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Club Foot In Mouth

A friend was organizing a bunch of us to go out clubbing one night. None of us are big into the clubbing scene, but there was a good excuse at the time, these friends are super good fun to hang around and getting dressed up to go out sounded like a fun change of pace. Bob, the budding DJ, was also invited. Most of the organization was done via a Facebook event. Bob used that chance to send a message to all the women, telling them how to dress.

It was very, very absurd. Although us lady-folk would dress quite casually during the day (jeans, t-shirt and flats), part of the excitement of going out on the town is that we get to dress up! Wear fancy clothes and put on some make up! Also, night clubs tend to have dress codes. Even now, I wonder what was going through his mind that motivated him to write that message.

We were all going to meet at a friend’s house before moving on to the club. This friend had also offered that people could get ready at her house if they wanted to. So I was there maybe an hour or two before we were due to leave, gossiping about how absurd Bob’s lecture was. Then Bob showed up. Wearing, what looked to be an oversized track suit, with an over-sized, paint-splattered t-shirt and runners. Needless to say, we were rather surprised, aghast and amused. And even more amused when, surprise surprise, guess who was denied entry into the club? He spent a good 10 minutes outside talking with the bouncer, eventually being let in because he knew the DJ.

I haven’t had much contact with Bob, but I hope that the past few years has endowed him with more tact and respect towards women’s minds and sensibilities. And dress codes. 1104-13


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kate November 5, 2013, 9:36 am

    I would love to know what his instructions were!

  • Virg November 5, 2013, 9:40 am

    To be honest, Bob’s outfit sounds like how I’ve seen a fair number of DJs dress for performances, so being that he was a “budding DJ” going to a club where he knew the DJ, it doesn’t stun me. That said, I agree that he’s way out of line telling adults who are not in his employ as performers how to dress.


  • Lisatoo November 5, 2013, 9:54 am

    What motivated him:
    Either A: He wanted to roll up to the club in style, surrounded by a gaggle of hot chicks,
    or B: one of those guys who gets off on telling ‘teh wymenz’ what to do, especially when it comes down to their decorative function in HIS life.

    In both cases, you were nothing more then accesories to him.

  • Cat November 5, 2013, 10:34 am

    Vote me with Kate-what instructions did he give you? And why did he think he could tell any of you what to wear? Did you ask him?
    I cannot decide whether he wanted to appear to have a covy of “hot babes” or if he wanted to pretend you were his sisters so he could pick up someone new. “I have to escort my sisters here because Mom worries about them, but I could meet you later…”

  • The Elf November 5, 2013, 10:36 am

    Not knowing the exact instructions, I’m giving him a small pass here on sending out instructions. If there was indeed a dress code (even an informal one), a message saying something like “they don’t allow people in here wearing jeans” is just fine. Or “Most people here wear at least a little bit of black leather S&M gear” so that you all have an idea of what you’re getting into. After all, the budding DJ has experience here and the OP said she and her friends don’t usually go clubbing. I don’t either and I’d be grateful for some kind of direction, tactfully given.

    However….. I can easily see these instructions leaning more towards “look pretty so you make me look good”. It really depends on what he said and how he said it. Also, did he send any instruction to the men in the party? Key point.

    And then the topper: Bob himself doesn’t listen to his own instruction. That makes me *really* wonder about what he said and how he said it!

  • Asharah November 5, 2013, 10:37 am

    @ Lisatoo
    It sounds like he wanted them to dress down, not be “a gaggle of hot chicks.” OP said they were planning to dress up and wear make-up.

  • Allie November 5, 2013, 10:51 am

    I’m with Kate. Please post the original message. I find it very amusing that he felt he could/should tell you how to dress. When you referred to him coming by your friend’s place early before you were ready I thought he was going to criticize your appearance thinking you were already dressed for the club when you hadn’t started getting ready yet.

  • Timothy November 5, 2013, 10:55 am

    Up until the last paragraph, I was giving Bob the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was concerned that, since OP and her friends were not big on the clubbing scene, that they might not know how to dress for a nightclub. I wouldn’t have, since I assumed the dress attire for nightclubs was maybe a nice pair of jeans and a clean T-shirt rather than the more formal wear that seems to be standard. However, Bob not following his own guidelines does seem a bit questionable, since that makes it apparent that Bob’s lecture was not based on his own beliefs or standards.

    On the other hand, OP doesn’t come off as perfect, either. I mean, gossiping about the lecture for who knows how long? I can see maybe talking about it with your friends, shaking your heads in silent sympathy, but “gossip”…might just be a poor choice of words, but that seems to be complaining about Bob to everyone but the one person who should really hear about it…Bob. After all, he may not have realized he was crossing an etiquette line. It does no good to talk about someone behind their back without confronting them and letting them know how and why they screwed up.

  • Mae November 5, 2013, 10:57 am

    I second @Kate, comment #1- what were his “instructions”?

    I tend to ignore people like Bob- those who think they have the right tell adults how to act, behave, dress, etc. I have an aunt who likes to try to order the family around and tell people how to run their lives. I quit going around her because I sounded like a parrot- “Thanks for your concern Auntie Em; I have it handled”.

  • Green123 November 5, 2013, 11:28 am

    Your description of Bob sounds like the British radio DJ Tim Westwood. Despite thinking he’s a serious DJ, over the years he’s turned into a parody of himself, and is very funny.

    I hope the glamourous ladies had a good night out!

  • Jinx November 5, 2013, 12:24 pm

    He sent this message just to the women? Ugh, there is nothing less attractive than misogyny.

    I think unless he was going out with people that literally had no clue how to dress (different culture norms?) AND he were a professional stylist… then it makes it less absurd… but, still unless he planned on buying the clothes he thinks someone needs, it’s safer to keep his mouth shut.

    I’ll assume that other than this blunder, he’s a nice guy who thought he was more in to the scene as an aspiring DJ. But still, only telling the women how to dress? Gross. Men should not be ordering women around.

    I’ve got a bit of an evil streak, so I could see myself biding my time until somehow he talks about clothing, how to act, or something for a particular situation just so I could bring this up to make him feel bad (which I totally wouldn’t do if he had sent a message to everyone telling them how to dress, I just detest any amount of misogyny).

    Lisatoo hit the nail on the head when he said he viewed you as accessories, seeing you as dolls or toys that he wanted to look a certain way. He certainly didn’t view you as people who were capable of dressing yourselves. Yikes.

  • Ruby November 5, 2013, 12:35 pm

    Wow – is he controlling, or does he feel you’re incapable of dressing for a club?

    That is weird.

    Put me in the camp of people who want to know what the instructions were!!

  • clairedelune November 5, 2013, 1:01 pm

    I’m dying to see this message from Bob!

  • cdubz November 5, 2013, 1:15 pm

    I want to know what his “instructions” were!

  • KA November 5, 2013, 1:17 pm

    Mentioning or reminding people in this instance that the venue has a dress code wouldn’t be rude, but I think if this were all Bob had done, we would not be hearing this story! There’s no reason to be condescending or treat people like idiots. I’d be curious to see what he said, too!

    I think it’s LOLtastic that he clearly didn’t think the dress code applied to him. Living in a city that has a ton of nightlife, I’ve seen lots of guys get turned away from clubs for wearing sneakers, jeans, shorts, flip-flops. Most of these venues also clearly post dress codes on their websites.

  • Xtina November 5, 2013, 2:03 pm

    I think he wanted to look at a group of hot girls, dressed to his liking.

  • AIP November 5, 2013, 2:12 pm

    Seriously though I agree with Kate – I’m dying to see the advice from this one-man Trinny & Susannah!

  • hello! November 5, 2013, 2:28 pm

    But……what were his instructions? Since I don’t really consider a facebook invitation a “real” invitation at all, was it all that wrong for Bob to throw out his ideas of what he thought the dress code ought to be for the night, especially since you say you weren’t into the clubbing scene and he thought you may appreciate some pointers (I know someone would have to tell me what to wear). Chit chatting about clothes sounds reasonable to me on a facebook “invite”.

  • ketchup November 5, 2013, 2:30 pm

    Lisatoo comment #3, I think you’re right… such a sad thought. I’m also curious about what he’d said.

  • Marozia November 5, 2013, 3:22 pm

    If Bob wanted ‘hot chicks’ around him, dressed in a tracksuit with a paint-splattered shirt and runners that in itself is an EPIC FAIL!!
    At least he knew what he liked girls to wear!
    Let’s hope Bob has learned some tact in the last few years.

  • remi November 5, 2013, 3:51 pm

    Timothy, comment 8, I don’t see your objection with her use of the word “gossiping.” In fact, considering that this entire forum is basically dedicated to gossiping about other people’s poor manners, it seems a little hypocritical to get accusatory at the OP for talking with friends about someone’s behaviour that they were all directly included in.

    Mind you, I do agree with your main point; something should have been said to Bob, when he sent everyone such an inappropriate lecture. You can’t really expect someone to get more tact and sensibility if nobody is willing to tell him he was tactless and rude in the first place. Isn’t that what a “Polite Spine” is all about?

  • Spike November 5, 2013, 5:42 pm

    I feel like being an adult inviting other adults places, the chance that they will embarrass you by misinterpreting the dress code is just the chance you take. And emailing someone to tell them what to wear, even if it’s a “helpful” hint about the dress code, is really not necessary whatsoever, unless the person you invited somewhere is an utter clueless slob.

  • ImpossibleGirl November 5, 2013, 5:53 pm

    OP: Please do post his “instructions”. It’s all the more amusing to me since a) he wasn’t the organizer, b) he had nothing to do with the club, and c) he was only a “budding” DJ. Sounds to me like a “budding” DJ he will stay.

  • Kate November 5, 2013, 6:23 pm

    I’m with Kate (gee, there’s a few of us around here!). I’d love to see the instructions.
    As others have said, it’s fair enough to mention a specific dress code – like “Thursdays are blue night at the club, so wear something blue” or “it’s a lingerie club so wear your undies only” or whatever. But to put forward a dress code like a private school uniform handbook is just silly, especially if he rocks up looking like he’s just been painting the house.

    I’m not much of a club-goer either, but in my experience, I’ve only ever seen men turned away at the door for inappropriate dress (flip-flops, holey T-shirts, football team colours etc). Perhaps Bob should have addressed the men.

  • Lisatoo November 5, 2013, 6:32 pm

    Ashara, I think she meant ‘we were going to look dressed up anyway, so why the need to specifically tell us’? I have a hard time believing that a DJwannabe wants the girls that will ‘escort him into a club’ to dress down and wear no make-up. 🙂

    And yes, the fact that he only told the women turns it into the ‘be pretty for me’ category. If he was just worried about dresscodes, he would have notified the males with a similar message.

  • Timothy November 5, 2013, 7:10 pm

    @remi: Fair point. I guess when I saw how she used it, I just saw her sitting around for an hour, chatting with her friends about how rude Bob was being just to make sure she got out her feelings. I might be looking at it wrong, though.

  • OP November 5, 2013, 8:04 pm

    I did a good search through my facebook message and event archives to try and find the message, but the whole event happened in 2008 and I probably deleted it to spare myself revisiting the message in frustration. I could ask a friend if they still have the message buried in their archives, but I’d prefer not stir up bad feelings among my friends.

    The gist of the message was about standard dress codes for clubs. Don’t wear jeans and flip flops, put on some mkeup, etc. Very obvious things. Although we weren’t the clubbing type, that doesn’t mean we’d never been to a club before, just that it wasn’t our typical social scene.

    Yes, we were gossiping about his lecture to us. It was insulting to receive. It annoyed me enough at the time to prompt me to delete his message. Nowadays I just roll my eyes and chuckle.

  • Madouc November 6, 2013, 2:43 am

    Sometimes dress codes can be a minefield. My cousin and I took my mother to a fancy lunch buffet for her birthday in a private club. The dress code included no flip flops or denim shorts. I didn’t bother imparting this to my cousin, because I thought it was obvious, but sure enough, what did she roll up wearing but flip flops and demin shorts. I guess as the organiser I had a responsibility to tell her, but would I have fallen into a “Bob” and ended up being patronising?

  • European Redhead November 6, 2013, 8:12 am

    @Madouc why would anyone wear denim shorts and flip flops to FANCY lunch buffet in a PRIVATE club? The choice of words itself suggests that it is more than a casual environment. Your cousin should have known better…

  • The Elf November 6, 2013, 11:56 am

    Madouc, I think the easiest way as the organizer to inform people of a dress code at an establishment is simply to say “This Place has a dress code” and then link to it or suggest the person check the webpage. Most places with true dress codes put it on their webpage. To do it less formally, or if the place doesn’t have a posted policy, would be to mention what you’re going to wear and then the people cue off that.

    Sounds like Bob went farther than that and adopted a patronizing tone to give out guidance about nightclubs in general to people who already knew. Having heard more from OP, I agree with previous posters that this was more about sexism than dress.

  • Snowy November 6, 2013, 2:30 pm

    I’m also wondering what he said, but also how he said it. For instance, saying, “They screen at the door, so be sure to dress to the nines” is one thing. And “Be sure to dress hot, if you’re too casual, they won’t let you in” is also okay. But giving a list? (“Skirt no longer than X, heels should be at least Y, wear a metallic or otherwise reflective dress, purse should be…”) That’s just out of line.

  • nk November 9, 2013, 3:41 am

    Informing everyone of a dress code to save them from getting turned away at the door might have been acceptable, but the fact that he sent his “lecture” only to the women shows that that wasn’t his intention. It seems he just wanted to dictate what the women wore to make himself look better as their companion. Like a lot of other comments have said, this incident reveals that he views you as a fashion accessory, not as a friend.