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dress code

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  • ncara Jun 2, 2010 03:31 PM

could we wear shorts at lunchtime for restaurants like August and NOLA????

  1. No. You might be able to get away with it at NOLA as this is a more casual and touristy place, but personally I would not wear shorts.

    1. definitely not august. I'd probably wear a jacket there, even at lunch. I wouldn't wear shorts to nola either, but there will be tourists in there wearing bourbon street t-shirts so...

      1. Speaking of this, I was just reading NOLA Trip Advisor today and the dress code question was asked and one response from someone in LA said that the dress code went out after Katrina and there is no dress code anymore except for Galatoire's and Commander's. My dress is always business casual anyway but I am curious if people would be turned away? I remember the NY Board told everyone that you had to dress for Eleven Madison Park and we did. When we went, 1/2 the restaurant was dressed in shorts & flip flops!

        Galatoire's Restaurant
        209 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA 70130

        1 Reply
        1. re: ck1234

          Well, a mandatory dress code might have, but personal sensibilities should not have. It is all about one's self-esteem and their social responsibilities to fellow diners.

          As others have said, there might be diners with Bourbon St. t-shirts, but should everyone don one?

          Heck, I always wore my tux for opening night at the Denver Opera, just as I did in New Orleans, though some thought that appropriate attire was clean rag-wool socks, Birkenstocks and cargo shorts. One should take pride in themselves, rather than try to "get by." Going back some decades, an adviser share with me, "First Class only costs 10% more. You need to try it." Why not go "first class?"

          BTW - how did you feel about dining next to flip-flops? Was that a positive experience for you? Just because some have no class, does not mean that all should have no class.


          I see that CH has not fixed the Edit capability, though I have complained about it for over 9 mos. Now I see why I don't come here much any more. Just a bad site design. Ignore about 80% of this post, as it is repeated. Maybe CH could fix this, rather than run herd on posters with info to share to the masses!

        2. We're going to ask everyone to rein in your personal opinions of dress codes and help this poster determine whether or not New Orleans restaurants will allow dining in shorts at lunchtime.

          While it's fine to make a quick inquiry about the dress code at a specific place on a local board, general discussion of dress codes -- including whether people just don't dress up anymore, whether they should be enforced, whether they have an effect on other diner's experiences, etc. -- are all off-topic for our regional boards.

          If you have specific information about the dress code that the original poster is asking about, please go ahead and post it, but general comments on dress codes tend to spawn long, off-topic sub-threads that distract from the mission of our local boards.

          1. We try to dress "up", as often respect begets respect. But most restaurants will accept shorts if the rest of the attire is presentable. Because part of NOLA's client base is tourist walk-ins they probably accept more "casual" than other restaurants with the same level of service.

            1. I went to August for lunch last week, and we asked the day before what the dress code was. We were told business casual, but that they understand it's summer and it's hot so they understood when people wore shorts. However, we stopped at the hotel beforehand and put on pants (it helped that we stayed at Windsor Court, across the street). I'm glad -- when we arrived one gentleman was wearing shorts & flip flops and he seemed out of place. Given the level of service I think I would've felt out of place if underdressed. Also -- I'm not sure if the prettier front room with the huge floral arrangement and large windows is saved for those with reservations or those in less casual attire. We were seated in the middle room and it was perfectly fine, but I had to wonder.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Frosty Melon


                Great observation. It should be more about the comfort level (in one's perception), than what one can sneak by with.

                That is the point that so many are attempting to make. It is less about any stated "dress code," and more about what one will be comfortable with. That is the point, but it is being missed by some.


              2. I couldn't say for NOLA, but for August I definitely wouldn't. A jacket wouldn't be necessary, but business casual should be the target dress code for lunch there.

                10 Replies
                1. re: gastrotect

                  How about for Boucherie and Dante's Kitchen? I'm not sure but they seem a lot more casual to me? Or would wearing jeans for example not be acceptable there either? Thanks!

                  Dante's Kitchen
                  736 Dante Street, New Orleans, LA 70118

                  8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

                  1. re: belma79

                    I would feel comfortable wearing jeans at either. I still think shorts and flip flops are a no, but that may just be me. I don't think you would feel out of place or be given any dirty looks for wearing shorts at these places.

                    1. re: belma79

                      I would say jeans at either wouldn't be out of place. If it's dinner, maybe pair the jeans with a polo at least? I've done brunch in shorts and flip-flops at Dante's Kitchen FWIW.

                      Dante's Kitchen
                      736 Dante Street, New Orleans, LA 70118

                      1. re: belma79

                        What about Emerils for lunch????? I really don't want to have to go back and change if I am out and about.

                        Emeril's Restaurant
                        800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                        1. re: ncara

                          Honestly, I wouldn't eat in any nice restaurant in shorts, even if it's for lunch. And Emeril's is probably nicer than NOLA. Shorts would definitely be a no-go for any meal at August.
                          At least in my (mid/late-20s) circle of friends, New Orleanians dress nicely for nice places, but if you *really* just can't do it, there are out of town students and tourists and you'll just look like them and won't be the only person sticking out. But at least wear nice shorts, no cargo pockets and flip-flops :) And a nicer shirt will help here as well. You could always buy some nice cool linen pants (or skirts?) while you're down here?

                          Emeril's Restaurant
                          800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                          1. re: culinas

                            I don't need to go out and buy things...if i need something I will bring it with me. That is not the issue....I just didn't want to have to go back to the hotel and change if I am out and about in the City.

                            1. re: ncara

                              That is good planning. I hate to feel the need to change clothing.

                              For NOLA (the City, and not the restaurant), nice slacks and a dress shirt will cover most bases. For a few, upper-end spots, a jacket with those will be fine. NOLA is not forma enough to require a tie for gentlemen, though it once was. As for other attire, that will depend highly on the "level" of the particular restaurant.

                              For ALL fine-dining restaurants, and regardless of the temp and humidity, I would think - blazer. Drop down a level, and just loose the blazer. Drop down another level and you're OK with a polo shirt. Another level, and nice shorts are OK. Get down to the dives (still great food) and you're OK with something on your bottom, your upper and your feet.

                              Dining is like a church event. If it's a picnic, shorts are OK. If it's a regular service, nice clothing with slacks and shirt are OK. If it's Easter, well then you mom will insist on a suit. Same for more formal weddings. That will be your guide.



                          2. re: ncara

                            i wouldnt eat at Emeril's, or any other nice restaurant, in shorts and flip flops.

                            1. re: kibbles


                              I am with you. If we have guests, I will call regarding the minimum dress code, but then will emphasize what I will be wearing. It will almost always be above the "minimum," just to be comfortable with my fellow diners.

                              Going back some decades, I was called upon to secure a table for 13 on a busy holiday weekend night, at Commander's Palace. I got the table, and told all attendees of the dress code. One fellow from Boulder, CO was big on cargo shorts and t-shirts, with sandals. I urged him to get a jacket, but he had none, though he was the CFO of a major hospital in CO. To save him the embarrassment of being fitted with a paper jacket, we found one of the ladies in the group, who was about his size. She had an extra dark jacket, and he wore that. Better than a paper (or Goodwill) jacket, and all was fine.

                              Yes, things might have changed, post-K, but that should not affect the diners, themselves.


                              Commander's Palace Restaurant
                              1403 Washington Ave, New Orleans, LA 70130

                          3. re: belma79

                            They are more casual, and one can probably get away with shorts, and a nice polo. You will dine with people in slacks and possibly jeans, with some wearing shorts.

                            It is all about the "level" of the restaurants. One must pick and choose. If casual, tourist wear is desired, then the restaurant choices should also be casual.

                            Let's take an example in the Waikiki Area. If I am dining at Roy's, I can wear shorts. If I am dining three blocks east, at La Mer in the Halekulani, I would definitely wear a blazer, and probably kick up the level of my aloha shirt.

                            The venue is more the key, than the city, or whether you are a tourist, or a local.

                            As I always plan on fine-dining everywhere I travel, I bring clothing appropriate for those. I might hike the West Mauis in cargo shorts and a t-shirt all day, when it comes to dining at Peter Merrimans, I grab the blazer. Nothing wrong with that.

                            Think about the venue and then dress appropriately, whether shorts, or a dark suit.



                        2. From their websites:

                          August - Business Casual
                          NOLA - Casual
                          Emeril's - Casual with no sleeveless shirts for men

                          My 2 cents......wear some friggin' pants.

                          Emeril's Restaurant
                          800 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans, LA 70130

                          1. New Orleans is a bit more formal, than most "tourist" oriented cities in the US. Must be that international nature.

                            While one can get away with less, one will not likely to be comfortable. Let's say that you're in a nice pair of Tommy Bahama golf shorts, but everyone around you is in a suit - how would YOU feel? That is why I fly everywhere with at least a blazer and usually a dark suit to Chicago and NYC, plus London and Paris. Even in Hawai`i, the blazer is usually the minimum for fine-dining.

                            Could I get away with less? Probably, but why would I want to?



                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              The advice I always give for NOLA is to kcik it up one notch from what you'd usually do at an equivalent restaurant elsewhere. A t-shirt sort of place? Where a nice short sleeved shirt instead.Semi-casual? Look a little nicer? Nice restaurant? Do it up.

                              1. re: kukubura

                                Rock on brutha!

                                1. re: BayouTeche

                                  Glad you approve, even though what I wrote is barely English. That'll teach me to post before coffee.

                                2. re: kukubura

                                  You've got the right idea (and philosophy) to my tastes. You can always take a jacket off--in most places--if need be. Brother Hunt hits the right note when he suggests that one's comfort in the crowd is not to be dismissed.

                              2. This is a great NOLA thread. I am really surprised there have been so many responses to wearing shorts in NOLA or not. Like Mr. Hunt I always go out with at least a sport coat but I will wear less if I know better such as Coops, Felix's, etc. He's right when you travel be prepared. Take the right clothes. Nothing is worse than going ill prepared and finding out after it's too late everyone has dressed up and you haven't.

                                1. Since the discussion is reverting to general discussion of why people should dress up, rather than specific information about NOLA restaurants, we're going to lock it now.