So when I talk about “dressing my truth” (I am not even going to link to it…but I’ll go ahead and Google it for you: http://tinyurl.com/4444f7d), I am talking about dressing for cocktails.
As Mad Men tells us (and I know I believe everything that Don Draper says), there was a time in our country’s great history when people drank so much that the only way you could differentiate between during-work drinking and after-work drinking was by the outfits people were wearing.
Most days, I wholeheartedly believe that we, as a society, should still be doing this. I mean, maybe it’s better that we aren’t sipping Dewar’s on the rocks to get through that tough 2:00pm meeting, but we could definitely treat cocktail outings as dress-up occasions. This is how I feel when I think about the burgeoning (or fully-burgeoned, perhaps?) cocktail culture we have here in DC. For those who have not heard, craft bartending is kind of a big deal in this town. There are plenty of speakeasy-style cocktail joints here that you can visit if you want fresh exotic juices, house-infused specialty bitters, and perfectly cubic crystal clear ice cubes. There are also lots of regular old bars (usually tucked away in fine restaurants or hotels) with seasoned barmasters, all pushing the envelope with cocktail recipes as a matter of course.
If there are so many people out there making beautiful cocktails, shouldn’t we be out there looking beautiful while we drink them?
Of course, this line of reasoning can lead straight to laments on the “casualization” of America (which is what we have to thank for this, this, and THIS) and/or to something even more esoteric, like the skirt and heels as the shackles of female subjugation. (I don’t make this shit up, people…it’s just something I may or may not have heard when I was in graduate school.)
Then there are the days when I just want to drink in my Snuggie. I am aware that it would be considered gauche (at the very least) to take it out to bars, but there’s no earthly reason why I shouldn’t be able to throw my Snuggie on over my ratty jeans and old college t-shirt and use my warm-yet-mobile arms to mix a cocktail in the comfort of my own home. Right? Right?? Well, when I really think about it…if I’m going through the trouble of mixing something good, I should consider my home cocktail experience worthy of a little bit of style. I should bust out the nicer jeans, at least. Maybe throw a blazer on over the t-shirt. If I really wanted to wear the Snuggie, I could pop open a beer, or crack a bottle of reasonably-priced wine.
I know the conventional wisdom is to dress for the job you want, not the one you have. But in the case of beverages, I think you should always dress for the drink you are drinking. It’s not because anyone else will care (as one of my co-bloggers so astutely observed), but I do think that dressing up to drink becomes part of the enjoyment of said drink. For example, the martini I’m pictured with above is nowhere near even being in the running for the “best I’ve ever had” list. But I remember it because I was dressed up to drink it (and because the bartender I ordered it from somehow heard “dirty martini” as “three martinis”…I had to ask for extra olive juice, and well-dressed hijinks ensued).
So, what do you think?* Dressing for cocktails–yea or nay?
*(It’s brass balls, right there, to ask a question on a blog that doesn’t really have any readers yet. But I did it anyway. Oh yes I did.)