First of all happy birthday. You look really pretty in your brights. Your question has two answers to me. An inn that is cozy, with lots of nooks and crannies, seems like a more casual than upscale venue. Were those in your party aware that you would have liked them to dress up? Could casually, but nicely dressed have meant that they were wearing their good clothes. A fun theme event would be cool to see how your party interprets old world glamour.

I mean no disrespect but I feel that judging people outside your party might be a little intolerant. I work 60 to 80 hours a week and I want to wear things that make me happy in my downtime. My style is pretty rate, so I probably would look ratty to you. Even when I'm dressed up.

I also think that too much comparing us to others never makes us happy, but being fully who we are in the moment will. As a young lady, I used to go to a cheap 24 hour place and get breakfast after work a couple times a week. There was usually another young lady there. She was always dressed in a white full length dress with a sweetheart neckline and pumps.

Despite all the books, blogs and websites and TV shows, many people do seem clueless about appropriate dress today. It isn't that hard to be well-turned out for a special occasion, and to me it seems to be disrespectful to show up at a nice place/event looking like you had done home repairs all day and didn't change.

I don't think you are overdressed--you would look just fine at a nice restaurant in the Bay Area or in Chicago (two places I spend the most of my time these days.) It's funny to me that back in the 60s there was all this talk about rebelling against 1950s conformity and dressing with creativity and originality and so on. Nowadays I look out and see a mass of black or denim T-shirted clones. For this we rebelled?

Happy birthday and keep on being true to yourself.

You look beautiful! I am with you that I think that things are overly casual these days. I too look for excuses to dress up. It's fun! I think it adds to society in general when we can have lots of avenues for self-expression, including more-formal styles. I would hate for things to become so overly casual that we can't even dress "smart casual" without sticking out like a sore thumb. I think that finding excuses to dress up is a great way of honoring yourself and your body as something beautiful.

Happy Birthday! I think you were perfectly right to dress as you did. Societal norms swing but we do not have to swing with them. I can't imagine my grandmother dressing down even to eat breakfast and there is something very powerful about that memory.

Eirlys, happy 84 years! You look lovely in your happy colors and certainly appropriate for a birthday dinner. I will be 68 next week and times and dress have changed so much. One of the things I loved most about my mother-in-law (born in 1917) is that she celebrated as much as possible, especially going out for dinner. Just bring with her was a celebration. She always looked polished and wore only dresses and bright colors, although she worked long hours going a man's job with big machines in a manufacturing plant after her husband died. It was a great gift to me and all who knew her. So is your celebrating and dress a gift to your family and friends. Don't give up. Perhaps others will notice and take their cue from you.
A couple of years ago I noticed how casual and sloppy people looked at church. I decided to always wear a dress or skirt to services and have noticed more and more females of all ages also wearing dresses. Now it is over half. I really believe that women want to dress up, especially if they don't often get a chance. But they don't want to stand out as different. If they know that other women will be there in a skirt or dress they may be more likely to wear one.
May you have a wonderful 84th year.

Happy Birthday! You looked great for your dinner.i love dressing up for dinner. I think we have gone so casual that people do not know how to dress. I went to a job interview last week and the hiring manager was in flip flops. I was shocked.
Continue to dress up. You will and look wonderful!

DH and I live near a resort town. That town has the nicest restaurants in the area, and for celebrations we commonly make reservations and go to one of them. However, because it is a resort area, restaurants do not enforce any sort of dress code, so there are people in shorts and flip-flops and even swimsuit cover-ups. I find it appalling that a person would pay that amount per plate and not have the decorum to wear real clothes.

I equate looking nice with respect for one's surroundings, the people around you and most importantly, self respect. Then again, I am "old fashioned" in many of my views. I find it jaw-droppingly rude when a man does not remove his hat for dinner, for example.

I believe in having fun with fashion and I understand that everyone has a different path in life and a different opinion on things. I just also believe that certain events have certain standards - or they ought to. You looked beautiful for your birthday, and I hope you inspired others that day. Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday! You look beautiful in your birthday outfit!

Yes, it would have been nice if the people in your party had dressed a bit more festively, but I honestly don't think it occurs to some people.

I generally like to dress nicely wherever I go. But I must admit that I went to lunch last Sunday after running a 5K race, still in my racing gear. I was kind of mortified, but my friends wanted to go celebrate and I felt like it was more important to participate in the occasion than to stand on my ideas of proper dress. We all have our fab moments and our not-so-fab moments, and I try to give everybody the benefit of the doubt.

Even when it's hard. Which it often is.

It's fascinating to read the range of comments here. I'm hesitating to write my thoughts because I'm siding with you, Eirlys, and I know that position might upset some people who strongly feel that what they wear is their business and no one else's.

In my defense, though, it was drilled into me at a very young age that public dress was worn for those who saw me in public places. Putting the interests of others first made for a more civilized society and was considered a sign of good manners. According to this line of thinking, by dressing the way you did, Eirlys, you made being at the restaurant a nicer experience for everyone who saw you that night--and that's a nice gift to give others on your birthday. Happy Birthday, Eirlys!

I try to dress up for dinner out. Last week I ask YLF for help in choosing an outfit for a dinner party at a very nice restaurant, and got some good advice. This week we're having a special dinner for my mother's 90th birthday. I've been wrestling with what to wear. We'll be in San Francisco at a restaurant on the water, and may in fact be taking the ferry, so I need to dress warmly, yet festively, and seasonally appropriate. Whew! That's a lot of figure out.

You look lovely, what an interesting conversation.Growing up, I was always taught to dress up for dinner out, the opera or the ballet. We went out quite often and frankly, I miss it. It's nice to make a special occasion out of things, which I rarely do today. I feel in some ways like dining has been taken over by our phones and tv's.

Happy Birthday!! I think you look great in these bright colours.

I also like to dress up for special occasions. After all most of us have these things there so it is fun to have a chance to wear them.

I guess dressing up does mean different things to different people - at times it might mean jeans and heels and a jacket, other times a suit or a dress.

Best of birthday wishes! You look lovely, and certainly not over-dressed or stuffy. The brights look gorgeous on you and you should wear them at every opportunity!
I feel a bit mixed about this. On one hand, I tend to over-dress. I work at a university, so that is not hard! But even on the weekends, I don't do sweats like most other people here. I think I have just come to accept that not everyone will be frocked up, even for dinner! But I do agree it is a shame to go out for a nice meal and not use clothes to "celebrate" the special occasion.
Either way, I'm sure you were the best dressed girl in the room.

Happy ( late wishes) Birthday...I loved your post and the lovely picture...You dress to please Eirlys and going out to dinner is an occasion to do just that...I am in your corner and have long ago learned to just let what everyone else wears go into my blind vision corner...Dressing and feeling good about me is what is important...You set your own tone and from the looks of you, it is done very well...
(Besides, anyone who uses salubrious properly is probably an interesting

Happy Birthday! You looked great in your birthday dinner outfit. I do think if it's a special occasion dinner and the place is considered "nice" that others should at least try to dress up a bit too. l I mean going for pizza is one thing, but going out for a celebration dinner at a nice spot is another (to me). I agree that everyone seems to be much more casual these days.

Happy birthday!
You reminded me of my grandmother. She was a hardworking woman, working on a men's environment, doing all the home renovations by herself at home, but she was always dressed with care and certainly for special occasions.
In a way I also miss the days when people would dress up for going out to dinner or to the movies. From my perspective is not a question of impeding anyone's right to dress what they want but Beauty(in the broad sense of the word) is a precious commodity in life and sometimes we have to create it around us. We enjoy nature for its beauty, we visit museums for their beauty, so why can we not aspire for that in our daily lives or at least special occasions. It gives me great pleasure when people around me dress in a color that makes their eyes shine, have a great haircut that suits them, chose an item of clothing that looks perfect on them. I like to see people shinning with their own beauty(being external or internal).
There have been times when I might be too tired or coming from some other place and have no chance to change but for a special occasion and knowing it in advance my choice is always to dress up a bit.

I have been thinking about my attitude to clothes. I suspect it goes back to WW2 when here in The Uk we had clothes coupons (very few) and not many clothes in the shops.

As a result I collect clothes! My wardrobes are full even though I have sent bags of stuff to local charity shops.

A psychologist would have a field-day with me, I reckon. (Even cupboards are full of groceries)From 1939-1945 we had an evacuee from London and we are still in touch. She thinks of me as a foster sister, and shares my love of clothes.

It seems London has gone the way of all cities: grunge dressing.

However, as several people here have pointed out , life is more casual these days and I have to admit wearing "uniform" takes the stress (and the fun) out of wondering what to wear!

Usually I dress in "sombre" colours as I love black and white but as I've mentioned in another rant of mine, my husband gets fed up of always seeing me in these two colours.

Thank you for the good wishes, Ladies, You have been very kind.