Dressing for the urge to splurge


My wife and are planning to treat ourselves to a New York City visit for one of those splurge trips where, with hardly any effort at all, you can blow next month’s mortgage payment in two days.

When she mentioned getting tickets to see a Broadway play, I pointed that they were awfully expensive.

Then she pointed out that they weren’t as expensive as Super Bowl tickets.

Then I pointed out that the Super Bowl doesn’t play six nights a week with a matinee on Saturday.

Then we bought the theater tickets.

And I’m guessing we’ll spend time in one or more of those only-in-Manhattan boutiques and I’ll have to do my best to control my heart palpitations when she shows me the price tags.

For my part, though, I have just one splurge goal: I want to have dinner one evening in a restaurant where men are required to wear jackets.

And if that makes me sound stuffy or old — or both — so be it.

It’s not that I can’t appreciate casual dining. I’ve had plenty of good meals where the busboys were better dressed than the customers. Given my choice of a last meal I’d probably head to the nearest checkered- tablecloth Italian restaurant for pasta Bolognese and cheap Chianti in a straw-covered bottle.

Every once in a while, though, I like to put on a suit and tie and go to a restaurant where there’s food I can’t identify and prices I can’t believe. A place where the guy at the table next to ours isn’t wearing jeans, a T-shirt or a baseball cap with his favorite football team’s logo on it. Where there are waiters in tuxedos, linen on the tables and no television over the bar showing stock car races.

Places like that are getting harder and harder to find.

The last restaurant in Dayton with a “proper attire requested” notice on the front door expired a few years ago, the victim of changing tastes and an increasingly casual generation of diners.

Even in big cities like New York, Chicago and LA, restaurants that require jackets are becoming rarer.

“I think people feel they’re spending X amount of dollars and they can do whatever they want,” the maitre d’hotel at one of Manhattan’s most exclusive restaurants explained in a New York Times interview.

“But the other people in the place are also spending X amount, and they want to dress up and feel good about themselves. They want to be in an environment that’s special.”

And so do I.

Even if it’s only for one evening.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

How headache pain happens and what can help
How headache pain happens and what can help

If you’ve noticed an uptick in how often you’ve had a headache this summer, you’re not alone. Allergies, travel stress, dehydration, humidity and extreme heat can all lead to headaches. “Although there are several types of headaches, migraine and tension headaches are the most common,” says neurologist Michelle Noel, DO...
Fiona the hippo is 6 months old today, so here are 6 of our FAVORITE photos
Fiona the hippo is 6 months old today, so here are 6 of our FAVORITE photos

She’s the little hippo that could. Well, maybe not so little anymore. Regardless, she’s won over millions of hearts and has plenty of fans. Today, July 24, Fiona turns six months old. What better way to celebrate this milestone than with six of our favorite photos?
It’s the 2nd-leading cause of absence from work

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms, but it’s the effect the health issue can have on one’s everyday life that has the greatest impact on sufferers. Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a health issue that affects up to 20 percent of Americans with many chronic symptoms such as...
Swimmer’s ear can be avoided, here’s how

Whether you’re plunging into your neighborhood pool or jumping waves at the beach, an ugly bout of swimmer’s ear may be just a splash away. Acute otitis externa, commonly known as swimmer’s ear, is an infection of the ear canal - the tubular opening that carries sound from the outside of the body to the eardrum. “The infection...
Parenting with the Kid Whisperer: Mom or servant? Hmmm…

Dear Kid Whisperer, I have three boys, aged 8, 12, and 16, who are all quite disrespectful and very unappreciative of me. It’s very hurtful. I am a stay-at-home mom and I think of myself as being great at my job. I cook them hot meals, do their laundry, clean their rooms, drive them everywhere, and help them with their homework. I take care of...
More Stories