Last night I was out with some friends in Surrey, BC, where we went to a fairly classy restaurant to eat dinner and socialize amongst peers. There was a dress code, and when I first arrived, the front desk was heavily enforcing it, as I saw two hopeful customers ahead of us being asked to leave becuase they were not wearing ties. I guess they ran out of spare ties for the men. Once we got in, and we were seated at our table, and everything was uneventful, as we ate, talked, and enjoyed ourselves. It was a really nice restaurant, but I am not going to mention its name. I was embarrassed at what happened next.
The fun did not heat up until well after we were digging into our meals, when all of a sudden I heard a loud bang of dishes falling onto the floor, and the voices of a man and women ensuing into a argument. The young woman was asked to leave the restaurant becuase of her attire, and was told that if she stayed, her table would not be served. I guess she protested, and that was when staff asked her to leave.
The woman left, only after the staff remembers were phoning the police. She was livid. The entire restraint was silent as everyone was watching her, and I was wondering if we should leave before more bad things were going to happen. But the woman left, and all was back to normal. Our server came over and apologized to us about the disruption, and asked us several times if we were all right. We kept saying, “yes, we’re Okay, we’re fine.”
So I asked him why they kicked the woman out?
He said that she was not wearing appropriate clothing. I had to think twice, and then it dawned on me: she was wearing yoga pants, or “paint them ons,” as my friend Jim calls them. I looked around and noticed that most of the women were wearing very tight suite pants, while the rest were wearing skirts. It did not register with me that yoga pants were on the band list of inappropriate clothing for women in that establishment.
Like the spandex clothing of the 1980s, the yoga pants of today have really taken off with women. It was at that point in our conversation that we talked about the fine line between what is publicly acceptable wear, versus the absurd, and obscene, focusing on the different styles of women’s tights and sports wear that is all to common today. Yes, even for men, their is a line that crosses into the morbid, and outrageous, to the barely acceptable for public view. When we left the restaurant, the first person we seen is a women who was wearing the most sheer black pants that would have borderline as her just wearing underwear. We debated whether she was indecently dressed for public view, or not. We agreed that that there was a sense of social degradation when someone is wearing clothing that exposes their “private parts,” for all to see on the street.
However, we argued that a person does have a right to express themselves in their own way, and wearing this type clothing is one way of doing that. Like men not wearing shirts, do women have the right the right to go topless on a hot summer day out on the streets of the city? That was a tough one to argue becuase of the sexual nature of each gender; the bear chested men versus the bear breast woman–neither should go topless in public. Our discussion was sounding very sexist at that point. In the end we agreed that there was nothing wrong with women wearing yoga pants. as long as that they did not reveal, expose or sexually exploit themselves in public view. As for the restaurant, definitely not, as that was not the place for wearing sports wear.