Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: gellchom on January 12, 2013, 12:08:10 PM

Title: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 12, 2013, 12:08:10 PM
We just received an invitation to a b'nei mitzvah party that will be dinner and dancing at a nice downtown hotel.  The invitation says, "No ties, no jeans."

I don't like that.  I believe that the correct way to do it is to write "casual attire."

I get it; they want it to be casual but not sloppy.  But wording it this way implies that their guests don't understand how to dress appropriately and will look like slobs if not given itemized instructions.  "Casual attire" plus the type of event and its setting -- a dinner dance at a downtown hotel ballroom, not a backyard BBQ or beach party -- makes it clear that cutoffs and T shirts aren't appropriate, and that neckties aren't required.  There really is no need to specifically forbid jeans and ties. Many of today's jeans are sufficiently dressy and nice enough to wear as part of an outfit for a nice restaurant; that's appropriate for a casual party.  And some people feel more comfortable in ties, and some ties are pretty casual anyway.

Hosts need to give their guests credit for a little intelligence, common sense, and class.  If a few of their guests lack these and don't dress exactly right, then so be it (there are always a few people who simply insist on ignoring dress codes no matter what you write anyway).  It's not going to ruin your party.  You're entertaining your guests, not costuming them for a show.  Setting a dress code is fine; micromanaging it is bossy and insulting.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hillia on January 12, 2013, 12:17:10 PM
Well, I think you're giving people too much credit for assuming that 'casual' doesn't include jeans.  We've seen enough horror stories here of people showing up for a 'dressy' event wearing wildly inappropriate clothing.  Also, some people might think, these are my nice designer jeans, not faded or ripped, look like dark slacks from a distance...but the venue doesn't allow jeans at all, no matter how nice they are.  So yeah, I think it's a little odd, but I can see where the hostess was going with it.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: SamiHami on January 12, 2013, 12:19:02 PM
I agree with you. Sadly, I have been to some pretty dressy occasions (weddings) where some guests showed up wearing shorts and old t shirts (???). I will give your friends a pass because they probably have seem similar things and are trying to avoid that. It's unfortunate, but there are a lot of people out there who seem to think it's perfectly okay to dress like a slob for every occasion. Obviously you are not one, nor are most of your friends, I imagine. But if you think about it I'm going to guess you can think of two or three people who always dress inappropriately; they are the people that directive is meant for. Even so, I'll bet they ignore it and show up looking like bums anyway.

So, yes your friends are incorrect in putting that dress code on the invitations, but I can understand why they did it.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: WillyNilly on January 12, 2013, 12:20:55 PM
"Casual attire" absolutely, 100%, every single time, includes jeans.  Without any room for doubt or question.

So no, they could not have written "casual attire" and had any expectation that well over 50% of their guests would not show up in jeans.

What they seem to be asking for is "business casual" mixed with "party wear".  While I agree "no ties, no jeans" is awkward, I think its pretty clear what they are looking for - casual party dresses not gowns, men in khaki's or chinos and polo shirts or a button up shirt with the first 2 buttons undone.

As for trusting guests... well it was about 10-15 years ago and London, but I stayed in a hotel once that did not allow jeans, period.  As in guests could not even check in and go up to their room and change, no jeans whatsoever.  My friend and I were there for business, and we watched as 3 co-workers were not allowed to check in because they wore jeans for the flight over.  They literally were turned away despite pre-paid reservations. So this might be a hotel dress code.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 12, 2013, 12:21:57 PM
I think dress codes have become regionalized or social group specific. 

In my social circle, a dinner dance in a downtown ballroom would imply that suits and ties would be expected.  A casual attire dress code would imply that jeans are appropriate. 

I sort of like it.  It's specific enough that my DH would know a sports coat with open collar was fine, I'd know that a cocktail dress wasn't needed, and I could wear anything from a nice pair of slacks to a day appropriate dress. 

***I don't like "dressy casual" because too much of an oxymoron for me and too open to interpretation.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: NyaChan on January 12, 2013, 12:22:34 PM
I actually don't think it is odd - it is very helpful.  If I saw casual, I would think I could wear jeans.  Even if there is dancing and dinner at a downtown hotel, it doesn't necessarily follow that the event isn't jean-appropriate.  What she wrote makes the dress level clear in a concise fashion.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Yvaine on January 12, 2013, 12:25:33 PM
Yeah, I'm going to agree with PPs. It doesn't read like micromanaging to me--it feels like they're specifying a "range" of dressiness and it would actually be pretty helpful. Otherwise people might default either to too fancy or too casual. They're saying "dressier than jeans, but not so dressy you need to wear a tie."
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 12, 2013, 12:36:38 PM
Yeah, I get that it's technically rude, but with some families it is easier to just put it on the invitation than to single out (and likely offend) the likely culprit. I've seen it often enough where people can't (or won't) figure out what the dress code should be, and just wear whatever. I also don't really see it as micromanaging; there is a pretty wide range between no jeans and no tie!
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: NyaChan on January 12, 2013, 12:38:02 PM
Yeah, I get that it's technically rude, but with some families it is easier to just put it on the invitation than to single out (and likely offend) the likely culprit. I've seen it often enough where people can't (or won't) figure out what the dress code should be, and just wear whatever. I also don't really see it as micromanaging; there is a pretty wide range between no jeans and no tie!

Why is it rude at all?
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Lynnv on January 12, 2013, 12:47:11 PM
I actually don't think it is odd - it is very helpful.  If I saw casual, I would think I could wear jeans.  Even if there is dancing and dinner at a downtown hotel, it doesn't necessarily follow that the event isn't jean-appropriate.  What she wrote makes the dress level clear in a concise fashion.

Me too.  Casual dress would say to me that jeans were ok.  This gives me a clear guideline without trying to micromanage. 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: mbbored on January 12, 2013, 12:56:48 PM
I agree that I would find that notation helpful. It tells me it's a level above nice jeans but still below semi formal.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Bethalize on January 12, 2013, 12:59:18 PM
"Casual attire" absolutely, 100%, every single time, includes jeans.  Without any room for doubt or question.

"Casual" simply means that men don't have to wear jackets. Or at least, it used to. "Formal" means jackets, casual means "without jackets". "Smart casual" means "you might not have to wear a jacket but you have to dress to a certain standard".  Or at least it did, back in the 20th Century.

The fact that entire cities have no idea of this is a great shame, but there is definitely room for doubt.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 12, 2013, 12:59:45 PM
Yeah, I get that it's technically rude, but with some families it is easier to just put it on the invitation than to single out (and likely offend) the likely culprit. I've seen it often enough where people can't (or won't) figure out what the dress code should be, and just wear whatever. I also don't really see it as micromanaging; there is a pretty wide range between no jeans and no tie!

Why is it rude at all?

Because some rulemakers think so, I suppose. Now that I'm looking into it, though, it looks like Miss Manners is in favor or dress codes on invitations (assuming the dress code isn't something made up, like "fire and ice"!)
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 12, 2013, 01:10:27 PM
It is rude because it implies that the guests don't know how to dress appropriately if the invitation simply says "casual."

By the way, to my knowledge there are no hotels or restaurants in this city that have a "no jeans" rule.  So that is definitely not a factor here.  If it were, then at most I would include a small notation, "Please note that XYZ Hotel does not permit jeans."  And yes, of course I understand why they did it.  I just don't think that makes it okay.

I can understand why someone would prefer their guests not wear jeans.  But if the jeans are very nice, clean and pressed, and part of an outfit nice enough to wear to an upscale restaurant, what's wrong with wearing that to a  party so casual that neckties are forbidden?  I can't imagine I would, but it wouldn't look funny or rude to me if someone else did.  I happen to enjoy getting dressed up, but even I wonder what is the big deal about jeans per se.

I can also understand hosts not wanting their guests to wear flipflops, revealing clothing, shorts, and a lot of other things.  But I think that going farther than to state the dressiness level -- casual, dressy, black tie, business, and even dressy casual (I'm not crazy about that either, but it probably would have been a good choice here) -- isn't good hosting.  It's starting out by insulting their guests' judgment and manners, and  seems like the hosts are less concerned with their guests' entertainment than with fulfilling their own vision of the evening.  (Something like "fire and ice" is insane, unless it's some sort of costume party, I guess.)

I understand that hosts have worked hard and spent a lot and are entitled to that vision!  In our circle, typically the invitations says one of the above, and the friends of the hostess (usually) know what her hope is and dress accordingly.  My son and his bride put "black tie optional" on their wedding invitations.  Our closest relatives and friends asked and learned that she put that because she was afraid that "black tie" seemed pushy or something, but that she was really hoping the women would wear long gowns or very dressy short outfits.  So that's what they did.  There were several guests who were dressed much more daytime-y.  It really didn't spoil the evening at all, or even the overall look and feel that she had hoped for.

And at the other end, what about "no ties"?  I assume that their intention was "ties not required," not that they were forbidding them (although that's what "no ties" means).  But "casual" surely gets that across. 

I did once go to a wedding for which the HC's invitation said "Absolutely no ties!!!!"  Yes, including the exclamation points.  I'm sure they thought it would be cute, but we found it sort of obnoxious, and I felt sorry for the groom's father, who ALWAYS wears a tie and feels uncomfortable without one, especially, I'm sure, at his own son's wedding.  What was the point?  Who would have been hurt if someone had worn a tie?

Look, it's not a big deal, and it certainly wouldn't affect our decision to attend, nor would we do something childish like wearing sweatpants.  I'm just passing this on in case anyone else is considering doing something similar.  Be advised that at least some of your guests will find it off-putting.  You may not think they should, but if you care, now you know.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 12, 2013, 01:15:45 PM
"Casual attire" absolutely, 100%, every single time, includes jeans.  Without any room for doubt or question.

"Casual" simply means that men don't have to wear jackets. Or at least, it used to. "Formal" means jackets, casual means "without jackets". "Smart casual" means "you might not have to wear a jacket but you have to dress to a certain standard".  Or at least it did, back in the 20th Century.

The fact that entire cities have no idea of this is a great shame, but there is definitely room for doubt.

See, my Emily Post says Formal means dark suit and tie for men for daytime and a tux is optional  for evening.   Not just a jacket for either.  No wonder there is so much confusion.

I think what the hosts were aiming for is informal. But I have not seen that term in years.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 12, 2013, 01:17:57 PM
I just did some further research, and it looks like the 18th edition of Emily Post's etiquette notes including dress code on the invitation as "intended to be helpful." Interesting! So, it's not rude after all to include it. So you are certainly entitled to dislike it, gellchom, but it is not rude.

It looks like the term the invitation closest to what is on the invitation is business casual—dressy casual includes jeans. However, business casual is tie-optional so it seems that there isn't a completely adequate term.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: WillyNilly on January 12, 2013, 01:20:27 PM
It is rude because it implies that the guests don't know how to dress appropriately if the invitation simply says "casual."

OK, but this is a b'nei mitzvah - a coming of age party.  Unless this specifically an adult b'nei mitzvah, its reasonable to expect that 50% or more of the guests will be 12-14 years old.  I think you are expecting too much of people that they will know how to casually dress up versus just dressing casually.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: jedikaiti on January 12, 2013, 01:25:42 PM
I actually don't think it is odd - it is very helpful.  If I saw casual, I would think I could wear jeans.  Even if there is dancing and dinner at a downtown hotel, it doesn't necessarily follow that the event isn't jean-appropriate.  What she wrote makes the dress level clear in a concise fashion.

Me too.  Casual dress would say to me that jeans were ok.  This gives me a clear guideline without trying to micromanage.

Count me in that group, too. If I see on an invite "casual dress", I assume jeans are OK. If it's the sort of party where there are actual invites (be they electronic or paper) as opposed to mass-email or word if mouth notifications, I would wear my best jeans, but assume jeans are OK. The only non-jeans casual I can think of offhand is business casual. And here in CO, that might even include "best" jeans.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 12, 2013, 02:26:26 PM
I guess part of what we are disagreeing about, or perhaps just talking past each other on, is whether it is appropriate to single out jeans (absent, of course, some venue rule) -- or anything else the hosts don't happen to want.  Why not then "no jeans, shorts, flip-flops, tank tops, graphic tees, goth wear, revealing clothing, etc., etc., etc.?  (From what we read about here, it wouldn't surprise me!  :))

That is, several posters are trying to think of the best way to express "casual but no jeans."  And I don't think you really can properly do that.  You just write "casual" or "dressy casual" (I have long ago given up objecting to that one).  If nice jeans are not appropriate "nice casual" wear in your community, most people will know that.  If that's not the standard, then what's the point of specifically directing people not to wear them?  To me, it's almost like saying "no orange" or "no vulgar jewelry" or "no colors that will clash with the color scheme."  "No jeans" isn't a dress code standard (maybe for a school, but not for an invitation).

Yes, Cat-Fu, you're right, I didn't mean to say that it's rude to include dress code on an invitation.  It's perfectly correct (and, speaking for myself, much appreciated).

But there is a big difference between putting a dress code such as one of the standard (black tie, white tie, black tie optional (also one I've given up on!), dressy, casual, dressy casual, business, casual business, costume)  or at least easily understandable and specific to the venue or activity (beach attire, pool attire, ski attire, boating shoes), and dictating exactly how the guests are supposed to conform to the standard. 

The first gives the guests information on how dressy the event is, information they need to know and can only get from the hosts.  The second tells them you don't trust them to understand the standard or to dress appropriately, insulting their manners and/or their intelligence.

That many guest lists include people who refuse to dress properly doesn't change the duty of the hosts to be polite on their invitation any more than it would excuse including a note with guidelines about proper table etiquette.  Those guests probably won't cooperate anyway!  And it's no excuse to insult all the others.  You just have to hope for the best and then forget it.

Everyone seems to be commenting on the jeans part.  What do you think about the "no ties" part?
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: camlan on January 12, 2013, 02:30:04 PM
Maybe the wording could have been improved, but I kind of like the way this dress code defines the top and bottom of the acceptable range of clothing for the event. Ties are not necessary--so the guys can wear chinos or dress slacks and a sports coat. Jeans aren't appropriate, so everyone knows to dress at least one step up from jeans.

Most places I've lived, "casual" would include jeans, and someone wearing a sports coat would be over dressed.

"Business casual" is probably closest to what the hosts want, but it sounds odd to specify "business" at a purely social function. (The party after the b'nei mitzvah, obviously, not the b'nei mitzvah itself.)
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Sophia on January 12, 2013, 02:39:09 PM
I didn't put it on the wedding invitations, when asked I said "Pantyhose very optional."  Everyone seemed to know precisely what that meant.  I don't know if I'd have put it on the invitation though. 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Iris on January 12, 2013, 03:31:08 PM
Whatever happened to "smart casual"? ls that just an Australian thing? That seems to be just what they want so I don't know why they've made such heavy work of it.

I'm a bit with gellchom on this one- A dress code is a useful thing to have, but mentioning specific items of clothing on a printed invitation seems rude to me. Yes, there will always be people who turn up to occasions improperly dressed, but frankly if they don't already realise that an old t-shirt is not appropriate for a wedding, then nothing short of picking out their outfit for them is going to work. l don't see why the rest of us need to be treated like children in the hopes that a poor dresser will get the hint.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: miranova on January 12, 2013, 03:36:08 PM
I don't like the wording of it at all, but I have to admit that it does actually describe what they are looking for quite well.  "Casual dress" does not communicate no jeans to me.

I definitely wouldn't be offended by it.  I am not a fan of any directives on an invitation telling you what not to do, but I wouldn't think that my intelligence was being insulted.  I would just think that the host isn't as OCD as I am about things like invitations.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Sharnita on January 12, 2013, 04:15:20 PM
I like the wording, if that is what they are looking for.  I know several people who where denim that is by no means "sloppy" so they might otherwise where nice denim that is just as neat as anything else.  However, knowing the hosts don't want that they could make another choice.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: kareng57 on January 12, 2013, 04:43:35 PM
Perhaps it's actually part of the hotel's dress code for that particular ballroom?

There's a very conservative golf club in my metro area that has a strict "no denim".  Even if a guest wore an expensive beaded denim vest, she'd be denied admission.  So I'd simply see it as a bit of extra info intended to avoid guest embarrassment.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 12, 2013, 04:57:56 PM
I like the wording, if that is what they are looking for.  I know several people who where denim that is by no means "sloppy" so they might otherwise where nice denim that is just as neat as anything else.  However, knowing the hosts don't want that they could make another choice.

That's sort of my point (at least the one I keep belaboring!  :))  If the otherwise perfectly nice and appropriately (for a casual party) dressy pants happen to be made out of denim, so what?  Is it somehow by its very nature less acceptable than other fabrics, even other casual ones like fleece or corduroy?  They also specified they don't want neckties.   What if the hosts "don't want" corduroy or sequins or stiletto heels?  Would you find it odd to see that on the invitation, or would it be okay, because that's "what they are looking for"?  I don't understand what is so different about denim.  But I guess that's just me, because several posters seem to find it offensive enough that they think it's okay for hosts to specifically ban it.  (karen57, the venue does not prohibit denim; I'm not aware of any venue in this city that does.)

And what about the ban on ties?  Do you think that's okay?

Iris, I've seen things like "smart casual," "elegant casual," and "casual chic" and I didn't much care for them, because they sounded more like "as-opposed-to-tacky-and-ugly" than "as-opposed-to-super-casual."  Kind of made me feel like I should worry whether my clothes were smart or chic (and probably expensive) enough!  But that is indeed taking it a bit far, I readily admit.  But as I said, I no longer hate "dressy casual," which at first seemed to me to be sort of like this invitation, i.e., as if to say, "Casual, but we don't trust you to know that that doesn't mean workout clothes."  I guess I got used to it.

Anyway, the meta question here seems to be how specific hosts can politely get regarding attire on an invitation (not when asked, in conversation, as Sophia did, which is just fine), in either direction, before it becomes too much, not whether or not denim is ever appropriate for a party designated as "casual" or "dressy casual" or something. 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 12, 2013, 05:36:53 PM
GellChom, if the dress code had been business casual, what would your opinion have been on jeans?  In my office, business casual means no denim pants.  It explicitly calls out that denim dresses and skirts are ok.

I also believe there is some basic dress hiearchy that most people can relate to.  If jeans are not appropriate, then shorts, flip flops and tshirts aren't either because they are less casual than jeans, especially nice jeans.  So saying no jeans to me sets a lower end priority.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 12, 2013, 06:12:30 PM
I don't see it as a ban on either jeans or ties, but as ends of a scale. Like Hmmmm, I see both items as more indicative of a level of dressiness than, say, sequins or graphic tees. If it had said "no graphic tees, no stiletto heels," I would think that was a really weird and particular request.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Two Ravens on January 12, 2013, 06:49:26 PM
Whatever happened to "smart casual"? ls that just an Australian thing? That seems to be just what they want so I don't know why they've made such heavy work of it.

I'm a bit with gellchom on this one- A dress code is a useful thing to have, but mentioning specific items of clothing on a printed invitation seems rude to me. Yes, there will always be people who turn up to occasions improperly dressed, but frankly if they don't already realise that an old t-shirt is not appropriate for a wedding, then nothing short of picking out their outfit for them is going to work. l don't see why the rest of us need to be treated like children in the hopes that a poor dresser will get the hint.

"Smart Casual," to me, would allow for dessier jeans, like a nice dark wash trouser jean.

this thread is reminding me of when I worked for a venue that listed "Summer Chic" as its dress code for parties. We had to field a lot of phone calls from people wondering what the heck that meant.  ::)
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: peaches on January 12, 2013, 06:54:41 PM
What I don't like is that the invitation states the hosts' preferences in a negative rather than a positive way. That always rubs me the wrong way. It sounds like you are chiding your guests, before they even show up.

"No ties, no jeans" is negative.

"Business casual" is positive (and seems closest to what they want).

Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Winterlight on January 12, 2013, 06:56:32 PM
I think it gives you a useful range, personally. It's dressier than jeans, but not really formal.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: MariaE on January 13, 2013, 06:11:24 AM
I didn't put it on the wedding invitations, when asked I said "Pantyhose very optional."  Everyone seemed to know precisely what that meant.  I don't know if I'd have put it on the invitation though.

Now I'm curious, what does that mean? I wouldn't have a clue!
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Amava on January 13, 2013, 08:08:11 AM
I didn't put it on the wedding invitations, when asked I said "Pantyhose very optional."  Everyone seemed to know precisely what that meant.  I don't know if I'd have put it on the invitation though.

Now I'm curious, what does that mean? I wouldn't have a clue!

I would take that at face value and assume it means: "if there are people who really love to wear pantyhose and feel uncomfortable without it, or not "themselves" without it, by all means, go ahead and wear it; but it is certainly not something we expect people to wear unless they really want".

Is that what it meant, Sophia?

You see, there are also people who really love to wear a tie to a party and would feel uncomfortable and not festive enough without one; my father in law for example. I would never put "no jeans, no ties" for that very reason; I wouldn't like for my father in law to feel forbidden to wear his tie. Seriously, the only times he doesn't wear a tie is to bed, to bath, and to do chores and projects around the house. To go out for informal drinks with friends? Tie. To go play cards with family? Tie. And it doesn't make him look super-formal or make the other people feel underdressed. It's just part of who he is. 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: MariaE on January 13, 2013, 08:29:20 AM
I figured as much, but I don't understand what it means in terms of 'level' of dress. Dress/skirt with pantyhose seems no more or less formal than dress/skirt without pantyhose. My choice of whether or not to wear pantyhose is all about warmth and nothing else.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: peaches on January 13, 2013, 08:33:16 AM
I didn't put it on the wedding invitations, when asked I said "Pantyhose very optional."  Everyone seemed to know precisely what that meant.  I don't know if I'd have put it on the invitation though.

Now I'm curious, what does that mean? I wouldn't have a clue!

Many women don't wear pantyhose with dressy attire these days. Bare legs are acceptable - even fashionable - with dressy and formal attire.

Some women still wear pantyhose, and might feel exposed without it.

Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Allyson on January 13, 2013, 11:11:43 AM
I like this wording myself, because it feels like a fun, casual way to explain what they want concisely. Just my personal preference, but I don't really understand why it's rude to specify something because it expects your guests won't understand otherwise, when it's something that a lot of guests might really *not* understand otherwise. I like clarity. ;)
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: AmethystAnne on January 13, 2013, 01:29:16 PM
I like the phrase, "No ties, no jeans".

I wouldn't know what business casual/casual chic/etc meant as dress code descriptors.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Iris on January 13, 2013, 03:24:10 PM
Just as an aside, people who recieve an invitation and don't know how to interpret the dress code may find this site useful. I've only given it a quick perusal but it seems quite good. FWIW under "Fashion jeans" in "Smart Casual" for men is says "Not suitable for all occasions. If in doubt avoid."


http://www.dresscodeguide.com/ (http://www.dresscodeguide.com/) On the home page if you click "Click here for more" it will take you to the index where you can see all options at once.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 13, 2013, 05:34:19 PM
Oh, dear, I really didn't expect to go on this long, especially about such a minor thing!  But to respond --

Hmmmmm, you asked, "GellChom, if the dress code had been business casual, what would your opinion have been on jeans?"  I would not wear jeans to a business casual event.  Even nice jeans are not business wear; they are for social occasions (and yard work!).

Peaches, I think you put your finger right on it.  It's the negativity that's really the worst part.  It's a less gracious way to try to get what they want.

The over-specificity still bothers me, though.  It's just a little too controlling, a little too absorbed with making sure everyone makes Our Special Day just exactly the way we want it.  The same as if the invitation said, "Don't be late" -- of course the guests are rude if they come late, but you just have to trust them to know that, not treat them like naughty children who will get it wrong if you don't spell it out.  If someone wears a tie, what is the problem?  As Iris points out, there are plenty of resources that people check if they don't understand what "casual" means.  (And it does not mean "no ties" -- that may be what the hosts prefer, but a tie isn't incorrect at a casual event.)

"Dandy Andy's Daddy's Love," I think your post was a bit harsh.  In fact, we have hosted several large events ourselves, some formal, and I understand perfectly both what goes into all that planning and expense and also that the hosts have a vision, and there's nothing wrong with that.  That's why when there is any doubt at all, and if I happen to see the hostess (could be the host, but usually the hostess cares more), I try to ask to see if I can tell what she's hoping -- usually, it's the dressier end of whatever range there is on the invitation -- and I dress accordingly.  I know how much that means to hosts.  I also think that it shows that you consider their event a very big deal if you dress up for it at the dressier end of the range.  Nor was I "pouting" because I can't wear "designer jeans" (which I don't own anyway) to a party that as it happens we can't even attend and to which I would not have worn jeans of any kind, even as part of a rather dressy outfit.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: blarg314 on January 13, 2013, 07:31:19 PM

I do feel sorry for both hosts and guests when it comes to dress codes.

In the past it was possible for people at a given level of society to know what the acceptable dress for an invitation was based on the time of day and the type of event, plus a small number of basic descriptions.

Over the past generation or so, there have been several major shifts. One is in the variety of clothing that is acceptable to wear to different venues - mainly an overall relaxation. The other is a blurring in entertainment and social levels, so things like tuxedos and evening gowns occasionally pop up in the social lives of people who don't normally own tuxedos and evening gowns, or attend events that require them.  A third is an increase in the value of individuality when it comes to organizing events - the hosts/organizers can overthrow established protocol for events in favour of their unique vision and self expression. And finally, you have a mixing of culture and religions, so guests may not have the cultural background to automatically know what is appropriate to wear to, say, a Bar Mitzvah or a Chinese wedding.

So from the hosts' point of view, there is no longer a tidy set of cues they can give to their guests, because the guests aren't necessarily going to recognize or understand the cues. Coming up with your own terms is not very effective, and being explicit is frequently seen as overly blunt, and insulting to the invitees (see thread above).

And from the guests point of view, it can be a serious headache trying to figure out what they are supposed to actually wear, particularly when the hosts throw in creative descriptions that they've made up. Does the host really know what "black tie optional" actually means? Am I going to have to rent an outfit?  What does "festive attire", "black and white", "tropical cocktail", "casual formal" mean? What should I wear to an early evening wedding held on a beach with a video game theme? And of course, the times when the hosts are operating under the assumption that the guests are props in the production of their unique vision, and demand that they come dressed as extras for the performance, and the guests is left wondering "Do I really have to rent 17th century French formal wear and buy a corset just to see my sister married?"

In this particular case, the hosts have at least managed a clear, succinct description of the formality required for the men. As a woman, I'd still have a fair amount of uncertainty, though.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: violinp on January 13, 2013, 08:26:27 PM

I do feel sorry for both hosts and guests when it comes to dress codes.

In the past it was possible for people at a given level of society to know what the acceptable dress for an invitation was based on the time of day and the type of event, plus a small number of basic descriptions.

Over the past generation or so, there have been several major shifts. One is in the variety of clothing that is acceptable to wear to different venues - mainly an overall relaxation. The other is a blurring in entertainment and social levels, so things like tuxedos and evening gowns occasionally pop up in the social lives of people who don't normally own tuxedos and evening gowns, or attend events that require them.  A third is an increase in the value of individuality when it comes to organizing events - the hosts/organizers can overthrow established protocol for events in favour of their unique vision and self expression. And finally, you have a mixing of culture and religions, so guests may not have the cultural background to automatically know what is appropriate to wear to, say, a Bar Mitzvah or a Chinese wedding.

So from the hosts' point of view, there is no longer a tidy set of cues they can give to their guests, because the guests aren't necessarily going to recognize or understand the cues. Coming up with your own terms is not very effective, and being explicit is frequently seen as overly blunt, and insulting to the invitees (see thread above).

And from the guests point of view, it can be a serious headache trying to figure out what they are supposed to actually wear, particularly when the hosts throw in creative descriptions that they've made up. Does the host really know what "black tie optional" actually means? Am I going to have to rent an outfit?  What does "festive attire", "black and white", "tropical cocktail", "casual formal" mean? What should I wear to an early evening wedding held on a beach with a video game theme? And of course, the times when the hosts are operating under the assumption that the guests are props in the production of their unique vision, and demand that they come dressed as extras for the performance, and the guests is left wondering "Do I really have to rent 17th century French formal wear and buy a corset just to see my sister married?"

In this particular case, the hosts have at least managed a clear, succinct description of the formality required for the men. As a woman, I'd still have a fair amount of uncertainty, though.

As far as I know, the accepted form of telling dress code is saying what the men will wear, and the women are supposed to take cues from that. However, I agree that the dress code for this function is too broad for anyone to really get a sense of what is wanted by the hosts.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 13, 2013, 08:42:24 PM
I agree that the hosts were probably trying to set a range, for the dress code. But even so, "No Ties, No Jeans" is still open to misinterpretation. For example, would it be ok to wear a nice pair of shorts? After all, they're not jeans!

I personally think it would have been better to put "Smart Casual". If the hosts absolutely did not want people wearing jeans, I guess they could have always worded it "Smart Casual (includes no jeans, please)".

Speaking of dress codes, the most confusing one I've encountered was from a friend who was hosting an Austin Powers themed party. The dress code stated on the invitation was "Shagadelic"!
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: kareng57 on January 13, 2013, 08:42:45 PM
Oh, dear, I really didn't expect to go on this long, especially about such a minor thing!  But to respond --

Hmmmmm, you asked, "GellChom, if the dress code had been business casual, what would your opinion have been on jeans?"  I would not wear jeans to a business casual event.  Even nice jeans are not business wear; they are for social occasions (and yard work!).

Peaches, I think you put your finger right on it.  It's the negativity that's really the worst part.  It's a less gracious way to try to get what they want.

The over-specificity still bothers me, though.  It's just a little too controlling, a little too absorbed with making sure everyone makes Our Special Day just exactly the way we want it.  The same as if the invitation said, "Don't be late" -- of course the guests are rude if they come late, but you just have to trust them to know that, not treat them like naughty children who will get it wrong if you don't spell it out.  If someone wears a tie, what is the problem?  As Iris points out, there are plenty of resources that people check if they don't understand what "casual" means.  (And it does not mean "no ties" -- that may be what the hosts prefer, but a tie isn't incorrect at a casual event.)

"Dandy Andy's Daddy's Love," I think your post was a bit harsh.  In fact, we have hosted several large events ourselves, some formal, and I understand perfectly both what goes into all that planning and expense and also that the hosts have a vision, and there's nothing wrong with that.  That's why when there is any doubt at all, and if I happen to see the hostess (could be the host, but usually the hostess cares more), I try to ask to see if I can tell what she's hoping -- usually, it's the dressier end of whatever range there is on the invitation -- and I dress accordingly.  I know how much that means to hosts.  I also think that it shows that you consider their event a very big deal if you dress up for it at the dressier end of the range.  Nor was I "pouting" because I can't wear "designer jeans" (which I don't own anyway) to a party that as it happens we can't even attend and to which I would not have worn jeans of any kind, even as part of a rather dressy outfit.

 
You might have thought it harsh - but I think the message is pretty clear.  If a host/ess doesn't want guests wearing jeans to an event, he/she has to find a way to communicate it.  "Smart casual" doesn't necessarily do it - many people might figure chinos to be on the same level as denim.

I do agree that I don't like the "no ties" since there are indeed men who feel that they have to wear a tie almost anywhere other than a trip to the hardware store, and it's really not going to detract from the event if there are a couple of guys wearing ties.  Jeans are different, however.  There's no denying that there is increased informality in our culture these days, and sometimes it's necessary to spell-out what is and is not acceptable.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: that_one_girl on January 13, 2013, 10:00:05 PM
I think the wording is a little crude, but their hearts are in the right place (trying to keep their guests from committing a faux pas)

Perhaps they could say "Business casual, ties not required."  or if it is the venue that has certain rules, "venue prohibits jeans."   
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Docslady21 on January 14, 2013, 12:30:43 AM
We just received an invitation to a b'nei mitzvah party that will be dinner and dancing at a nice downtown hotel.  The invitation says, "No ties, no jeans."

I don't like that.  I believe that the correct way to do it is to write "casual attire."

I get it; they want it to be casual but not sloppy.  But wording it this way implies that their guests don't understand how to dress appropriately and will look like slobs if not given itemized instructions.  "Casual attire" plus the type of event and its setting -- a dinner dance at a downtown hotel ballroom, not a backyard BBQ or beach party -- makes it clear that cutoffs and T shirts aren't appropriate, and that neckties aren't required.  There really is no need to specifically forbid jeans and ties. Many of today's jeans are sufficiently dressy and nice enough to wear as part of an outfit for a nice restaurant; that's appropriate for a casual party.  And some people feel more comfortable in ties, and some ties are pretty casual anyway.

Hosts need to give their guests credit for a little intelligence, common sense, and class.  If a few of their guests lack these and don't dress exactly right, then so be it (there are always a few people who simply insist on ignoring dress codes no matter what you write anyway).  It's not going to ruin your party.  You're entertaining your guests, not costuming them for a show.  Setting a dress code is fine; micromanaging it is bossy and insulting.

This seems like a hostile reaction to people who seem to be trying to be kind and clear. Wouldn't it be nicer to assume they were not "micromanaging" or "costuming" you, but trying to give two spectrums of clothing style? I would guess quite a few young kids are coming to this. This helps them to be properly attired--kids get embarrassed when they are dressed wrong. And maybe people who are not of the faith and would have no idea what business casual means for a religious event have been invited. My office corporate casual includes jeans. So I would have shown up and been embarrassed if they used that sort of wording.

This is succinct: No ties (not too fancy), no jeans (not too casual either). I'm a fan.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: bopper on January 14, 2013, 08:57:46 AM
Would a " b'nei mitzvah party" be like a bar mitzvah party? (this may be obvious, so pardon me)  If so, would one expect a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds there without their parents? This statement very well may be targeted to them.   Trying to tell the boys to not wear jeans but not to wear a tie.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Roe on January 14, 2013, 12:07:07 PM
The wording is confusing to me.  If they don't want jeans nor ties, maybe a bowtie?  Is it formal?   I can see the point about it being a "top to bottom" sorta thing but it would still confuse me if I received an invitation with that wording. 

No Jean. Business Casual would be better for me.  (but then, you might get men in ties) 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: lowspark on January 14, 2013, 12:14:28 PM
I think this is a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't". And I agree with PP who said something about how it's so hard to figure out what the actual appropriate dress is these days, where it used to be quite simple in bygone days. It seems to me that no matter how you end up stating the dress code, there are going to be some people who don't get it, and some who are put off by it. I can only think of a few very specific phrases that are not likely to be misinterpretted (black tie, cocktail attire, for example) but none of them cover this kind of scenario.

To me, the "No Ties, No Jeans" notation reads like the hosts were trying to be a little bit cute and a little bit different while still being specific on what they hoped for. I see it as a sort of upper and lower boundary. And honesly, I can't see that any of the above mentioned, more vague references are crystal clear enough to communicate that range. And I also agree that it's quite likely that the hosts were specifically targeting the ~13 year old kids who will be attending.

bopper, yes, b'nei mitzvah party is just a sort of plural -- my guess is that it's a combination party for more than one kid whose Bar/Bat Mitzvah occurs that weekend.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Oh Joy on January 14, 2013, 12:43:17 PM
It's the ties bit that irks me.

The way I see it, a host can require/request (not ready to split hairs here) a minimum formality in their guests' attire, but not a maximum formality.  If guest prefers to wear a tuxedo to a beach party, they may.  But not the other way around.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: AylaM on January 14, 2013, 01:05:10 PM
It's the ties bit that irks me.

The way I see it, a host can require/request (not ready to split hairs here) a minimum formality in their guests' attire, but not a maximum formality.  If guest prefers to wear a tuxedo to a beach party, they may.  But not the other way around.

When I see the phrase "no ties, no jeans"  I took it as shorthand for "Ties are not required, but jeans are not acceptable".  Like they were trying to be cute.  So if Uncle Joe wants to wear a tie, he certainly can, but it is not expected that people do so.

That is mostly because I accept that if I want to I can dress more formally if I want to.  It never occurred to me that anyone would read it as "do not wear a tie!".

Which I guess is the problem with this approach.  But I think you'll run into problems with any way of specifying a dress code.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 14, 2013, 01:12:00 PM
It's the ties bit that irks me.

The way I see it, a host can require/request (not ready to split hairs here) a minimum formality in their guests' attire, but not a maximum formality.  If guest prefers to wear a tuxedo to a beach party, they may.  But not the other way around.

When I see the phrase "no ties, no jeans"  I took it as shorthand for "Ties are not required, but jeans are not acceptable".  Like they were trying to be cute.  So if Uncle Joe wants to wear a tie, he certainly can, but it is not expected that people do so.

That is mostly because I accept that if I want to I can dress more formally if I want to.  It never occurred to me that anyone would read it as "do not wear a tie!".

Which I guess is the problem with this approach.  But I think you'll run into problems with any way of specifying a dress code.

I completely agree that the no ties meant, ties not require. But I don't take things literal and I'm likely to interprete wordings the way I think they meant them.  It would never occur to me that someone would be upset because Uncle Jim wore his customary bow tie but I could is a host upset if have the 7th grade girls in attendance were in jeans, making the event a lot less formal than their intention.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Venus193 on January 14, 2013, 01:45:00 PM
I will agree that most phrases describing dress codes are very confusing today.  Since we've read many horror stories in the blog and on this forum about people showing up in jeans and flip flops to occasions designated as semi-formal and more, I don't see how this designation is insulting.  To me the specificity is meant to remove any doubt about what is and isn't appropriate.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 14, 2013, 02:12:23 PM
Bopper, lowspark is correct: "b'nei mitzvah" is the plural of bar/bat mitzvah.  This happens to be a party for twins.

You might have thought it harsh - but I think the message is pretty clear.  If a host/ess doesn't want guests wearing jeans to an event, he/she has to find a way to communicate it.  "Smart casual" doesn't necessarily do it - many people might figure chinos to be on the same level as denim.

I do agree that I don't like the "no ties" since there are indeed men who feel that they have to wear a tie almost anywhere other than a trip to the hardware store, and it's really not going to detract from the event if there are a couple of guys wearing ties.  Jeans are different, however.  There's no denying that there is increased informality in our culture these days, and sometimes it's necessary to spell-out what is and is not acceptable.

I'm sorry, I guess I wasn't clear -- I didn't mean that I found the invitation wording harsh.  I thought that "Dandy Andy's Daddy's Love's" (say that 5 times fast) post was harsh. 

This is one of the rare occasions where I disagree with you, Karen!  Regarding the bolded part, I mean. 

See, I can certainly understand hosts not wanting people to wear jeans.  I can also understand them not wanting them to wear lots of other things, to be late, to refuse to dance, to drink too much, and a lot of other faux pas.  Where I differ from you and several other posters is the extent to which they can go to prevent guests' mistakes.  I just don't think you can take it upon yourself to try to educate your guests about what is appropriate to wear when the invitation states "casual."  The relative formality and nature of the type of event, the invitation, and the venue give them more clues.  If that's not enough, then go with "dressy casual" or "business casual" and hope for the best.  That's why -  to me -- the question isn't "how do you politely specify that you don't want people to wear jeans or ties?" but "is it polite to specify that people not wear jeans or ties?"  Not how, but whether at all.

Peaches made such a good point about negative versus positive wording.  Take the analogy of timeliness.  Of course guests are rude if they are late for, say, a wedding, and the hosts aren't being silly wanting everyone to be on time for the ceremony.  But not everyone knows that, and, more important (and less insulting to the guests' manners), in some cultures, the wedding doesn't start until WELL after the invitation time.  (My parents once showed up promptly for a Cuban-Jewish wedding in Miami.  The family and attendants were still in bathrobes and curlers, and none of the other guests showed up for well over an hour!)  But in our community, the wedding ceremony starts EXACTLY on time.  So let's say it's a situation like that -- the ceremony is going to start on time, but you have several guests who come from communities where that's uncommon.  In such a case, I would think that a notation "ceremony at 7:00 promptly," not "no latecomers" or "be on time."  I can't really think of a positive way to phrase "no jeans or ties" -- to me, "casual" would have done it for jeans at a party in this venue, but I can't think of how for ties.  Maybe "ties not required" (I'm assuming that's what they meant; "no ties allowed" would not, in my opinion, be okay to specify in the first place.)

You know what?  Maybe it's not so much a question of positive versus negative as language describing what the hosts are doing (hosting a casual party, starting on time) as opposed to trying to tell the guests to do (dressing appropriately for a casual party, showing up on time)?  I think that might be a good guideline to keep in mind.

Kind of reminds me of the strings about bridal registries and the way they are communicated.  You know, the continuum that ranges from an attitude of "Since you have asked, here are the patterns we have chosen and a few other items we like" to one of "here is our registry info; you owe us a gift, and only cash or an item we have selected for ourselves will be acceptable"!  It's not just the crassness and greediness that's wrong with the latter -- it's the trying to exert too much control over the guests' performance of their duty to send a gift, when in fact gifts are always the choice of the giver, registry or no registry.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: thedudeabides on January 14, 2013, 03:01:22 PM
I think they laid it out in a way that the younger guests can easily understand.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: baglady on January 14, 2013, 03:14:28 PM
How about something like "Smart casual (ties optional, jeans discouraged)"? That feels to me more like a neutral bit of information and less "nannyish" than "No ties, no jeans."
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: onyonryngs on January 14, 2013, 03:20:29 PM
I think they laid it out in a way that the younger guests can easily understand.

POD.  I think sometimes people can see insult when none was intended and I think that's what happened here.  It's a party for younger guests and "business casual" doesn't apply, and "casual" can have a very broad interpretation for kids that age.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: lowspark on January 14, 2013, 03:37:16 PM
Quote
That's why -  to me -- the question isn't "how do you politely specify that you don't want people to wear jeans or ties?" but "is it polite to specify that people not wear jeans or ties?"  Not how, but whether at all.


It seems like you think the answer is no. But isn't that exactly what a dress code is?
If you say "black tie', well then you're specifically telling people not to wear a regular suit, not to wear casual clothes, and certainly not to wear jeans.
So, in that case, it really is a matter of how it is being said that you object to.

If they'd said "casual" and you inferred that meant no jeans, how is that different than saying "no jeans"? The only difference is the wording.

And the more I think about it, the more I think that the "no jeans" was probably specifically aimed at the kids. Even when my own kids were doing the Bar Mitzvah circuit, 12 & 9 years ago, respectively, kids were wearing jeans and very casual clothes to some of the parties. Sometimes it was appropriate, sometimes not. But I think if you're inviting a slew of 13 year olds to a party these days, it pays to be fairly specific. If one of my boys had received an invitation stating "casual" as the dress code, I would have had no problem sending them in jeans and a nice shirt. So if the hosts want no jeans, in today's kidspeak, I'd say they probably need to say so.

And honestly, had it been a wedding, I could really see where you're coming from. But a b'nei mitzvah party, yeah, I'd go ahead and say what I mean.

Back to the "no ties" part, as I said above, I attribute that to the hosts trying to be cute and different. If they're going to say "no jeans" but don't really want it to be too formal either, "no ties" is a good way to designate that.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Sterling on January 14, 2013, 04:44:36 PM
To be honest if someone sent me an invite that said "casual" I would wear nice jeans because that is "casual."  "No Jeans" indicates that this is a step up from casual.  Also 13/13 year old kids most likely would not know the difference.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 14, 2013, 08:40:48 PM
I think they laid it out in a way that the younger guests can easily understand.

POD.  I think sometimes people can see insult when none was intended and I think that's what happened here.  It's a party for younger guests and "business casual" doesn't apply, and "casual" can have a very broad interpretation for kids that age.

I'm not so sure. Simply saying "no jeans" and "no ties" doesn't necessarily mean that everyone (especially kids) will understand the lower and upper boundaries of dress that the hosts are aiming for.

I can easily picture a 13 year old boy thinking "Well, they said 'no jeans', so I'll just wear my nicest pair of shorts", etc.
 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 14, 2013, 08:51:00 PM
Lowspark, I think you make a good point about it being one thing for a b'nei mitzvah party, another for a wedding.

Point of information for those who may be confused: this isn't a kids' party.  It's a party for all the relatives and for the family's friends.  Typically, here, the child has a few friends in addition to those who are there anyway with their parents, and sometimes they do invite many kids.  But not as frequently if it is a dinner dance at a hotel.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Venus193 on January 14, 2013, 10:09:42 PM
When my college buddy's kids had communion and confirmation, the dress code was "yacht club" or "country club", meaning white shirts, blue blazers, and khaki pants.  Ties were optional.  That's how I interpret the invitation's description.  Can we make that an official designation?
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Yvaine on January 14, 2013, 10:35:14 PM
When my college buddy's kids had communion and confirmation, the dress code was "yacht club" or "country club", meaning white shirts, blue blazers, and khaki pants.  Ties were optional.  That's how I interpret the invitation's description.  Can we make that an official designation?

It would probably take a while to work its way into the general parlance, I think. There are many, many of us who have never set foot in a yacht club or country club, whereas at least most of us have been to a formal or casual event. It feels cliquish, a bit.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 15, 2013, 07:39:29 AM
When my college buddy's kids had communion and confirmation, the dress code was "yacht club" or "country club", meaning white shirts, blue blazers, and khaki pants.  Ties were optional.  That's how I interpret the invitation's description.  Can we make that an official designation?

I dislike both terms as they seem a little elitist, unless your inviting people who are members of yacht and country clubs.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Venus193 on January 15, 2013, 08:27:21 AM
It's not difficult to decode what it means in the Internet Age....
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: CaptainObvious on January 15, 2013, 08:47:07 AM
When my college buddy's kids had communion and confirmation, the dress code was "yacht club" or "country club", meaning white shirts, blue blazers, and khaki pants.  Ties were optional.  That's how I interpret the invitation's description.  Can we make that an official designation?

It would probably take a while to work its way into the general parlance, I think. There are many, many of us who have never set foot in a yacht club or country club, whereas at least most of us have been to a formal or casual event. It feels cliquish, a bit.

I agree, and different clubs have completely different rules.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 15, 2013, 08:56:22 AM
When my college buddy's kids had communion and confirmation, the dress code was "yacht club" or "country club", meaning white shirts, blue blazers, and khaki pants.  Ties were optional.  That's how I interpret the invitation's description.  Can we make that an official designation?

I dislike both terms as they seem a little elitist, unless your inviting people who are members of yacht and country clubs.

If I saw "yacht club" listed for the dress code, I would immediately think of Caddyshack  ;D
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Yvaine on January 15, 2013, 09:00:19 AM
It's not difficult to decode what it means in the Internet Age....

The first thing I did was google it and find, as Captain Obvious says, a whole host of clubs with varying degrees of formality.

ETA: Before someone says "well, google the one the party's at," of course I would look up the dress code for a specific club if an event was being held there. I'm talking about people saying "yacht club dress code" for their party at some other random place and expecting everyone to magically know what yacht club they're imagining.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 15, 2013, 09:13:03 AM
It's not difficult to decode what it means in the Internet Age....

I'm not saying the terms are hard to understand, I just don't think the image they portray are always appropriate.  And actually, just "CountryClub" is too generic.  Our club has a formal, informal, and casual dress codes.  So you'd need to at least specify which of the 3 levels.  And you also need to know which venue is being used.  Casual in the clubhouse dining room after 6pm means  a jacket is required, but if under a tent on the lawn, men should be in a collard shirt, pants, or Bermuda shorts that are no more than 3 inches above the knee.  Denim is not allowed at the club at any time except for the annual "Go Texan Event" or if a group is having a gala with a western theme.  And I'm sure other country clubs have very different rules.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: CaptainObvious on January 15, 2013, 09:20:43 AM
It's not difficult to decode what it means in the Internet Age....

I'm not saying the terms are hard to understand, I just don't think the image they portray are always appropriate.  And actually, just "CountryClub" is too generic.  Our club has a formal, informal, and casual dress codes.  So you'd need to at least specify which of the 3 levels.  And you also need to know which venue is being used.  Casual in the clubhouse dining room after 6pm means  a jacket is required, but if under a tent on the lawn, men should be in a collard shirt, pants, or Bermuda shorts that are no more than 3 inches above the knee.  Denim is not allowed at the club at any time except for the annual "Go Texan Event" or if a group is having a gala with a western theme.  And I'm sure other country clubs have very different rules.

I agree, and I think the Host was trying to offer an explanation that didn't need to be Googled, or given a whole lot of thought. It was simple, and gave the info needed.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: audrey1962 on January 15, 2013, 09:39:27 AM
"No Ties, No Jeans" doesn't bother me in the least. It's communicating in a way the intended audience*  understands. I doubt many tweens/teens know what "business casual" or "yacht club" attire means.

*I'm assuming the guests are not adults.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Tabby Uprising on January 15, 2013, 10:01:13 AM
"No Ties, No Jeans" doesn't bother me in the least. It's communicating in a way the intended audience*  understands. I doubt many tweens/teens know what "business casual" or "yacht club" attire means.

*I'm assuming the guests are not adults.

I agree.  And I would personally assume a tie would be acceptable for "business casual", but I'd be wrong in this case. 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: CaptainObvious on January 15, 2013, 10:10:20 AM
"No Ties, No Jeans" doesn't bother me in the least. It's communicating in a way the intended audience*  understands. I doubt many tweens/teens know what "business casual" or "yacht club" attire means.

*I'm assuming the guests are not adults.

I agree.  And I would personally assume a tie would be acceptable for "business casual", but I'd be wrong in this case.

I think the host added that to save the trouble of having to go out and buy a tie. Most kids don't own ties or suits, and I think this was a very nice gesture. I'm sure the Parents know what an expense it can be.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: MariaE on January 15, 2013, 10:18:59 AM
"No Ties, No Jeans" doesn't bother me in the least. It's communicating in a way the intended audience*  understands. I doubt many tweens/teens know what "business casual" or "yacht club" attire means.

*I'm assuming the guests are not adults.

I agree.  And I would personally assume a tie would be acceptable for "business casual", but I'd be wrong in this case.

So would I.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: mlogica on January 15, 2013, 10:30:00 AM
My first reaction to the "no ties, no jeans" dress code was:  what a great idea!  After reading through this thread, I still think it's a great idea that works well to communicate a specific level of formality.  As others have said, I would not interpret "no ties" to mean:  "Absolutely do not wear a tie".  Rather I would read it as "ties not required".  If some people are more comfortable in a tie, they would probably wear a more casual one to an event like this.  And not look out of place or overdressed.

For research purposes, when I was out for a run this morning with a friend, I asked her opinion.  FWIW, we are both in our mid-50's and work full-time in professional positions.  She in particular attends a large number of events that are connected with her job.  Her reaction was, "Perfect!  Just four words to convey the level of formality they're looking for!"

IMHO, using any qualifier on the word "casual" will still result in a certain number of people wearing jeans.  And I think if the hosts don't want jeans in any way, shape or form, they have to specify exactly that.  Note that I'm not expressing an opinion on the appropriateness of jeans for any event, or whether the hosts should make this distinction, etc.  Just stating that because jeans of all levels of style/formality are ubiquitous in today's society, only a direct "no jeans" request will convey that they are not preferred attire.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 15, 2013, 10:45:32 AM
I think they laid it out in a way that the younger guests can easily understand.

POD.  I think sometimes people can see insult when none was intended and I think that's what happened here.  It's a party for younger guests and "business casual" doesn't apply, and "casual" can have a very broad interpretation for kids that age.

I'm not so sure. Simply saying "no jeans" and "no ties" doesn't necessarily mean that everyone (especially kids) will understand the lower and upper boundaries of dress that the hosts are aiming for.

I can easily picture a 13 year old boy thinking "Well, they said 'no jeans', so I'll just wear my nicest pair of shorts", etc.

But wouldn't you hope there would be a guardian available who would use this opporunity to teach the hierchial level of dress codes if the child already didn't know it? 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Jeremy on January 15, 2013, 11:32:00 AM
To be honest if someone sent me an invite that said "casual" I would wear nice jeans because that is "casual."  "No Jeans" indicates that this is a step up from casual.

Yes exactly.  For casual wear I almost always wear denim, so if I was given a party invitation that said "casual" I would turn up in a pair of jeans.  Specifying no jeans or ties is more useful in my opinion than just stating "casual", as not everybody is familiar with this kind of dresscode terminology.  There are also regional variations, such as between the US and the UK - what's "casual" for one person isn't casual for someone else.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: ladiedeathe on January 15, 2013, 12:05:45 PM
If something said casual, I would have no issue wearing jeans and a nice sweater, so I'm fine even with the akwardness of No Jeans, No Ties. Sometimes it gets cumbersome to say "You can eat plums, pears, apples, pinapples, grapes, grapefruit, or tangelos" when you could just say "No strawberries."

Venus- I belong to both a yacht club and a country club, and both groups have various levels of expected dress depending on the event- from casual to evening dress to white tie. For me, an invitation which included the words "country club attire" or "yacht club attire" would signal that the host didn't really belong to either club and meant to "dress like you think rich people do." At least in my area, wouldn't be useful
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 15, 2013, 12:35:02 PM
"No Ties, No Jeans" doesn't bother me in the least. It's communicating in a way the intended audience*  understands. I doubt many tweens/teens know what "business casual" or "yacht club" attire means.

*I'm assuming the guests are not adults.

As I posted above, the guests ARE adults -- some kids, but it's not a kids' party, it's an adult dinner dance, to which there are kids invited.  (I know this string has gotten long and you're not required to read all the posts before posting!)  Does that change your feeling?

The fact that so many people are saying that they like this wording specifically "because it gives guidance to kids," because kids have different standards of dress and can't really be expected to know the social language of "casual," "business casual," etc., underscores for me what's not so good about it for adults.  It implies that their social skills are those of children who can't be expected how to interpret a dress code without specific guidance.

Now that I think about it, I've seen something like this in practice.  If there are a lot of children invited to an adult-type event, sometimes people send them a separate invitation (like, if the children are invited for different hours than the adults -- e.g., pizza and games for the kids 6:30 - 8:00; dessert and dancing for everyone at 8:00 -- I guess it's A and B, but I for one am definitely NOT offended by not being included in the children's "before party"!).  Anyway, when they do that, people often include things like "please no jeans/shorts" or "no gifts" or other stuff that they don't put on the adult invitation.

As to the suitability of denim generally for a grown-up event designated "casual," I think it may depend upon the community (both geographic and social) -- of course assuming it's not a no-denim venue.  If nice denim is not considered acceptable in the relevant community, then there is no need to include "no jeans" on the invitation -- most of the guests know already (as they would here), and if there are a few who don't, then too bad -- you don't insult/micromanage all the others trying to make sure that not a single guest wears jeans, the same as you don't put "no tardiness."  If denim is considered appropriate in that community, then I honestly don't think that the hosts should be trying to forbid it at their otherwise casual party, just because they personally don't like that "casual" includes jeans in their community -- just like they shouldn't say "no short dresses" if they designate the party "black tie" and live in a community where women wear long or short dresses to black tie events, but happen to prefer that all the women wear long gowns.  If it means that much to them not to have anyone in jeans, then, if they live in such a community, they should call it "dressy" or "business casual" or something other than "casual."

As for the other end of the question, "no ties," I think that Peaches's point about stating things in the negative is spot on here.  "Ties not required" is much better.  Even if most people would figure that "no ties" means "ties not required," they wouldn't be 100% sure, and you can bet that if you wear a tie, there'd be at least one idiot telling you, "Hey, the invitation said no ties!"  (The conversation that would follow would resemble this string!)
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Cat-Fu on January 15, 2013, 12:42:28 PM
Honestly, I don't see how it is insulting to not want people to wear jeans or ties, but like I said before, it seems to me that the point was *not* to ban ties and jeans, but to indicate a range of dressiness. (Which they succeeded in doing quite clearly, IMO.)
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: audrey1962 on January 15, 2013, 12:50:08 PM
As I posted above, the guests ARE adults

My apologies, I must have missed that.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: CaptainObvious on January 15, 2013, 12:52:53 PM
"No Ties, No Jeans" doesn't bother me in the least. It's communicating in a way the intended audience*  understands. I doubt many tweens/teens know what "business casual" or "yacht club" attire means.

*I'm assuming the guests are not adults.

As I posted above, the guests ARE adults -- some kids, but it's not a kids' party, it's an adult dinner dance, to which there are kids invited.  (I know this string has gotten long and you're not required to read all the posts before posting!)  Does that change your feeling?

The fact that so many people are saying that they like this wording specifically "because it gives guidance to kids," because kids have different standards of dress and can't really be expected to know the social language of "casual," "business casual," etc., underscores for me what's not so good about it for adults.  It implies that their social skills are those of children who can't be expected how to interpret a dress code without specific guidance.

Now that I think about it, I've seen something like this in practice.  If there are a lot of children invited to an adult-type event, sometimes people send them a separate invitation (like, if the children are invited for different hours than the adults -- e.g., pizza and games for the kids 6:30 - 8:00; dessert and dancing for everyone at 8:00 -- I guess it's A and B, but I for one am definitely NOT offended by not being included in the children's "before party"!).  Anyway, when they do that, people often include things like "please no jeans/shorts" or "no gifts" or other stuff that they don't put on the adult invitation.

As to the suitability of denim generally for a grown-up event designated "casual," I think it may depend upon the community (both geographic and social) -- of course assuming it's not a no-denim venue.  If nice denim is not considered acceptable in the relevant community, then there is no need to include "no jeans" on the invitation -- most of the guests know already (as they would here), and if there are a few who don't, then too bad -- you don't insult/micromanage all the others trying to make sure that not a single guest wears jeans, the same as you don't put "no tardiness."  If denim is considered appropriate in that community, then I honestly don't think that the hosts should be trying to forbid it at their otherwise casual party, just because they personally don't like that "casual" includes jeans in their community -- just like they shouldn't say "no short dresses" if they designate the party "black tie" and live in a community where women wear long or short dresses to black tie events, but happen to prefer that all the women wear long gowns.  If it means that much to them not to have anyone in jeans, then, if they live in such a community, they should call it "dressy" or "business casual" or something other than "casual."

As for the other end of the question, "no ties," I think that Peaches's point about stating things in the negative is spot on here.  "Ties not required" is much better.  Even if most people would figure that "no ties" means "ties not required," they wouldn't be 100% sure, and you can bet that if you wear a tie, there'd be at least one idiot telling you, "Hey, the invitation said no ties!"  (The conversation that would follow would resemble this string!)

By your own admission there is at least one "idiot" invited, so you can't say that everyone knows better. You can't assume that everyone "knows" anything. The invitation was worded to get the point across to a variety of different people.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: thedudeabides on January 15, 2013, 01:01:28 PM
"No Ties, No Jeans" doesn't bother me in the least. It's communicating in a way the intended audience*  understands. I doubt many tweens/teens know what "business casual" or "yacht club" attire means.

*I'm assuming the guests are not adults.

As I posted above, the guests ARE adults -- some kids, but it's not a kids' party, it's an adult dinner dance, to which there are kids invited.  (I know this string has gotten long and you're not required to read all the posts before posting!)  Does that change your feeling?

The fact that so many people are saying that they like this wording specifically "because it gives guidance to kids," because kids have different standards of dress and can't really be expected to know the social language of "casual," "business casual," etc., underscores for me what's not so good about it for adults.  It implies that their social skills are those of children who can't be expected how to interpret a dress code without specific guidance.

Now that I think about it, I've seen something like this in practice.  If there are a lot of children invited to an adult-type event, sometimes people send them a separate invitation (like, if the children are invited for different hours than the adults -- e.g., pizza and games for the kids 6:30 - 8:00; dessert and dancing for everyone at 8:00 -- I guess it's A and B, but I for one am definitely NOT offended by not being included in the children's "before party"!).  Anyway, when they do that, people often include things like "please no jeans/shorts" or "no gifts" or other stuff that they don't put on the adult invitation.

As to the suitability of denim generally for a grown-up event designated "casual," I think it may depend upon the community (both geographic and social) -- of course assuming it's not a no-denim venue.  If nice denim is not considered acceptable in the relevant community, then there is no need to include "no jeans" on the invitation -- most of the guests know already (as they would here), and if there are a few who don't, then too bad -- you don't insult/micromanage all the others trying to make sure that not a single guest wears jeans, the same as you don't put "no tardiness."  If denim is considered appropriate in that community, then I honestly don't think that the hosts should be trying to forbid it at their otherwise casual party, just because they personally don't like that "casual" includes jeans in their community -- just like they shouldn't say "no short dresses" if they designate the party "black tie" and live in a community where women wear long or short dresses to black tie events, but happen to prefer that all the women wear long gowns.  If it means that much to them not to have anyone in jeans, then, if they live in such a community, they should call it "dressy" or "business casual" or something other than "casual."

As for the other end of the question, "no ties," I think that Peaches's point about stating things in the negative is spot on here.  "Ties not required" is much better.  Even if most people would figure that "no ties" means "ties not required," they wouldn't be 100% sure, and you can bet that if you wear a tie, there'd be at least one idiot telling you, "Hey, the invitation said no ties!"  (The conversation that would follow would resemble this string!)

What are you looking for at this point? Validation that the invitation was rude? Consensus seems pretty split on that so far. Ways to respond? Accept or decline as you see fit.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: bopper on January 15, 2013, 02:43:28 PM
I would just say they want the boys to wear nice slacks and a dress shirt but no ties.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: magicdomino on January 15, 2013, 03:37:14 PM
I like "no ties, no jeans."  "Casual dress" has too many interpretations -- just read the posts here.   :)  Most people would include jeans as casual.  Some interpret regular jeans as casual and $300 jeans as business formal, even though a casual observer can't tell the difference (flip-flops can have a similar problem).  My office forbids blue jeans on (business) Casual Friday, but we can get away with newish black or other color jeans.

My interpretation of "yacht club" is a captain's hat and a Hawaiian shirt.   ;)
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Winterlight on January 15, 2013, 03:45:28 PM
To be honest if someone sent me an invite that said "casual" I would wear nice jeans because that is "casual."  "No Jeans" indicates that this is a step up from casual.  Also 13/13 year old kids most likely would not know the difference.

Ditto. Also, local culture may come into play- in Alaska, jeans would be a default for most unless told otherwise.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Iris on January 15, 2013, 06:10:05 PM
To be honest if someone sent me an invite that said "casual" I would wear nice jeans because that is "casual."  "No Jeans" indicates that this is a step up from casual.  Also 13/13 year old kids most likely would not know the difference.

Ditto. Also, local culture may come into play- in Alaska, jeans would be a default for most unless told otherwise.

I'm using your posts as the most recent example, so apologies if you feel singled out, but I'm confused by the number of people saying "Well they have to write 'no jeans' because if they wrote 'casual' people would come in jeans." I entirely agree because 'casual' as a dress code means that jeans and shorts are perfectly acceptable. There are about 15 dress codes in between 'casual' and 'formal', some of which include the 'no jeans, no tie' range.

I don't know, I just feel as though people are reinventing the wheel with their 'new and improved' dress codes. Not just reinventing the wheel but saying that they HAVE to because the old dress codes are 'just so confusing'. If people want to have cutesy dress codes on their invitations then that's completely fine and up to them, but it bothers me that accepted terms that have been in use for a long time are suddenly 'just too hard'.

So although this wouldn't overly bother me as such, I DO understand where gellchom is coming from. It is vaguely offensive to some people when people treat everybody at the 'lowest common denominator' level. There are perfectly clear definitions for the existing dress codes. Just because we personally may not know them doesn't mean that they don't exist or are confusing.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 15, 2013, 06:45:23 PM
To be honest if someone sent me an invite that said "casual" I would wear nice jeans because that is "casual."  "No Jeans" indicates that this is a step up from casual.  Also 13/13 year old kids most likely would not know the difference.

Ditto. Also, local culture may come into play- in Alaska, jeans would be a default for most unless told otherwise.

I'm using your posts as the most recent example, so apologies if you feel singled out, but I'm confused by the number of people saying "Well they have to write 'no jeans' because if they wrote 'casual' people would come in jeans." I entirely agree because 'casual' as a dress code means that jeans and shorts are perfectly acceptable. There are about 15 dress codes in between 'casual' and 'formal', some of which include the 'no jeans, no tie' range.

I don't know, I just feel as though people are reinventing the wheel with their 'new and improved' dress codes. Not just reinventing the wheel but saying that they HAVE to because the old dress codes are 'just so confusing'. If people want to have cutesy dress codes on their invitations then that's completely fine and up to them, but it bothers me that accepted terms that have been in use for a long time are suddenly 'just too hard'.

So although this wouldn't overly bother me as such, I DO understand where gellchom is coming from. It is vaguely offensive to some people when people treat everybody at the 'lowest common denominator' level. There are perfectly clear definitions for the existing dress codes. Just because we personally may not know them doesn't mean that they don't exist or are confusing.
Iris, what existing dress code do you believe says dressier than jeans but suits/ties not required?  And I'm asking about a real dress code, not a made up one like "dressy casual" or "Hampton Chic".

I was talking with my DH about this last night.  He stated the problem is previous generations would never show up at an evening social event that didn't involve BBQ or Country Western dancing (yes, we are in Texas) in jeans.  After 6pm casual meant no suits. 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: blarg314 on January 15, 2013, 07:09:48 PM

I did a quick google for standard dress code listings, and got the following Emily Post guide http://www.emilypost.com/everyday-manners/your-personal-image/69-attire-guide-dress-codes

The only dress code that does not require a tie and does not allow jeans is "Business Casual", and it comes with a footnote to check your company's dress code. "Dressy casual" still list nice jeans and a dressy top as suitable for women but not men, interestingly enough.

So from a pure etiquette perspective, business casual may have worked, as long as the guests work for companies whose business casual definition is the same above.

Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Iris on January 15, 2013, 07:23:48 PM
To be honest if someone sent me an invite that said "casual" I would wear nice jeans because that is "casual."  "No Jeans" indicates that this is a step up from casual.  Also 13/13 year old kids most likely would not know the difference.

Ditto. Also, local culture may come into play- in Alaska, jeans would be a default for most unless told otherwise.

I'm using your posts as the most recent example, so apologies if you feel singled out, but I'm confused by the number of people saying "Well they have to write 'no jeans' because if they wrote 'casual' people would come in jeans." I entirely agree because 'casual' as a dress code means that jeans and shorts are perfectly acceptable. There are about 15 dress codes in between 'casual' and 'formal', some of which include the 'no jeans, no tie' range.

I don't know, I just feel as though people are reinventing the wheel with their 'new and improved' dress codes. Not just reinventing the wheel but saying that they HAVE to because the old dress codes are 'just so confusing'. If people want to have cutesy dress codes on their invitations then that's completely fine and up to them, but it bothers me that accepted terms that have been in use for a long time are suddenly 'just too hard'.

So although this wouldn't overly bother me as such, I DO understand where gellchom is coming from. It is vaguely offensive to some people when people treat everybody at the 'lowest common denominator' level. There are perfectly clear definitions for the existing dress codes. Just because we personally may not know them doesn't mean that they don't exist or are confusing.
Iris, what existing dress code do you believe says dressier than jeans but suits/ties not required?  And I'm asking about a real dress code, not a made up one like "dressy casual" or "Hampton Chic".

I was talking with my DH about this last night.  He stated the problem is previous generations would never show up at an evening social event that didn't involve BBQ or Country Western dancing (yes, we are in Texas) in jeans.  After 6pm casual meant no suits.

What about semi-formal? Also I have certainly been aware of "smart casual" for the last 30 odd years and my mother taught me about it, so it's certainly not recently made up. "Dressy casual" seems an oxymoron to me, frankly. I don't even know what "Hampton chic" is. I don't know, maybe this is an Australian versus the US thing, because I've never known anyone to have this problem ever. For us it goes casual-smart casual-semi formal-cocktail-black tie for social events. Jeans are not worn to smart casual. There are certain sidelines like 'garden party' or 'race day', but they are specific wear for a specific occasions (you wouldn't write them as dress codes, you just dress a specific way for those specific occasions). Business wear is of course separate.

I do understand what your DH is saying though. I remember telling a woman a funny story about my brother's childhood habit of chewing the necks of his t-shirts and her being horrified at the idea that he might do that to one of his 'good' t-shirts. I explained that in the 70s there was no such thing as a 'good' t-shirt. You would no more have gone out to dinner/church/friend's house for party with your child in a t-shirt than you would have turned up in mud spattered clothes.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: TootsNYC on January 15, 2013, 07:27:44 PM
I can totally see people saying, "what do you mean, 'casual attire'?" And the hosts saying, "no ties will tell them one extreme; no jeans will tell them the other."

I think it's relatively descriptive, actually. It's how I might explain to my 15yo what the phrase "casual attire" means (I actually think "casual attire" *does* mean jeans).
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: LifeOnPluto on January 15, 2013, 08:38:28 PM
I still think the range is not immediately apparent, from merely stating "No jeans, no ties".

I'm curious - if an eHellion posted a thread about receiving a "no jeans, no ties" invitation, and wrote that they wore a nice pair of dress shorts and clean t-shirt, would people think they were rude / clueless? Or would people think that they were perfectly ok, since they did technically abide by the terms of the dress code?
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Venus193 on January 15, 2013, 09:01:02 PM
Rude.  Shorts are obviously more casual than jeans.  While that person may have stuck to the letter of the description, it's a violation of the spirit.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 15, 2013, 09:15:23 PM
To be honest if someone sent me an invite that said "casual" I would wear nice jeans because that is "casual."  "No Jeans" indicates that this is a step up from casual.  Also 13/13 year old kids most likely would not know the difference.

Ditto. Also, local culture may come into play- in Alaska, jeans would be a default for most unless told otherwise.

I'm using your posts as the most recent example, so apologies if you feel singled out, but I'm confused by the number of people saying "Well they have to write 'no jeans' because if they wrote 'casual' people would come in jeans." I entirely agree because 'casual' as a dress code means that jeans and shorts are perfectly acceptable. There are about 15 dress codes in between 'casual' and 'formal', some of which include the 'no jeans, no tie' range.

I don't know, I just feel as though people are reinventing the wheel with their 'new and improved' dress codes. Not just reinventing the wheel but saying that they HAVE to because the old dress codes are 'just so confusing'. If people want to have cutesy dress codes on their invitations then that's completely fine and up to them, but it bothers me that accepted terms that have been in use for a long time are suddenly 'just too hard'.

So although this wouldn't overly bother me as such, I DO understand where gellchom is coming from. It is vaguely offensive to some people when people treat everybody at the 'lowest common denominator' level. There are perfectly clear definitions for the existing dress codes. Just because we personally may not know them doesn't mean that they don't exist or are confusing.
Iris, what existing dress code do you believe says dressier than jeans but suits/ties not required?  And I'm asking about a real dress code, not a made up one like "dressy casual" or "Hampton Chic".

I was talking with my DH about this last night.  He stated the problem is previous generations would never show up at an evening social event that didn't involve BBQ or Country Western dancing (yes, we are in Texas) in jeans.  After 6pm casual meant no suits.

What about semi-formal? Also I have certainly been aware of "smart casual" for the last 30 odd years and my mother taught me about it, so it's certainly not recently made up. "Dressy casual" seems an oxymoron to me, frankly. I don't even know what "Hampton chic" is. I don't know, maybe this is an Australian versus the US thing, because I've never known anyone to have this problem ever. For us it goes casual-smart casual-semi formal-cocktail-black tie for social events. Jeans are not worn to smart casual. There are certain sidelines like 'garden party' or 'race day', but they are specific wear for a specific occasions (you wouldn't write them as dress codes, you just dress a specific way for those specific occasions). Business wear is of course separate.

I do understand what your DH is saying though. I remember telling a woman a funny story about my brother's childhood habit of chewing the necks of his t-shirts and her being horrified at the idea that he might do that to one of his 'good' t-shirts. I explained that in the 70s there was no such thing as a 'good' t-shirt. You would no more have gone out to dinner/church/friend's house for party with your child in a t-shirt than you would have turned up in mud spattered clothes.
I think I may have been warped by the Emily Post books that were part of our households from an early childhood. I just confirmed per the website that semi-formal is a dark suit which is why the term didn't seem to fit for me. I do agree business casual is the closest standard description for me, but I have ran into a ton of people who's company allow nice, dressy jeans as part of their business casual attire. 

But I am also a little sad right now because I just saw on the Emily Post site they do refer to dressy casual, which is a term I do not like.  And according to their definition, the no ties, no jeans would fit into that criteria. 

Can we start a grass roots movement to change that term?
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: kareng57 on January 15, 2013, 09:37:38 PM
To be honest if someone sent me an invite that said "casual" I would wear nice jeans because that is "casual."  "No Jeans" indicates that this is a step up from casual.  Also 13/13 year old kids most likely would not know the difference.

Ditto. Also, local culture may come into play- in Alaska, jeans would be a default for most unless told otherwise.

I'm using your posts as the most recent example, so apologies if you feel singled out, but I'm confused by the number of people saying "Well they have to write 'no jeans' because if they wrote 'casual' people would come in jeans." I entirely agree because 'casual' as a dress code means that jeans and shorts are perfectly acceptable. There are about 15 dress codes in between 'casual' and 'formal', some of which include the 'no jeans, no tie' range.

I don't know, I just feel as though people are reinventing the wheel with their 'new and improved' dress codes. Not just reinventing the wheel but saying that they HAVE to because the old dress codes are 'just so confusing'. If people want to have cutesy dress codes on their invitations then that's completely fine and up to them, but it bothers me that accepted terms that have been in use for a long time are suddenly 'just too hard'.

So although this wouldn't overly bother me as such, I DO understand where gellchom is coming from. It is vaguely offensive to some people when people treat everybody at the 'lowest common denominator' level. There are perfectly clear definitions for the existing dress codes. Just because we personally may not know them doesn't mean that they don't exist or are confusing.


While I understand where you're coming from - I kind of liken it to having reply-cards with pre-written and stamped envelopes with wedding invitations.  They're technically incorrect, and I understand why.  It can be seen as an implication that the invitees are too boorish to reply on their own, using their own stationery and postage.

However, I (30+ years ago) used them, and I've honestly never received a wedding invitation that did not include them.  People have become accustomed to them and yes, there are still people who won't understand that a reply is desired unless it's spelled-out this way.  And we can't ignore the fact that our own small towns are becoming more global every day.  30 or 40 years ago it might have been possible to have a casual-dress affair and be certain that no one would show up in jeans.  That really is not the case anymore.  While I personally would never consider wearing jeans to an event such as in the OP - it wouldn't even occur to me to feel offended.

As an aside - my DS#1 and his fiancee are marrying next year.  While we're a long way from sending invitations - they're strongly considering the term "adult reception".  I did inform that this is technically incorrect - however, it does seem that quite a few relatives from her side assume that children are always automatically included.  (If they do sent out invitations stating that, it won't be with my approval).  But overall - sometimes it can be best to spell-things-out (even when preaching to the choir) than to risk future embarrassment.

Oh, and to add - the wedding dinner will be a buffet.  So there would not be any opportunity to indicate something like 3 chicken dinners, 1 steak dinner when the invitation was addressed to the two parents - if there was, the hosts would be faced with making a possibly-embarassing phone call.  With a buffet, there's the scenario that the parents would simply show up with their kids in tow.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: MariaE on January 16, 2013, 01:44:46 AM
The fact that so many people are saying that they like this wording specifically "because it gives guidance to kids," because kids have different standards of dress and can't really be expected to know the social language of "casual," "business casual," etc., underscores for me what's not so good about it for adults.  It implies that their social skills are those of children who can't be expected how to interpret a dress code without specific guidance.

Okay, I'll bite. I'm an adult and I think the wording is perfect. Casual to me indicates jeans are okay. Business casual to me indicates that both dressy jeans and ties are okay. Semi-formal (as a PP suggested) would indicate to me that ties are expected - possibly even required.

"No jeans, no ties" - not this low, not this high. Perfect!
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Redneck Gravy on January 16, 2013, 09:05:18 AM
The fact that so many people are saying that they like this wording specifically "because it gives guidance to kids," because kids have different standards of dress and can't really be expected to know the social language of "casual," "business casual," etc., underscores for me what's not so good about it for adults.  It implies that their social skills are those of children who can't be expected how to interpret a dress code without specific guidance.

Okay, I'll bite. I'm an adult and I think the wording is perfect. Casual to me indicates jeans are okay. Business casual to me indicates that both dressy jeans and ties are okay. Semi-formal (as a PP suggested) would indicate to me that ties are expected - possibly even required.

"No jeans, no ties" - not this low, not this high. Perfect!

me too
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Winterlight on January 16, 2013, 09:32:23 AM
The fact that so many people are saying that they like this wording specifically "because it gives guidance to kids," because kids have different standards of dress and can't really be expected to know the social language of "casual," "business casual," etc., underscores for me what's not so good about it for adults.  It implies that their social skills are those of children who can't be expected how to interpret a dress code without specific guidance.

Okay, I'll bite. I'm an adult and I think the wording is perfect. Casual to me indicates jeans are okay. Business casual to me indicates that both dressy jeans and ties are okay. Semi-formal (as a PP suggested) would indicate to me that ties are expected - possibly even required.

"No jeans, no ties" - not this low, not this high. Perfect!

me too

Thirded.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Sophia on January 16, 2013, 09:34:37 AM
...I think it's relatively descriptive, actually. It's how I might explain to my 15yo what the phrase "casual attire" means (I actually think "casual attire" *does* mean jeans).

My 40+ year-old husband thinks it means shorts.  We had arguments until laid down the law that if I am expected to wear pantyhose, he is expected to wear pants. 

I remember back when we had a wedding section here.  Some people said they felt insulted when a stamped return envelope was included.  That it was implying they don't have envelopes and stamps.  But, at some point, it crosses past insult into statement of fact.  I own envelopes but they are buried deep.  Every time I mail something I have to look up the current stamp price on the internet.  I think it has reached the same point with dress codes.  They need to be more explicit than in the past.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Miss Unleaded on January 16, 2013, 11:00:50 AM

What about semi-formal? Also I have certainly been aware of "smart casual" for the last 30 odd years and my mother taught me about it, so it's certainly not recently made up. "Dressy casual" seems an oxymoron to me, frankly. I don't even know what "Hampton chic" is. I don't know, maybe this is an Australian versus the US thing, because I've never known anyone to have this problem ever. For us it goes casual-smart casual-semi formal-cocktail-black tie for social events. Jeans are not worn to smart casual. There are certain sidelines like 'garden party' or 'race day', but they are specific wear for a specific occasions (you wouldn't write them as dress codes, you just dress a specific way for those specific occasions). Business wear is of course separate.

I do understand what your DH is saying though. I remember telling a woman a funny story about my brother's childhood habit of chewing the necks of his t-shirts and her being horrified at the idea that he might do that to one of his 'good' t-shirts. I explained that in the 70s there was no such thing as a 'good' t-shirt. You would no more have gone out to dinner/church/friend's house for party with your child in a t-shirt than you would have turned up in mud spattered clothes.

Oh gosh.  Maybe it's because I'm from rural Queensland: I know a whole bunch of people who would wear jeans for 'smart casual', but at least they would iron them!
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Honeypickle on January 16, 2013, 12:12:07 PM
When I was in my 20s, a lot of party invites said "Dress to Impress". We understood that to mean no jeans but also not tie and shirt wear.

It's hard to describe but we understood that as "attractive party wear" (certainly not "Business Casual") and definitely not denim. However this is approx 10 years ago and people didn't wear jeans out socially as much as they do now (in London).
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Iris on January 16, 2013, 03:34:56 PM

What about semi-formal? Also I have certainly been aware of "smart casual" for the last 30 odd years and my mother taught me about it, so it's certainly not recently made up. "Dressy casual" seems an oxymoron to me, frankly. I don't even know what "Hampton chic" is. I don't know, maybe this is an Australian versus the US thing, because I've never known anyone to have this problem ever. For us it goes casual-smart casual-semi formal-cocktail-black tie for social events. Jeans are not worn to smart casual. There are certain sidelines like 'garden party' or 'race day', but they are specific wear for a specific occasions (you wouldn't write them as dress codes, you just dress a specific way for those specific occasions). Business wear is of course separate.

I do understand what your DH is saying though. I remember telling a woman a funny story about my brother's childhood habit of chewing the necks of his t-shirts and her being horrified at the idea that he might do that to one of his 'good' t-shirts. I explained that in the 70s there was no such thing as a 'good' t-shirt. You would no more have gone out to dinner/church/friend's house for party with your child in a t-shirt than you would have turned up in mud spattered clothes.

Oh gosh.  Maybe it's because I'm from rural Queensland: I know a whole bunch of people who would wear jeans for 'smart casual', but at least they would iron them!

True. I should have said "Temperate Australia". Queensland, NT, North WA and the desert areas get to make their own rules. I've been there and the only dress rule I followed was "Geez it's hot"  ;D. When I visited Cairns the humidity was so high that if you had asked me to wear pantyhose I'd've made you eat them.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Shoo on January 16, 2013, 03:45:16 PM
I understand about the "no jeans" thing.  But I don't understand "no ties."  The hosts are worried about guests looking too nice?  That makes no sense to me at all.  I get that they want their guests to dress in a certain way, but they are being far too restrictive, IMO.  I think pointing out that jeans are inappropriate is all that's necessary.  If some of the men want to wear ties, or the ladies want to wear dresses, he party will be full of nicely dressed people.  I don't understand the problem with that.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Mikayla on January 16, 2013, 09:08:20 PM

As for the other end of the question, "no ties," I think that Peaches's point about stating things in the negative is spot on here. "Ties not required" is much better.  Even if most people would figure that "no ties" means "ties not required," they wouldn't be 100% sure, and you can bet that if you wear a tie, there'd be at least one idiot telling you, "Hey, the invitation said no ties!"  (The conversation that would follow would resemble this string!)

I guess this is a minority opinion, but I completely agree with you and peaches on the negativity issue.  It reminds me of invites I get that say "adult reception only".   The word "only" hits me wrong because it sounds exclusionary but, more important, it's redundant!  "Adult reception to follow" says the same thing.

Anyway, I'd think there has to be a term among your region/age group/whatever that would work to describe this.  In my neck of the woods, this would be business casual.  And if I ever got something that said "no tie", I'd take that literally to mean don't wear a tie, not as "tie optional".  And that becomes a strange request.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: kareng57 on January 16, 2013, 10:13:41 PM

As for the other end of the question, "no ties," I think that Peaches's point about stating things in the negative is spot on here. "Ties not required" is much better.  Even if most people would figure that "no ties" means "ties not required," they wouldn't be 100% sure, and you can bet that if you wear a tie, there'd be at least one idiot telling you, "Hey, the invitation said no ties!"  (The conversation that would follow would resemble this string!)

I guess this is a minority opinion, but I completely agree with you and peaches on the negativity issue.  It reminds me of invites I get that say "adult reception only".   The word "only" hits me wrong because it sounds exclusionary but, more important, it's redundant!  "Adult reception to follow" says the same thing.

Anyway, I'd think there has to be a term among your region/age group/whatever that would work to describe this.  In my neck of the woods, this would be business casual.  And if I ever got something that said "no tie", I'd take that literally to mean don't wear a tie, not as "tie optional".  And that becomes a strange request.


While I definitely agree with you - OTOH I could understand (not condone, but understand) a HC using the term "adult reception only" if they know-their-audience, so-to-speak.  Some clueless folks really do need to be hit-over-the-head with stuff like this, in a manner of speaking.  They might interpret "adult reception" to mean "children optional".  The term only would get the message across more firmly.  Of course there are no guarantees - we all know parents who would interpret this as meaning "all children except their children"...
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 17, 2013, 01:27:58 PM

As for the other end of the question, "no ties," I think that Peaches's point about stating things in the negative is spot on here. "Ties not required" is much better.  Even if most people would figure that "no ties" means "ties not required," they wouldn't be 100% sure, and you can bet that if you wear a tie, there'd be at least one idiot telling you, "Hey, the invitation said no ties!"  (The conversation that would follow would resemble this string!)

I guess this is a minority opinion, but I completely agree with you and peaches on the negativity issue.  It reminds me of invites I get that say "adult reception only".   The word "only" hits me wrong because it sounds exclusionary but, more important, it's redundant!  "Adult reception to follow" says the same thing.

Anyway, I'd think there has to be a term among your region/age group/whatever that would work to describe this.  In my neck of the woods, this would be business casual.  And if I ever got something that said "no tie", I'd take that literally to mean don't wear a tie, not as "tie optional".  And that becomes a strange request.


While I definitely agree with you - OTOH I could understand (not condone, but understand) a HC using the term "adult reception only" if they know-their-audience, so-to-speak.  Some clueless folks really do need to be hit-over-the-head with stuff like this, in a manner of speaking.  They might interpret "adult reception" to mean "children optional".  The term only would get the message across more firmly.  Of course there are no guarantees - we all know parents who would interpret this as meaning "all children except their children"...

And I would find it kind of confusing, at least at first.  I admit that when I saw "adult reception only" I thought for a moment it meant that adults were only invited to the reception; children were invited to both the ceremony and the reception!  I figured it out quickly, and I'm sure all guests would.  I think it's an awkward wording; maybe they were trying to avoid the more syntactically natural "adults-only reception" because it sounds like it's rated X or something?   :)  But even if there aren't ultimately going to be any mistakes, you don't really want any of your guests' first impression to be, "Huh?  Oh, I get it."

Mikayla, I think you made an excellent point (bolded)!  There may not, at least not yet, be an etiquette-recognized term equivalent to "black tie" (although we know even that has regional variations).  But I bet you're right that in most cases there will be a term that you know that your invitees will understand.  Around here, it would be "dressy casual."  I don't like it, lots of us here don't like it, but there it is, and I think that if these hosts had used it, they'd have gotten what they were aiming for.  Perhaps a few people in ties, but not with a jacket, let alone a suit, and maybe even some denim, but only as part of a very appropriate, dressed-up-enough-for-a-nice-restaurant outfit.  But so what -- they would have gotten the look for their party that they want, and that's really as specific as they should be.  Other places, other terms would be commonly understood.

If there are a few people that you think need more guidance to understand something like "casual" not meaning sloppy T shirts and cutoffs, you can somehow get into a what-are-you-wearing conversation sometime if they live nearby, or for those who don't, perhaps an email to the effect of "Just as a heads-up -- I know the term "casual" varies so much by community; around here it means a step up from jeans, but no ties necessary." 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 17, 2013, 02:34:09 PM
LOL -- today's mail includes an invitation for "Dinner and Festivities" with the notation, "Dress your best!"  The venue, evidently an event space of some kind, doesn't give me any clue, either; it may be recognizable to the people in their city, but we're across the country. 

That one is really baffling.  My best WHAT?  Can't mean my dressiest -- surely they don't want evening gowns.  Many people's best outfit is a business suit.  I doubt they mean that, either. 

But I may not need to decipher it, because there is a different hitch here: the hostess recently mentioned to me that this is a masquerade party.  (It's a reception for a bat mitzvah on Purim, a carnival-ish holiday.)  But the only clue as to that is a tiny mask glued to the reception card.  Maybe they changed their minds. 

I am going to have to email them to make sure before I pack.  Can you help me think of a way to word the question without it sounding critical of their wording?  The message I need to get across is (1) is it still a costume party, and (2) if not, what am I supposed to wear?  I suppose I could reverse my own suggestion above and say something like, "I've never seen that on an invitation in our city; can you give me an idea of the dressiness range of the party?" although maybe that sounds a bit snarky, too.  Suggestions?

I hope I get a clear answer.  This is another thing that comes up when people give confusing or no notations on invitations as to attire: people ask the hosts what they should wear, and they say, "Oh, just anything" or "Just be comfortable!  We just want you to have fun!!"  That gives me no guidance at all.  I'm not going to wear my comfortable pajamas or sweats.  After that, it's not like my dressier clothes are any scratchier or something than my more casual ones.  What makes guests comfortable is knowing that they are dressed appropriately.  Hosts need to give them guidance so that they do.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Hmmmmm on January 17, 2013, 02:40:28 PM
LOL -- today's mail includes an invitation for "Dinner and Festivities" with the notation, "Dress your best!"  The venue, evidently an event space of some kind, doesn't give me any clue, either; it may be recognizable to the people in their city, but we're across the country. 

That one is really baffling.  My best WHAT?  Can't mean my dressiest -- surely they don't want evening gowns.  Many people's best outfit is a business suit.  I doubt they mean that, either. 

But I may not need to decipher it, because there is a different hitch here: the hostess recently mentioned to me that this is a masquerade party.  (It's a reception for a bat mitzvah on Purim, a carnival-ish holiday.)  But the only clue as to that is a tiny mask glued to the reception card.  Maybe they changed their minds. 

I am going to have to email them to make sure before I pack.  Can you help me think of a way to word the question without it sounding critical of their wording?  The message I need to get across is (1) is it still a costume party, and (2) if not, what am I supposed to wear?  I suppose I could reverse my own suggestion above and say something like, "I've never seen that on an invitation in our city; can you give me an idea of the dressiness range of the party?" although maybe that sounds a bit snarky, too.  Suggestions?

I hope I get a clear answer.  This is another thing that comes up when people give confusing or no notations on invitations as to attire: people ask the hosts what they should wear, and they say, "Oh, just anything" or "Just be comfortable!  We just want you to have fun!!"  That gives me no guidance at all.  I'm not going to wear my comfortable pajamas or sweats.  After that, it's not like my dressier clothes are any scratchier or something than my more casual ones.  What makes guests comfortable is knowing that they are dressed appropriately.  Hosts need to give them guidance so that they do.

That is just wrong. I think I'd send an email and ask for clarification.  I might say something like.  We can't wait to see you guys, the event sounds like a lot of fun.  I just wanted to clarify dress.  What are YOU planning to wear?"
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: lowspark on January 17, 2013, 02:42:03 PM
As far as the costume party question, I don't see anything wrong with a direct question since she mentioned that to you. "You had mentioned it was to be a costume party and I just wanted to verify that before I packed." You don't need to mention her wording on the invitation at all.

If it turns out not to be costume, then I'd probably pick out a particular outfit that you're thinking would fit the bill and describe it to the hostess and then ask if it's ok. Something like:
"I was thinking of wearing a knee length sleeveless red cotton dress with ballet slippers. Would that be ok or do I need to be more dressy?"

Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: TootsNYC on January 18, 2013, 10:08:28 AM
for "dress your best," I'd email and say, "what do you mean by 'best'?  'Evening gown' best, or 'cocktail dress' best? Or something else?"

then add, "Oh, is it still going to be a masquerade? Do you want full costumes, or simple masks?"
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: WillyNilly on January 18, 2013, 02:44:37 PM
I think "dress your best" is perfectly clear.  Your best party dress.  No not necessarily a gown - those can be too formal and heavy and fragile to party in.  I think they are asking for best fun, festive, party dress (or awesome pants outfit if that's your style) - the outfit that makes you feel awesome, your best.  This is when you dress like a model in a fashion magazine spread.  A party dress.  If its on a Saturday night in NYC or Long Island, a fitted, slinky, sparkly gown would be common for this type of event, although just fancy cocktail dress would fit in perfectly.

And the fact, again that its a Bat Mitzvah, and that its on Purim, and that the invite was formal but playful with the mask, its clearly a time when your best LBD & statement accessory (sparkly clutch, huge cocktail ring, bold necklace, whatever) would fit the bill.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: blarg314 on January 18, 2013, 09:36:11 PM
I think "dress your best" is perfectly clear.  Your best party dress.  No not necessarily a gown - those can be too formal and heavy and fragile to party in.  I think they are asking for best fun, festive, party dress (or awesome pants outfit if that's your style) - the outfit that makes you feel awesome, your best.  This is when you dress like a model in a fashion magazine spread.  A party dress.  If its on a Saturday night in NYC or Long Island, a fitted, slinky, sparkly gown would be common for this type of event, although just fancy cocktail dress would fit in perfectly.


That's totally different than what I would get from that instruction, though. I would interpret this as nice suit or tuxedos for men, and a nice dress for women of some sort, but I'd have no clue whether that meant a ball-gown, an evening gown, a cocktail dress, or what.

A fitted, slinky gown (or dressing like a model in a fashion magazine spread) would be so far outside of my experience that it wouldn't even occur to me, and if it did, would  be so difficult to actually do that I'd probably have to turn down the invitation to avoid public humiliation.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: kareng57 on January 18, 2013, 10:59:39 PM
I think "dress your best" is perfectly clear.  Your best party dress.  No not necessarily a gown - those can be too formal and heavy and fragile to party in.  I think they are asking for best fun, festive, party dress (or awesome pants outfit if that's your style) - the outfit that makes you feel awesome, your best.  This is when you dress like a model in a fashion magazine spread.  A party dress.  If its on a Saturday night in NYC or Long Island, a fitted, slinky, sparkly gown would be common for this type of event, although just fancy cocktail dress would fit in perfectly.


That's totally different than what I would get from that instruction, though. I would interpret this as nice suit or tuxedos for men, and a nice dress for women of some sort, but I'd have no clue whether that meant a ball-gown, an evening gown, a cocktail dress, or what.

A fitted, slinky gown (or dressing like a model in a fashion magazine spread) would be so far outside of my experience that it wouldn't even occur to me, and if it did, would  be so difficult to actually do that I'd probably have to turn down the invitation to avoid public humiliation.


I think that this is one problem with the increased informality in the Western World.  People who've lived in the same location for decades could feel completely perplexed as to the dress-code in any system where they're not completely familiar.

While it might seem to be good advice to "err on the more formal" - I think a lot of people would feel pretty uncomfortable if say, as a couple, he was wearing a tux and she a floor-length gown - and everyone else was wearing chinos/polo shirts and short cocktail-type dresses.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 18, 2013, 11:16:53 PM
Okay, I'm going to ask. I'll bet anything that she'll say, "just whatever you like!!" I will be very surprised if she says anything as dressy as the last few posters said they would take it to mean.  Yes, if it were in NYC area.  But this party is in Portland, Oregon.  I've never been there, but I think it's a much less dressy groove.  So I'm guessing it's what people would call "dressy casual" here in Ohio.  But it might be one level dressier than that.

I think my "best" outfit lately (other than the very dressy gown I wore to my son's wedding) is a leather skirt, top, and cardigan.  I feel marvelous in it, but it's not appropriate for any type of evening event except maybe "business attire."

I'll let you all know what she says.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Redsoil on January 19, 2013, 02:07:21 AM
"Casual attire" absolutely, 100%, every single time, includes jeans.  Without any room for doubt or question.

So no, they could not have written "casual attire" and had any expectation that well over 50% of their guests would not show up in jeans.

What they seem to be asking for is "business casual" mixed with "party wear".  While I agree "no ties, no jeans" is awkward, I think its pretty clear what they are looking for - casual party dresses not gowns, men in khaki's or chinos and polo shirts or a button up shirt with the first 2 buttons undone.

As for trusting guests... well it was about 10-15 years ago and London, but I stayed in a hotel once that did not allow jeans, period.  As in guests could not even check in and go up to their room and change, no jeans whatsoever.  My friend and I were there for business, and we watched as 3 co-workers were not allowed to check in because they wore jeans for the flight over.  They literally were turned away despite pre-paid reservations. So this might be a hotel dress code.

If I were in this situation, I would be extremely tempted to take my jeans off rght there, and check in.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 19, 2013, 09:18:08 AM
I got an answer --

I'd written:

******

We got the invitation!  It's beautiful. I can't wait.

I need some guidance for packing when you have a minute.  Did I misunderstand about it being a costume party?  Does "dress your best" mean "evening gown" best, "cocktail dress'" best, "casual best," or something else?  Sorry to be so dense!  

Have fun with the rest of the preparations.  See you soon!

Love,
[gellchom]

******

She replied:

******

Portland is,indeed, the stereotypical cold and wet NW.
Since Purim is the weekend of the Bat Mitzvah, we decided to go for a "masquerade" theme .So it lends itself to dressing fancy, and bringing a mask to wear if you are into it?( not a costume party per say).I will have fun masks at some of the tables.
Hope that helps?

******

She is nice, isn't she? 
I like that she seems to have thought I was asking about weather, too -- so less focus on the wording of the invitation.  Now I have my answer: a party outfit of some kind, not casual.  I suppose "dressing fancy" would mean evening gown to some, but I am not getting that vibe.  Even if that's what they're envisioning, I can't see people wearing that unless the invitation said black tie or "ball" or something.  But I'm going to keep it at the less dressy end of the range, as I'm sure that others will be confused by the invitation, too, and some will guess, as I did, less dressy than that.

Thank you all for your help.  Toots, you always know what to do!
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Shoo on January 19, 2013, 11:38:08 AM
I got an answer --

I'd written:

******

We got the invitation!  It's beautiful. I can't wait.

I need some guidance for packing when you have a minute.  Did I misunderstand about it being a costume party?  Does "dress your best" mean "evening gown" best, "cocktail dress'" best, "casual best," or something else?  Sorry to be so dense! 

Have fun with the rest of the preparations.  See you soon!

Love,
[gellchom]

******

She replied:

******

Portland is,indeed, the stereotypical cold and wet NW.
Since Purim is the weekend of the Bat Mitzvah, we decided to go for a "masquerade" theme .So it lends itself to dressing fancy, and bringing a mask to wear if you are into it?( not a costume party per say).I will have fun masks at some of the tables.
Hope that helps?

******

She is nice, isn't she? 
I like that she seems to have thought I was asking about weather, too -- so less focus on the wording of the invitation.  Now I have my answer: a party outfit of some kind, not casual.  I suppose "dressing fancy" would mean evening gown to some, but I am not getting that vibe.  Even if that's what they're envisioning, I can't see people wearing that unless the invitation said black tie or "ball" or something.  But I'm going to keep it at the less dressy end of the range, as I'm sure that others will be confused by the invitation, too, and some will guess, as I did, less dressy than that.

Thank you all for your help.  Toots, you always know what to do!

I lived in Portland for about 10 years.  I'd say that "dressing fancy" means cocktail attire.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: WillyNilly on January 19, 2013, 09:14:01 PM
Honestly, I think you're just spoiling for disagreement. Ok it's not NYC so not a gown, but  it still clearly sounds like a LBD appropriate event. Or your best party dress. Or even your favorite leather skirt, paired with something like a sparkly sweater, great heels and a fab accessory. It's really not as unclear as you're making it. Even if its all regional, Portland is famous enough for it's culture, it's not so hard to  figure out it's style, heck even just Google image"Portland Oregon bat mitzvah" or "Portland oregon party outfit", there are plenty of examples.

And really, who are some of posters friends with that "humiliation" and such extremes are being brought up? I''ve been to formal parties where a few folks wore mismatched suits, or more casual party dresses - so long as they look well groomed, and behave graciously, their outfits really aren't a big deal. It's just a party after all.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: gellchom on January 19, 2013, 10:47:37 PM
WillyNilly, I was agreeing with you!  I think her explanation was fine.  LBD it is!
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: bopper on February 05, 2013, 07:41:24 AM
  Every time I mail something I have to look up the current stamp price on the internet.  I think it has reached the same point with dress codes.  They need to be more explicit than in the past.

Maybe it has been a long time, Sophia!  They have these nifty new "Forever stamps" that are good for first class mailing, well, forever so you don't have to worry about current prices.  ;) :) :D ;D
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Xandraea on February 05, 2013, 09:55:54 AM
Small stories related to dress codes:

In my limited experience with dressy occasions, I assume a wedding is an occasion where one is expected to put a bit of effort into one's appearance.  The weddings I had been to until that point were evening occasions where a nice LBD, a pants suit, suits and ties were the norm.  Enter my short-notice invite to an afternoon wedding in the early spring, when it was still chilly outside.  I don't recall any dress code being specified, but my brain went immediately to "It's a wedding, dress up", and I ended up in a simple black sheath-dress, hose and heels with a large scarf worn as a shawl to keep my shoulders warm. 

Queue my surprise when I showed up to the church for the ceremony, entered the sanctuary to find probably 80% of those in attendance were in old jeans, baggy sweatshirts and sneakers.  I felt entirely overdressed and out of place, along with being appalled that anyone would think sweats and sneakers were appropriate in any way for a wedding.  The bridal party was dressed up nicely. The simple ceremony was followed by a buffet-style dinner at a local prom hall, then it was over. No dancing, nothing.

***
I grew up and live in a large metropolitan area, moved to the outskirts of a town of 1200, and was called for jury duty in the small town I had lived in for about 1 year.  The summons said something about it being a courtroom so to dress/behave respectfully.  Thinking courtroom = business casual, I hunted through my casual wardrobe for something appropriate.  My local friend assured me things weren't as fancy as they'd be in the big city, and I chose black jeans, nice plain long-sleeved tshirt, and simple black lace-up shoes.  I was the most dressed-up person there until the lawyers showed up in suits.  Some ppl were in jeans, some in pajama pants, some wearing John Deere hats looking like they'd rolled through the dirt on their way to court.

***
I took part in a flash-mob at a black-tie affair.  We were instructed to wear "business casual" as to blend in better.  It broke my brain, as I was under the impression that "black tie" and "business casual" are very different things.  As it turned out, my DD and I in our LBDs with simple cardigans and accessories were the best-dressed of the mob.  One family actually turned up in ripped jeans, baggy graphic tshirts and baseball caps.  :o   As it turned out we spent more time getting dressed up than participating in the mob, so my DD and I went out for dinner afterwards.

***
On topic:  As we've discovered throughout this thread, regional/cultural differences and/or inexperience, as well as times changing and traditional assumptions for appropriateness possibly not fitting anymore, make dressing appropriately for an occasion a little more challenging.  I feel if an occasion calls for a certain type of dress, it should be clearly stated so as to be understood.  There will likely be someone who doesn't care and will wear whatever they want anyway, but for those who would rather "blend", being clear what is expected is a great help.  That said, rather than "no ties, no jeans",  I'd perhaps have said, "Ties aren't necessary, but please, no jeans."
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Sophia on February 05, 2013, 11:34:57 AM
...Maybe it has been a long time, Sophia!  They have these nifty new "Forever stamps" that are good for first class mailing, well, forever so you don't have to worry about current prices.  ;) :) :D ;D

I asked about those last time I bought stamps.  The post office worker got very huffy with me saying they aren't really needed because they don't raise the prices that often.  Also, they didn't have any in stock. 
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: lowspark on February 05, 2013, 12:50:07 PM
I may be wrong about this but it's my understanding that they are no longer issuing first class stamps with a preprinted value. In other words, all first class staps are "forever" stamps now. So they can't be out of them anymore unless they're totally out of first class stamps.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: Yvaine on February 05, 2013, 12:55:45 PM
...Maybe it has been a long time, Sophia!  They have these nifty new "Forever stamps" that are good for first class mailing, well, forever so you don't have to worry about current prices.  ;) :) :D ;D

I asked about those last time I bought stamps.  The post office worker got very huffy with me saying they aren't really needed because they don't raise the prices that often.  Also, they didn't have any in stock.

All forever stamps I buy magically morph into stamps of the previous price when my back is turned. It's like all music in cars turning into Best of Queen after two weeks in Good Omens.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: onyonryngs on February 05, 2013, 12:56:41 PM
I may be wrong about this but it's my understanding that they are no longer issuing first class stamps with a preprinted value. In other words, all first class staps are "forever" stamps now. So they can't be out of them anymore unless they're totally out of first class stamps.

They do have preprinted stamps https://store.usps.com/store/browse/uspsProductDetailMultiSkuDropDown.jsp?categoryNavIds=catBuyStamps%3asubcatS_S_45cFirstClass&categoryNav=false&navAction=push&navCount=0&productId=S_789404&categoryId=subcatS_S_45cFirstClass (https://store.usps.com/store/browse/uspsProductDetailMultiSkuDropDown.jsp?categoryNavIds=catBuyStamps%3asubcatS_S_45cFirstClass&categoryNav=false&navAction=push&navCount=0&productId=S_789404&categoryId=subcatS_S_45cFirstClass)
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: lowspark on February 05, 2013, 01:05:57 PM
OK, like I said, I wasn't sure. But I will say that a lot (most?) of them are forever now. The only ones I've been able to purchase at my post office for the past few months are forever stamps.
Title: Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
Post by: JeanFromBNA on February 24, 2013, 09:50:06 PM
Coming in late to  "No jeans, no ties" discussion, is it possible that the hosts would have preferred casual, attire, but didn't want to see jeans below the backside?  I realize that it was an adult party, but young people were invited with their parents.

Did you ever find out?