# Etiquette # exercise clothes

Follow-Up Discussion: Exercise Clothes in Nice Restaurants?

Hello dear readers,

Today's video is a follow-up discussion on last week's post, Exercise Clothes in Nice Restaurants? I had a feeling this post would spark a passionate debate among readers, but I had no idea how passionate it would be! I have received hundreds of comments on the blog, YouTube channel, facebook and email from people passionately for or against the subject. The majority of readers agree that standards of dress in our society have fallen steeply. And as is indicative in the comment section, people all around the world are noticing that people are no longer dressing appropriately for nice dinners, outings to the theatre and even weddings.

I do hope you watch this week's video, which follows up on the discussion and includes the ideas that we must dress for the occasion, what Madame Chic would think of all of this, ideas on how you can cover up your exercise clothes if desired, and a few of my favorite comments from the week. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel as I will be uploading many bonus videos with the launch of my new book and the holiday season upon us.

This video is being posted early because on Tuesday you will see me again for the launch of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic. I can't wait!

I will be speaking and signing books at Pages Bookstore in Manhattan Beach, this Thursday, October 29th at 7pm. I hope to see you there. I will be signing additional books for Pages to sell after the event, if you'd like a signed copy. Please give them a call at 310-318-0900 to reserve your signed copy.

Comments of the Week

There literally could have been over a hundred "comments of the week" because so many of you imparted such valuable advice. It was really hard to choose! Here are a few of my favorites:

Mary Grace writes:

Hello Jennifer,

LOVE this discussion -- it's nice to know I'm not the only one who's tired of exercise clothes everywhere that they don't belong. I am seventeen, and as you have probably observed, my generation really seems to wear only sportswear. I've been a fan of your books for a long while now, and, when I read your first book, I felt such freedom in knowing that yes indeed I'm allowed to wear my favorite, glamorous, pink, frilly skirt to the grocery store (contrary to what everyone says)!

I don't know if adults experience this, but as a teenager, people judge me by my "overdressed" appearance. Many people automatically think me (or anyone else dressed up) snobbish or without any depth of character because I have put effort into my appearance. They berate us for evaluating them at the face value in their very casual clothing, saying we judge them by appearance, but do the exact same thing to us! It's a strange world, isn't it?

Mary Grace, I am so relieved to meet a seventeen-year-old with such a great head on her shoulders. Keep up the great work!

Valerie D writes:

Jennifer I agree with everything you have stated here. I work in law enforcement and I honestly can't believe how people show up to the courthouse to go before the judge. Honestly it is so disrespectful. PJs, slippers, pants hanging down so their underpants show. It has gotten so bad the judge throws them out of the courtroom along with a speech on respect. What happened to common sense and respect?

Valerie, thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world. Good for the judge!

Sweet Bean writes:

My piano instructor is Japanese and was born and raised in Japan. She has such elegant poise and presentation in everything she does. When she would tell me stories of Japan, she would always describe details such as how the flowers blossomed in the spring, or more relatedly, how even a small trip to a convenience store would result in thoughtful hair and dress. She said going out in your pjs or work out clothes was non-existent.

It's about mindful living. It's about loving yourself enough to demonstrate it to yourself by sitting up straight (which is soooo healthy for you) by caring for your hair, giving attention to your body, and respecting your self enough to mindfully decorate that "window" into who you are, that is, your image.

Sweet Bean, your piano teacher sounds wonderful. It's great that you have such a poised role model in your life!

Sheila on facebook writes:

In the US people spend so much money on clothes then don't dress appropriately! Crazy!!

Sheila your comment made me laugh! I do notice that many people spend a lot of money on clothes they never wear. It is very bizarre!

Jacqueline T writes:

Hi Jennifer, this is such a HUGE issue I see everyday! I work in a major theatre in London's West End and the number of people who come to see the show in their sneakers, leggings and even Ugg boots (it happens more than I care to mention) is horrifying to me. Just the other day a Japanese lady came in wearing a full kimono ensemble and I had to comment on it because she looked so beautiful for the occasion and she was even sitting in the cheap seats. It really doesn't take much effort to look presentable and it lifts the occasion when you do. Xx Jacqueline

Hi Jacqueline, I chose your comment to discuss in this week's video. As a former theatre major myself, I do think it is inappropriate when I see people showing up to the theatre in flip-flops and cut off shorts because I know how much time and effort goes into each production. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

pammienakh shared a quote:

" My mother taught me that one's presentation is an expression of how much one cares about one's self and those around us" ~Attributed to actress Lupita Nyong'o~

I love Lupita Nyong'o. She has such poise and style. Thank you for sharing this quote.

Caley K writes:

While silently soldiering on in our determination to set an example for grace and elegance in our deteriorating society is always the classy thing to do, it is still important to recognize that we need people who will politely and respectfully speak up on this sort of subject. Although being a example of the change we want to see in our society does help, it sometimes is not enough and things must be explicitly stated. Sometimes all it takes is this sort of dialogue to cause an "Ah-ha!" moment for someone who might not have recognized these patterns in their own behaviour had it not been for someone else's observation and opinion on this trend in modern society. I speak from experience on this, and am grateful to Jennifer for helping me have that "Ah-ha!" moment several years ago. Thank you, Jennifer, for continuing to be an example in a public way that allows us to have a discourse on this sort of subject. I admire that even when you address "controversial" subjects like this, you are always able to do so in a polite, respectful, and civil manner.

Caley, thank you for your support. I do believe this subject needs to be spoken about. I am vested in being a living example, but I also believe that we all have the right to speak out about aspects of our society that disturb us. If I don't blog about it, no one will!

Lillian writes:

I get so much flack for my opinion about this, but I completely agree. I feel as though my opinion is always met with the notion that I'm being elitist by saying people should dress up for things, but it really doesn't have anything to do with money. I'm a graduate student on a very low budget, and somehow that does not relegate me to sweatpants. In fact, the nicer skirts, blouses, and dresses that make up my wardrobe, and which are worn out to nice meals, music events, theater, and for teaching and conferences were MUCH less expensive than the "designer" sweats and leggings I see my students wearing all the time. Anyone who has been to a Goodwill or Salvation Army quickly deduces that nicer clothes are actually easier to come by in thrift stores, because they have less wear before people tend to get tired of them and donate them. All of my nicest dresses have been Goodwill finds. Five dollars for a dress, vs. $50 for a pair of Victoria Secret sweats or leggings. It seems like a no-brainer.
On a personal note, one of the nicest things my boyfriend ever did for a gift was to take me to a very special restaurant that happened to have a dress code. Everyone was dressed to the nines (again, not expensively, just nicely) and it was a magical evening.

Thank you, Lillian, for showing us that this issue is not about money, but dignity and respect.

Sylvie L writes:

Hello Jennifer,
I have only known about you for a few weeks and I am already a big fan. Read your books, your blog [most of it, yes] and highly anticipating the next book, which I have pre-ordered. I am a Parisian and Madame Chic could have been ME, the way I was raised. It is so REFRESHING to find that I am not the only one feeling the way you are feeling about American society and the wrong trend it has adopted for a while now. I am part of a movement of women that are actually fighting back just like you are and love to read all these lovely comments from your admirers. You have brought back so much loveliness into my world. I want to say a bit MERCI. Looking forward to meeting you soon. A tres bientot j'espere.

Hi Sylvie, it's wonderful to hear this from a Parisian's perspective. Thank you for your comment!

Even if your comment wasn't featured in this week's section, please know that I have read it and value it. Thank you for being an integral part of this blog community.

Before we close, check out this very funny parody video called, Activewear, that many readers sent me last week. I think this is just perfect considering what we've been discussing!

Let us know what you think in the comment section about this week's post. And I will see you on Tuesday for the launch of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic! Have a great rest of the weekend.

Jennifer x

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Evaline said...

Hello, fellow followers of Jennifer,
So many people seem to be "very attached" to their devices.
I had a long medical test last week. My husband waited for me in the hospital waiting room for over 2 hours. He told me later that he was the only person reading a book. Everyone's else was staring at their phones. Not even a magazine in sight.

Are any of you readers really attached to your phones? If so, would you mind sharing your experience with us, please? I keep my phone in my bag and only bring it out to use. When I have finished, I put it away.

If I am having a meal or coffee with a friend and they use their phone or device, I feel ignored.

So, I am interested in hearing from people who do this, what is this experience about for you? Is it just a habit?

Thank you.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

I think it's a shame that the comments in the first post didn't delve more into whether a restaurant bears the burden of setting dress codes because I'm interested in that aspect. For what it's worth I think that many establishments used to have such requirements but have done away with them for whatever reason. If there isn't a dress code then people are able to choose what they feel comfortable wearing, and that's going to vary for everyone. Because so few places do have dress codes it's hardly common sense anymore what to wear to a given restaurant. I also think that now being "overdressed" is as uncomfortable as being "underdressed" was a generation or two ago, which is part of why people tend to dress down.

I wish you didn't begin the first video the way you did because you come off as labeling everyone who disagrees with you as a hater. And you didn't help yourself by only including people who agreed with you in the 'comment of the week' section. To me, that comes off as really having a tin ear for differing or opposing viewpoints and is hardly conducive to a discussion.

Unknown said...
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Tammy said...

So I haven't read any of the comments, so this may have been said before - I have never been to the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island (in Michigan) but there is a dress code. I tracked it down for you, right from their website:

"Grand Hotel is a resort and we certainly want you to feel at ease and dress comfortably during the day in casual resort attire, please no halter tops, tank tops, or cut-off shorts. Evening wear is required in all areas of the hotel after 6:30 p.m. except the Cupola Bar. Evening wear for ladies includes dresses, skirt and blouse, or pantsuit; and for gentlemen a suite or sport coat, necktie and dress slacks; no denim in the evening please."

Unknown said...

Another good video. I find it interesting that someone above said you called those disagreeing with you haters. I somehow missed that, and didn't hear that in your tone or words. Maybe you said it, but you were respectful in every way, even if those people don't deserve it. When people feel guilty about being guilty of what is being criticized, they are on the attack and defensive. It's not as if you are saying everyone needs to dress up like a princess on all occasions. Even Kate Middleton has been known to wear jeans and a casual top on occasion. It's all about wearing what is appropriate for the given occasion. Now if you are truly coming from the gym, I don't have a problem with you popping into the grocery store for some milk and a loaf of bread. But unfortunately what I see too often is people shopping in their pajama bottoms. How did that ever become acceptable? Keep up the good work Jennifer!

Rose said...

Bravo Jennifer! Not only is Madame Chic bold but polite when the occasion calls for it, so is her protege. Last year you made a great book recommendation on this subject which newer readers might find interesting: http://dailyconnoisseur.blogspot.com.au/2014_04_01_archive.html

wawoo said...

To me this is an issue of perspective. I'm a gal who is mindful of what she wears, from work to church or the dog park or a restaurant. And of course what I choose to wear would depend on the restaurant.
In my area I see people dressed up at Applebees and dressed down at intimate nice restaurants. I think to some Applebees is a big night out, and to others the fine dining is just another night out. Most people, I believe make an effort to dress respectfully to both. But I do think some people purposefully dress down at nice restaurants to make a status statement ... as in, "even this restaurant is casual to me." It is disrespectful.

Miss Betsy said...

I will never forget a story I watched on the news a few years ago. The reporter was covering a very somber memorial service in Europe, pertaining to tragic events that occurred in World War II. It was a cold day there with snow on the ground, and the various European leaders and dignitaries wore long wool topcoats, with scarves tucked in around their necks, and hats. They looked very dignified. Unfortunately, what stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb was that we (the United States) had also sent a high-ranking political dignitary and he alone was casually dressed in...a ski jacket. I cringed at how disrespectful that looked, although I know that wasn't his intention. And to this day I wonder - how could someone get that high up in our government and not know what to wear to a ceremony like this? I felt so embarrassed for him.

Unknown said...

I was thinking the same thing as Peggie Cooper about missing the "haters" comment. Bravo! Standards are so lost in this world that when someone puts their foot down to keep them, it is shocking and people immediately want to point fingers about YOU being judgmental. So many people forget the four other fingers pointing back at them. ;)

dysfunctionalscrapbooking said...

Hi Jennifer:

I applaud you for voicing your opinion on this matter even though you knew it would be unpopular. That's never easy.

I agree that standards have really changed. We have found ourselves the only followers of posted rules for dress several times, and that was really maddening. We stayed at the Atlantis Resort in the Cove where a few of the restaurants have "no denim no shorts, only closed toed shoe" policies. So my husband packed closed toed shoes and pants. They even mentioned the policy when our dinner reservations were confirmed. Guess what? We were surrounded by denim, flip flops and shorts. So much for posted rules.

One issue certainly is the extreme casualness we have in the U.S. But another issue is people thinking rules don't apply to them. I just wanted to point out that even posted/advertising dress codes are meaningless if a restaurant does not enforce them. Don't get me started on people loudly swearing in restaurants. It's out of control even at nice places. I've heard/seen more of that in the last year than in the last twenty.

Thanks for shining a light on this topic.



Anonymous said...

Being willing to learn is a sign of maturity and intelligence. You recognized that Madame Chic was an experienced woman with much to offer you, and you chose to learn from her rather than be offended by her thoughts. You have a beautiful life as a result!

Sadly, the world is devolving to a place where any criticism is seen as elitist or judgmental. If I were you, I would focus on those willing to learn, change, and grow. Please keep offering your words of encouragement through your books and blog.

Best of luck with your new book launch! I have it on pre order and can't wait to read it!

mandyjacks said...

Could not agree with you more on this subject. My family and I had the chance last summer to go and see an evening, weekend performance of The Lion King on Broadway in New York. It was a huge expense for our family of 5 but we considered it a once in a lifetime opportunity. We all put on our "Sunday best" and set out to enjoy this experience that we had been anticipating for months. It was MUCH to my chagrin to discover that most of the crowd was in their jeans or shorts and t-shirts. I only recall a few people here and there that dressed up for the occasion. I just think it is a shame and it seems to downplay what should be a remarkable experience. We made a big deal out of that night and I believe doing so achieved a level of gratitude from my children that would not have been there if we had treated it like a normal night out at a movie theater.

Thank you for your message and for your voice on this subject. It has OFTEN caused me to stop and think about how I am presenting myself and how I am training my children. Keep on keeping on!!

Jovan said...

Hi Jennifer,

You are right on point. I'm beyond frustrated with bad behavior on the part of grown adults who SHOULD know better. I live in Hoboken, NJ, an overcrowded city right across from Manhattan. A few of my pet peeves: There is not enough parking on our streets, so drivers double park, making it impossible to get through the already narrow streets. Pedestrians jay walk and/or stand in the crosswalks rather than sidewalks, so turning is always like playing Russian roulette. Worst of all, Catholic Mass. A Church known for its beauty, tradition, and reverence has people attending Sunday Mass in sneakers, jeans, leggings (ARRRGH), and football jerseys. Instead of going to the state of the art cry rooms provided, inconsiderate parents give their children loud toys, food, and encourage them to play while other parishioners try to pray! They almost seem to like the attention their fussy children gain for them! Oh Jennifer, help us do better!

Christine said...
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Christine said...

Preach it Jennifer!

I would love to see a vlog post on your thoughts on dressing children, especially little girls. As with adults, it seems like there are similar issues with dressing children too casually or too maturely for their age. It would be great to get the French perspective on this.

Vicki Zimmerman said...

I haven't read any of the other comments here or with the previous thread and I have to say I am in full agreement with you here. We respect ourselves and others when we dress appropriately for the events, activities and outings in our lives.

Yours is simply a call to "wake up" from the devolving nature and declining etiquette we are seeing around us. I am on your side heartily applauding you and the seeds that were planted in your family and by Madame Chic.

I was out of town and posted too late on the first video, so I am sharing my thoughts here. Sending much appreciation to you and keep articulating your viewpoints.

My comments on the original video:
I'm in full agreement with you and wouldn't it be lovely if most restaurants held to these same standards, as your fantasy restaurant, and had a dress code and a no mobile phone policy at the table.

Our sushi bar, in Corona del Mar, has a sign posted behind the sushi chefs which says very politely no cell phones and patrons respect it, which I love. So, people are engaged in talking to one another and enjoying their meal.

Now, I must tell you that I am in San Francisco for the weekend and went to Equinox to work out with family and friends. While spontaneous, I knew to put in a change of clothes for lunch afterwards and, in fact, took the pretty and easy-to-pack Garnet Hill dress you posted and I love it. I felt presentable and polished, but one person in our group wore workout clothes afterwards and knew we'd be having lunch at the Ferry Building later. I was somewhat stunned, but said nothing.

It took me no more than five minutes of pre-planning to gather my dress, undergarments, ballet flats, scarf and sweater. I was ready for the day and hope I set a good example with a *hint-hint* that maybe next time, the other group member would do the same.

Thank you for this terrific and timely video, Jennifer.

Anonymous said...

“Do not allow any negativity or ugliness in your surroundings, or anybody at all, [to] destroy your confidence or affect your growth as a blooming flower. It is very normal for one ugly weed to not want to stand alone.”
― Suzy Kassem

- See more at: http://www.thesimplyluxuriouslife.com/#sthash.Mqmv2aBr.dpuf

I found this quote over at The Simply Luxurious Life blog this morning, and thought it very pertinent to the discussion here. I think that the main reason that people attack the person who is dressed appropriately, accusing them of being "elitist", is that it throws into the spotlight how inappropriately they are dressed. They could circumvent this by dressing appropriately also, but I am afraid that most Americans have become far too lazy for this. I am ashamed of how we appear as a nation to the rest of the world.

Emma Knight Peel said...

An older Parisian woman called me out on the sidewalk in Paris for wearing yoga pants and said I should be ashamed, so, yes, Madame Chic would do the same.

LRS4AMANDA said...

Hi Jennifer, I somehow missed your video post last Monday but I was just talking about this very subject a few weeks ago. Southern California has become way too casual in my opinion.

Here is an example: My 27 year old daughter and her husband recently graduated from Sheriff's Deputy academy here in San Diego. A very big deal to my husband and I. To their graduation ceremony I chose to wear a nice black dress, my fancier jewelry and heels. My husband wore his (nice) jeans and a dress shirt and dressier shoes.

I was absolutely appalled by what some individuals chose to wear to this momentous occasion. Yes, it was a very warm day but quite a few people were dressed as though they were going to the beach afterwards!! Shorts and flip flops? Really????

My mom always dressed nice, maybe seeing her never looking sloppy rubbed off on me. It's just always been important to me. My husband has teased me on occasion about doing my makeup and dressing nice to go to the grocery store. Sometimes he will go for me just so I don't have to get "dolled up" as he puts it. :)

I am 100% with you on this topic Jennifer!!!

Linda S.

Rose said...

Jennifer I upped my game on what I was going to wear to a difficult community meeting last night, it boosted my confidence enormously and I came home feeling better than I anticipated. Thank you.

Secondly, it's the 27th in Australia so I'm very much looking forward to my pre-order of your book leaving Amazon shortly. I'm so excited for you on the launch of your third book.

DeannaS said...

Only one explanation: Misanthropic narcissists!! They are everywhere and so totally COMMON!!
About a year ago, my husband and myself went to a first meeting of what was a seminar on investments. The speaker arrived dressed as though he intended to wash his car on a Saturday afternoon. I did not hear a word he said and because of his appearance, he had no credibility! We did not return for subsequent meetings. Keep up the good work Jennifer.

Kathryn Bechen said...

Keep up the good work Jennifer, in getting people to talk about this present-yourself-well topic! I love your term in your video "a stickler for standards." Not too long ago a young male healthcare practitioner of mine (he was about 30 and I am 57) repeatedly told me, in an admiring sort of way rather than a critical one, that I have high standards. It's true. I do. In what I wear, eat, do, how I choose to live, for my marriage. I make conscious choices in life, rather than default ones, and I have been like that my entire life, to the best of my ability, and within my means. And so, I dress appropriately to the setting as you mentioned last time. And like your real-life Madame Chic French role model, while I am polite and gracious, I also don't have trouble being very direct when the need arises and I consider someone rude, or that they are stepping on my toes. Have some standards. Period. It's called self-respect. Our lack of dress code is in shambles today for this very reason; it's not about money, as you say. It's really not. It's about lack of grooming, and as you also so rightly say, a lack of simple common sense respect. So yes, we do need to be the change we want to see in the world by our appearance and the way we choose to live. But I agree with others here that we also need to speak up sometimes too or we allow the negative to go on. I thought it was interesting too by many of your comments I scanned quickly here, that it is something that is an issue all over the world, no matter what country. Blessings to you and your beautiful blog, books, lifestyle, readership, and family. :)

Margaret Anne said...

Another lovely video. I thought your tone was polite, as always. I think the word "judgmental" is bandied about quite a lot these days, often in a pejorative way describing anyone who tries to uphold a standard or defend tradition. Of course, any commentary is judgmental, by definition. Anything involving judges is judgmental - our court system, the Olympics, and contests of any kind.

What is so wrong with using our judgment, anyway? My mother always taught me to "use good judgment." Didn't everyone's?

Unknown said...

Well done Jennifer!
As far as I see it, if I wish for people whom I meet and engage with to treat me well, with respect, and attention, then I must accord them the same courtesy. This extends to being in public dining at a restaurant, at work, or simply being at home with my family. The first, and a lasting one, is the impression we give by our presentation. I know that when I see a well-groomed person, both in terms of clothing and manners, it lifts my game too. And that can only be a good thing! Let us work at showing our best selves on an everyday basis. I for one, am rather tired of pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Ashley Diaz said...

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for your video and for your discussion. I stand in agreement with you and the one quote that kept coming to mind as I watched this video (and last Thursday's) was Ghandi's, "Be the change you want to see in the world." I believe most of the neglect in our appearances is social-driven: when we see people (even celebrities) dressing casually for events (formal or not) it is easy to believe we can relax a bit in our apparel. It really comes down to how WE want to feel and how WE want to present ourselves.

Congratulations on your new book! I am so excited to receive it in the mail tomorrow and completed my countdown to its release on my blog today! I do hope you'll stop by and check it out :) www.inpursuitofthefinerthings.com

Erin said...

Jennifer, thank you for your post. In the interest of time some may need to run a few errands after working out but really more and more people are just throwing on exercise clothes for the day because its easy with no real intention of working out. This reminds me of a funny video I saw the other day. It's an Australian sketch comedy about doing literally nothing in active wear. I am including the link below but you can also Google "Doing Literally Nothing in My Activewear"


L.E. said...

I thought of this today when I had a lunch at a somewhat formal establishment, which maintains a dress code. I thought some more, and realized that several establishments I frequent in Chicago also have dress codes. They will frequently have on-hand some clothing for free loan for patrons (suit coat, tie for men, and at least one place offers dark wrap skirts for women) for people who might not have planned to go there. Are dress codes not so common in the Los Angeles area? I have also lived in smaller towns where the entire vibe was just more casual, and I doubt there were dress codes there.
As a quick story: some years ago, a boyfriend and I decided to go to a favorite bar/restaurant (not in Chicago, but in our college town). It was a fairly casual establishment. Nevertheless, while entering, we noticed the sign on the door that said "no tank tops or jeans after 6 p.m.). It was 6:10 p.m., and we realized we were wearing jeans, although with a dress shirt for him, and a dressy top for me. Since we knew them, we openly asked the host if we could dine there, saying no problem if they preferred we not. He whisked us to a table at the very back, where the only people who'd see us were in the kitchen. This was very kind of the host, and seemed to work for everyone.
Thanks for tackling this issue. I would not enjoy being dressed up and eating next to people dressed in work-out spandex...

Alison Trujillo said...

Oh my goodness, I came across this at the right time. I'm a teacher and had parent-teacher conferences last week. Many mothers came to our conference in workout clothes. I make an effort to look professional every day, and it made me feel disrespected that they did not care enough to change before these meetings. Unless you are a personal trainer, make an effort when meeting with your child's teacher!

galant said...

I've said it before but it doesn't hurt to say it again: never has so much been spent on clothes, hair and beauty products and yet never have people looked so messy. I have never worn 'trainers' in my life. And I don't intend to start now. Did Madame Chic own a pair of 'tainers' I wonder? Lumpen, white trainers on the end of tracky/joggy bottoms look like canal barges.
Margaret P

Woman of the House said...

You've hit the nail on the head with your comments about matching the clothes to the occasion. That is my standard as well. Just as you wouldn't wear a ballgown to go rock climbing, you shouldn't wear sportswear to nice occasions. It is a matter of respect for others, as you said. When I was growing up (in the 60's and 70's), dressing up to go to a nice restaurant was completely normal. On the rare occasions my family ate out, we always changed our clothes first. (Of course, this was before the days of fast food, but I still wouldn't advocate exercise clothes for McDonald's.) I remember my first airplane trip in junior high. I was taken shopping to get a brand new outfit to wear on the plane. My mother fretted because we couldn't find any dresses we liked, so we bought dress pants and a blouse and she worried that it would be too casual. Times have changed! And I won't mention how people dress for church nowadays . . .

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer,
I really like your blog and have learnt a lot reading your posts and watching your videos. This post of yours has made me think a lot and I thought I should share one of my experiences with you . 4 years ago I visited India ,my home country. I visited what is called a Hindu temple. I visit Hindu temples regularly and one of the visitors commented on me leaving my hair open and not tying it. And that got me infuriated purely because it was none of her business because there is no rule that says I am supposed to tie my hair. I was very appropriately dressed and not skimpily clad. So the reason. I personally feel that people need to wear what they're comfortable in. Even if it is track pants . If you feel like dressing up to a restaurant - you a remits welcome to but this discussion of yours preaches being judgements like about how others dress. Your blog used to make me think about how I want to dress and feel chic. Being chic Is about how one wants to be and not control or judge the way others present themselves. So if you want to dress up or down is your choice and doesn't make you less chic. Being chic is a state of mind and not appearance only.

Unknown said...

Hi, I love the gym clothes and activewear. It is really wonderful idea about women's activewear. These are really useful and helpful. Keep it up to share such information with us. Thanks to share.

Lisa said...

I thought of your blogpost last week on this topic when my family and I were at our state fair last Saturday. Of course I expected to see most people dressed in sloppy clothes there but wow. Just wow. :( I have seen pictures from the 1960s of crowds at our state fair and the people looked so nice! Women in casual but pretty dresses, men in slacks and button down shirts. What a difference!
I wore my favorite black knit dress with red Chuck Taylors and felt comfortable and together. :)

Star said...

Hello Jennifer,

Shortly after I watched your first video, my husband and I went to a sushi restaurant. Your message was niggling in the back of my mind, and I looked at everything through those lenses. Everyone seemed to be polite and all and I felt quite proud that people were turned out so well until this young couple (about our age) came in. The man started whacking his chopsticks together and against the table as if he were a drummer. He was loud, obnoxious, and rude. His girlfriend merely guffawed at everything he did. Finally, his antics led to his flinging the chopstick close to our table. Instead of being apologetic and reaching to pick it up himself, he looked at my husband, jerked his head in the direction of the chopstick, and said, "Bro, you mind picking that up for me, please?"

Now I am not as mild-mannered as my husband. I held his arm firmly to stop him, but he picked it up anyway. The man looked at me, and he knew I was not impressed by him at all. In an effort to get my husband on his side, he insincerely thanked my husband profusely. (Yes, it is entirely possible to use polite words in a very rude and condescending way!)
I don't know if I was simply speaking out, or if I lacked poise --I was certainly straddling the line!-- but when my husband asked me why I grabbed his arm, I explained quite distinctly, "He can certainly pick up after himself if he wants to play like a two year old!" My husband shrugged and laughed, and 'rude dude' smirked because he'd thought he'd 'gotten away with it' since I was the only one who disapproved. My husband then said, "Listen, if he wants to use that chopstick after where it's been, I'll help him!" The look on his face afterwards was certainly satisfying. :P

April said...

I 100% agree. The only times I've gone anywhere beside my exercise class in my exercise clothes was when I occasionally stopped at the grocery store next door on my way home, because any errand sans my 6 young kids is simply luxurious. HOWEVER, I didn't just stay in my tank. I always has a shirt to put on over it.

We have season tickets to the theater every year, so we see a play about every 5 weeks during the season. I always dress up. If it's not a dress or skirt, it is suit pants and jacket (when it is supremely cold here). I wear heels, except when I know there is a ton of snow and don't want to bust my head, then I wear flat dress boots. I always get stares and people dropping their eyes in shame. The actors are always in the lobby as we exit, and I always feel their looks of appreciation that I thought enough of their efforts to dress accordingly. When we travel and we've gone to the TKTS booth in Times Square for an impromptu show, I feel badly that I'm dressed more casually. There are also times when we don't have time to get back to the hotel to change for Broadway shows we bought tickets for in advance, but those are exceptions to the rule, and I most definitely am not wearing Uggs, cut offs and a t-shirt. I have on slacks or dark wash denim, a nice blouse and jacket. I dress up for dates with my husband, and we go out nearly every Saturday night. He loves it.

I would like to add one more location to the list. Church. Of all the places it is appropriate to show respect, church is it. I always, always, always wear a skirt or dress to church on Sunday. Without exception. We attend every Sunday. I know God and Jesus love me just the way I am, but showing respect and love by dressing in my best is the least I can do, aside from just showing up.