I've just finished a re-read of "The World according to Joan " (Collins) and thoroughly enjoyed what some critics would call her "rantings". She is in her eighties;I was 84 yesterday so I know well the old world she misses so much.

Gone are the days when children were seen and not heard ; gone are the macho men, like John Wayne and Clark Gable : the gentlemen like Gregory Peck! Gone are the classy, beautiful every-day clothes worn by stars such as Joan Crawford and Marlene Dietrich.

I thought about the last statement last night. We celebrated (!) my birthday at a local inn, thatched, cosy, with nooks and crannies, and ye-olde-worlde illustrations on the wall.

My family arrived casually, but nicely, dressed. I followed my new "bright" resolution as my image shows.Quite frankly I needn't have bothered. With the exception of three other women who wore neat, though sombre outfits, the majority in the crowded inn wore tatty, grungy outfits. They looked as if they had been gardening, digging around in less than salubrious surroundings.

Am I being snooty, high-handed, in expecting others to follow my old-fashioned, "We're going out for a meal, let's dress up in something nice" dictum?

Casual is fine, but am I wrong in thinking a night out at a very pleasant eating-place, is the perfect excuse for dressing somewhat more smartly.

Am I the over-dressed one? Am I the intolerant one?

What do you think? How do you dress for a meal at a nice restaurant?

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