeing more and more everyday. As a society, we should try our best to look our best. It’s polite. When I’m at Taco Bell, sweatpants and oversized tees are perfectly acceptable! When I’m at a 5-star restaurant, dress shirts and nice skirts are expected.

I’ll step off my high-horse now and let you form your own opinion, this is just my two cents!