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"No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation

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gellchom:
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.

Hillia:
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.

SamiHami:
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.

WillyNilly:
"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.

Hmmmmm:
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.

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