Bucking The Casual Trend of Society

Gone are the days when you would go to a fine dining restaurant and see all guests dressed up, clearly having put in the effort to look their best. Gone are the days when most working men and women dressed in anything close to formal business attire. Before the pandemic we were a casual society, and now in 2022 we seem to have given up entirely on embracing the importance of dressing well.  I find this unfortunate, at times even offensive, and will do all that I can to buck this trend. 

Hubby tells me that I am “shoveling shit against the tide”, but my passion on this topic is without restraint. When we recently went with friends to an upscale restaurant in Boston, everything was wonderful – the service, the food, drinks, and décor – except for the attire of most other guests.  They wore hoodies, tee shirts, sloppy jeans, sneakers, ‘unkempt’ from head to toe.  Why should I care what they wear?  Because it affects the overall ambience, just like the lighting, music, and décor all do.  The attire of other guests sets the stage for what type of setting you are in, and ultimately contributes to whether we feel harmonious. 

On this evening the sloppy attire bothered me so much that I politely expressed my opinion to the maître d. He was polite in return, but of course could do nothing, nor did I expect him to.  The next day I decided to send an email to the General Manager, not expecting a response, but simply to express myself.  Even with my strong opinion on this topic, I do understand that most restaurants, struggling to stay afloat, would not want to risk losing customers with a strict dress code.  I get that!  Clearly, I am barking up the wrong tree. 

Reader, if you share my sentiment, let’s buck this casual trend together, one elegant outfit at a time!  When dining in an upscale and/or pricey restaurant, wear one of your favorite dresses or an elegant pantsuit. Guys, tuck in your shirt and put on a blazer – doesn’t mean you have to wear a tie, but dress to show some respect for the establishment and for the person you are with. Show some sophistication, exude some confidence, and don’t worry about what others are wearing. The positive reactions may surprise you. 

One final point on this topic:  dressing well, with all that it entails, is a learned social skill that we need to teach our children.  How do we do that if we only wear hoodies, ripped blue jeans and sneakers wherever we go?  How do we teach them the difference between dressing for Applebee’s versus The Capital Grille?  Children learn from observing us, and they learn by example.  Dress to convey gravitas when the situation calls for it, such as a funeral or even a holiday at home. This need not mean spending hundreds of dollars on a wardrobe; it just means having the basic pieces that will take you anywhere. And as far as objections to being uncomfortable – you bought the wrong size. 

Yes, I am completely 100% committed to bucking this casual trend.  How about YOU? 

Out to dinner with our grandkids

Candy Costas


  1. Candy I am 100 % with u for dressing up when going out for a nice dinner. If we do not teach the younger generation to dress accordingly, where will they learn? Keep up the good work!

  2. Candy, I agree wholeheartedly! When we go out, I want to dress nicely and would love to see other patrons do the same. That being said, I live in a tourist destination, and I think that’s a contributing factor… all I can do is wear nice things that I love and hope my efforts are noticed!

    • I am willing to bet that your efforts ARE noticed by many! And you may even be inspiring others to kick it up next time they go out. This is how we slowly turn things around…thanks for your comment!

  3. I love dressing up for going out. I do not like the ripped jeans and leggings as pants dress code people have adopted.

    • It’s pretty bad here in Boston – at least ripped jeans look like someone is attempting to be stylish!

  4. Oh my goodness, this is my pet peeve! I live in a resort destination and we have fabulous restaurants!! My husband and I love to dress up when we go out. Our go to restaurant for special occasions is Cafe Monarch in downtown Scottsdale. They have a dress code🥰. This adds to the exceptional dining experience for me!!
    Adding on – the decline of employee dress in the workplace is also appalling!! I could go on and on but feel sure you know what I mean!!
    Have a great weekend!

    • Hi Nancy,
      Sure is nice to know that I am not alone on this! If we continue to dress nicely, maybe in time it will turn the other way again. No way am I giving up! Thanks so much for your comment!

  5. It’s unfortunately a sign of the times. I’m with you though. My time says dress up, play the part, make it special. These times, they just don’t get it!

    • I am going to assume that with your name you are a he/him – I am delighted that as a guy, you understand the difference and that you took the time to comment! We need not embrace these new times, let’s continue to play the part and ENJOY it. Thank you!

  6. Candy,
    I couldn’t agree with you more. You never get a second chance at a first impression. I have been bucking the dress down mentality since I was in high school. And its not about spending alot of money on your clothes, shoes, and accessories. I am a huge thrift shopper and I put together amazing, fun outfits for minimal cost. My other mantra, never let them see you wear the same thing twice! Keep rockin’ it, girl!

    • Agree Maryann, it is not about spending lots of money! (though you could, haha) It does take EFFORT, however, but IMO, well worth it and an important part of life. Thanks for commenting!

  7. I agree with you. I love to dress up and am so sad when I go to an upscale restaurant and I see people who don’t care about their attire. I even hate it when you go to a house party and they say dress casual. When am I going to wear my party clothes 😞

    • House parties!!! AGREE!!! That’s a good one – it’s an opportunity to wear a nice outfit! I would still dress up a bit, but it’s not as much fun when other wear their fleece and flip flops. Ugh.
      Thanks for your comment!

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