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Mar 9, 2011 03:37 PM

Scored Reservation @ Alinea in 3 Weeks - What to Wear?! (female)

I had a baby a few months ago, and have yet to reach my pre-pregnancy size, so nothing in my closet fits. I've been needing to shop for a dressy outfit anyhow, but getting this reservation at Alinea is a huge impetus to get off my butt, try to accept that I can't wear my old clothes just yet, and actually go shopping for something new.

I've never been to a place as high-end as Alinea, though, and I have no idea what to wear. Obviously a dress would be nice, but I don't usually feel comfortable in dresses or skirts. Would a pair of black dress slacks with a silky-type top be okay, or should I try to go the skirt-or-dress route? My husband will be in a suit and tie, so I guess there's some concern that I wouldn't match him in terms of formality... not really sure what to do.

1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

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  1. If you just had a baby recently, I'm going to make two large assumptions here (don't worry, I'm a mother myself with a 3 and 2 year old).

    Assumption 1 - you are nursing.

    Assumption 2 - you want something you can wear again, when you are with the baby but need to dress more formally than the mama uniform or jeans or yoga pants and spit up covered tee shirts. ;)

    If these are correct, go to and take a look at their nursing dressed. I bought 3 of them, and even now after not nursing for nearly 10 months, I still occasionally wear one. They don't look like nursing wear, are comfortable and stretch as needed for a body that changes with the hour (you know what I mean), and they look really really nice.

    I've been asked by strangers, repeatedly, where I got the cute dresses and they never believe me when I say they are nursing dresses unless they saw me actually feeding a child.

    Good luck, and enjoy Alinea, I'm so jealous!

    1723 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614

    5 Replies
    1. re: tzurriz

      Where's the Chowhound Team when you need them!

      1. re: gregb

        because my response wasn't food related but answered a direct query? I'm not advertising for the clothing company, but giving a personal recommendation. I'm a regular commenter and participant on the boards too. I'm sorry if my response upset you. I was trying to answer tara's question.

        1. re: tzurriz

          tzurriz, I thought your answer was perfect, and very helpful, and entirely appropriate for Chowhound.

          1. re: tzurriz

            That couldn't be it, because gregb himself has initiated topics only about the dress code, and not about food:


            So gregb what was it?

      2. The black pants and silky top will be perfect. Add a nice pair of shoes. They'll make you feel prettier and sexier. Have a wonderful evening.

        1. I'm going to jump in with teh obvious answer - anything with an elastic waist.

          1. For what it's worth, I went to Thomas Keller's Per Se in NYC and wore black dress slacks and a cream & black silk blouse, great heels and jazzed it all up with some great gold jewelry pieces and it was completely appropriate. I'm like you, not terribly comfortable in dresses and skirts - especially when it's winter and I'm eating for 3+ hours. I have reservations for Alinea next week and I plan on wearing a similiar outfit as I have described.

            Congrats to you and enjoy your awesome food experience!