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    Bartending Apparel



    I just started working part-time as a bartender at a local theatre-in-the-round. We only have a limited bar, but it's fun stuff. Anyway, there is no set uniform, and I have quite a bit of leeway as to how I want to dress for the job. I used to work concession and ticket-tearing detail, and our uniforms are basically mock tuxedos minus the jacket (burgundy cummerbund and bow tie, very cheesy). I obviously don't want to wear that, but I want to wear something decent without overdoing it. It also has to be practical for mixing drinks. Any ideas? I just did a shirt and tie this weekend, pretty basic.

    "The principle can be established that for a man who does not cheat, what he believes to be true must determine his action."
    -- Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

    #2


    I feel like a vest would work well. It keeps things classy while keeping mobility.

    And if you're gonna do a tie, definitely throw a tie-bar in there for control.

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      #3


      I was just coming in to suggest a vest! Having worked in restaurants, I can appreciate the desire for functionality blended with style, particularly as a bartender. I think I'd suggest a fitted dress shirt - the kind with a crisp collar - with a tie (and tie bar), under a vest. I'd also roll the sleeves up for the more casual look/added functionality of not having long sleeves getting in your way.


      As far as color palette goes, I'd stick to darks. Not necessarily all black, but I probably wouldn't go with anything other than black or dark gray, given the occupation. I think it lends a certain dignified formality to the wearer, though I also think that maybe mixing it up with the tie and the vest as far as pattern goes can do something to shake up the darkness and prevent it from being boring. I'd probably go with black chinos and some kind of shoe that doesn't look like a normal work shoe but also has a gripping sole. I think Shoes For Crews makes some shoes like that intended for restaurant managers to wear. They probably won't look amazing, but I think it's better than a pair of Crocs or whatever other awful work shoe you see most people in.


      Edit: Like http://www.shoesforcrews.com/sfc3/in...artnumber=1205, for instance. They're not the pinnacle of style, and looking at the heel, they have that clunky HG Bass thing going on, but looking at it from the top down, the profile doesn't look particularly offensive, and they're great in terms of function. I think for shoes made specifically for work environments, that's about as stylish as it's probably going to get.

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        #4


        Vest! Vest! Vest!

        Dress for style, live for results.

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          #5


          Vest to be the Best!

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            #6


            I agree about the vest for both the look and the tie control.


            But...if you were to veer away from that, I would suggest - with a grin - that a midnight navy blue tuxedo would be fantastic. Of course, you could buy 10 vests for the price of that, but hey, you asked.

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              #7


              Well it looks like the unanimous idea is the vest, so I'd better pick up one of those. (any suggestions by the way?)The guy who used to tend the bar wore a vest and a pre-tied bow tie. He got teased a lot by the rest of the staff for it, but I have a feeling it was more because he was a tool bag and less because of the vest.

              "The principle can be established that for a man who does not cheat, what he believes to be true must determine his action."
              -- Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

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                #8


                ^ That just means he couldn't pull it off. But you're a dapper gentleman, you'll be fine.


                I personally love a light gray waistcoat, but I don't really know what the style is like there, so you might need something more subtle.

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                  #9


                  Nothing expensive, as it only stands to get ruined. Why do you think so many bartenders wear black?

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                    #10


                    As much as we talk about not wearing black suits and pants on this site because it makes you look like you're wearing a work uniform. You _are_ wearing a work uniform. So unless you own the place, wearing black is very appropriate. White shirts are easy to bleach clean. Then your (hehe) "flair" piece can be a bowtie, striped tie, etc. That's where you inject more personality.


                    So with a black vest...I'm just contemplating whether it's worth looking for a black vest that is solid fabric all the way around or if it's different when it's black to just have the usual polyester on the back. My only hangup with the poly backs to vests is that it looks like you were supposed to be wearing a jacket to cover it up.

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