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






You are so right about the 21 club . I am 77 yrs old but can remember watching Sheldon Tanner or Jerry Burns watching at the door to make sure a person had a tie and coat before they came into the bar. I remember having to wear a blazer and tie at age 10 to have lunch with my father.
Airline wear is even worse. I still wear a blazer and small bow tie on a plane ( you get much better service )and sat next to a man recently in first class who was wearing a wife beater shirt.

Malcolm wolcott

Having recently relocated to a retirement community in Asheville NC, I seem to be one of only a few souls to wear a jacket to the upscale restaurant on our property. While a number of fellow retirees wear polos or OCBD’s without a jacket, a few are now beginning to dress a bit better. Having eaten through a drive in window or from a delivery app during Covid, it is nice to be able to dress a bit better now that things are somewhat returning to a more normal mode.

Thomas Fisher

How far we have fallen!! The new Y club rules are awful. Return with me now to the days of school blazers and ties at St. Paul’s School in Garden City. Sit down served lunch….

Warren VanderHill

Sad to see that once-venerable institutions have acquiesced to slobbery and there’s no excuse for it. It’s a tragic commentary on what has become of America and it is far less pronounced in Europe. Restaurants, public venues etc. could rigorously enforce dress codes and if anyone doesn’t like it…go elsewhere rather than forcing the rest of us well-dressed gentlemen to have to look at slobs while we’re dining. Mr. Press is correct…and I love his articles.