Recently a friend of mine, Nerissa had an experience in a cafe here that has me thinking about the dress codes, and the difference in expectations in relation to clothing and dress standards compared to Australia.
To say that the Dutch have a casual approach to clothing would be an understatement. I remember as a child that mum always made us dress in our best for some events, like weddings, parties, church … and then you always made sure you were “presentable” by mum standards when you went to the shops or someone’s house. When I started working (Bless you, OH&S) there were guidelines in place dictating footwear, workplace appropriate clothing and a sense of corporate image. There was always some element of care put into the selection of clothing based on the events of the day!
Which leads me to the first example I have – Ugg Boots. Not as bad as the bane of my existance – Crocs – but still, a word to the wise .. UGG BOOTS ARE SLIPPERS!!!
Nerissa went to a restaurant in our adopted home town for a high tea. Not being a snob, but generally when one thinks of a high tea, one usually thinks of waiters impeccably dressed in black and whites, crisp linen tablecloths, elegance, frills and ladida. Not a waitress wearing Ugg Boots. Of course in this day and age, it’s common to advertise your twitter and facebook pages – and expect customers to tweet you, or check in. As Nerissa writes an award winning blog over at “Adventures in Integration” (shameless plug), as well as a substantial twitter following, it was no surprise that she decided to tweet the restaurant about her disappointment in the waitress’s attire. They responded rather abruptly that it was non of her business, and after a wee bit of back and forth – they essentially told her to we’ll do what I want so STFU! Customer service gold star right there.
Second example … My friend Carrie-Lynn (it’s not my blog without a gratuitous plug for Carrie-Lynn Salikin – Visual Artist) married her lovely husband in a funky Hallowe’en ceremony. (Seriously, it looked like an awesome time! Just … amazing!) Now, one would assume that weddings are somewhat a little more formal – smart casual as a starting point, through to fully formal) … however, here it seems appropriate to wear heavy metal shirts and jeans!
I think some things in my adopted country I will never get used to. However, nothing will stop me from dressing up!