Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sartorial requirements...




“Casual. No denim.”

- Sartorial requirements for tonight’s pre-race dinner, New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court, Newport, Rhode Island



30 comments:

Cranky Yankee said...

"Members and Subscribers are reminded that unless as otherwise required, e.g. certain special events, minimum dress attire is casual, but neat (precludes the wearing of blue jeans)." - Newport Reading Room, Newport, Rhode Island

Anonymous said...

A stated dress code is always helpful, particularly in these modern times and for the younger generations.

I guess I'm just an old fogey, but I'm confused why one would think of jeans as acceptable attire at any club, at least for anyone other than perhaps the gardening/lawn/greens employees.

Susan R said...

Unfortunately, one has to define casual nowdays. I'm not a big fan of denim in general, although, I do like to wear a denim jacket once in a while.
Just out of curiosity, do you own any denim Muffy? I'm going to venture a guess and say that if you do, there is no "gentle stockpiling" involved there.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Jeans are great and I wear them often...a lot in fact. However, one should never assume jeans are appropriate in such a setting. I would think even jacket and tie required for such a venue.

Greenfield said...

As always, Thank You, Muffy! This blog as always is a breath of fresh air. Nice to know there are still a few places left where the sartorially-challenged hordes of "anything goes" bent have not held sway!

Kathie Truitt said...

What? And THIS is all you're giving us?? There better be pictures later, young lady! And I'm with Main Line Sportsman. I wear jeans if I'm riding, working in the barn, gardening, and yes in the winter I will sometimes wear them if I'll be out. But I can't imagine anyone ever thinking it's okay to wear denim to a club. Have fun!

Reggie Darling said...

So I suppose camouflage cargo shorts are allowed?

Bitsy said...

To Reggie: I actually saw a man -- I hesitate to call him a gentleman -- at a no-jeans club's Friday night dinner in baggy cargo shorts and a floppy t-shirt. I would rather have seen a nice, clean pair of jeans with a shirt and jacket, a la Ralph Lauren. Oh! He was wearing flip flops, too!

Anonymous said...

Dear Muffy:

As a frequent reader, I have been meaning to address the difference between form and substance. This struck me as a good time.

It seems to me whether someone is attired in the aforementioned DBFF (Dark Blue French Fabric), is not a very good measure of his or her character or background. An absolute boor could attend a function wearing khaki colored chinos festooned with logos and offend most everyone there. On the other hand, someone of good background could attend the same function wearing an article of DBFF (It not being specifically excluded. Said person would either comply or decline if it was) and be a contributor to the event.

On substance, I learned by example the obligations of the nobility that I was born. I watched the physician in the family accept all patients whether they could pay or not. Would you have excluded her because she was wearing a DBFF skirt?

Perhaps in future posts you could address how you and yours “Walk the Walk” in your Preppy attire. If you find this too weighty a subject, why do you entertain “Education” and “World Trade”?

All the best,

PREP WEST

Anonymous said...

We're having a rodeo this week, and it's all denim, all the time.

I don't understand this animosity toward denim. I guess it's the difference between Easterners and Westerners.

Sartre said...

^ I'm not sure Muffy implies that wearing denim is a "measure of [one's] character or background." I also think, at the risk of being cantankerous, that a nice percentage of this blog addresses how Muffy in her own particular way walks her walk -- not sure what you're missing.

Anonymous said...

I agree with comments that jeans are not appropriate attire at a club function. Muffy, would appreciate seeing a photograph of you, your spouse, and other guests' outfits. Thank you.

Michael C said...

I just find it delightful that someone out there actually uses the word 'sartorial'...

WRJ said...

I cannot imagine how anyone could think it appropriate to wear jeans to the NYYC on any occasion, no matter the dress code--or to most any private club. And I'm a regular jeans wearer! I guess it's a nice reminder that the American slide into sloppy dress is not bounded by social class or income bracket?

Suburban Princess said...

Oh there will always be someone who doesnt know how to dress for any occasion. I've seen people show up in their 'good hoodies' for a wedding.

Smiling at Michael C...it's one of my favourite words. In fact one of my favourite songs has it in the title :O)

Anonymous said...

I don't think wearing blue jeans speaks to a person's character or background. The point is that denim is likely the most casual of any pant material, which is why an establishment like the NYYC would ban it.

I own a couple pairs of blue jeans, but I rarely wear them. I cannot imagine a scenario in which blue jeans are more comfortable or appropriate than khakis--even old, worn khakis, depending on the usage (yard work, etc.). Denim is hot, rigid, doesn't breath and doesn't move with the body.

I also think denim is more closely associated with the lower and middle class--just like those hideous "Affliction" shirts. Doesn't mean the person wearing them is of lower character, though.

Patsy said...

Muffy - are you BDA bound?

I expect the no denim rule is stated because there will be a number of non-members attending?

Patsy said...

FYI - quite a number of YCs allow denim in the casual areas of their clubs.

It's hard to tell a member she can't wear nice jeans and a pretty top, while someone in smelly foul weather gear is occupying the bar stool next to you.

This white denim clad bottom is going to be perched on just such a stool, raising a glass to the Bermuda racers, very shortly - lol!

Kathie Truitt said...

Oh my, Prep West. I don't think wearing jeans or what someone wears always defines their character. (Exception: when I see vulgar and profanity on t-shirts, and the so-called 'booty shorts' then YES that just might attain to their character.)
So much of these sartorial discussions that Muffy has is regional - what she writes about is indicative of HER lifestyle and where she comes from. From living all over the deep south and the Midwest I have found that ones clothing/way of every day dress has to do with their 'region'. Yes, in the Midwest (especially rural) and West - jeans CAN and ARE 'dressed up.' On the ranch we always rode/worked in jeans. But to go out, the gentleman will wear starch-seamed wranglers and starched Ralph Lauren button down Oxfords with VERY expensive cowboy hats and even MORE expensive cowboy boots. It's just a different way of life and I don't think Muffy would look down her nose at that.

To insinuate that she is snobbish enough to base her judgement simply on someone's attire I think is to harshly misjudge her.

I live in Washington, DC now. I know that I can't wear denim to my country club or most other functions. As a matter of fact, my entire wardrobe consists of almost nothing but Brooks Brothers, and an occasional Lilly. when I go back 'home' or when I'm book tour I almost always wear cowboy boots with a dress/skirt and occasionally jeans because I know it is more acceptable in other parts of the country.

I am a southern raised 'good girl' - taught to be a lady in all circumstances. In addition to being an author, I also have credentials in etiquette and protocol. It would hurt me to think someone thought I was of 'questionable' character because they saw me in something 'different' than what they would wear.

And as for the man - the one the reader refused to refer to as a 'gentlemen' because he was wearing camoflouge (sic) shorts, I implore you to sometimes look beyond these things. I can assure you that people mean no harm, they just simply don't know better.

It shows good breeding at YOUR part to go ahead and show kindness. If I'm guessing, I'd bet that Muffy would do that.

Have a great weekend.

Kathie Truitt
aka - Hillbilly Debutante

Anonymous said...

Dear Muffy:

It was good of you to publish my last entry. I knew that it was a bit thorny. Now I feel the need to clarify for “Sartre”.

To “Walk the Walk”, is to live up to the Ethos that should go with being Preppy. Preppy by definition is someone who attended a college preparatory school on the journey to becoming an officer of society. The clothing style is their uniform.

The Ethos includes not only one’s conduct in their career but also what one instinctually gives back to the community. Things one does not do to assuage guilt from success or to call attention to one’s self. Contributions made not for the tax benefit. It could be public service or just visiting a nursing home with your dog.

While I may have missed some of your posts over the years, in this vein I only remember the photos of your father’s military service. I assume that you have chosen not to “Call attention to one’s self” and have not spoken of your acts. I submit that you should. You have made the form of your life very public but have not educated your readers about the substance, the Ethos.

All the best,

Prep West

Anonymous said...

Dress codes, pros and cons of denim, and a request of
the author's service to the community---oh my goodness.

Christy said...

Denim has it's place; according to my mother, it's the waste bin. :)

Bitsy said...

Some of the comments have made me stop and think about how I may inadvertently make assumptions about others based on the way they dress. This is certainly now what I learned growing up, and I appreciate the reminder. That is one of the great things about this blog -- Muffy and her readers make one stop and think about things.

smr said...

As a denim wearer,I certainly don't take such instructions so personally.The club is entitled to make its own rules.

Anonymous Texan said...

Going to roll with Whit Stillman on this one, haven't worn jeans since college.Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit, I've worn white denim to Sunday brunch at Harbour Court. It was an impromptu visit but thankfully no scolding took place.

Cheers,

K

Farrah said...

Muffy,

Did you expect this conversation?

I think the club has a right to make their own rules and I find it admirable. Casual does need to be explained.

Personally, I do not wear much denim as jeans do not look good on me and I don't find them comfortable. I live in an apartment do I don't go out and dig in the dirt or ride horses like Kathie. Denim can be worn elegantly or can look tacky so better be safe than sorry.

Have a nice weekend everyone! Muffy, please post your radish recipe.

Beth said...

My attention was caught by the beautiful architecture of the
NYYC building rather than the dress code. As with all of
Muffy's writings and photographs, that is what appeals to me --------the history, the beauty of nature, the animals, the gardens, and the lovely New England coast and landscape which I will probably never be able to visit.
Thank you Muffy for sharing these gifts of beauty.

MCM said...

Amidst this denim debate one question came to mind. Muffy do you think white denim is ever acceptable?

Anonymous said...

I think it is funny that people think people should just "know" that denim is not allowed at a club. Sometimes people make honest mistakes. Didn't Jackie Kennedy once cause a kerfuffle by wearing inappropriate clothing to Good Friday Mass? If the club does not allow denim, it is good they say so. As for the wearing of denim... I have to say the response to this post (and the newer post with the comment about hipsters and suburbanites) has had me thinking quite a bit. It hit me yesterday when I was at church, first impressions are false. They have nothing to do with the person you are looking at and everything to do with your own personal prejudices. You really can't judge a book by it's cover. I was sitting there looking at all the people in mass and we are quite a varied congregation. I saw white people, black people, Asians and Indians, both kinds. Everyone was dressed differently and in the "real" world I might look at them and think we have nothing in common, not the kind of people I would hang out with... But is there we all were, under one church roof, all children of God. It was lovely and made me very proud. Just as I do not want all one flower in my garden, I do not want all people to look exactly the same. It is boring. And obviously God does not want that either or he would not have made us all so different. Just saying.