Taylor Is Doing Restaurant Dressing Wrong
Here's my theory of how to do it right.
This week, Time magazine named Taylor Swift its “Person of the Year.” The cover story declares that, over the course of 2023, she became “the main character of the world.” Hm. I’m a pretty big Swiftie, and I wouldn’t go that far. But if we're giving out accolades, I do have one for her: Taylor Swift was, without a doubt, New York’s Most Enthusiastic Restaurant Patron of the Year.
Of course, like anyone who’s ever visited Dimes Square, Taylor has a vested interested in being seen. Every time she and her “squad” step out, they make headlines. But, according to theTime profile, in addition to being a billionaire celebrity, Taylor is also just a regular girl like us. “Yes, if I go out to dinner, there’s going to be a whole chaotic situation outside the restaurant,” she says. “But I still want to go to dinner with my friends.”
And who can blame her? NYC is one of the best places to eat out in the world. But something about Taylor’s restaurantscapades isn’t sitting right with me, specifically her outfits. Despite her best efforts to be a regular downtown girl who goes to dinner with her friends, she just doesn’t look like a regular downtown girl who goes to dinner with her friends. She’s trying too hard! Although I can get behind a bold red lip, her outfits are, for the most part, giving: “Welcome to Eric Adams’ New York.”
Watching Taylor Swift treat restaurants like a runway this year has made me think more about what my own ideal restaurant uniform would be. Unless I’m going a place like The Grill, which I’m not, I see restaurants as someplace like a second home — one that’s way nicer than my actual home, where I don’t have to clean up after myself. The goal is to be comfortable, but still dressed up. Basically, I want my restauroutfit to fall somewhere in-between Justin and Hailey Bieber at Bar Pitti. (Photo of the year!)
So, after a great deal of consideration, my proposal is this: Restaurant Pajamas. Hear me out!
The Shop Rat Theory of Restaurant Pajamas
Pajamas are, in my mind, tuxedos of the night. I’m not suggesting you show up to the Odeon wearing something you would literally get under the covers in, but rather that you embrace a sort of indulgent comfiness — one that, crucially, gives the appearance of luxury, as opposed to laziness. (See: Rihanna in Balenciaga ‘pantaboots’ at Carbone.) High Sport stretchy pants immediately come to mind. As does Kallmeyer’s silk blouse + matching skirt set, plus Attersee’s satin cocktail pants with a cashmere coat. These are goals.
I started testing the restaurant pajamas waters this fall with my new favorite Adidas track pants. When I wore them with a hoodie to meet Allison at Long Island Bar, though, she said I looked as though I’d “just gotten off a flight,” which was fair. My casual-to-formal ratio was off, prompting some warranted concern for my mental and emotional wellbeing. But maybe with a sweater and some ballet flats, it could work…?
The next time I went out, it was during the day for an expensive pancake brunch at Corner Bar, so I tried to step up my outfit a bit with head-to-toe cashmere à la squad member Gigi Hadid. When I wore this same look to the Grand Army Plaza farmer’s market a few weeks later, #Jess said I looked like a “Park Slope mom,” so I felt like I was making some progress... But I do think this look is reserved for daytime only.
Next, we have my “Pasta Date With a Neighbor At Fausto” outfit. I was inspired by Celine to find a good blazer to wear over my Babaa merino wool matching set, and snagged this Giorgio Armani one on the RealReal for cheap. In general, I think merino wool is a good sweatpants alternative, and looks less “just got off a flight” than cashmere. (Taylor, get on the Celine train!)
Then I started to get really into vintage Giorgio Armani blazers, and found this increeeeddddible brown cashmere one on the RealReal as well. It’s a little big on me, so I wear it with my baggier pair of Uniqlo pleat pants. (Size up for a more oversize fit.) But the fabric makes me feel like a billionaire, and I’m proud of myself for being brave and wearing the color brown. At the end of the day, I think this look might be the winner?? It’s business in style, but pajamas in spirit. Call it “Restaurant Pajamas (My Version).”
NEXT TIME: We need to talk about buying jewelry.