ask randy: chinos or jeans?

So what would you recommend for a night out at a fancy steakhouse with some good friends? They say jeans are OK in a pinch, but I don't think it'll be appropriate for an expensive meal. I was thinking black (or grey) flat-front chinos with a nice striped button down collared shirt, black shoes, black belt. Now all I need is a nice autumn/winter jacket. :)


Good question. Whether or not you should wear jeans is really dependant on the restaurant and its atmopshere/clientele. I generally think that if it is a 'special' dinner at a 'fancy' place (i.e. a restuarant where they serve you from the right and take from the left), I would say pass on the jeans. If the place is a bit more casual and hip, I would say jeans are definitely an option -- I would however stick to jeans in a darker wash, paired with a chocolate brown lace-up demi-boot, brown belt, nice striped sport shirt and a sport coat (see below).

My general feeling about chinos is that they should left for the weekend. I tend to feel that they are more casual than jeans sometimes especially if they are in shades of beige (sorry). Instead I would go for a light weight wool in a charcoal grey, a collared striped shirt (I'd skip the button down collar if you can, too casual), black shoes, black belt and a why not spoil yourself and pick up this sportcoat -- the velvet blazer is the jacket for the season.

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