Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Dressing up

Last night J. took me out to a very nice restaurant to celebrate my birthday.  (Don't you love Groupon?  It can make an expensive restaurant a more reasonable one.)  Anyway, it was a lovely dinner... fondue restaurants are just fun... and it was a chance to dress up.  I like to dress up.  It's fun and makes something feel more special.  And I think that children enjoy seeing their parents dressed up.  I can remember thinking it exciting to see my parents dressed up to go out.  It seemed like such a grown-up thing to do.

But, evidently, not everyone feels the same way I do.  I find it just a little disheartening when other people don't play the dress-up game.  When we arrived at the restaurant last night, the party ahead of us waiting to be seated included a woman wearing shorts and a t-shirt.  I smothered the momentary impulse to ask her what she was thinking... but really, what was she thinking?  This is not the sort of restaurant that one goes to on impulse.  (Well, it's not something I would do, but I realize I often live in a different universe.)  Why would you think wearing shorts to a restaurant often voted Chicago's "Most romantic" is appropriate?

Part of the fun of going out is seeing others dressed up as well.  It adds to the occasion.  I just don't get why others don't play along.  Sometimes I feel as though I'm waging a one-woman battle against overly casual dress.  How we present ourselves to others says a lot about how we feel about ourselves... and I think indicates to others how we expect others to treat us.  As much I we want to deny it, clothes, how we dress, are very important.

So, talk to me.  Do you like to dress up?  Does it bother you that society has become terminally casual?  Do you feel different when you dress up?  Recently I've been finding this subject endlessly fascinating to think about.  It also doesn't help that I've found the best blog about sewing and vintage patterns and lots of discussion about how woman have dressed in the past.  I'm afraid I've spent far too many hours reading about sewing at Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing than doing actual sewing.


Deb Ford said...

Yes, Elizabeth, I love to dress up although my definition of dressed up is more casual than it once was. Over this lifetime I have often been accused of dressing more "formally" than others. So what? I like it and I too wonder what people are thinking when I see the casual dress that really has devolved into sloppy!!

LawMommy said...

I really do like the dress up to go out to dinner, and I don't understand why other people don't. (Conversely, I tend to wear dresses and slacks and sweaters and blouses to court, instead of suits. Which makes me somewhat less dressed up for court than other lawyers. But this mainly has to do with the fact that it is really hard to find a business suit for my apple shaped body.)

No one should wear shorts to a fondue restaurant, that's ridiculous.

Trav, Bets and the Boys said...

My husband and I feel the same way. We live out west, where people are even more casual - but it sounds like it's a nation-wide issue! But, it is still worth it to us to get dressed up when we go out, even if we are a bit out of place!

allison said...

my hubby and i always dress up when we go out together-whether our 10 month old is with us or not. it's a rare occasion on our tight budget, so we like to make the most of it! we always try and look nice when we leave the house, even if it's just to the store for milk. i/we believe that outward appearance says a lot, as in a sloppily dressed person leads a sloppy life. and i realize this is not always true, but shorts are never acceptable at a nice restaurant! :)

-side note, i so enjoy reading your blog, i find a lot of inspiration and knowledge here. thank you.

Erica said...

For us, too, we don't go "out" for dinner much, especially alone, so when we do it's a big deal. Getting dressed up is probably half of the fun for me. Something to look forward to while I'm sitting around the house in sweats or jeans. But sometimes I don't get quite as dressed up as I used to simply because I have a whole bunch of pregnancy weight (my youngest is almost 2, so I don't know if it still classifies as that...) and I don't have a huge wardrobe because I'm too cheap to buy new clothes because "I'm going to lose the weight."

(I wrote three becauses in that last sentence...that seems excessive)

TJC said...

My mom always told me, "You act how you dress," and of course she was right. That said, I understand the need to look nice when going out, so I do it. But I don't like it. (This could be exacerbated by the fact that my sport coats were all fitted to a younger, skinnier me, so that it's hard to do anything more active than look at a menu.)

asian~treasures said...

I so agree!! Not only is it fun to dress up, our kiddos think it's fun to see us dressed up. Adria loves sitting on the bathroom counter watching me put curlers in my hair, applying make-up or just brushing my teeth.

It's a positive thing for all involved!

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