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Dinner Plans Made - Now, please help me with how to dress

w
wintersummer Apr 27, 2008 10:23 AM

I finally have all my dinner plans made for my trip to Chicago, thanks to all of you here!

I made all my reservations on Opentable.com, which provides a "dress code" description. Here's where we are eating and the opentable dress code guidelines:
Topolobampo - business casual
Atwood Cafe - casual dress
Cafe Spiagga - casual dress
Vongs Thai Kitchen - business casual
Aigre Doux - casual dress

We'll be doing lots of other things in Chicago and there's a chance I may wear jeans on a day or two. Can I go directly to the restaurant dressed in my jeans (paired with a nice black jacket) OR do you recommend returning to the hotel to dress? We will look decent, just not stylish! My husband will probably dress somewhat comparable, with jeans and nice sport coat. Does casual dress really mean casual dress?

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  1. d
    DukeFan RE: wintersummer Apr 27, 2008 10:59 AM

    i've worn jeans to both of the business casual places. you should have no issues.

    1. m
      mojoeater RE: wintersummer Apr 27, 2008 11:09 AM

      These days, jeans are acceptable in most casual and business casual places, as long as they aren't torn, baggy, etc. Pair nice jeans with a nice shirt, jacket, heels, etc. and you should be fine.

      1. a
        amoncada RE: wintersummer Apr 28, 2008 09:38 PM

        Jeans are just fine at Vongs and Topolobampo and no need for a jacket.

        1. j
          jesteinf RE: wintersummer Apr 29, 2008 08:49 AM

          Are you locked into Vong's? You can do much better if you want Thai.

          3 Replies
          1. re: jesteinf
            nsxtasy RE: jesteinf May 1, 2008 10:25 AM

            Not unless you are willing to spend some of your time here traveling to another part of the city.

            1. re: nsxtasy
              j
              jesteinf RE: nsxtasy May 1, 2008 11:33 AM

              Just to follow up on my vague statement...

              If you want Thai food (and Chicago is fantastic for Thai food), and you don't want to take too much time traveling, I would recommend TAC Quick.

              Assuming you're staying in River North/Gold Coast/Streeterville it's about a 20 minute cab ride which is well worth it if you'd like to experience really good and really authentic Thai food (order of the translated menu they can provide or one of the blackboard specials). Or, you can just take the El (Red line) to Sheridan, walk down the stairs and you're there (obviously this would take longer than a cab). Again, be aware, this is real deal Thai food (I had no idea Thai food could be so fantastic until I was introduced to some of the more authentic dishes). If that's not what you're looking for, VTK is probably fine.

              I know it's a little outside of where tourists normally dwell, but I think you'll find the trip worth it. Also, you can be as casual as you want to be.

              TAC Quick
              3930 N Sheridan Rd
              (773) 327-5253

              1. re: jesteinf
                l
                lbs RE: jesteinf May 1, 2008 12:09 PM

                I would like to add that TAC Quick is practically spitting distance from Wrigley Field so if you are in that area, I would definitely go.

          2. jazspin RE: wintersummer Apr 29, 2008 11:24 AM

            Yup, I agree with the others - jeans are perfectly okay, as long as they are nice and neat (and it sounds like they will be). Have fun, it sounds like a great trip!

            1. nsxtasy RE: wintersummer May 1, 2008 10:24 AM

              I agree too.

              Strictly speaking, "business casual" typically excludes shorts or blue denim jeans, shirts without collars (t-shirts, sweatshirts), and athletic type shoes, whereas "casual dress" permits such attire. However, opentable.com is not always accurate with their attire descriptions. In fact, you will find that the attire at all of these places is really similar, despite what opentable shows. As already noted by others, nice jeans are fine at any of these places (and incidentally the sport coat is not required, although overdressing is never a crime). By contrast, I would not recommend (for example) a t-shirt and shorts at any of them, including the ones labeled "casual dress", although the fact that that part of town has a heavy tourist population may mean that you might find such casual dress at any of these, particularly at lunchtime.

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