Author Topic: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation  (Read 16799 times)

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gellchom

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"No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« on: January 12, 2013, 01:08:10 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.

Hillia

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2013, 01:17:10 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.

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SamiHami

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2013, 01:19:02 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.

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WillyNilly

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 01:20:55 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.

Hmmmmm

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 01:21:57 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.

NyaChan

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2013, 01:22:34 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.

Yvaine

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2013, 01:25:33 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."

Cat-Fu

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2013, 01:36:38 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!
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NyaChan

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2013, 01:38:02 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?

Lynnv

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2013, 01:47:11 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. 
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mbbored

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2013, 01:56:48 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.

Bethalize

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2013, 01:59:18 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.

Cat-Fu

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2013, 01:59:45 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"!)
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gellchom

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2013, 02:10:27 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.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2013, 03:29:12 PM by gellchom »

Hmmmmm

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Re: "No Ties, No Jeans" notation on invitation
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2013, 02:15:45 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.