Post # 1
I just have a quick question about an upcoming dinner I am hosting for two Canadian couples this Saturday, 18 October. In my handwritten notes I mentioned that we dress for dinner, a commonly understood phrase in the UK indicating that the host is expecting evening attire. Dear Canadians, does that make sense to you? I don’t want to assume that they don’t know, but also don’t want to embarrass them. There will be eight of us, and it will be a traditional six-course dinner.
Thanks in advance. I couldn’t think of a better place to ask.
Post # 2
Persephone: Don’t worry. I don’t think they will misunderstand and think that otherwise you would be dining naked.
In Canada, we would say we dress up for dinner, but I think they will understand your intent. Besides, if they have doubts about the meaning of the phrase, one would hope they would ask.
Post # 3
Dining naked — thanks for making me laugh. We Brits are eccentric, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s been done before.
Thanks for the quick response. Much obliged.
Post # 4
Another Canadian weighing in…I’ve never really heard that term before/seen it on an invitation but I figured out what you meant. Your guests will probably understand as well 🙂 Do they know its a 6 course dinner?
Post # 5
I think I would want a little more info. I would assume I would be dressing up for dinner, but I wouldn’t assume that it would be evening attire and a six course meal (instead of business casual and a two course meal…)
Post # 6
Like others I haven’t seen that saying before but I would understand it if I saw it on an invite.
Post # 7
julies1949: Amusingly, the only time I’ve ever heard this phrase was on some comedy movie at a nude resort, and the main characters showed up naked to dinner. Someone looked down their nose at them and said “Pardon me, but we DRESS for dinner”. :p
Not Canadian (US here), but even in the context of the naked joke I figured out what the phrase originally meant, so I wouldn’t worry too much.
Post # 8
Another Canadian weighing in here. Not going to lie, my first thought would be “Gotcha..so..don’t show up naked then?”
After that, I’d probably google it to confirm that it meant “dress up” which is how it’s commonly phrased in Canada.
Post # 9
No, I did not specify the number of courses. We generally don’t announce that in advance, and since it is at our home we also don’t have printed menus. Thanks for pointing that out. It never would have crossed my mind.