Denim After 5
August 8, 2013 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Would you wear a denim skirt to a "trendy" restaurant for dinner? Fashion advice appreciated!

Would you wear a denim skirt (like this) to a "hip" restaurant (like this) for dinner?

If so, what would you pair with it to make it look less daytime? I'm 40, somewhat fit, hourglass shape. It's a birthday dinner for a friend.

If not, what would you wear? I want to avoid pants.

Nothing is too dressy in my town. I'm thinking it will be fine, but still not completely sure. I have lost some of my fashion mojo lately.
posted by Fairchild to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (39 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I personally wouldn't, but only because I don't personally like denim skirts and they aren't really "in". If you want to look trendy, don't wear it. HOWEVER, there's nothing wrong with it if you like it and look good in it- "trendy restaurant" doesn't equal "dressing up" to me.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:10 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks mollymayhem for the link.
posted by Fairchild at 11:12 AM on August 8, 2013

Do you have a little black dress? The LBD was made for situations just like this.

If you don't, I highly suggest you get one. It's a nice staple in most women's wardrobes for a reason. I suggest looking at J. Crew - their black dresses are classic and lovely.
posted by k8lin at 11:13 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm wearing a denim skirt right now! I wear it probably 3 days a week! Because I'm lazy and it's comfortable! Yes!

Anyway, I'd totally wear it if I were you. Wear it with some cute flats (that's a thing people say) and some sort of...shirt and you're golden.

Trendy really doesn't require dressy. And definitely not in Florida.
posted by phunniemee at 11:15 AM on August 8, 2013 [10 favorites]

It's not super trendy but it's pretty cute-- I'd wear it with a pretty shirt or a cool blazer, paired with a statement necklace. Slimmer heels if you like stilettos.
posted by jetlagaddict at 11:15 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Not my style, so no, I wouldn't wear it out, but it looks perfectly innocuous. Wear it with a black or dark colored top with some sparkle, or some bold jewelry (a chunky and/or colorful necklace?). Wear dressy shoes and maybe add a little eyeliner and you'll be dressy enough for someone else's birthday.
posted by hungrybruno at 11:17 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would not wear that skirt to a trendy restaurant, even as casual as Florida/this restaurant may be.

Maybe try a maxi dress to be cool, comfortable, and trendy.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 11:17 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the answers so far.

Yes, I'm not too worried about "dressing up". I don't want to be too dressy. I am worried that the denim could look too daytime or too casual. Thanks again. Loving the suggestions.
posted by Fairchild at 11:17 AM on August 8, 2013

If it's dark, inky denim, especially pencil cut, go for it.

If it's a lighter, more casual denim, skip it. Definitely skip it if it has whiskers or any rips or frayed hems, intentional or no.
posted by duvatney at 11:19 AM on August 8, 2013 [7 favorites]

I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which has a reputation for being the trendiest of trendies yada, yada etc and I would totally wear that skirt at any resto in the 'burg and/or in Manhattan. The only places in NYC I wouldn't wear that skirt would be the really expensive upper tier restaurants, which are decidedly untrendy, and the ballet.
posted by rdnnyc at 11:31 AM on August 8, 2013 [10 favorites]

I have a dark denim pencil skirt similar to that, which I wear all the time. I guess I'm not stylish?

I'd wear it, dressed up rather than down. That restaurant doesn't read as a particularly dressy place to me, but I wouldn't wear sneakers there either.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:33 AM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

I think the dark pencillyness of the denim makes it ok. I'd wear it with a nice top and chunky necklace.
posted by sweetkid at 11:34 AM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

For a denim skirt to work and not look too juvenile, having a side or back closure rather than a front fly works better. Like this one.

Similar skirts styled here here here.

I own one. I wear it to work. I wear it to dinners. I live/work in Manhattan.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:35 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't if you have another option. Denim does work better for daytime and more casual settings. But no one will be aghast.

Personally, I'd opt for a summer dress and light 3/4 length sleeve sweater and nice sandals.
posted by bearwife at 11:35 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

A denim skirt in theory would be fine, especially with the right accessories and top. It's not that this particular skirt is too "daytime;" but that it looks a bit dated and dowdy to my eye. It looks more Anonymous Lady at a PTA Meeting than Fun Lady Going Out. However, it's all in the styling, so it's a bit difficult to say it's right out.

I'd go with another option in this case if possible, especially if you want to feel trendy/fashionable/fun that night. I'm more of a pants kind of girl, so I would wear skinny/straight dark denim or black cigarette pants + a silky patterned top + a heel + some layered necklaces or long earrings for something like this.

If you're avoiding pants, I'd go with a dress - either LBD as mentioned above - or something light, summery, casual in a print or a striking color. I find separates with a skirt + top more difficult to style, but if you want to go that route, it might be fun to play with contrasts - a nice higher-end skirt - with an ultra-casual, slouchy and thin pocket tee in white, black or grey + some layered necklaces.
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 11:37 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Dress it up with some kind of glitzy, loose/drapey top - via google image search, something like this. Or a plain top but with a statement necklace and coordinating funky belt. And some metallic stilettos. That's how I'd roll.
posted by Kurichina at 11:37 AM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Would, and have! I'd probably add a black blazer or sweater and boots.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:38 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

No, definitely a LBD for any sort of nice place.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:39 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Denim is inherently casual, even in skirt form. I think it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed, so I vote "no" and "find a LBD".
posted by lovableiago at 11:42 AM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think "overdressed is better" isn't true in all cases and varies with location and cultural crowd - it can seem provincial in some circles.

If you want to be dressier go dressier, if you want to wear that skirt I think it's fine - don't think "overdressed is better" is a hard and fast rule.
posted by sweetkid at 12:00 PM on August 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

LBD for Florida is too dressy. The skirt is fine, with pretty sandals and a cute top.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:01 PM on August 8, 2013 [5 favorites]

I'd wear it there but for nighttime and stylish I'd style it like

this (but with the skirt of course!)
or this
or this
oooo this is cute!
or this
or simply this
posted by xicana63 at 12:23 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also just want to note that the LBD is overrated. You can get a similar effect with the skirt you have if you wear a flattering properly tailored top of the same color (dark blue/navy) of your skirt and you for sure won't be lost in the crowd of LBD's. And never forget the sexy heels, what ever height you want, but a good sexy pair of shoes will take your skirt from casual to hip.
posted by xicana63 at 12:26 PM on August 8, 2013

Just channel Rhianna, in ALMOST all things. Funk up (and fuck up) the top, the accessories, and kill it on the shoes. The skirt is simply your starting point.
posted by thinkpiece at 12:43 PM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

Wear it and don't think about it for one more minute. Totally fine!
posted by purpleclover at 12:44 PM on August 8, 2013

Just popping back in to say do not do double denim (like denim top or jacket). That almost never looks good on anyone and definitely wouldn't be good for a nice dinner.
posted by sweetkid at 12:45 PM on August 8, 2013

With respect to sweetkid, this is HOT double denim. Lose the hat, add shine to the kicks, and pay no attention to the state, the venue and what everyone else would do!
posted by thinkpiece at 1:04 PM on August 8, 2013

With respect to thinkpiece, that double denim is most definitely not hot (to me). I mean, it doesn't even look good on a young skinny popular 20-something.

That being said, you should dress for yourself in a way that represents and reflects the person you want to show off to the world. And dress deliberately, every piece should do something for the outfit. You'll look great, don't worry about it.

As for some styling suggestions: wedge sandals/espadrilles, if you wanna do the denim top maybe see if you've got a nice chambray camp shirt and see if it works for you, good hair is always an amazing accessory (especially if you're like me and don't like wearing necklaces, earrings, watches, bracelets), silky looking top/blouse (tie front would look cute).
posted by driedmango at 1:22 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

In my universe, denim skirts are just tacky, unless you are 20 and it is tiny. So I wouldn't, but then i would never buy it in first place.
posted by dame at 1:31 PM on August 8, 2013

Yeah, Rihanna's looks are best left to the experts, in my opinion.

The skirt is fine, but I would NOT wear it with flats. You need to dress that up with some banging shoes and also, flats + pencil skirt is usually not very flattering.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 1:40 PM on August 8, 2013

That restaurant looks pretty casual to me. Your skirt is fine. A LBD will be overdressed.
posted by quince at 2:03 PM on August 8, 2013

I think that if you are in any doubt, you should leave denim out.

Denim is a distinctly casual fabric. If you haven't been to this restaurant before, don't wear denim. If you see lots of denim-sporting trendoids there, you can wear denim next time.

I agree that denim skirts aren't all that trendy right now. However, I have a couple of nice ones (with green aqua sequins, embroidery etc.) that I would wear be they trendy or not. But if I were a mom I'd be that cringeworthy out-of-touch mom that says "why not start a fashion for bicycle clips and socks-with-sandals" so don't listen to me.
posted by tel3path at 2:22 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Am I reading correctly that this is a trendy tapas place in a beach town in the greater Daytona area? If so, yes, denim is absolutely okay, snazz it up with the accessories.

My only caveat would be to ask how this skirt works on your body. If it shows off your curves it will be a fine choice -- if it's cute & comfy but doesn't put any kick in your step, it might feel a little too casual.
posted by desuetude at 2:37 PM on August 8, 2013

I'm wearing my dark rinse denim pencil skirt right now! I think as long as it isn't frayed, and doesn't have any of that weird whiskering, it's fine.
posted by sarcasticah at 2:52 PM on August 8, 2013

Unless you're reading trendy for classy, I'd say go for the skirt. Trendy isn't LBD IMO. Much of the appropriate with denim is all in how you accessorize.

Agree, no whiskers, fade and no wrinkles--ironing makes denim look sharp and more 'formal.'
posted by BlueHorse at 4:48 PM on August 8, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for all of the answers and suggestions. My skirt is nearly identical to the one linked. Same brand, same rinse and length, just different stitching on pockets. I was going to wear it with cute gold-bronzey wedges, nice top, bold earrings. The skirt is form fitting. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question.
posted by Fairchild at 5:28 PM on August 8, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'd wear something else.

The skirt would be fine, but... you'll be thinking to yourself it was the wrong thing to wear, and worrying that people will think you are dressed inappropriately.

Clothing that you feel that way about is never the right thing to wear.

I'd wear whatever was in my closet I felt like wearing on that day, maybe with some jewelry.

If you feel you need a new dress for this, get a wrap dress in a color or print. This is very flattering on an hourglass shape; however, the waist tie for the dress must be at the actual waist.
posted by yohko at 5:29 PM on August 8, 2013

Looks like a tapas restaurant with outdoor dining? Tapas is not supposed to be super dressy. I think your plan is fine.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:04 PM on August 8, 2013

Denim skirts pretty much exclusively scream RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALIST to me, but that might be the baggage from my Bible Belt childhood.

That said, nobody is going to look askance at you for wearing a denim skirt to a casual -- if trendy -- restaurant. Even moreso if it's a beach town. Show up in more than a bikini and you're fine.
posted by Sara C. at 10:18 PM on August 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

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