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Dress Code

Simply put: What restaurants in Paris require jackets ?

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  1. Here is a partial list from a fast Googling: Ledoyen, Lasserre, Taillevent, Pré Catalan, Grand Vefour, Hiramatsu, Guy Savoy, Le Cinq, Passard...

    FWIW, Yelp lists if a dress code exists for each entry. LIke this: http://www.yelp.com/biz/l-arpege-pari...

    5 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      Passard does not require a jacket. Le Cinq, Taillevent, will provide it. Taillevent, Ducasse, also require a tie.

      Bottom line: you're going to have to call those guys.

      1. re: mangeur

        Just bring your ow jacket, Cheese. All men look better in one...

        1. re: Parigi

          Gotta agree with Parigi - I feel odd in a fine dining spot without a jacket.


          1. re: uhockey

            As a former "suit'" with business interests in France, I feel more comfortable in the higher-end restaurants wearing a coat and tie. I believe that helps in table selection and service. Can't prove it, of course. It does show common courtesy and respect, characteristics often missing in some of my fellow countrymen.

            And as an aside, if one is having trouble conversing with the wait staff, yelling at them generally does not help.

            1. re: Oakglen

              You bring to mind a vignette from some years back. My husband, son and I were standing in line at a hot, no reservations restaurant in Florence. The maitre d' approached, looked down the line and motioned us forward. When we were seated, our son asked,"What happened back there?" My husband answered, "Do you remember when I told you that tonight we were wearing jackets?"

              ETA: My husband is a 501 Levis 24/7 kind of guy. However, he always has a good wool jacket in winter and linen in summer. What's the deal? As Parigi says, you look really cool in a decent jacket.

      2. Lunch or dinner...? I believe some have different codes depending on the meal.

        1. I was made to feel pretty comfortable having lunch at Savoy without a jacket... the atmosphere wasn't formal at all.

          1. Oh it's that dress code again.

            Again and again: aside from some specific addresses mentioned above, there is no dress code in Paris. There is only a dress instinct.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Ptipois

              "There is only a dress instinct."

              Easy for you to say. You're French ! You've got the DI in your DNA.

              1. re: Parigi

                Another way of putting it is that dress code is far less of an important topic in France as it is in the US. As long as you have a jacket you're safe. Ties are very seldom required. The number of ties you see at lunchtime only means that some men have to wear ties at work, not at restaurants.

            2. imho, anywhere in the world, when in doubt, wear a jacket and tie.

              1. Again simply, bringing very little luggage. Does Gagnaire or Astrance require a jacket, l know the rest

                4 Replies
                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  I have reservations at both these restaurants next month. I'll be calling l'Astrance today to reconfirm my reservation. Will ask them about this and post the info here.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      I wear my jacket to travel and get the hosties to hang it even when in cattle class. Usually works and gives lots of flexibility to go casual or slightly smarter depending on mood.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        Some 20 years ago, my husband picked up a Ralph Lauren Polo Harris tweed jacket at the Marin Flea market for $15. It's one of those once-in-a-lifetime affinities: super comfortable, extraordinarily supple wool that gets soaking wet, dries out, wads up and shakes out completely free of wrinkles. Sees the cleaners once a year.

                        If this jacket could talk... It's been so many places that his good stuff has never seen.

                    2. Just back from lunch at Le Cinq, one of the few establishments in Paris that require a jacket for lunch and tie/jacket for dinner. Due to a long trip after Paris with many stops in Eastern Europe decided to pack quite light, thus for a trip of just over 2 months, just one large carry-on. Therefore, no room for sport jacket. Le Cinq fitted me out with one in my size and far nicer than my normal clothing. Was a total non issue, comfortable, light weight, and still in dry cleaning bag. Would do again without thought.

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        Only at Le Cinq. I'm sure they'd find a jacket matching your shirt if you specifically asked.

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          The one thing I hate, hate to wear is a bra. Will Le Cinq lend me one my size? :-)

                            1. re: Parigi

                              If you agree with their choice of lace and color, yes, probably.

                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                            Thanks for the report back. I know that Le Cinq loans jackets to men arriving without one, but am I correct in reading that they assisted you in a purchase? Was it Le Cinq or the Georges V staff if so?

                            Always have this issue when I travel -- have a v. crumpled linen jacket for warmer months, and taking it on this trip. It used to look good, but it's so well travelled and wrinkles so easily I'm no longer so sure, despite my wife's affirmations.


                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                              I guess the question would be why not buy a high quality jacket made primarily of cotton and blended with a non-wrinkling material and simply carry it on the plane - they'll often hang it for you and if the quality is good you can actually just toss it overhead with minimal hassel?

                              The one I wore to Paris was a John Varvatos and I know Burberry makes some damned-near indestructable garments that you can basically crumple into a ball, then hang for ~24 hours and have nearly wrinkle free.


                              1. re: uhockey

                                Or buy a jacket in Paris, duh !

                                  1. re: souphie

                                    as Barney would say "Suit Up!"

                                    Better to overdress than under - I happen to like my tailored suits quite a bit, so i will be happy to get some use out of them

                                    garment bags are not that cheap and as others have said they will hang them for you on a plane - it is usually right when you walk on, just hand them to a stewardess

                                  2. re: Parigi

                                    that's what I did a couple years ago.

                                    1. re: Parigi

                                      yes....good idea...i'd suggest going to my favorite small shop/tailor there, Pierre Samary -- wonderful blazers (and superb linen shirts) in a tiny shop on R. des Quatre Vents in the 6th...similar to Agnes b, only much much better: like as if Agnes b was your personal tailor and made things just for you:


                                      It's on the same block as the overhyped but pleasant wine/snack bar La Cremerie (i recommend the tarama there, and the little jugs of rabbit paste)...and very close to my fav oyster place in the world Huitrerie Regis (which is actually in my Top Five restaurants of any kind anywhere, just for the jewel boxy perfection of it)...

                                      and more on the jacket thing: except for the hottest times of the year, you'll want to have one while wandering along the Seine at night after dinner...

                                1. How about the dress codes for women. i certainly would not wear shorts for dinner, but are capris acceptable or should one wear a skirt?l

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: Barbarella


                                    That's worse than shorts.

                                    1. re: Parigi

                                      why is that worse? More is covered.

                                    2. re: Barbarella

                                      and you shouldn't wear shorts for lunch in a restaurant. A skirt or slacks are expected attire.

                                      1. re: Barbarella

                                        I just started packing for my trip next week and now I'm thinking about what to wear...

                                        I have lunches booked at Ledoyen, Guy Savoy, and Le Cinq, and a dinner booked at L'Atelier St. Germain for my first two weeks. In my last week, I have lunches at La Tour d'Argent and Pierre Gagnaire.

                                        I'm planning on bringing a couple of nice dresses (I do love to dress up!) and perhaps buying at least one LBD while I'm in Paris (can never have too many!), however I'm torn on whether I should bring heels. I have a nice pair of black Tory Burch flats that are super-comfortable, but they look a bit too casual for my dresses, since I normally wear them with heels. Since most of my meals are lunches though I may be walking around for quite a bit after.

                                        Do people typically wear heels when they go out for a nice meal in Paris? Maybe I should just suck it and wear my high-heeled black pumps (they do look great w/ the dresses) and bring an extra large bag for a spare set of shoes. :)

                                        1. re: arlenemae

                                          "Do people typically wear heels when they go out for a nice meal in Paris?"
                                          Many do. Hard to say what is "typical".

                                          1. re: Parigi

                                            So what would you recommend? To bring or not to bring?

                                            Heels vs. flats is a whole different debate than jacket vs. no jacket, I think...at least restaurants don't require heels! :)

                                            1. re: arlenemae

                                              Am all for everyone looking good.
                                              Bring the flats too.

                                              1. re: arlenemae

                                                Ouch, another one. Now it's not just the jackets. This is getting really complicated.

                                                Heels or no heels is completely irrelevant concerning Paris restaurant eating as long as you don't enter Les Ambassadeurs with sneakers or Toms (although to be fair I did, in several haute places, and nobody cares). Just wear what goes with your dress.

                                                As I've said a thousand times, and aside from places that actually and openly require jackets and ties, dress code in Paris is a much overstressed notion. But I do admit that "casual" means different things this and that side of the Atlantic.

                                                Think that men wearing ties at Paris lunches just happen to wear them because they wear them at work.

                                            2. re: arlenemae

                                              At my lunch at Guy Savoy in May, I wore nice flats. I didn't feel out of place. I did notice a woman walking through the dining room with flipfliops (they were very pretty jeweled leather flipflops, but flipflops all the same). I wouldn't have thought of wearing something like that, but she didn't seem to feel out of place either.

                                              1. re: arlenemae

                                                I always bring a tote bag along, and if I need "nice shoes," I bag them until I get where I'm going. Paris is such a great walking city, it's a shame to be restricted by your shoes.

                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                  That's a great idea! I think I will bring my giant purse and walk/take the metro in my flats but keep my heels in my bag.

                                                  It *would* be a shame to be restricted from walking around, but would also be a shame to not be able to wear cute shoes to a fancy restaurant. :)

                                            3. I will be having lunch at Ledoyen next week (god it feels good to finally say next week!) I love jackets, suits, etc., I'm always if anything more formally dressed than 95% of men when we go out in Chicago. But for ease of packing reasons I am planning to take jackets but not suits on this trip. So I wanted to confirm that a jacket, dress shirt and nice JEANS with dress shoes would not be frowned on at Ledoyen at lunch. These are unfaded indigo jeans, properly fitting, and sans any "distress".


                                              21 Replies
                                                1. re: uhockey

                                                  You know what, never mind. I love my suits. I'll find room.

                                                    1. re: chicagoryan

                                                      On the other hand I'm sure the unwashed jeans would have been perfectly OK. Jeans are dressy now.

                                                      1. re: chicagoryan

                                                        Good call. :-) Looking sharp in Paris is not easy because the locals do it so damned well, but it is worth it.


                                                        1. re: uhockey

                                                          I was also contemplating whether or not to bring a suit to our trip to Paris & London. Would a leather jacket also be frowned upon, if worn with trousers, leather shoes and a dress shirt?

                                                          Also, if it does get cooler later this month when I'm in Paris, is it common for men to wear a vest or sweater (for a fine dining meal)?

                                                          1. re: ausfoodie

                                                            I don't see men wearing sweater in fine restaurants. In cold weather men have a jacket and a coat. Leather jacket? The kind of leather blouson worn ilke a short coat over a jacket, yes and removed before sitting down.
                                                            If in doubt, call the restaurant and ask.

                                                            1. re: ausfoodie

                                                              From another post of yours for Paris, you are considering Guy Savoy, Pierre Gagnaire and La Tour d;Argent. For the three, there is no single acceptable dress code.
                                                              Pierre Gagnaire: at lunch one will fell comfortable wearing a pair of khakis slack/crisp shirr/sweater/jacket or suit and tie and in-between. Generally it is a mix of those. Dinner is more dressy.
                                                              Guy Savoy: a bit more formal than PG because it draws more business clientele for lunch. Better with a sport jacket if one is not a fashionista.
                                                              La Tour d'Argent: it's old-fashioned so go with at least a sports jacket for lunch; add a tie for evening.
                                                              Since you are consider doing all three, pack your suit. It will get good use.

                                                                1. re: PBSF

                                                                  Thanks PBSF for the advice, will take note of this and dress accordingly. Do any of these 3 restaurants have a rule in that you must leave your jacket on during the whole meal?

                                                                  I once tried to take off my jacket at Le Benardin as it got really warm and was kindly asked to leave it on!

                                                                  1. re: ausfoodie

                                                                    I haven't had the experience of needing to take of my jacket. I remembered an recent posts on that very subject on this board but I don't remember the heading. It drew some interesting response. Maybe someone can supply the link.
                                                                    My thought would be: if I am feeling uncomfortably hot (that I am not wearing winter clothes in the summer), I would take off my jacket because it is a good enough reason. And if I am ask to leave it on, I won't raise a fuss and comply. It will be the last time I will eat there.

                                                                    1. re: PBSF

                                                                      Oh, like the late great Robert Kennedy, I always take my suit coat or shiffy Harrods' herringbone jacket off because restaurants are invariably hotter than I. I've never had a side glance. And then I dig in.

                                                        2. re: chicagoryan

                                                          Just travel with your suit, and pack the other pants...

                                                          1. re: Maximilien

                                                            I never travel with a suit (unless working) and never feel out of place in the starred restaurants I eat in. That said I do take a jacket, decent shirts, shoes and don't wear jeans (unless I know it's trendy). I often wear the jacket when I travel to save space and ask for it to be hung on the plane - it usually survives the trip better than being crushed in a case. Worth packing a tie for the top restaurants in Paris some still insist on it ( but will lend you one - I chose the one that clashed the most with my other clothes at Tour d'Argent).

                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                              " I chose the one that clashed the most with my other clothes at Tour d'Argent"

                                                              That was you !

                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                That's the way to do it. Definitely a good sense of dress code in Paris.

                                                                Aside from the top starred places, dress code in Paris is a way overstressed notion. And when they lend you ties, better make the most of them.

                                                                1. re: Ptipois

                                                                  ".......make the most of them.'
                                                                  Are you suggesting larceny?

                                                                  BTW I have been absent from this discussion because my views are well-known on this site and elsewhere. In my coming up on 60 years eating in fancy places in Paris, I've seen us go from always ties and suits, to sometimes in business districts and at the most elegant places, to black tees, black jeans and black leather coats (so long as one can carry the trifecta off like a celebrity - ah ha, there's the rub.) Me, when I exit the airplane, keep my tie and suit on for the rest of the day and only don it/them when attending a scientific congress. The rest of the time it's a nice open collar dress shirt and whatever pops up in the closet as suitable for the weather that day.

                                                                  1. re: John Talbott

                                                                    >> Are you suggesting larceny?

                                                                    No, are you kidding? They're invariably too ugly to steal. Read the post I was replying to.

                                                                    1. re: Ptipois

                                                                      Sorrrrrry, never seen one. I thot they might be cool.

                                                                      1. re: John Talbott

                                                                        Cool or ugly, depending on your mood.

                                                                    2. re: John Talbott

                                                                      I'm still trying to decode shiffy...