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James Andrew at the Met

James Andrew at the Met

When Scott McBee and I returned from Portugal the New York Season was already in full swing, so we wasted no time securing our tickets to Puccini’s Chinoiserie confection, Turandot. It’s one of the remaining productions designed by Franco Zeffirelli, and as expected it was an absolute dream!

Going to the opera is a special thing; musicians, and all the staff at the MET are dressed in formal attire. Which begs the question: why should’t all the patrons and attendees be dressed in anything less? Mcbee and I dressed in black tie of course, but we were appalled to see that less than 10% of the men atteneding wore black tie (women on the whole, were dressed quite nicely – thank you ladies). We’ve ranted about this in the past (see: Dress Code Please) It was all jeans, shorts etc., that time — as if folks were going to the local cineplex. We just can’t say it enough — this is simply unacceptable — the Met should have higher standards, and this should apply to all of the performing arts venues, as well as fine restaurants!

(detail) James Andrew at the Met

(detail) James Andrew at the Met

I’ve been accused of being an elitist, but we’re not talking about some sort of slavish adherence to traditions of the past. Our point is more about dressing appropriately to celebrate an elevated event, and having enough respect for ourselves and others to make some modicum of effort! Furthermore. as you know, we here at WIJW are even open to interesting variations on the theme. At the opening gala for example, we were rather taken by Miguel Angel Guzman and his ravishing ensemble: an elegant interpretation of the Kimono – it was perfectly appropriate AND alternative. Bravo!

Miguel Angel Guzman - Photo by Rose Callahan for lastnightatthemet.com

Miguel Angel Guzman – Photo by Rose Callahan for lastnightatthemet.com

There was a lovely young lady dressed in a vintage 1950’s ensemble — also quite stunning. It doesn’t have to be Tom Ford to be fabulous. In any case, I really do wish the Met would get on board with this, and start to require guests to dress appropriately.

To celebrate this amazing evening, (top) I’m sporting a Tom Ford chartreuse silk velvet dinner jacket, tuxedo pants, black silk faille bow tie, black and ivory silk pocket square and Tom Ford era Gucci white cotton voile ruffle and lace trimmed tuxedo shirt, a diamond evening set by M. de Phocas, Paul Stuart black silk evening hose, Creed Imperial Millesime fragrance, and a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel to add a sun-kissed glow.

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  1. Wendy woo says:

    Bravo! I couldn’t agree more. Recently, I attended a formal event and was shocked by the attire most opted for. Both sexes attended looking as of they were out and about running errands, or at home depot and suddenly remembered they were to be at the event, left their shopping carts and rushed over. People who don’t feel it respectful, if not necessary, to dress accordingly, should be ejected from the venue! It’s quite simple actually. If one doesn’t want to dress for the occasion, don’t attend.

  2. Suzanna Allen says:

    I could not agree more. I think the patrons should be at least as well dressed as the performers.
    Most people look like they are going to the beach it is just not correct unless they are going to the beach.
    Even if not black tie at least a nice suit and lovely tie.
    The performers go to a lot of work to prepare the least we can do is take the time to dress to show we appreciate their efforts.

  3. Hi there you handsome devils!! Who are always dressed beautifully!

    And I completely agree1 Even the local cineplex! What the hell?

    Athletic shoes, flip flops, gross sweatshirts….baggy shorts; cargo pants (the person who invented those needs to go to trial); People today dress as though they live in “Inner Slobbovia”; or “Outer Slobbovia”; and it is a really sad thing. (google “AlCapp” if you would like to see those to countries….or just google their names…..you will recognize immediately where we live!

    You guys look fabulous……and thank God for you two!!


  4. Thank God you show the buttonholes! Good grief! Why have them if they don’t really open!!!??!!

    We are dinosaurs……oh I hope not! Let’s go back to buttonholes that really open!

    Those fake ones where there is stitching around them…with buttons sewn on top of the fake holes remind me of shutters…..fake ones; nailed up on the sides of windows! No hinges, no shutter dogs….and worst of all……they are not big enough to even cover the windows if they worked at all!

    I call them “falsies”!! And I would like to remove them! Fake shutters are much worse than no shutters at all!

    Just my opinion! And, darling……those buttonholes are divine beyond!

    They still are made!!


  5. William J. Totten says:

    I agree but, unfortunately once they did away with the dress code in school, it was all down hill from there. (when I was at school the dress code was in place – proper slacks , shirts (tie optional), and shoes for guys, dresses or skirt and blouse for girls (no more than 1″ above the knee), no jeans, sneakers,t-shirts (or polo shirts), extreme hair styles, make-up , etc.) . Recently walking down 6th. Ave., I realized that there was not a suit to be seen and I won’t even describe the “get-ups” on most women. If dress codes are reinstated in the schools and workplace then maybe, things could change but,….I doubt it. Very sad.

  6. Dean Farris says:


    Don’t get me started…as Auntie Mame said, life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!

    Money helps, but not always-


  7. Karena says:

    Right, don’t get me started either, I realized the demise of good taste when I went back to church and saw people at Mass dressed like they had been out working in the garden!

    The Arts by Karena
    The India Hicks Collection

  8. James Andrew says:

    Dear Wendy Woo,

    Thanks for all your tremendous support!

    Not sure dress code can be brought back entirely- maybe – No jeans,sneakers etc….

    Working on some ideas to make people want to dress up for these more formal occasions- stay tuned!



  9. James Andrew says:

    Dear Suzanna Allen,

    It is just beyond me and I am shocked and horrified by it all!

    People need a re-education on proper dress,manners,respect etc…

    If only some of my rants rub off on people!

    All Best


  10. James Andrew says:

    Thank You My Darling Penelope Bianchi,

    It is just amazing – society has certainly lost a big chunk of chic!

    Most are soooo clueless – hopefully people like you and I – disciples of elegance and sophistication will have a positive effect and turn the tide.

    I have presented some ideas to the MET Opera for example – may be challenging to re-instate a proper dress code – but perhaps a few obvious things like- NO jeans,shorts,tshirts,sneakers etc

    and then – make the idea of dressing up fun – create a best dressed at the MET contest – winner get free opera tickets

    We shall see what they have to say!

    I hate fake – ha ha and yes button holes and shutters must work!

    All My Love


  11. James Andrew says:

    Hello William J Totten ,

    Interesting observation – and yes there has been a drastic decline in elegance,sophistication,manners etc .

    I propose we make the idea of dressing up fun – I have suggested to the MET opera to do a – best dressed at the MET contest – free opera tickets to the winners – have fun categories etc

    Thank You for you input and ALL Best


  12. James Andrew says:

    Dear Dean,

    You know I J’adore Auntie Mame!



  13. James Andrew says:

    Dear Karena,

    It is rather sad!

    Thankfully there are still a few bastians of chic that still exist!

    I will continue to rant and perhaps inspire a change!

    All Best


  14. David says:

    Dear James,

    That is one Fa-Bu-Lous jacket !


  15. Anne says:

    Insanely gorgeous. I would have jettisoned my shyness to at least stand next to you and admire the luscious suit, and stunning details (appreciated by only people who recall dress codes). And, to give you a very approving nod, and glare unapprovingly at the under-dressed Patrons!

  16. James Andrew says:

    Dear David,

    It is indeed a beauty- a rather unusual colour- that changes with the light from greenish amber to chartreuse.

    A show stopper – the brilliance of Tom Ford!



  17. James Andrew says:

    My Dear Anne,

    Always so re-assuring to hear that many others appreciate “Sartorial Splendour”

    Although I do try and not judge anyone- I could not help myself from an occasional unapproving glare at the under dressed patrons.

    All Best and Many Thanks


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