Chelsea Handler might be known for her often vulgar comedy, but she still apparently plays by Emily Post’s sartorial rules.
Handler shared a photo of a recent interaction she had on Instagram, with the caption, “This man thought it was okay to wear a bathrobe in `restaurant. It’s not, and now he knows.” In the image, she appears to be scolding the man, while he looks like he’s defending himself in his cozy white robe. Handler is tugging on her white tee, seemingly to help demonstrate what appropriate attire is.
Her followers are torn as to whether or not wearing a robe outside the comfort of a spa, hotel room, or home is acceptable.
“WTF???? Glad you set him straight!!” one supporter wrote. “As a manger of a restaurant in a hotel, I thank you…from the bottom of my heart,” said another. “Get him, Chels,” someone applauded. “What f***ing planet was this on?!” wrote someone else. “It’s not ok and It doesn’t matter how close the spa is. No bathrobes in restaurants!”
A few, however, are defending the bathrobe-clad-man. “If anything, the world needs MORE bath robes in public!” one commenter declared. “If it has a lax code it could be ok,” wrote another.
However, according to the pros, Handler was right. “All rules of etiquette are based on the respect for others,” Samantha von Sperling, etiquette expert and image consultant, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. When asked if wearing a bathrobe in a restaurant was ever OK, she was surprised the question even needed to be asked. “It is not OK to wear a bathrobe to restaurant, ever!” she proclaimed. “What was he thinking? Who does he think he is? What about respect for other people!?”
Handler was skiing in Whistler, Canada, when she took this photo, so it seems safe to assume that this restaurant is connected to a hotel (which followers confirmed in comments labeling the location the Fairmont). But that’s not an excuse. “If you are at a resort hotel and you feel like ordering a little something from the poolside snack bar as a break from sunning yourself, fine, put your robe on,” says von Sperling. “Apart from that absolutely not, under no circumstances!”
If you don’t have the respect for yourself to put on some real clothes, she reasons, at least think about those around you. “Is a bathrobe really how you want to present yourself?” she queries. “You’re not adding anything to the view or environment. That’s why when you go to a fancy party it says ‘black tie,’ because it adds to the environment. When you show up looking like hell, you detract from the environment, which is not nice for other people who come to have lunch, feel good.” According to von Sperling, “it’s about decency in public.”
She notes that looking dirty, sloppy, or uncombed is inappropriate in public. So is going shirtless or shoeless. “Untucked shirts are OK,” she says in regards to the hipster trend. “There are limits to how dirty and scruffy you can be.” As for lazy ladies, von Sperling has some bad news: Walking your dog in slippers is unacceptable, as are curlers or a bathrobe for a quick trip outside.
But what about the plain tee and messy bun Handler sported at this restaurant?! She looked pretty casual herself. “If it’s a sporty scenario or hipster dive coffee shop in Brooklyn, a grungy tee and messy bun are excusable,” von Sperling confirms, letting Handler off the hook since she had probably removed her ski gear for the meal. “But anywhere else, from the Four Seasons to just your average casual bistro for lunch, anything more than McDonalds, you don’t have to go in a cocktail dress, but put yourself together a little, make yourself presentable,” she says.
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