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Dressing to eat out in SF?

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What do people usually wear to eat out at nicer places in SF?

I've read that only The French Laundry actually has a dress code up there, but how do SF restaurants expect diners to dress?

Places like Cotogna, AQ, State Bird, Incanto, etc...?

  1. many people in SF are quite stylish, it's not so much the restaurant as how one feels about being a 'sore thumb'. sure you'll see guys wearing $200 t-shirts and jeans ripped by the designer, but you can never go wrong with a good sports coat (tie optional these days) and decent pants and shoes, think a step or three up from 'business casual' as a basis. but then I wouldn't wear that to a Sunday cookout at Zeitgeist.

    71 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      A sport coat says tourist to me. Ditto any pants nicer than wrinkled Dockers. Just make sure your shoes cost more than the meal.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        You're portion of the meal, or the total cost of the meal?

        Like, if two people eat at AQ, and it's $300, do you need $350 shoes? Or just $200 shoes?

        So you can get away with jeans then?

        What do you wear other than sport coats (cardigans/sweaters/leather jackets)?

        1. re: BacoMan

          People wear jeans everywhere in SF though I always wear wrinkled black Dockers. My normal garb is a black T-shirt and a black zip hoodie. The dressiest I get is a long-sleeved print shirt with a collar and a V-neck cotton pullover.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            IMO, the deal killer is wrinkles :( Clothes, that is :) I've never seen anyone out of their early 20s in a hoodie in a nice restaurant.

              1. re: bbulkow

                A fool and his money are soon parted :)

                1. re: bbulkow

                  this is rich!!!!!!!! hahaha

                  1. re: bbulkow

                    "You're Gonna LOVE bbulkow's Sense of Humor...

                    ...I Guarantee It!"

                    1. re: Tripeler

                      oh tripeler go deal your schmatta somewhere else (heh)

                      Baco: this is the sort of thing considered de rigeur and it makes for great people watching:

                      https://www.google.com/search?q=image...

                    1. re: PeterL

                      Well, clothes aside, there was a story that Zuckerberg and his wife had to wait just like the regular folks for a table at Ramen Shop in Rockridge, and Steve Jobs left after waiting for and not getting a table at Flour + Water.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        I love the blase attitude towards celebrity that SF carries (and would hold high, except that is almost as uncool as noticing said fame)

                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                    I feel as if you may be joking...?

                    1. re: BacoMan

                      No, anyone who knows me could verify my daily uniform. Some might doubt that I own a shirt with a collar.

                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                  is it a considered and tailored vintage sport coat or is it one from Men's Wearhouse? an important distinction - and you're right about the shoes.

                  1. re: hill food

                    Isn't tailored sport coat an oxymoron?

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Doesn't quite rank as high as "jumbo shrimp" but...

                      2. re: hill food

                        Hill food and I obviously have different experiences dining in the city. My look ranges from rumpled and frumpy (unexpectedly going out to dinner after work) to nicely but not fashionably dressed; I've never owned an expensive pair of shoes or piece of designer clothing and there have only been a couple of times that I've wished I was better dressed.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          maybe it's just me, I sort of like 'putting on the dog' given a chance. I see this question usually posted by someone freaking out that they have to wear a tie or accept an old soup-stained one at the door. and honestly most of my 'nicer' clothes have been laboriously culled from thrift stores, if a jacket is cool enough and in good shape I have had it altered (don't want my sleeves dragging across the plate) and most of my khakis are ridiculously frayed at the cuff, but I walk so much wherever I am, I will blow the budget on well-made shoes - not fussy, just sturdy and good-looking (I put Bea Arthur on my feet, not Jean Arthur.

                          and if I bother with a tie it's usually knotted to look like I was recently trying to hang myself (yes I know how to do it right).

                      3. re: Robert Lauriston

                        Yes, because we all WANT to be seen as native! Why?

                        1. re: tstrum

                          It's so funny to me that CHs want to go to "non-touristy" places and yet all of us are "tourists" when we travel. I think OP just wants to dress appropriately which is a good thing. And I personally think things like wrinkled pants, hoodies, etc. aren't 'appropriate' everywhere. Some places, sure. Not all. But I'm on Social Security :)

                          1. re: c oliver

                            I really just wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be turned away from anywhere for failing a dress code, or "not looking sharp enough", which has happened to me before. It's quite difficult to go from the ultra-casual vibe of SoCal to almost anywhere else in the world.

                            Otherwise, I don't care much about fitting in wherever I go.

                            1. re: BacoMan

                              BacoMan, Keep in mind that SF is not like Miami where you can be turned away for, to use your term, not looking sharp enough. In Miami the person with the $400 designer shorts will be let in but the guy in the $50 Columbia brand shorts will not be let in and be told that shorts are not allowed.

                              The fact that you even posted the original question indicates to me that you care about your appearance so you should be just fine. But you may be best off leaving the Dodgers cap in the hotel room and not wearing it out to dinner. :-)

                              1. re: Fowler

                                I have never worn a baseball cap in my life, and don't ever plan to, unless someone wants to pay me a decent amount of money to do so.

                              2. re: BacoMan

                                Very few place will turn you away for the way you dress, sometimes even for the way you undress.

                              3. re: c oliver

                                I agree with your general thoughts although I a reminded of New York/Connecticut neighbors in my youth who drew a subtle but ABOLUTE distinction between "tourists" and "travelers."

                                I should have mentioned, earlier, regarding the Redwood room, that I remember (from the 1960s) the diktat of the owner about attire and hair length. He was tyrannical, so I am told. As a New Orleanian, I am used to such stuff as the slide show you thoughtfully provided depicts.

                                I like the noble way the dog is looking on the avatar. Just had a nice chat with a friend's airdale yesterday.

                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                  My husband's, who's turning 70 this year, parents and grandparents used to LOVE the Redwood Room. They always stayed at the St. Francis when they came to town.

                                  Gypsy is as sweet as she is pretty :)

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Tears of remembrance are always good.

                                    Please give Gypsy a dog kiss for me. You've done the Lord's Work on rescue and Airedales are always worth it. Does my heart good just to glimpse her when I see your posts.

                              4. re: tstrum

                                I spend a significant portion of the year in SF and actually go out of my way to NOT look like a native. For example, I do not wear jeans, a t-shirt and a baseball cap in restaurants there.

                                1. re: Fowler

                                  And for that I personally thank you :) Although I don't have a problem with that (well, never the cap indoors) in a lot of places in the Mission and similar nabes.

                                2. re: tstrum

                                  tstrum: "Yes, because we all WANT to be seen as native! Why?

                                  I'm another deep native (bbulkow and I must be related, or at least our families knew each other before the 'quake) and this is the first time I saw a discussion where Bay Area people talked about "looking like" natives. No native that I know looks like anything in particular, or cares about it.

                                  1. re: eatzalot

                                    Re; your last comment, I agree (regarless of locale). exactly right.

                                    1. re: hazelhurst

                                      Well, as I referenced earlier, the majority of Manhattanites seem to wear black and I see a lot of it in SF also.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        SF has been a well-known destination for New York expats throughout my lifetime. (Why do you think Sen. Barbara Boxer shows a bit of an accent on occasion?)

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          and yet it is odd..I grew up in and around Manhattan (in the last century) and while I agree with you about "trendy blac" as we called it when it came into sight. I still wear my Grey Flannel Suit and am not out-of-place. But I guess that is because it was MY Manhattan before the trendy folks showed up. I never noticed and hadn't thought about it until now.

                                3. re: hill food

                                  I'm really bad about these things, because coming from LA, and worse, OC...it's literally acceptable to wear anything anywhere.

                                  I've actually seen people in Hawaiian shirts, and no shoes at the Ritz Carleton restaurant in Orange County...

                                  I usually wear fairly clean looking jeans, a collard shirt, a sport coat, or a cardigan out to dinners, but sometimes more casual than that. But there are absolutely no standards here, so it's not something I ever think about. I went to a pretty upscale bar last night in a leather jacket, and a long-sleeve shirt and no one batted an eye.

                                  People in LA think I am "stylish", but the metric is probably obscenely low here.

                                  1. re: BacoMan

                                    Okay, I draw a line at the Mr. Rogers look. But a collared shirt and a leather jacket are fine.

                                    This isn't the beach. Wear close-toed shoes and avoid anything that you would wear at a resort or you will stand out like a sore thumb. People wear dark colors in San Francisco.

                                    1. re: BacoMan

                                      ahh you're from LA, so maybe a bit less casual and you'll be fine.

                                      Ruth - by stylish I meant more than most other cities, didn't realize Baco is coming from LA otherwise I wouldn't have bothered saying that. Usually this question is posed by someone who doesn't get out much.

                                      1. re: hill food

                                        For people who "don't get out much" SF is quite casual, but in a very specific way, which I guess you could consider stylish. A lot of people who are visiting wear "vacation" clothes, i.e. light colors and sporty cuts, that will look out of place, although they will not be inappropriate. Stylishly dressed for a cruise or the country club will look weird!

                                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                          We travel a fair amount and not to beachy/sunny places. My uniform is various pieces of black clothing. Pants, skirts, tees, sweaters. With some color to avoid monotony. But it gets me in just about anywhere and is practical.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            Exactly. But I see a lot of obvious tourists downtown who were clearly thinking of San Francisco as being "California" when they packed and are wearing clothes that would be more at home walking down the street in Santa Barbara or Palm Springs. They don't think of San Francisco as being just as different from LA as NY is from Florida!

                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                              True. And are heading into those shops on Powell to buy sweatshirts. Long ago I had a friend who lived in San Rafael and worked in the city. She dressed rather oddly in the summer :)

                                          2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                            I agree -- when I see a sports coat, I see a tourist or business traveler.

                                            1. re: The Dive

                                              What is it people in SF wear exactly? Hoodies/Leather Jackets/Sweaters?

                                              1. re: BacoMan

                                                I think you can never go wrong with a leather jacket. And remember it's going to be somewhat cooler in the evenings than it is in the OC.

                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                  all of the above. as a friend once put it in our punk rock days trying to convince a mutual friend from the Midwest to move "... and you can wear shorts over long underwear, a good sweater and a leather jacket year-round!"

                                                  granted we were mostly hanging out in the Mission and lower Haight back then...

                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                    You know, we save a lot of money being able to wear the same clothes year round. On the other hand, I had to buy boots for a January trip to Boston (where I had a lovely encounter with the polar vortex). Fortunately, I had a heavy wool coat that I bought years ago and never wear because it's to warm and dressy for SF!

                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      I've always been amused during that vicious cold snap that lasts maybe a week right around Christmas and almost nobody in SF has proper clothes for freezing temps - everything in the wardrobe comes out and worn all at once.

                                                2. re: BacoMan

                                                  We wear whatever we want. Some people dress up but they're free to go current fashion, vintage, punk, beatnik, rockabilly, leather, drag, Harajuku cosplay, black tie, white tie, steampunk, you name it and sometimes you can't. Not that you'll see that crowd in every restaurant but you never know. MIssion more so than the rest of town, Oakland more so than SF.

                                                  1. re: BacoMan

                                                    All of the above. And the cardigan is perfect. Albeit I tend to hang out with bicycle messengers. But, seriously, you have nothing to worry about based on your itinerary.

                                                    However, it does tend to vary based on establishment. Oakland is very causal. But last Friday, my plan was to go to Plum Bar (Oakland) to meet others for drink. I was in a hoodie because that was the only outerwear I could find in my trunk. Then it was closed for a private event. I walked to several other places, all too crowded, and decided to try to go to Pican. Felt very out of place because Pican tends to attract a well dressed crowd.

                                                    1. re: The Dive

                                                      That's a great example! If we take the middle road of conservative dress (GOOD, PRESSED jeans, nice shirt and a jacket - not a blazer/sport coat) we're almost good to go everywhere.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Pressed jeans are only for Europeans and they usually stop bothering after they've been in SF for a while.

                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                          Agreed. High quality designer brands, yes, pressed, no.

                                                          1. re: bbulkow

                                                            Yeah...

                                                            I've never known anyone to press jeans...

                                                            I do buy high quality jeans though. No gaudy logos, just high quality denim.

                                                      2. re: The Dive

                                                        Picán attracts the most dressed-up customers I've seen in the area, but when I've gone in there were a fair number of customers as dressed down as I was.

                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    "vacation" clothes

                                                    that was sort of the fun though, I worked for maybe a year in the Hallidie Building (Sutter near Montgomery) and if we weren't swamped we'd go to the windows for a few minutes while the afternoon fog rolled in and snickered in full-blown Schadenfreude at the shorts and t-shirts desperately trying to get back to the hotel for the layers they'd been advised to wear.

                                                    but you worded it better than I, perhaps 'stylish' was the wrong word and 'considered' is a better one. I ask friends' tween and teen kids if I'm dressed weird and of course they say 'yes' so I have to explain "I mean does it look on purpose?"

                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                      LOL. I worked on Pier 39 for three years. Saw more people than I could count wearing a brand new sweatshirt that said "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" over shorts and goosebumped bare legs!

                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                        And I saw the same at Union Square in the mid80s.

                                                  3. re: hill food

                                                    I am always reminded of a visit when we were staying at the Ritz Carlton one July, and around 10.30 p.m. what was obviously a very stylish second-wedding-type party swept in, All older, very elegant, expensively dressed, including one woman in a full-length silver fox coat. July.

                                                    1. re: lemons

                                                      Lemons - are you sure Lady Charles hadn't followed your trail of breadcrumbs from Balaban's?

                                                      1. re: hill food

                                                        Ah, bless his heart. I was at Herbie's for a photo shoot last week, and his memory was invoked. He would have had much to say on the subject.

                                                        And as you obviously have STL history, were you aware Herb Cray, the elegant maitre d' at Tony's for many years, had passed away?

                                                3. re: hill food

                                                  I think the key is "how one feels" -- the restaurant won't care. The other people probably won't care. So it's really up to you what you feel comfortable wearing in a nice restaurant.

                                                  I think it's ridiculous to call SF "stylish" -- compared to NY or LA, SF is a style backwater!

                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                    We just spent two weeks in Manhattan and I'd say the majority of the people dressed the same as SF. All in black :)

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      Ah yes, but there it's this season's hot designer black. ;-)

                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                        On the Manhattan board recently, there was someone who didn't want to scream "Midwestern tourist" and were looking for places to fit in. My suggestion, which was 'recommended' by others was - Wear Black. ALL THE TIME :)

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          It's OK to mix it up with some dark gray, but not after Labor Day.

                                                    2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                      As long as I won't be turned down from a place, or be given terrible service for it, I'm comfortable dressing as myself anywhere.

                                                      But I've been turned away from places in Europe before. Not sure how European SF is. I've tended to eat at the more casual places in SF in my life.

                                                      1. re: BacoMan

                                                        I can't imagine how you'd have to dress to be turned away from a restaurant in SF. I know a guy who went to all the most expensive restaurants in town in his unvarying uniform of T-shirt, hoodie, jeans, and sneakers.

                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                          Yeah, I think it would actually take some kind of affirmative effort to get turned away from a restaurant here.

                                                  2. No shoes, no shirt, no service. I've worn developer casual to all those places and probably wasn't the worst-dressed guy in the room.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                      1. re: BacoMan

                                                        Tee shirt with a logo, jeans, sneakers. None of which are necessarily the cleanest. Sandals and shorts may be involved, but that's on the extra-developer-casual side.

                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                          No one is going to turn you away as long as you have real shoes (e.g. not flip flops), real pants (e.g. not sweats), and either a collard shirt, or a t shirt with a real jacket (e.g. not a hoodie). And most places you'll find someone wearing one if not all the items I just listed anyway =P

                                                          The only things that stick out as not belonging to me for men are shorts (a bad idea in SF for most of the year anyway) or white athletic/tennis shoes. But you generally won't get turned away from a restaurant for wearing them (you will from a dance club though!)

                                                          For women, of course, it's a bit trickier.

                                                          1. re: goldangl95

                                                            >No one is going to turn you away as long as you have
                                                            >real shoes (e.g. not flip flops), real pants (e.g.
                                                            >not sweats)
                                                            >
                                                            I've worn shorts and flip-flops to BOULEVARD. although it was mid week. in a t-shirt too, although i dont recall which one. the mid-level chef i spoke to that night said one person did come in that day in worse dress [a BUDWEISER tshirt].

                                                            [it was sort of an impluse to
                                                            meet a downtown-working friend there ... i used to wear flip-flops, teva-like shoes ~365days in SF].

                                                            i cant recall seeing anyone in a table service resto in sweats ... although in the 'hood i've seem people running errand in sweats and pyjamas.

                                                            1. re: psb

                                                              well, Boulevard, Nancy still turning that fork?

                                                        2. Good pressed jeans, collared shirt, leather jacket will take you anywhere IMO.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            Well...It won't take you to the Duck and Waffle in London apparently. I often wear that combination of things, and I wore it out to try and get into the Duck and Waffle and was told I was "not dressed smartly enough, eh chap?"

                                                            So, apparently not anywhere...

                                                            But good to know it will work in SF.

                                                            1. re: BacoMan

                                                              And what were you wearing at the D&W? Planning a trip there myself.

                                                              1. re: lemons

                                                                You better wear a full suit, collared shirt, and NICE shoes. Something in leather, Prada ideally. (Judging by my friend who now lives in London, and what he wore to get in).

                                                                I think the only thing that is optional is a tie.

                                                                I had a collared shirt, clean looking jeans, suede shoes, and a leather jacket on with a scarf (was quite chilly to me). No bueno.

                                                              2. re: BacoMan

                                                                California is quite different than a lot of the world :) Much more a do your own thing kinda place. Within reason.

                                                                1. re: BacoMan

                                                                  Oops, I meant it will take you anywhere in SF.

                                                              3. I usually wear a collared shirt, nice designer-ish jeans, and a snazzy jacket. Snazzy might mean the vintage red corduroy that I got on Melrose, or it might mean the tan moleskin, or it might even mean a wayward tux jacket, but it's not just a straight sportscoat. I might just wear a decent shirt, something with stripes and french cuffs. Just not a simple white shirt no jacket - you might be confused with the help. If I'm in after work mode I might wear anything from a full suit to tee shirt and a fleece.

                                                                My attitude is a bit - if you don't like what I wear, "forget" you. I was born in oakland, I've been doing tech in the valley all my life, I have ancestors in california going back to the gold rush, I'm as close to native as you're going to get. Deal with it.

                                                                At the places you listed, you will NEVER get poor service depending on how you are dressed. That is a point of pride in SF - we accept all kinds, even if you're dressed LA style or Tourist. In my recent writing about Atellier Crenn, my parents were there, and they came from the airport, coming from a day at the San Diego Zoo with family - tee shirts and baseball caps. The waitstaff said "you're not from around here" and bantered a bit, the service was almost especially warm.

                                                                Most of the room was dressed like I described in the first paragraph, although most had more boring jackets. My girlfriend had jeans and a knit silk shirt.

                                                                One point: you will get some chill if wearing shorts at a few places. By "a few" I would say about 5. One Market, Danko, maybe Spruce, maybe the Top of the Mark, some places that are closed like Masa's or the old Ritz Carleton dining room, maybe Acquerello.

                                                                There's a story about Morimoto getting turned away from Manresa because he was wearing shorts - apparently he came from the golf links in monterey while opening Morimoto in Napa. He thought he could get a pass because he was a chef, or he was livin' Vegas style, and they wouldn't serve him. Here's the story:

                                                                http://sf.eater.com/archives/2010/06/...

                                                                13 Replies
                                                                1. re: bbulkow

                                                                  Oh, that reminds me. @OP, remove your hat indoors :)

                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                    And stand when a lady arrives at or departs the table.

                                                                    All the foregoing makes me wonder how Cable Car Clothiers stays in business.

                                                                    1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                      There are still a few lawyers, bankers and stockbrokers in this town. :-) The sales and marketing people in our company still wear suits and ties.

                                                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                        I am pleased to hear it.

                                                                        I do not get to San Francisco often but if I go to, say, the Palace or the Redwood Room, I wouldn't walk on the same block as the hotel without suit and tie.

                                                                        1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                          Well, you'll be treated fine, I'm sure, but may be the only person in those places dressed like that :) You may want to look at the slide show here:

                                                                          https://www.morganshotelgroup.com/ori...

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            I've become used to it. Iv'e often been the only man in a suit and tie in the late Oak Bar in the Plaza NYC, at the Clift, and God knows where else. In New Orleans there are still a few of us old guard who still dress going out. We'd feel uncomfortable NOT doing it, I think. And it allows for flexibility: one can be spontaneously invited as a guest to a private club, for example

                                                                            1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                              I remember when I first moved here about nine years ago, all my clothes were typical New York -- like 90% black wool, with some gray for those occasional cycles when grey replaced black. And then perhaps a month or two after I moved here, I was talking to someone I met outside Mecca, who said, "In San Francisco, you can wear your casual clothes to a restaurant; you don't have to dress up this much." And I said, "These _are_ my casual clothes," to which she responded with a throaty laugh. But now I wear a hoodie and sneakers to dinner too, I don't care...

                                                                          2. re: hazelhurst

                                                                            The blocks adjacent to the Palace these days are mostly occupied by programmers and art students.

                                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                              Yes, that about describes it when last I was there a couple of years ago.

                                                                          3. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                            I hate, hate, hate it when I have to wear a suit to work and go out in the city. I always feel out of place. I recently had to wear a suit to 15 Romolo -- and I was miserable!

                                                                            1. re: The Dive

                                                                              So true! When I know I'm going out after work outside of the financial district and I have to wear a suit that day, I will bring something (yes, all black) to change into and leave the suit at the office.

                                                                          4. re: hazelhurst

                                                                            Do they actually enforce that insanely sexist paradigm in SF restaurants still?

                                                                            1. re: BacoMan

                                                                              Oh, god, no. I thought it was stupid in the 60s.

                                                                      2. I have worn jeans to AQ, SBP, Incanto. I dress up for Coi, Benu, Quince. And business-like places such as Boulevard and Waterbar. I have consistently worn jeans and black at all level of places in the Mission.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: The Dive

                                                                          That's a good point: it's really more about the neighborhood than the restaurant. In restaurants in and around the Financial District, more people will be wearing suits and ties, simply because that's what they wear to work.

                                                                        2. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. SF was the last holdout on dressing up for the city, not just dining, but going downtown to shop. I remember donning gloves and a hat as a girl in the late 50's to lunch with my grandmother at Blums's In 1966, I had dinner with my aunt and grandmother, similarly attired. that was the end of an era. I kind of miss it.

                                                                          14 Replies
                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                            We had hats and gloves on the streetcars into the 1970s and even 1980s.Canal Street shopping died out and that left the restaurants a the last bastions. But I saw blue jeans in Antoine's a few years ago.

                                                                            1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                              Blue jeans are everywhere (and I am guilty, too), but never in an upscale restaurant. However, I think that all dress codes will disappear in the next 5 years.

                                                                              1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                I think you are right..maybe ten years. The clubs I know have hung on but when younger members start to run the show in 15 years, that will start to slide. I won't give up, though.

                                                                                1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                  Somehow I'm guessing the 'youngsters' aren't really INTO that kind of club :) They're out making money and then eating and drinking well!

                                                                              2. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                I am thinking we will hear from Hunt any minute....

                                                                                1. re: lemons

                                                                                  Yep, as a Southern gent he will probably have something to say.

                                                                              3. re: pikawicca

                                                                                Well, a lot has changed in the last 50 years so I'm guessing attire would also :)

                                                                                Our daughter is a high-level executive in SF and, if she's not meeting with clients, very nice jeans are pretty much the dress code. 'Course she pays more for her jeans than I pay for full outfits :) And her husband is in finance. He dresses up more, i.e., slacks and a dress shirt. The suits are saved for "marrying and burying."

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Yes, in my world you keep the good suit you had in boarding school on the theory that you may come down with a wasting disease and can fit in it again for your last starring role....and there is no waste that way.

                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                    >The suits are saved for 'marrying and burying'< reminds me of what happened to hubby recently: he wore a suit to a recent UC Berkeley Hall of Fame induction for a relative (which I told him was unnecessary: it was Berkeley after all, but he wanted to honor the honoree): anyway, he felt something in his pocket and pulled out the program from his nephew's wedding three years ago (the last time he wore said suit).

                                                                                    For dinner at Sons & Daughters that same weekend he wore dockers. The solo diner at a nearby table was in what RL would call 'developer' dress. If it hadn't been a celebration of my 60th birthday hubby probably would have worn developer dress as well.

                                                                                    I remember my father insisting that my sister and I get dressed up (actual dresses, nice shoes, hair nicely combed, a nice purse) when we were twelve or so, to attend an anti-war rally in the City. :-)

                                                                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                                                                      I recently saw a pic of my parents in the early 1940's walking together on a date in San Francisco. My mom was 21. They were dressed to kill! My mother was wearing a tailored dress and matching coat, heels, gloves, and carrying a nice purse (no hat). My father was wearing a tailored suit and a cool hat but he was a *roughneck* working in the Sausalito shipyards so he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth:) Newly transplanted from Iowa. It appeared that everyone on the crowded street was dressed to the nines also. Different era.

                                                                                      1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                        A friend's mother, well into her 70s now, tells of when she was young, going shopping on Market street was a big deal and required a fairly nice pair of gloves and a good hat. Market st. has certainly changed, hasn't it?

                                                                                        1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                          The gloves and hat may have been because Market Street is so darn cold! :-)

                                                                                  2. re: pikawicca

                                                                                    Yes, my grandmother wore gloves when she took me to "The City" in the '60s.

                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                      Well, I was a teen-ager then, then a year later a student at Cal. Talk about culture shock.

                                                                                  3. When I go out, I usually wear reasonably looking jeans (not ripped), a dress shirt, and a jacket. I've found that to be a practical combination for a couple of reasons:

                                                                                    1. It's about right for the San Francisco climate on most days of the year.

                                                                                    2. You can go pretty much anywhere without sticking out like a sore thumb. The jeans will let you go to dive bars without coming across as ridiculously overdressed. A nice dress shirt and Armani jacket will allow you to hang with with the Financial District suit-and-tie guys at the bar at Michael Mina without feeling awkward -- they will probably suspect that you are a Silicon Valley VC or something.

                                                                                    In terms of shoes, I wear Prada, mainly because they tend to be bulletproof water repellent when it's raining.

                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: nocharge

                                                                                      I think that's a perfect 'outfit' for SF. As you say, you fit in anywhere.

                                                                                      1. re: nocharge

                                                                                        If you're wearing Prada, you might actually be a Silicon Valley VC.

                                                                                        1. re: BacoMan

                                                                                          What's a VC? Is that like a Valley Girl?

                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                            Venture Capitalist.

                                                                                            You are from SF and have never heard that term?

                                                                                                1. re: BacoMan

                                                                                                  I just meant that I didn't connect the dots and see the VC was Venture capitalist.

                                                                                              1. re: BacoMan

                                                                                                I think there are some thoughts that might be worth considering: A VC will very often interact with small startups with engineering cultures that will involve people walking around barefoot in the office. So donning the suit and tie of an enterprise software account manager from the likes of Oracle or SAP may not be a good idea. Hence, the jeans. However, having a really nice dress shirt and a very expensive jacket will lend you credibility with the private equity people you might interact with and who would understand that dress culture is different in Silicon Valley compared to Wall Street and accept the jeans.

                                                                                                Sort of a similar equation to dining in SF.

                                                                                              2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                VC = Venture Capitalist or Vulture Capitalist. The definition depends upon if you are providing the money or asking for the money.

                                                                                          2. Stylishly comfortable.

                                                                                            Not that much different from LA, unless it's raining or a typical cold summer day in August.

                                                                                            14 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                              ipse, I'd say, except for about a week every summer, SF is likely significantly colder than LA. You'll never see a local woman in a sundress, for example.

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                You'll never see a local woman in a sundress, for example.
                                                                                                ______________________

                                                                                                I think the folks at La Boutique (in FiDi) would disagree.

                                                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                  Like this?

                                                                                                  http://www.laboutique-galerie.com/cat...

                                                                                                  But a sundress may be BOUGHT in SF to wear in other parts of the Bay Area. With the average high being 70 in Sept. and the low being 46 in Jan/Feb, it's just not a place for summer clothes.

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    Having lived there for several years, there were many days in Feb/March when the Santa Anas were blowing that it would actually be warmer in SF than in Phoenix.

                                                                                                    Of course it's cooler in SF than in LA, but that doesn't mean people in the Bay Area dress like Eskimos.

                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                      Having lived there for over 20 years, I'll agree with you that there are "days" when it's warm. No, don't like an Eskimo but a leather jacket is generally more appropriate than a sundress. Plus the sundress will label you as a visitor.

                                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                        Selling sweatshirts to shivering tourists is a very lucrative business at Fisherman's Wharf.

                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        The warmest month in SF is September with an average high of 70.2 degrees. The warmest month in LA is August with an average high of 84.4. The September average high is 83,1. There are only three months of the year when the average high for LA is below the SF September peak, Dec, Jan, and Feb.

                                                                                                        1. re: nocharge

                                                                                                          So we're in agreement, right? :) SF temps vary only by about ten degrees generally between summer and winter.

                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                            Average daily highs for SF range from 56.9 (Jan) to 70.2 (Sep).

                                                                                                            Average daily highs for LA range from 67.7 (Dec) to 84.4 (Aug). That should tell a lot of story about the relative need for sundresses.

                                                                                                          2. re: nocharge

                                                                                                            Except when there's a heat wave caused by an inversion, in many parts of SF you have to be prepared for it to be cold and windy in the evening every day of the year.

                                                                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                              Yep. We used to live in Noe Valley and were almost mesmerized by the fog rolling over Twin Peaks in the summer. It can get damn chilly.

                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                Small price to pay for living in the most beautiful city in the world.

                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                  Every year we stay 1-2 months on Upper Market, just below Twin Peaks, during the spring or summer, and believe me, the summers can be quite cold in the evenings, standing on Kite Hill watching the fireworks over the bay.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                                                                                                    I have seen my breath on July 4th up there. sadly the fog is lower than the fireworks shoot, so we saw all the displays but they were just weird muted flashes up and down the Bay behind the clouds. I never go to fireworks shows, but thought it would be such a cool place to take a casual date.
                                                                                                                    yikes, I lived just a few blocks away that year. didn't realize it wasn't just cool but HOW COLD it would be.

                                                                                                                    later made friends with a top floor apt at Vallejo and Franklin and the view was no better and just as cold. another lesson, dress for personal comfort.

                                                                                                    2. it really all comes down to #1 don't scare the children and #2 don't embarrass your friends.

                                                                                                      1. I will say, in all seriousness, that if you wear Google Glass, you are better off removing them before you enter any restaurant. Despite SF's current reputation as a nerd city, the overwhelming majority of San Franciscans seem to be passionately opposed to Google Glass; a couple of bars have already banned them from their premises. Sure, there will be a few people who are fascinated by them, but everyone else will disapprove. At worst you will greatly anger them; at best they will think you are the world's biggest loser.

                                                                                                        I'm not a fan either. It's like cell phone obnoxiousness taken to its ultimate conclusion -- now people can't even hold a live conversation without being disconnected from their phones and computers? Enough.

                                                                                                        17 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: dunstable

                                                                                                          Yes, this is a problem I don't have down the peninsula.

                                                                                                          1. re: bbulkow

                                                                                                            You wear Google Glass to restaurants in the peninsula?

                                                                                                            1. re: dunstable

                                                                                                              Have done, have seen others, no problems.

                                                                                                              Around here, a bar or restaurant is a public place. You don't discuss your hot startup ideas, you don't get falling down drunk. It's not a safe haven, a restaurant is more of the public square. At least, that's how it feels to me. You could be sitting next to John Dorr, so you're already on your best behavior, so what if someone has Glass ?

                                                                                                          2. re: dunstable

                                                                                                            A bar I frequent recently posted their policy which is that anonymous recordings are not allowed in the bar. No photos, no videos, not without consent. Its not possible for 3rd parties to know if you are recording with your Glasses or not, so they, Google Glasses, are not allowed.

                                                                                                            To me, its less about the obnoxiousness, or hating on techies, and more about the invasion of privacy.

                                                                                                            1. re: BernalKC

                                                                                                              I have heard that the nudist colonies around Santa Cruz are cracking down on them as well.

                                                                                                              1. re: BernalKC

                                                                                                                I just read an article about this yesterday -- apparently there is an indicator when Google Glass is video recording. Since most cellphones have video capability (and don't indicate when they are recording), it's hard to make a case that there's a quantifiable difference between the Glass and the phones half the people in the restaurant have in their hands (and the other half have in the purse or pocket). It's just that its capabilities are more -- pardon the expression -- in your face.

                                                                                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                  There is no indicator and it's not obvious that someone is recording the way it is if they point a cell phone at you.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                    Yah, I think she was referring to the New Yorker piece, which I also read. The woman in the Molotov's video claimed she saw the "recording indicator" go on, which is why she got upset. Indicator or not, it is obvious from all the Glass video that got released from that night that the Glass wearer had been recording long before they were ripped from her face.

                                                                                                                    Either way, I would not personally feel comfortable with them around.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                    Glass defenders always make that argument, and Glass critics always make this counterpoint, which I agree with: the difference is that the posture of a person recording with any other device (i.e., aiming the device toward a target) makes the action obvious to bystanders. A person would have to have prior knowledge of the Glass indicators to know when the recorders are on. Moreover, presumably the design of the Glass will change, or perhaps third parties will also manufacture versions of the Glass, which means that now everyone must periodically learn all the indicators of all the devices. Is that feasible? Yes, they can perhaps standardize this in the future (although Google even opposes legislation that would ban the use of these devices while driving, so I doubt they'd agree to this either), but for now, it's too hard to tell when it's recording.

                                                                                                                    1. re: dunstable

                                                                                                                      A friend of mine is a genuine Italian paparazzo. In addition to having some amazing stories to tell, he will tell you that Italian and French paparazzi have different restrictions. Apparently, French privacy laws dictate that paparazzi have to use a flash every time they take a picture as a way of notification that a picture is taken. Italian paparazzi don't have the same requirement. At least that's what's he's told me.

                                                                                                                  3. re: BernalKC

                                                                                                                    There is no expectation of privacy in a cafe, restaurant, etc. It's a public place. You can't invade what doesn't exist.

                                                                                                                    https://ssd.eff.org/your-computer/gov...

                                                                                                                    Public places. It may sound obvious, but you have little to no privacy when you are in public. When you are in a public place — whether walking down the sidewalk, shopping in a store, sitting in a restaurant or in the park — your actions, movements, and conversations are knowingly exposed to the public.

                                                                                                                    1. re: bbulkow

                                                                                                                      these days, celebrity, criminal, both or neither, it's best assumed you are always being taped the minute you leave the house.

                                                                                                                      1. re: bbulkow

                                                                                                                        Regardless of the legality, is it so unreasonable not to want to be filmed by a stranger? I mean, you can see why this upsets people, right? Someone complains about the invasion of privacy, and your response is that they are not entitled to privacy? To me, this defense is an indirect acknowledgement that Glass users are intruding on some form of the personal space of other people.

                                                                                                                        1. re: dunstable

                                                                                                                          All he is doing is pointing out the state of Constitutional Law. That is the way it is. Some years ago, when we wrangled with these issues in law School, I suggested romping through the Justices' garbage on a regular basis and see how they like it.

                                                                                                                        2. re: bbulkow

                                                                                                                          People expect other customers in a restaurant to respect their privacy. That may not be a reasonable expectation of privacy in a legal sense but it's common courtesy.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                            This conversation is getting a little far afield for Chowhound, and although we understand why it's likely to come up more in SF than in other places, not particularly on-topic for this board. If people want to continue this conversation about Google glass and privacy in places like bars and restaurants, can we ask that you start a new discussion over on Not About Food? Thanks.

                                                                                                                      2. re: dunstable

                                                                                                                        I spent a fair amount of time with a friend wearing his GLASS in the Mission, Manhattan and Brooklyn ... he is a GLASS ENGINEER with the GOOG and used to wear it more or less full time as a sort of continuous beta/eat-your-own-dogfood thing. In the MISSION nobody batted an eye, the SATMARS in South Williamsburg glared/looked fearful, people seemed the most interested in 'working class' parts of BK ... people would come up and ask about it all the time ... We were at a fantastic UZBEK place in South BK and this Russian dood with a high GUIDO-FACTOR (tracksuit, gold chains, big mercedes) approached him in this weird semi-ominious semi-deferential manner to ask a lot of questions about it and wanted to try it out. I told my associate "he is going to have 'his people' jump you on the way back to the BQ train ... so my friend decided not to leave early and walk back with the party of ~10 people. I was a little surpised never encountereing anybody yelling/muttering "Glasshole!" etc.

                                                                                                                        Somewhat ironically the only bit of photographic hostility I encountered in re: GOOG GLASS was when I was going to take a picture of my associate standing in Manhattan calling his girlfriend on his iPhone ... he panicked and waved me off. I thought it was because it was in front of a low-rent strip club, but he later explained, "If Sergei sees
                                                                                                                        me using a cell phone while wearing Glass, he will yell at me" (i guess you are supposed to be using your Glass to make phone calls). I keep joking to him about where he has a monthly google+ posting quota and whether he lives in constant fear of a "phone call from Larry or Sergei" ... and he never replies to either :-).

                                                                                                                        On a food note, aside from the dessert, which were a bit pre-fab, the food and KOMPOT were fantastic at the UZBEK place ... even the (ocean) fish, curious for a resto serving the cuisine of one of the two DOUBLE LANDLOCKED COUNTRIES.

                                                                                                                      3. Long thread, but I think one thing that shouldn't get lost is the following: SF restaurants tend to have pretty relaxed dress codes, for the most part. But if you go to a place where everyone is wearing a suit and tie, would you feel awkward in shorts and flip-flops? Even if they let you dine in that outfit, you might not feel comfortable, but that's a very individual issue. On the other hand, you have people who like to dress nicely even if it's not strictly necessary to gain entrance to the restaurant. I'm thinking about people like Donovan, the "Dapper Diner". Nothing wrong with being nicely dressed in my opinion.

                                                                                                                        14 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: nocharge

                                                                                                                          In what restaurant in SF would everyone be wearing a suit and tie? Doesn't exist, as Michael Bauer often complains. More likely the only guy in a suit would feel overdressed and take off his tie.

                                                                                                                          The opposite problem is more realistic: where would you recommend for someone who wants to get dressed up and not feel out of place? I think it's VERY telling that a high percentage of the places that were recommended for that three years ago have closed or were made over into more casual places:

                                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7838...

                                                                                                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                            Without implying that every single diner would be wearing a suit and tie, I think it's safe to say that people tend to dress up for the most expensive places where most normal people would only go for special occasions and hence be dressed up accordingly. I would wear a suit and tie when going to a place like Masa's and they did have a dress code involving a jacket, at least periodically. If you go the Michael Mina in the Financial District and hang out at the bar with the after-work crowd, you will see a large number of people donning their suit-and-tie "uniforms" they wear at work. I certainly would never feel comfortable being in that environment without at least wearing a jacket. If I were wearing a hoodie, there is no way I would go in there even if they might serve me.

                                                                                                                            1. re: nocharge

                                                                                                                              That's how I feel. Whether they would let me in has nothing to do with it. I 'know' what's appropriate (by MY standards) for certain places and would never feel comfortable.

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                I agree, C. Some people do not realize that there is a difference between wearing what they CAN wear and wearing what they SHOULD wear to dine out in a nice restaurant. But I am rather old school in that regard.

                                                                                                                              2. re: nocharge

                                                                                                                                Masa's closed, probably partly due to its jackets-required policy.

                                                                                                                                Michael Mina feels to me like a little pocket of some other place. The customers look mostly like salespeople and account managers with expense accounts and the out-of-town clients they're dressing to impress. Putting on a suit wouldn't make me feel any more at home with that crowd, but it has great wines by the glass including some good values, so I do occasionally park my hoodie at the bar.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                                  I may have mentioned here that one of our daughters is a pretty high-level executive with an advertising'ish company. Her work uniform when not meeting with clients is jeans. But they're very nice, pressed ones with nice tops, jackets, etc. But when going out for a "nice" dinner (with or without clients) she would change her wardrobe to suit the occasion. I guess my point is that one size does NOT fit all (occasions).

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                                    A few years ago, I was at Masa's in a suit and tie. It was probably during the time when they didn't have a jacket requirement, because there was one table with two guys who were merely "business casual" dressed in dress shirts and slacks. Boy, did those guys stick out like sore thumbs! I guess your ability to hang out in environments where you stick out as a sore thumb is very much individual and based on your ability to accept other people giving you looks as if you are some poor hick from Podunk.

                                                                                                                                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                                  If you go to any of the nicer restaurants in or around the Financial District for lunch you will see many men in suits and ties. In many of the SF financial firms a suit and tie is still common attire.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                    Yes, you'll see bankers and lawyers in suit and tie, at the next table you'll see a bunch of coders in T-shirts and jeans, and some tables may even have a mix. THAT is San Francisco.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                                                                      That could describe much of New Orleans--and would have been true forty years ago--but there would be some places where the mix would not occur...for better or worse. New Orleans is famously tolerant but, also, has its rules. I think many established cities are like this.

                                                                                                                                      My grandmother used to joke (in 1970, at age 84) that the Woodstock Generation would age to the point that they could not fathom their descendants' attire. "No tie die! No ripped blue jeans!" Ah, where's The Respect!." Fun to watch it keep moving along....

                                                                                                                                      Yours in insincere Sincerlity

                                                                                                                                      1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                                                        When we take ("Greatest Generation" vintage) Grandma and Grandpa out to nice places, they of course "dress up", and so do any of the family present, no matter the age. Grandma, who can outcook the average poster and outprogram the average developer -- by the way, is no foodie, just a little old lady who sets a good example. Oh, and by the way, we find it's hard to enjoy the Galetoire's Friday lunch party if you're not "in costume" that seems to make so many of these posters nervous or disdainful. C'mon folks, it's a meal, it's theatre, it's not about you.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: BoneAppetite

                                                                                                                                          I am pleased to hear your (to me classic) engagement. My maternal grandmother kept + killed chickens in the backyard..we ate them by name "Here's Henrietta!"

                                                                                                                                          Re: the Galatoire's Friday Lunch, I am on record as avoiding it. But in my life there is noting about it that is "in costume". I go in there and eat and I leave and I come back. You are right..it is No Big Deal. Just go have lunch and enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                          Moreover..you are correct--in my view--that it is NOT about "you." Have a nice dinner. BUT,remember that LOTS of people worked to get that crabmeat on your plate.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                                                                                            The Friday lunch "costume" we've seen is on people who seem to have gone out to a late lunch, never to return to work. The Sazeracs and Four Seasons (crab, oysters, crawfish, and shrimp) are that much more enjoyable when the rest of the room isn't tolerating your insistence on being tolerated. P.S. while we're missing New Orleans, we're missing having our buddy arrange for his personal waiter to look after us at Antoine's because, as you say it's No Big Deal except to celebrate all those who worked hard -- which is why we like the Friday lunch at . . .

                                                                                                                                            1. re: BoneAppetite

                                                                                                                                              I'm confused and unhappy that there is rancor in this remark. Please clarify..too much is unexplained.

                                                                                                                              3. If you want top service at the likes of Bourbon & Branch you’re going to have to up your game with a cane, top hat and monocle. I usually include a pet monkey on my shoulder for added effect.
                                                                                                                                http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/fas...

                                                                                                                                1. This thread is starting to meander far away from its original concern, and far away from San Francisco. We're locking it now.