What is Appropriate Dress?

By Marilyn Neel, AICI CIC

The sign at Ruth’s Chris Steak House simply said Proper Attire is Required. I wondered what this classy, upscale, restaurant meant by that statement.

Since I was in the company of other Image Consultants (Atlanta Chapter AICI Board Members), I posed the question to them. As a group, we decided to ask the millennial hostess. She said the restaurant had a strict dress code which depended on the restaurant’s location. The hostess said that their location, which was inside the Embassy Suites in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, had a more relaxed dress requirement. At this location, it simply meant men were not to wear sleeveless tops, flip-flops or hats.

The thirty-something hostess went on to say that people needed to be mindful about where they were eating and dress appropriately for the occasion. I totally agree. If I am eating at a restaurant where the entrees are priced mid-twenties upwards to fifty, I know I don’t want to dress in cut-offs, ratty jeans or sweats. After all, I am dining at a table with white, cloth tablecloths and napkins. My intuition tells me that is a formal restaurant and I want to dress to fit my surroundings.

Just how does someone know what is appropriate? The millennial hostess said that her generation is no longer taught dressing and etiquette. How very sad.

This is exactly what we do! As educated image consultants, we able to teach people what is appropriate for the time, place and occasion while being cognizant of their lifestyle and personal style. In our industry, we have many methods for teaching people about presence, dress, grooming and etiquette. Regardless of our approach, appropriate dressing begins with us. We set an example. So, wherever you go, have you dressed appropriately?

If I was dining at this restaurant in the evening, I would wear a jacket with either a skirt, dress, or dressy slacks. Of course, my clothing choices would depend on my personal style, the season, the occasion and the weather.

marilynneelMarilyn Neel, AICI CIC is a Conselle Affiliate certified through the Conselle Institute of Image Management. She owns Expressive Image Solutions, an Image Consulting Business in Louisville, Kentucky. She is currently serving as Secretary/Treasurer of the Atlanta Chapter AICI. Through a Master of Science in Social Work Degree from the University of Louisville and her background in counseling, she has developed a strong appreciation for all people. Marilyn knows we express ourselves through the way we dress and how we dress affects our self-esteem and self-confidence. For more information on appropriate dress visit: www.expressiveimagesolutions.com.


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