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Respectfully Yours: No sweats for comfy attire on game night

Dear Jacquelyn,

My husband and I are invited to a social gathering and the host suggests comfy-casual attire. The evening is going to be a relaxing night that includes pizza and some game playing. My husband insists on wearing khakis and a button-down. I said comfy-casual was sweats or maybe jeans but definitely not khakis and a button-down. This is causing a slightly heated debate. He is not comfortable heading out to meet friends in sweats. What is the difference between casual and comfy casual attire?

Dear Reader,

In social circles, the difference between casual and comfy casual is entirely up for interpretation.

Dress code terminology is merely a tool used to provide us with guidelines so we can dress appropriately for particular situations.

When the term “comfy-casual” is used, it is a safe bet that you can wear pretty much anything because it is a term that has no formal meaning.

Comfy-casual is not a style. It is a wardrobe choice. You have the liberty to decide how casual you want to be.

Comfy is how you dress after work or on the weekend when you are watching television. To be more specific, comfy-casual is what you wear at home on your own sofa.

Casual attire, similar to comfy-attire, is relaxed and informal.

However, it’s typically what you wear out in public versus on the sofa in the privacy of your own home. Casual for men could be jeans combined with a polo or T-shirt.

Your husband is not necessarily wrong wanting to wear khakis and a button-down shirt. If that is his comfort zone, then that’s his take on comfy-casual. As long as the interpretation of comfy-casual is not dumpy and sloppy, it’s fine to wear whatever is most comfortable.

Respectfully Yours,


Have a question? Email: jacquelyn@ptd.net. Jacquelyn Youst is owner of the Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol, specializing in etiquette training.

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