Could somebody please tell me...just what exactly is the dress code here?
August 13, 2009 8:54 AM   Subscribe

I was invited to a restaurant with a "Smart Casual" dress code and in my attempt to find out what that was I ran across this chart. I thought it was very clever and helpful and now I'd like to see more graphical representations comparing the various levels of dress codes. Have you seen any? Or do you know where I can find others?
posted by simplethings to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
[A bunch of comments removed. The question is pretty specific; please help answer it and leave the general chatter out of it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:30 AM on August 13, 2009

Just to add to that chart (which only goes up to semi-formal) - formal wear in the morning is morning dress, and in the evening white tie.

The former is generally worn at weddings, the latter very rarely (unless you frequent state dinners and the like).

I notice this information is on the Wikipedia page from which that image comes from, but just in case people only saw the image and not the page thought I'd chip in.
posted by djgh at 10:45 AM on August 13, 2009

While their semi-formal is technically correct, rikschell highlights a problem with these kind of hard and fast rules: the lines blur due to factors such as season, location, and the social conventions of those attending. That is why some people make up names like "beach formal" or "bohemian cocktail". Sure, someone could sit down and lay out a much more complete list that includes more of the nuanced dress attires such as white tie, morning attire, country attire, athletic/exercise, country club, cocktail, yada yada, but their hard work would quickly become irrelevant due to their inability to adjust for context.

Smart Casual tends to be suited for a more professional or later in the day event - thus dark colors, dress shirt, etc. It would be ridiculous for a restaurant to refuse to seat you because you are wearing dark khakis instead of black pants, or had a jacket on.

My advice is to know the general rules laid out by said wikichart, learn to be comfortable and confident in what you are wearing and no one will think otherwise. Oh, and keep a dark grey jacket in your car. I feel donning a jacket makes a casual outfit more formal, and grey goes with everything.
posted by gagoumot at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2009

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