California Casual - what to wear?
August 27, 2005 2:20 PM   Subscribe

I've been invited to a dinner party and the dress code says california casual. Despite living casually in California, I have no idea what this means. Do I have to wear loafers? My googlefu is weak and didn't pull up any useful charts, lists or diagrams.
posted by puppy kuddles to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total)
I have no idea myself, but my wife says it means no jeans for women and a sportcoat for men.

posted by Argyle at 2:25 PM on August 27, 2005

Have some Google-fu.
posted by trevyn at 2:42 PM on August 27, 2005

the dress code says california casual.

That means "wear pants."
posted by jonmc at 3:02 PM on August 27, 2005

I agree with jonmc. Pants and a pressed Hawaiian shirt will do.
posted by amber_dale at 3:50 PM on August 27, 2005

Nice but not fancy. Dress as you would to go to a mid-level restaurant.
posted by cali at 3:59 PM on August 27, 2005

Since normal dress in California is shorts and flip-flops, you should go nude if it's "casual".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:23 PM on August 27, 2005

I would take that to mean "Whatever you want."
posted by knave at 6:20 PM on August 27, 2005

Sure, 'wear pants,' but the fact that they codified it means nice pants. In other words, wear expensive casual clothes, like Prada jeans, or what have you.
posted by bingo at 6:27 PM on August 27, 2005

I would be interested in hearing a description of what other people wore to this occasion as an illustration of what "California casual" entails.
posted by MrZero at 7:50 PM on August 27, 2005

Slacks and a polo shirt or dress shirt for men, the same, or a sun dress for women (according to this site).
posted by coolsara at 9:32 PM on August 27, 2005

Currently, it's Tommy Bahama's (silk hawaiian) shirt and slacks with sandals that aren't tevas for men, sundress or equivalent top & slacks for women. If evening/boating, a light sweater for women and golf windbreaker for men. The footwear's the only thing that's fluctuated recently, from what I understand from my parents, it suddenly became a requirement to wear those fancy dress sandals that look like dress shoes of various types with half the leather missing.
posted by SpecialK at 10:30 PM on August 27, 2005

According to a fashion book at work (I get bored... sue me), the best way to handle this situation is to call the host or hostess and ask them advice as to what to wear.
posted by drezdn at 11:10 PM on August 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

If the party is to celebrate a special ocassion probably check with the invitee what "california casual" means. What are the current fashion trends in California??.

Cotton pants and a linen shirt is a nice look for guys...that's my take.
posted by Chimp at 11:48 PM on August 27, 2005

As a 5th generation California native, there's no such thing as "California Casual", unless they mean boardshorts, zories, no shirt and a salt-encrusted tan. Chafed nipples, rasberries and board dings optional.

Bring a classic longboard skate and a wear a faded authentic Hawaiian shirt and shredded cargo shorts or board shorts. If they have a problem with that then maybe they shouldn't have specified "California". :)

Of course, "California Casual" could also mean desert-rat chic, Sierra back country, tree hugger, psychedelic, or even maybe forty-niner. No, scratch that. Being a forty-niner required actual work.

But then you probably shouldn't listen to me. I'm a fashion nightmare, but I know California, and I see supposedly stylish people wear that kind of stuff all the time to fancy-pants places. Which is one of the reasons why I like Phoenix, AZ. Everyone wears shorts, even to nice restaurants. It's too damn hot for anything else.
posted by loquacious at 1:41 AM on August 28, 2005 [1 favorite]

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