When is it appropriate to wear a wetsuit out to dinner? This question I’m sure has been raised sundry times since Hugh Bradner, a University of California, Berkeley physicist, invented the wetsuit in 1952. As with many focal questions that need to be answered, the editors at DansPapers.com once again turn to me, Mr. Sneiv, for the answer.
For clarification, we are not talking about your standard “I just got done catching some wave action and want to walk into the local burger shop” type of scenario. We are talking about wearing a full wetsuit out to a high-end Hamptons restaurant…in the middle of the winter.
The initial part of my research hinged on being able to get in touch with anyone who yearns to have such a question answered. This was easy as I was able to light on several local surfers who all were desirous of taking the idea out for a spin.
Brad explains, “My wetsuit is both comfortable and warm. Rather than wear layer upon layer of clothing in the winter to keep me warm, when I go out to dinner I would much prefer to wear my Orca Sonar full-sleeve wetsuit. It’s stylish, and trust me when I tell it’s as expensive as a wool suit.”
“What about shoes?” I ask.
“Of course I would wear dress socks and shoes along with my wetsuit. And if a restaurant had a coat and tie requirement, I would gladly wear each over my designer neoprene as well,” he adds.
Surfer magazine has named Montauk as one of America’s best surf towns on several occasions. In April 2009, they penned an article, “Best Surf Towns: #8 Montauk New York.” What is principal, is the tagline accompanying the article, naming it among the “Best Places in the U.S. to Eat, Sleep, Work and Shred.” This clearly demonstrates the correlation between surfing and fine dining.
It seems logical to me that even if one does not surf, he or she may still want to purchase and wear this type of attire out to dinner in the winter. Most wetsuits are black, which means they are already color appropriate for evenings on the town.
I am confident that if a major celebrity, as a fashion statement, wanted to don a wetsuit and dine at a local restaurant, they would not be rejected. Let’s not forget that Lady Gaga wore a meat dress to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
After my recent surfer interactions, I decided to contact several upscale East End dining establishments to ascertain if they would indeed permit wetsuit diners.
Because I love and frequent these restaurants, I have no desire to publish their names, lest in the future I be relegated to the back table next to the bathroom. However, I can say that none were openly in favor of this type of patron. One manager even went so far as to say, “We reserve the right to refuse service to any customer.”
In this new age of equality and the rising tensions that seem to be steeped in an unwillingness to accept diversity, I really think we should try to be more understanding and sympathetic to these types of situations.
So when do I think it is appropriate to wear a wetsuit out to dinner? Anytime you want, so long as you are not dining in close proximity to me.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For those looking to wear a more deftly designed wetsuit to dinner, try TBWA\Hakuhodo and Quicksilver’s True Wetsuits, which come in the form of a custom tailored neoprene business suit. Unfortunately, they are currently available only in Japan. See video below.