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Typical attire at fine dining restaurants in LA?

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flzhang Sep 28, 2010 09:10 AM

In NY where I'm from, lots of high end restaurants require men to wear a jacket. Is it the same case in LA for restaurants like Providence/Melisse, or is SoCal more casual? Will I look out of place without a jacket (dress shirt + slacks)?

  1. w
    will47 Sep 28, 2010 09:25 AM

    You'll probably look more out of place if you *do* wear a jacket at most of those places. You would probably even not be out of place with a button down shirt and jeans at either of the places you mentioned.

    2 Replies
    1. re: will47
      n
      ns1 Sep 28, 2010 10:05 AM

      jacket w/ jeans or slacks/button down w/o jacket is fairly standard for LA

      1. re: ns1
        n
        Nicole Sep 28, 2010 01:07 PM

        Agreed. My husband doesn't even own a jacket, he always wears khakis with a button down or even dark jeans with a nice sweater at upscale restaurants. I do see jacket with jeans quite a bit, though. You will certainly fit in just fine with a dress shirt + slacks.

    2. g
      gary gladden Sep 28, 2010 12:48 PM

      when in doubt, wear a jacket. LA/Hollywood have contributed to the decline of civilazation. Vegas too.

      alot of us like to dress up a little once in a while,not snobbish, sportcoat and jeans, maybe a suit.

      5 Replies
      1. re: gary gladden
        a
        andytseng Sep 28, 2010 03:26 PM

        I like to dress up once in a while too, but I love that LA basically has no dress code. I consider it emblematic of our relaxed attitude, rather than a statement about civilization as a whole.

        And after watching the Paris episode of No Reservations, I feel like that's where things are headed in general.

        1. re: andytseng
          Das Ubergeek Sep 28, 2010 09:46 PM

          I'm in Paris right now and I can tell you that while the dress code is a great deal more relaxed than it was ten years ago, you wear sneakers into a place and you're stlil going to feel like a waddling American tourist.

          On the other hand it's been around 12ºC, so a lot of people are wearing sweaters and jackets.

          I have only seen one tie, though, which suits me fine.

          Back to the subject, wear whatever you like to a restaurant in LA; nobody will give you a second thought.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            b
            baloney Sep 29, 2010 07:22 AM

            Totally agreed from my trip last week. The only place I noticed jackets were at Ledoyen but that's a 3 star and even then I don't recall many ties...

        2. re: gary gladden
          b
          Bradbury Sep 28, 2010 04:01 PM

          I'm with you on this one. While I appreciate that there are few formal dress codes in LA, and that I don't have to wear a jacket and tie to enjoy a nice meal, I am often annoyed at people who come to fine restaurants wearing flip-flops, ripped jeans, baseball caps, old t-shirts, etc. If you can't even make a minimum effort to pull yourself together and look presentable, it shows a lack of respect for the restaurant and your fellow diners.

          [Special memo to traveling sales reps on expense account: just because your polo shirt lavishly embroidered with the name of your lawn treatment, surgical stapler, or concrete mix is a "collared shirt", doesn't mean it looks good.]

          Plus, if I'm going somewhere for the first time and don't know much about it, I prefer to err on the side of being slightly better dressed than average, than being slightly worse-dressed.

          1. re: Bradbury
            mstinawu Sep 30, 2010 12:46 PM

            People showing up in fine dining restaurants in flip flops, ripped jeans, and baseball caps.. Are you talking about celebrities? =P

        3. j
          jaykayen Sep 28, 2010 04:49 PM

          You won't be out of place if you wear a dress shirt and slacks, but you won't be out of place if you wear a jacket, either. Wear what makes you feel good.

          1. johnnyshungry Sep 28, 2010 04:53 PM

            My good old stand by outfit dark jeans, button down shirt, black shoes.
            I can go from high brow to dive in a single night.
            Los Angeles is the land of celebrities in black t-shirts, Jacket and jeans.
            I really like that we are somewhat casual

            1. LATrapp Sep 28, 2010 05:57 PM

              While I agree with a lot of the posts appreciating that you can be relatively casual in Los Angeles, I personally feel that the two restaurants specified by the OP aim to be 'fine dining' on the highest level in LA. And these two establishments appreciate those attired to fit the 'finer' feel of their restaurant and not instead the general LA dining scene.

              If you are not opposed to dressing up, I'd recommend it at these two places.

              1 Reply
              1. re: LATrapp
                m
                maudies5 Sep 28, 2010 06:25 PM

                I agree with LATrapp.

              2. f
                foodiemahoodie Sep 29, 2010 12:41 AM

                Dressy casual to dressy. Look good.

                Why can't you dress nicer?

                I've never seen jeans and a sport coat in Melisse or Providence. Or maybe I've never noticed. But that's common attire at pretty much any other restaurant. Why not dress up a bit? Where else do you wear those clothes?

                I feel a little odd wearing jeans when the people working there are in suits and ties.

                I almost always wear a suit, but no tie. They again, I like to look good for a fine dining experience. I take it seriously.

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodiemahoodie
                  n
                  Nicole Sep 29, 2010 12:29 PM

                  I think the OP should wear whatever he is comfortable in, within reason. He asked if a dress shirt and slacks is okay, and it is. I think we are emphasizing that a range of options is fine. I've seen lots of people wearing dark jeans and a jacket at Providence. I rarely see suits. Nothing wrong with wearing a suit, but there's also nothing wrong with dark jeans and a nice sweater, on the more casual end.

                  I disagree with the premise that those who prefer to dress more casually (but still appropriately) do not take dining seriously. For example, my husband wears a t-shirt and jeans to work every day, so he finds jackets very constraining and uncomfortable. He is serious about food and can focus on the food experience better when he is comfortable.

                2. martiniman Sep 29, 2010 05:56 PM

                  No you won't....it's far better than what can be seen. I've seen people wear T-shirts, leather biker jackets, and jeans at places like Melisse and Valentino. The worst thing I've ever seen was a guy wearing a crappy t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops at Valentino. The second worse thing I saw was a guy wearing a hoody, baggy jeans, and sneakers at Melisse.

                  If it were me, I'd at least wear a jacket.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: martiniman
                    m
                    maudies5 Sep 29, 2010 11:07 PM

                    The jeans and jacket look works fine for the lean,mean, under-47 crowd(I think Johnny Depp is 47). Not so much for a 55+ with pot belly, in ill-fitting jeans. :( Please sir, wear a pair of slacks and a nice dress shirt. No jacket required.

                    1. re: martiniman
                      f
                      foodiemahoodie Sep 30, 2010 12:21 AM

                      Hoody, baggy jeans and sneakers?

                      I feel insulted when someone dresses like that at a restaurant. It shows a lack of respect.

                      I had a friend who was very interested and curious about Melisse. So I took him there. He showed up in a t shirt and khakis. He's younger and thinks this is cool (I did when I was younger), but really it shows a slight lack of maturity. I threw a sport coat on him (didn't exactly fit - he looked like he lost 100 lbs) but it was the best I could do. Won't be taking him back!

                      Jeans and sport can work if you make it work. But I've seen it look pretty schlubby too.

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