Why Fine Dining Doesn’t Always Mean Dressing Up

    There’s nothing like fine dining to make an event out of a celebration, or to join a good meal in a very memorable way. However, for many people, “fine dining” means dressing up, and that can seem tedious and put people off. That doesn’t have to be true. You can enjoy fine dining without dressing up. Here’s why.

    Restaurants Have Embraced Casual Elegance

    Many restaurants have started to introduce dress codes, but these dress codes are very different from dress codes of the past. For these restaurants it’s less about dressing up, than it is about having some level of “casual elegance”, or simply making some effort. We aren’t talking about dressing up, just dressing well, which is a very different standard. Restaurants allow guests to interpret this code for themselves, so again, it’s a much more relaxed dining environment than before.

    Restaurants have embraced the more democratic and egalitarian era we are living in. They want to have open doors and welcome a wide variety of people. So the important thing to remember is that, basically, restaurants have told their guests that it is the guests who define what dressing THEIR best is, not the restaurants. This is really a more inclusive environment than we had in the past.

    In the past, dining out meant dressing up, because of society’s expectations about what you needed to do. Today, in our more relaxed and democratic era, when you go to a restaurant like Ray’s at Killer Creek, all you have to do is bring your best self and an empty belly. If that best means dressing up, then dress up, if it means dressing in a more relaxed way, then dress that way. It’s all about bringing your best self.

    Societal Norms Have Changed

    It does happen that people feel like dressing up because they want to mark an event as important. That’s alright. Dress codes are being shifted to the hands of the guests. Restaurant dress codes reflect broader societal changes. People do not generally dress up to go anywhere but the most important events in their lives. In the past, workers would go to work in formal clothes, then, business attire became more casual and many people went to and many still do, go to work in polos and khakis. In the pandemic era, where people have had to work from home, dressing has become even more relaxed.

    This means that most people only have informal wear. Today’s fashion is geared toward comfort. You’ll find people wearing jeans at weddings and funerals. People no longer remove hats indoors. In changing dress codes to a more democratic style, restaurants are simply mirroring those societal changes that have taken place over the last few decades.

    In asking its clients to dress in a more casually elegant way, restaurants are ensuring that going out remains something special, without burdening those clients.

    So if you’re thinking about going out for fine dining, all you have to do is dress your best, and head over to your favourite restaurant -don’t forget that empty belly!-, and enjoy yourself. Restaurants are open, inclusive and welcoming.