At the party on Saturday I had a great time chatting and flirting with M and although I didn’t have an opportunity to ask her home for some play, we did have fun checking out of the girls standing at the bar. They started to fill the bar about an hour after we got there and they were all dressed in 4 inch stilettos, black ultra-mini-skirts and dresses or skinny black pants with cleavage revealing or bust enhancing tops.  Their ensembles were not the typical drunken evening out outfits purchased at Strawberry or H&M that my friends and I wore at their age, but from Bloomingdale’s and Barneys instead. Seeing all these girls who were dressed to the nines made me once again ask the question, when did everyone in New York collectively decide that they needed to dress in high fashion when going out?

A couple of months ago my bf and I were out with B on one of our early dates with her and we decided to meet up at a restaurant in the Lower East Side. The restaurant was totally average, no reservations required, not too expensive and well, average food. The three of us were dressed in jeans and sexy shirts and of course B and I were in heels and my bf had on his nice/hip sneakers. This is how I’ve been dressing when going out the last 10+ years that I’ve lived in NY, as have all of my friends, so we were surprised to see so many of the other girls in the restaurant dressed in what we eventually simply labeled as prom dresses. Satin, chiffon, strapless, sequins. It was like nothing I had seen before so I started to pay more attention to see if that was a fluke or if there was a shift in the acceptable dress code when going out. Everywhere I’ve been since, I have noticed that all the girls are dressed similarly no matter where they go out.

So, I guess I wasn’t particularly surprised to see all the young women dressed in this fashion, but it was just so uncharacteristic for this particular bar, which was just teetering on dive bar. I loved the bar — definitely my kind of place — great big open space, booths on the side wall opposite the long bar and a pool table in the back. Not the type of place that you would dress up for, but these young women had. Did these women spend their teen years glued to the HBO watching Sex in the City and develop the style from there, assuming incorrectly that all women in NY dressed that way? Or did their mothers take them shopping at all the trendy boutiques when they came into the city for a spree? I did not get the question answered that night so I am left to ponder it further, but will close this by saying that no doubt their high fashion duds wound up crumpled on the floor next to the bed of the boy they went home with, just the same way our cheap clothes do when we go home with a playmate.