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  #41  
Old 29 April 2018, 06:03 PM
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If it's a place where patrons are expected to dress up, it might be a place which is relatively quiet, without loud conversations at other tables; where you might get more attentive service; maybe the food might be a cut above somewhere else. Patrons might associate a jacket-and-tie place with some of these characteristics or more. It's not just the joy of thinking you're better than low-class people who can't afford to eat there.
For me going someplace like that would be an event. A once in a very long while kind of thing. I don't think I'd care what anyone else there was wearing but I'd certainly care about how they were behaving. Some people get grumpy because parents have the gall to bring a toddler or baby to Swiss Chalet, I'd get grumpy if there was a fussy child at my once in a blue moon super expensive restaurant. I'd also be grumpy if the adult patrons were loud and demanding. I don't know if dress codes mean people will behave better but I have to be honest, if I'm paying a small fortune (or what to me is a small fortune) to eat somewhere I don't think I'd object if the management had some rules in place to help make sure the diners have a great experience.
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  #42  
Old 29 April 2018, 06:14 PM
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Not actually statistics, but my cousin (post #14) has been in the biz for years. He has a dress code at his events, and it's posted and enforced consistently.

However, he's sometimes hosted events at hotels where part of his deal with the hotel is that paid hotel guests can be admitted to his event whether they obey the dress code or not. So there might be two kinds of patrons: those who paid to attend his event, who obey the dress code, and paid hotel guests, who can dress any way they want. He claims that when he's had to speak to somebody about misconduct it's usually been someone in the second group.
Aside from being one example and, as you say, definitely not statistics: I wonder how much that had to do with the hotel guests not paying anything extra for the event, and/or not going out of their way to be there: they were presumably at the hotel for other reasons, and just wandered into the event because they were looking for something to do that didn't require their leaving the hotel.

For that matter, people staying in the hotel know they won't have to negotiate getting home later, and therefore might be somewhat more likely to get drunk.

It may well have had nothing to do with any difference in their clothing.

ETA: Sue, I agree with that; but it seems to me that rules to the effect of 'any patron causing noise levels noticeable to other diners will be expected to immediately quiet down or else leave' would be more likely to have the desired result than 'all male diners must have collared shirts on.' My experience of fancy restaurants is limited though not nonexistent; but my experience of 'loud and demanding' is that it goes very well with collared shirts.

Last edited by thorny locust; 29 April 2018 at 06:22 PM.
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  #43  
Old 30 April 2018, 06:54 AM
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I have a hard time believing that a person's attire affects their behavior in the way Bill supposes, but I could see a dress code serving as a test for a patron's willingness to comply with an establishment's rules.

That doesn't mean it's not racist and/or classist, though. Knowing how to put together an outfit with a collared shirt, having access to a complete collared shirt-based outfit in which all the pieces fit your body and go together and none are stained or torn or comically dated--those are markers of a certain level of privilege. Many public defender's offices have a variety of suits and shirts for indigent clients to borrow, and IME they never quite fit and they never really look good.

Such clothes are also a form of status-signaling that's particular to certain groups; others may be more inclined toward status-signaling via different sartorial choices. There's a scene in the movie Dangerous Minds in which Michelle Pfeiffer's character takes one of her inner-city students out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, and he shows up in a new leather jacket that he's going to spend weeks paying for. It struck me at the time, because as a white, upper-middle class suburban kid, I didn't think of a leather jacket as the sort of thing one would wear to a fancy restaurant, no matter how expensive it was--a simple blazer or perhaps even shirt sleeves with no jacket would seem to fit the occasion better. But he'd gone out of his way to get this because he wanted to look sharp. There's a lot about that movie that I've since come to shake my head at, but that scene has continued to resonate with my experience.

Almost all of my clients are poor, and when they show up to court, they're often not dressed the way I would be if I had a court date. Some of them are homeless and really short on options. Some just dress for comfort, perhaps not realizing or not believing it makes a difference. But some of them have clearly spent some time and money putting together their look, and some of them still miss the mark. A few of my colleagues have told me about bench officers who have scolded a few of our clients for their outfits, which leaves me wondering if I should offer some guidance when I see these missteps, or if that would still be unjustifiably patronizing.
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  #44  
Old 30 April 2018, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
A few of my colleagues have told me about bench officers who have scolded a few of our clients for their outfits, which leaves me wondering if I should offer some guidance when I see these missteps, or if that would still be unjustifiably patronizing.
I can see why you'd be concerned at how this kind of guidance might be received but I guess for me it would come down to whether the way your client is dressed affects the outcome in court. If it really doesn't make any difference I'd probably say nothing but otherwise I would perhaps try to find a way to offer some advice if possible.
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  #45  
Old 30 April 2018, 03:10 PM
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I have a hard time believing that a person's attire affects their behavior in the way Bill supposes, but I could see a dress code serving as a test for a patron's willingness to comply with an establishment's rules.
That's probably essentially what I was thinking all along.

The person who's a potential rulebreaker might see the rules and screen himself out, by not going to the establishment.

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Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
That doesn't mean it's not racist and/or classist, though. Knowing how to put together an outfit with a collared shirt, having access to a complete collared shirt-based outfit in which all the pieces fit your body and go together and none are stained or torn or comically dated--those are markers of a certain level of privilege. Many public defender's offices have a variety of suits and shirts for indigent clients to borrow, and IME they never quite fit and they never really look good.

Such clothes are also a form of status-signaling that's particular to certain groups; others may be more inclined toward status-signaling via different sartorial choices. There's a scene in the movie Dangerous Minds in which Michelle Pfeiffer's character takes one of her inner-city students out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, and he shows up in a new leather jacket that he's going to spend weeks paying for. It struck me at the time, because as a white, upper-middle class suburban kid, I didn't think of a leather jacket as the sort of thing one would wear to a fancy restaurant, no matter how expensive it was--a simple blazer or perhaps even shirt sleeves with no jacket would seem to fit the occasion better. But he'd gone out of his way to get this because he wanted to look sharp. There's a lot about that movie that I've since come to shake my head at, but that scene has continued to resonate with my experience.
I sympathize.

I posted before about my own incident when I was taken to a foreign restaurant where I didn't know the routine (because my family didn't go to those places) and I was labeled as having "poor social skills."

But I'd say the solution isn't not to have rules, but to give someone a helping hand. Maybe someone could have said to the young man, "You know, James, you'll be going to a fancy restaurant. This is how you dress at a place like that. You wear this kind of a shirt, you wear this kind of a jacket . . ."

Thanks.

Bill
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  #46  
Old 30 April 2018, 03:14 PM
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IMO, a dress code is basically the business reserving the right to throw people out.

Several weeks ago, an instagram model I follow on twitter (she's very funny) had an incident at a restaurant where the manager asked her to leave because her dress was too revealing. My impression of the dress was that it was short, and because of the lady's bust, showed a lot of cleavage, but nothing ontowards was showing. The model posted images she found on the restaurant's face book page and there were a lot of ladies wearing my skimpier garb, but because they weren't busty, weren't deemed "revealing" by the management.

That just illustrates why I feel a dress code is basically a reserved right to kick someone out. I have known employers with dress codes to overlook things, until someone gets in a tizzy and decides to make an issue out of it.
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  #47  
Old 30 April 2018, 03:17 PM
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Didn't we have a thread awhile ago about a woman getting thrown out of one of those splash park things because the management claimed her outfit was skimpy? IIRC (and chances are I'm not) she wasn't wearing anything wildly different from other women there but she was a little busty as well.
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  #48  
Old 30 April 2018, 03:30 PM
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The whole "no visible cleavage" thing is problematic that way. A girl/woman with very small breasts may be able to wear a neckline cut to the waist without having visible cleavage, while a larger-breasted woman may have visible cleavage when wearing a very modest v or scoop neck. And IME, wearing a crewneck or other high neckline just makes the damn things look bigger.
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  #49  
Old 30 April 2018, 04:12 PM
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But I'd say the solution isn't not to have rules, but to give someone a helping hand. Maybe someone could have said to the young man, "You know, James, you'll be going to a fancy restaurant. This is how you dress at a place like that. You wear this kind of a shirt, you wear this kind of a jacket . . ."
Who, precisely, is supposed to be doing this?

And, even if the restaurant/bar/whatever is prepared to provide mentors to help patrons meet their dress code, are they then prepared to take them shopping? and are they going to have time to go shopping and get back before the place closes, or hunger takes over and requires eating elsewhere?

-- I think you're assuming that everybody's got a useful parent or aunt or uncle who a) knows the dress code of the establishments in question and b) has the time and energy to explain this to other family members and help them fulfill it. But people in social groups who don't ordinarily dress like this may well not have either family members or friends who fulfill both of those qualifications.

And the young man in Esprise Me's example thought he knew how to dress up; and was clearly willing to go to considerable lengths to do so. He was just doing so according to a different social code.

I have heard of restaurants etc. that require ties for men but which keep a stock of ties at the entry to lend to patrons who don't have one on at the moment. If the requirement's only for a tie, that solution would work (especially if some of the ties are of the sort that don't require knowing how to tie one); but I doubt it's practical for businesses to keep entire suits of clothes, or even just of shirts, clean and ready in a wide range of sizes for this purpose.
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  #50  
Old 30 April 2018, 04:19 PM
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The only dress code I think is appropriate is the old "no shirt, no shoes, no service," which I'm sure offends plenty of people. However, there are safety reasons why I think it's appropriate (as to shoes). As to shirts, I'm not really interested in looking at your sweaty (or non-sweaty) chest while I eat.

You want to keep the riff-raff out? Define riff-raff and then make it a members only establishment. Will you get sued? Probably. That's the risk of being exclusionary.

Seaboe
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  #51  
Old 30 April 2018, 04:26 PM
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Didn't we have a thread awhile ago about a woman getting thrown out of one of those splash park things because the management claimed her outfit was skimpy? IIRC (and chances are I'm not) she wasn't wearing anything wildly different from other women there but she was a little busty as well.
I believe we've had multiple threads about women being told to cover up or leave various establishments.
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  #52  
Old 30 April 2018, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
Many public defender's offices have a variety of suits and shirts for indigent clients to borrow, and IME they never quite fit and they never really look good.
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
...And, even if the restaurant/bar/whatever is prepared to provide mentors to help patrons meet their dress code, are they then prepared to take them shopping? ...
I have heard of restaurants etc. that require ties for men but which keep a stock of ties at the entry to lend to patrons who don't have one on at the moment....
There are also restaurants that keep sports coats in the coat room if you show up without a jacket. On the few occasions I've visited a necktie and/or jacket required establishment without the requisite item, I was happily outfitted in something that didn't quite fit and didn't look good. This is why those dress codes don't make sense to me. It's okay to wear a fluorescent orange blazer with pea green slacks and a tie with a picture of Superman on it, but you're not allowed in without the jacket and tie, even if that looks better.
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  #53  
Old 30 April 2018, 05:40 PM
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FTR, the instagram model I was talking about is Lindsey Pelas and one of the pictures she included while talking about it, was another patron who looked to be as busty as she is and was wearing something showing just as much cleavage, except that it had sleeves and was a black dress as opposed to a pink one.
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  #54  
Old 30 April 2018, 07:45 PM
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There are also restaurants that keep sports coats in the coat room if you show up without a jacket. On the few occasions I've visited a necktie and/or jacket required establishment without the requisite item, I was happily outfitted in something that didn't quite fit and didn't look good. This is why those dress codes don't make sense to me. It's okay to wear a fluorescent orange blazer with pea green slacks and a tie with a picture of Superman on it, but you're not allowed in without the jacket and tie, even if that looks better.
I suppose that if the idea is 'prove you're willing to follow the rules by wearing these specific clothes', then being willing to follow them to the point of wearing those clothes even when they look ridiculous on you fulfills the requirement quite nicely.

If the idea is to protect the ambiance of the place, of course, it doesn't work well at all -- at least, unless the jacket is covering up a dirty or insulting shirt underneath it, I suppose.
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  #55  
Old 01 May 2018, 02:31 PM
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A few of my colleagues have told me about bench officers who have scolded a few of our clients for their outfits, which leaves me wondering if I should offer some guidance when I see these missteps, or if that would still be unjustifiably patronizing.
Sorry to double post, but I realized that I wanted to come back to this.

Could you, instead of waiting until you see the missteps, make it part of a general what-to-expect-in-court orientation given beforehand? 'The general procedure in this particular court is that first a happens, and then b, and then sometimes c, and then usually d. There'll be a break after about x when you'll get a chance to go to the bathroom. Everyone stands up when the judge comes in. You'll get a chance to talk at point q, and your choices about this are such-and-such, but don't talk until then. You can/shouldn't quietly talk to me/pass me notes. Most people wear clothing of this particular type, and avoid clothing of these other types, because the judge may think it shows respect for the court; for those who don't have those clothes, assistance of this sort is available' -- and so on. Not a matter of 'you, specifically, dressed wrong' but a matter of 'this is one of a lot of things you need to know about a court appearance, and many people don't know these things'.

-- of course, if the particular client's been in court three dozen times before, that might be harder to pull off. 'I know you know all of this but let's review court procedure beforehand anyway'?
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  #56  
Old 02 May 2018, 09:13 AM
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I'm old enough to think no-one should wear a hat indoors.
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  #57  
Old 02 May 2018, 10:09 AM
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I can see why you'd be concerned at how this kind of guidance might be received but I guess for me it would come down to whether the way your client is dressed affects the outcome in court. If it really doesn't make any difference I'd probably say nothing but otherwise I would perhaps try to find a way to offer some advice if possible.
That's very much the question--does it affect the outcome? Our justice system is premised largely on the notion that judges can be impartial, when the evidence shows they are, in fact, very much human. But are they so flawed that they won't return children to a good parent in a low-cut shirt or ratty jeans? Might they even have more sympathy for a parent struggling to comply with their orders due to poverty if that parent looks the part? An attorney for the county social services agency once cracked a joke while several of us attorneys were in the anteroom (between the courtroom and the lobby) about how you could tell which guy out there in the lobby was the D (sex abuse) perp by the full suit. And while it’s patently absurd, not to mention horribly offensive, to peg someone as a child molester because they wore what you're supposed to wear to court, his comment highlighted an unease that some people--perhaps some judges, even--feel toward an accused person who looks a little too slick.

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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Sorry to double post, but I realized that I wanted to come back to this.

Could you, instead of waiting until you see the missteps, make it part of a general what-to-expect-in-court orientation given beforehand?
That's the other tricky part--we get appointed when they show up to court for the initial hearing, by which point there's no time for them to go home and change. We can give them pointers then about how to dress for trial, but the judge may still remember what they looked like before, plus at that initial hearing we're still trying to argue for the kids to be released.

I’ve been thinking about suggesting to the higher-ups that we do what some public defender's offices do and go out and give Know Your Rights-type presentations in the community, or at least put some of that info on our website. It would mean a lot of work for someone, so I'm thinking it might be better received if I wait until I have the time to volunteer to put it together. Even then, it might end up being one of those things where we all agree it should be done but we can't agree on the execution, because no matter how we phrase it, it could be problematic.
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  #58  
Old 02 May 2018, 03:33 PM
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I'm old enough to think no-one should wear a hat indoors.
I'm old enough to remember that that rule doesn't say "no-one", it says "men".

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  #59  
Old 02 May 2018, 03:37 PM
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Thank you for confirming my recollection. :-) IIRC, the only place a "lady" didn't wear her hat was in her own home.
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  #60  
Old 02 May 2018, 03:54 PM
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I'm old enough to think no-one should wear a hat indoors.
Lol. It still annoys me when I see people, and it's usually men, wearing baseball caps indoors. Luckily I am now old enough that when it's my own home I get to say something about to the offender .
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