When Anything Goes

When Anything Goes

“Leave The Sweat Shirt at Home. Dining Dress Codes Are Back,” declared @nytimes several weeks back. Social media has been awash with controversy regarding the post.

Menswear blogger Derek Guy @dieworkwear exposes a matrix of the genre picturing Pennsylvania Democratic senate primary winner John Fetterman garbed in his populist campaign street style cargo shorts with defeated opponent Conor Lamb, poor Ivy Style lamb.

The Yale Club of New York next to J. Press has reset rules relieving the pain that the former coat and tie requirement might have rendered current woke alumni members. Cole Porter Yale ’13, might well turn over in his grave observing old Boola Boola Eli Yale Club costumed as if from a verse in his classic Anything Goes.

The rulebook unequivocally states, “On a temporary basis, the following changes will be in effect: Denim Pants: neat, clean, and in good repair (no holes, rips, or tears) are permitted throughout the entire Clubhouse. Shorts are permitted within the Clubhouse from Memorial Day to Labor Day, provided they are not made of denim, or athletic in nature. Athletic shorts are only permitted in the athletic facilities. Non-athletic shoe wear that has a “sneaker-like” sole is permitted throughout the entire Clubhouse.” Not permitted: tee shirts, tank tops, casual sandals (such as flip flops or Birkenstocks), athletic wear of any kind (including sweatpants, caps, cross-trainers, or tennis shoes, and team jerseys), and torn, provocative, or revealing clothing.

The upscale restaurant cited in aforementioned NY Times article, Les Trois Chevaux, upstages the Yale Club hanging E-Bay looking “blazers” practically on a dry-cleaning rack to redress their coatless social climbing patrons.

Jack and Charlie late of their lamented “21 Club” offered their Peter Arno archetype coatless patrons the choice of well-tailored proxy Sport Coats quietly stored in the back of the cloakroom. Their coat and tie gospel was a well-kept secret among the cognoscenti.

Times have changed. Holding the fort against hoi polloi Slobbovia may be a losing proposition in Circus Americanus. Rules are made to be broken.


In olden days a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking but now, God knows Anything Goes






So the two new American uniforms are shorts and flip flops in the day ; jeans and a t-shirt at night, maybe throw in a cheap canvas blazer. Ugh!

But the rise of temperatures due to climate change is real. Perhaps the southern Italian tailors can lead us in the right direction: lighter materials, unlined jackets, very little padding, etc.. JPress is already poised to go more in this direction with the classic, soft-shouldered look and pallet of traditional and bright colors.

As a socal resident, I would welcome a lighter weight shaggy dog sweater, for example.
As for addressing the original issue, let the slobs be. They just make the rest of us look even better. In fact, it is our duty to continue to dress well. By doing so, we are providing an education for those who need to be led out the cave.

Don Quixote

Sadly, it is all relative. I remember when the ushers at Trinity Church Boston were required to wear morning coat and striped trousers for services on Sunday. Back when Ted Ferris was the fourteenth rector during World War 2. Later he was on the cover of Life magazine so dressed.

We can still dress to standards we wish and let the others dumb down. I for one wore an ancient J Press sport coat to St. Bart’s Sunday morning service yesterday with bar striped necktie.

Vern Trotter

This article impelled me to read anew a wonderful essay from 1936 by Albert Jay Nock entitled, “Isaiah’s Job.”

Robert Sheinbaum

Just had dinner at one of the few remaining white table cloth restaurants in Asheville, NC. There are many outstanding restaurants but most lean to the less formal side.

Blue blazer, Reds, Alden’s. Got a lot of looks from the young slobs all around.

I think we are done when I see this but I know a number of young people who do not fit this mold. There may be hope.

Tom Myer

O tempora! O mores! O place where Louie dwells!

James Lee