Dressing for Dinner

I was wondering for those that have been on a RS tour before when we all meet for dinner is there any certain kind of dress code or is Jeans and a T-shirt acceptable anywhere we go? I will be traveling on the London & Paris tour in a few weeks and wanted to find out. Thanks!

Posted by Rick
Chicago, IL, USA
473 posts

Not having been on an RS tour, I can't comment upon the type of restaurant where you'll meet. But in general, in Europe, a T-shirt is frowned upon. But nice jeans (not faded, no holes, etc.), a nice shirt, and a decent pair of shoes will not raise an eyebrow in moderate restaurants in Europe. I've found that black jeans can look nicer than blue jeans.

Posted by Rosemary
Lakewood, CO
155 posts

We have been on 2 RS tours (Italy & France) and you don't need to worry about dressing for dinner. Everything is very informal.

Posted by BG
Albany, CA, USA
1545 posts

I have been on 2 Rick Steves tours -- Paris and Venice. Please do not wear jeans and a T-shirt to go out to dinner in Paris or London. Rick's tours are "casual", but they take you to nice restaurants -- not fancy dress-up places -- but nice. The locals will not be dressed like you describe. Perhaps you do not care if you stand out, but you will. Bring a nice top to wear with some nice jeans, and a pair of shoes other than white athletic shoes, and you will look fine. Pretty easy, right?

Posted by Darla
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, U.S.A.
397 posts

I was on a R/S tour last fall and I wished that I had brought more dress cloths for dinner. I packed light with one nice skirt and two tops that matched, I also had a light pair of black pants that matched the tops. Not all dinners did the other tour members dress up a little, but almost every woman did. I wore mostly travel cloths from R.E.I. so they are not as casual as jeans. Jeans take a long time to dry, and they are heavy so I normally don't take them with me. I hope this helps you.

Posted by BG
Albany, CA, USA
1545 posts

I agree jeans take a long time to dry, but I usually manage at least one stop at a laundromat during my trip, and previously I have gone to Europe in Oct, Nov and January, so I appreciate wearing jeans in cooler weather. And jeans are stylish in Europe as they are here. My trips so far have been to big cities-- London, Paris, Venice & Florence. This has been my experience over the last 7 years.
I am an older woman, but I can still fit in jeans! I pair good quality ones with nice tops and shoes, a jacket or short coat. This look can take you almost anywhere. If going to a fancy place, I would wear nice black pants, with a black sweater, black shoes, perhaps with some interesting earings or scarf. (which are fun to buy over there). If you are backpacking through Europe, it will be difficult and inappropriate to pack these items. It depends on the kind of trip you are doing -- but for hanging in the cities and packing light, this kind of wardrobe works.

Posted by Barbara
Danbury, CT, USA
18 posts

I've been on seven tours. Jeans and t-shirts are acceptable but you will probably be more comfortable (socially), wearing a knit shirt and slightly dressier slacks. Several of the restaurants that we ate at in both London and Paris were quite nice.

Posted by CL
Salem, Oregon, USA
960 posts

I took the 17 day Italy tour. Dinners were casual and usually they put the group in a separate space so you weren't compared too much to other diners. I'd describe most clothing choices as "cruise casual" - clean, tidy, but not fancy. I took a black skirt and black pants with a nicer top and felt more than adequate. On the "on your own" dinners the only thing that felt out of place was my black gortex jacket. Considering you're doing London/Paris, I'd probably pack something a bit more dressy.