I read an interesting post from Stina Auer about the lack of 'dress up' opportunities in her home town. The comments made for interesting reading as people discussed the reasons for the laissez-faire attitude that seems to prevail in most places.
For me, dressing up is as much part of a night out as the event itself, in the 80s, when we regularly headed to 'black tie' events, the glass of champagne in the bath, the smell of hairspray and heady mix of perfumes as the gang all got ready together, was as much part of a good night out, as the event itself. To be truthful, it was probably the sense of anticipation and Cinderella style transformation, that was the best part of the evening.
It all started to go a bit wrong in the 90s when effortlessly beautiful people adopted the 'grunge' look, perfect for flawless waifs, not so good if you are built like two ton Tess and need the structure of tailored clothes to look your best.
Glamour definitely came back to certain places in the 2000s, the arrival of the super rich and their super clothes in London, meant that in 'certain' places the dress code was back to OTT. Cipriani, Nobu, Blue bar at the Berkeley, the Connaught bar, Zuma, Claridges, Mortons, The Wolsey all require a bit of effort.
But for everywhere else, be it in London or other cities in the South East, over-dressing is a big 'no no' anything more than jeans and a nice top in Oxford is seen as tragically try-hard. I have heard rumour that in Northern cities you can really 'dress', but I am not sure if that applies only to 18 year-olds out clubbing.
And so there's a dichotomy, where thanks to the internet we have access to every 'look' under the sun and yet in the main we gravitate to a safe uniform of skinny jeans, shoe boots and ZARA sequin jackets, or is that just me?
I was going out to dinner at a friend's house last night and after reading Stina's post made a conscious effort to 'make an effort'. Basically by looking at my wardrobe and thinking what would Stina wear?
The final selection was Chanel shirt (v old and inherited from mum, but still going strong), Herve Leger skirt (again v old, bought in the 90s, when after his 80s hey day, HL was well and truly off the radar and could be picked up for a song), Ash shoes (from Ebay £9.99) and Hermes cuff.
What is it like where you live? Do you get the opportunity to dress up for a night out or is the vibe more laid back and casual?