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Mar 28, 2009 05:41 PM

Dressiness of N.O. Restaurants

I have reservations for my husband's 30th birthday at Maximo's and for our four year anniversary at Mr. B's while we are in New Orleans in May. My question is not about the written dress code of these places, but the actual dress code. Little black dress on the ladies and dress pants/nice shirt on the guys is always a mainstay, but I don't want to be under dressed and feel like one of "those tourists". LOL Thanks for the tips.

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  1. I think the little black dress is fine, but I would definitely suggest at least a sport coat for the guys, not a "nice shirt."

    1 Reply
    1. re: pikawicca

      Okay, thank you - that makes it much easier! Wasn't sure if sport coats were the norm at those places. You're a life saver! :)

    2. sport coat at Mr. B's fits right in. maximo's is less formal dining than Mr. B's, as is the crowd.

      4 Replies
      1. re: kibbles

        so no sport coat at Maximo's? tie perhaps then? and here i thought dressing myself would be harder than the hubby lol

        1. re: sjohansen

          For gentlemen, a jacket is usually not out of place in most restaurants. Have not been to Maximo's so it might well be more casual.

          At one time, gentlemen were required to wear a jacket and a tie at some restaurants. The tie has fallen off of the "must wear" list at most, and the jacket at some others.

          Though times have changed, NOLA is still a fairly formal dining city. At most of the higher-end venues, you'll see a lot of suits, and many more jackets and ties, than, say in Phoenix, or Denver. Except for Europe and NYC, I find that a blazer with a few ties covers all bases pretty well.

          Oh, and your "little black dress" will not be out of place almost anywhere that you dine in the City. Though it's still not quite back up to speed, NOLA was always a "late night" city, so diners might well be heading to another place, that is more formal, so no one is looked down upon for being overdressed for any particular restaurant. Always better to be "over," than "under." Besides, most tourists do not travel with a jacket, unless they are attending business meetings. That will separate your hubby from the "masses."



          1. re: Bill Hunt

            As a "tourist" arriving in town Thursday, I'm bringing two suits and a sportcoat for just four nights of dining. I'm not even here on business unless eating is a business because that is what I'm in town to do. Good to know that I'll blend in as a local. Lastly, people in Chicago dress"up" for dinner.

            1. re: hoppy2468

              You should be able to travel and dine totally incognito. Throw in a few "dawlings" in you speech, and no one will ever know! [Grin]

              In New Orleans, they once did. I was a much, much more formal dining city. Things have changed, and realization that the "tourist trade" was such a large part of the economy have likely directed some of the informality. Still, your attire will be appreciated by your dining mate, and by some other diners. It will not go unnoticed, and not go unappreciated.

              Most of all, enjoy!


      2. I would wear a tie at Mr. Bs and a sportcoat at Maximo's. Went to Maximo's on Saturday for a birthday dinner and it was half sportscoats, half not. I would encourage to always dress at least as nice as necessary. I hate to say it, but I think you will get better treatment if you dress appropriately.

        7 Replies
        1. re: sirvelvet

          What about at Emeril's on a Friday night? The problem for us is that we are going to Tipitina's to funk it up for the night after we get some love from Emeril. We will certainly dress the part for C. Palace jazz brunch the next day.

          1. re: danieli10

            Considering the location, and the tone, of Emeril's (assume the eponymous restaurant), "resort wear" will likely go unnoticed. Same for many of the more "tourist-oriented" establishments. BTW, you can always ditch the jacket in the auto on your way to Tipitina's. Still, NOLA is a city, where people have "other plans," for later,or from earlier, so a jacket should not be out of place for "later." Now, if it's warm, you might want to take that into consideration, as "a gentleman never removes his coat." Judge for yourself.

            I've attended "beach party" events in a tux, because we were headed elsewhere later. I can do a few "presto-chango's" in the auto, but getting into a tux is not usually one of them. However, I have done that going from Dulles (IAD) to DC. Not much fun and the limo driver probably had YouTube footage of the effort.

            Let your "style" be your guide.


            1. re: Bill Hunt



              it is so easy to remove a coat and tie but impossible to assume the garb if yoou've walked in "underdressed". It is ever the part of wisdom to be flexible. The key word in this regard is Respect. Always respect...these folks serving us deserve more that mere nods and a few bucks on the table.

              1. re: hazelhurst

                Well said!


                This is EXACTLY how I feel.
                Respect for the chef, the staff and all that they are trying to give to you, the diner.

              2. re: Bill Hunt

                Thanks for the feedback. No "auto" changes as we are cabbing it up. Without sounding too full of ourselves, we are a pretty classy group of 30+s and would never embarass ourselves or our surroundings. We are also going to be with our SOs, who are always dressed nice - yes, they are clearly the better half (the ladies always are). Finally, the best part about NOLA, which is IMO a lot like San Francisco, where we used to live, is that people aren't going to care as long as you are having a good time and relaxed, and having fun.

                1. re: danieli10


                  There is no real problem with cabbing, except, as you mention, a change of clothing is usually not included.

                  Personally, I'd keep the jacket, and maybe just stick a tie (if you feel that one is good at an earlier spot) into the pocket. No one will know. Now, ya' gotta' remember that I can hardly *remember* being a 30-something, so I am definitely "old school." But hey, I have gotten "funky" in a tux, when others were in jeans. I just undo my tie, and adopt a "more casual look... "

                  P-s-s-s-t, don't let the ladies know that I told you this, but take a page out of their book on this one. Pretend that it was your decision and concerns only your "style." They'll snicker and whisper, but all will be fine. Trust me, 38 years of marriage and I still do similar.

                  Most of all, enjoy,


                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Thanks Bill. As my generation likes to say, "Its all good." Can't wait to be there next week. Take care.