Remember the days of dressing for dinner? Men wore jackets and combed their hair. Women weren’t addicted to denim.
If you do, it’s a hazy memory. Until recently, the city’s toughest dress codes could be found at strip clubs like Spearmint Rhino, which forbids hats, jerseys, white T-shirts and sandals.
“It’s a gentleman’s club,” says doorman Nick Annett.
Indeed. Some local restaurants and nightlife clubs would like to say the same.
“I want to bring back glamour into Hollywood clubs,” said Amanda Scheer Demme, just a week before her club Teddy’s at the Roosevelt Hotel closed. Still, her dress code of “sports coats” for men and “a casual yet couture look” for women was mostly heeded while she reigned.
Over at the Sunset Tower Hotel’s Tower Bar, owner Jeff Klein doesn’t require jackets. But shorts and flip-flops? Verboten.
“It’s hard to enforce a dress code here,” he says. You say, ‘no jeans, no sneakers’ and then Steven Spielberg walks in. What do you do?”
In fact, you could blame power players for making formal dining rooms look like Lakers games. Nowadays, the more potent the mogul, the more casual the get-up.
Klein has an edge since his dining room has become a roost for fashion icons like Michael Kors and Karl Lagerfeld. Even Joaquin Phoenix and Keanu Reeves were recently seen in blazers.
“You don’t want to be wearing a Juicy Couture sweatsuit if Tom Ford is sitting at the next table,” says Klein.
If you show up looking like a slob at L’Orangerie, which remains the city’s most formal dining room, maitre d’ James Lukanik will give you a really bad table.
“We will discreetly call and make a reservation for you at another restaurant,” he says.
Jeri Ryan, owner of Ortolan, says she stops short of giving slovenly types the boot. But if you show up in shorts, she will escort you to a less desirable table. “You will make people who are more dressed up feel uncomfortable,” she says.
Some places aren’t above bribery. Next week, Beverly Hills restaurant La Dolce Vita will introduce “To the Nines” Tuesdays. Guests who show up in cocktail attire will get a free glass of Champagne.
La Dolce Vita may be the only place in town for the well turned out. With Demme gone and Teddy’s shuttered, the Hollywood Roosevelt has already removed the velvet rope — and the dress code.