We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Dress code at Rules

Which London hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
toronto
Level Contributor
252 posts
188 reviews
Save Topic
Dress code at Rules

I will be visiting London with my husband and two teenage children. We are all foodies and are quite comfortable at 5 star restaurants at home but here is my dilemma. When we travel we like to travel light in terms of luggage - just one step up from backpackers so we usually dine in more casual bistro-style restaurants and avoid having to pack dressier clothes. I would love to have dinner at Rules when we are in London but I am concerned that I won't have the proper attire. Do you think we could get away with jeans (nice dark ones, not faded and no holes!) and a plain shirt or sweater? If it's a jacket and tie-style place we'll have to pass.

Thanks for the help!

Redlands, California
Level Contributor
2,925 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Dress code at Rules

We've eaten there several times. While it's normally been our "nice" night out and get dressed up for it, you can definitely get away with dress casual. My 18yo son wore khakis and a black v-neck long sleeve sweater with black leather trainers on our last visit, while my 63yo step-dad wore a jacket and tie. I usually wear dress slacks and a nice blouse. Hope that gives you an idea. I think you'll be fine!

Hitchin, United...
Level Contributor
8,322 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Dress code at Rules

For most 4-5 star restaurants these days, a long or short sleeved collared shirt teamed with dark jeans is actually pretty acceptable. Trainers (sneakers) can be the deal breaker... if they are brown leather you'll probably get away with them. If they are white, you'll probably not be so lucky.

As a guide, whenever I'm in doubt I wear a long sleeved collared shirt, standard suit trousers, and a smart pair of shoes. I've never been turned away from anywhere in London.

As a final decider, if you are unsure on packing, just email Rules and ask.

Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
113 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Dress code at Rules

I went to Rules a few years back - we wore what I call dressy casual - non-jeans and a nice top - same as I would wear to the theatre. I don't think I'd feel comfortable in jeans, but the nice darker ones should be fine. I don't think men need jacket & tie.

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
40,634 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Dress code at Rules

I've been lucky to eat there three times and have worn both a jacket and tie and gone smart casual. Personally I wouldn't feel comfortable in less (and I'm a jeans person) but on one visit the couple of men next to us wore jeans and t-shirt and the waiters didn't bat an eyelid.

toronto
Level Contributor
252 posts
188 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Dress code at Rules

Thanks for the advice from people who have been there. Sadly, there will be white sneakers on the kids. Can't see how I'll get around that one. I'll email the restaurant just to be sure. Maybe they'll take pity on us - LOL!

Hitchin, United...
Level Contributor
8,322 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Dress code at Rules

^^ I'm generally a jacket person when eating somewhere smart, so when I wear just a shirt, I feel underdressed. (I don't own a pair of jeans by the way).

I tell you what though, it ticks me off, after all this effort, when I dress in a jacket and trousers just to be sure, and some scruffy git is wearing jeans and a T shirt next to me! Come on, if somewhere is a rated restaurant, at least make a bit of effort!

(Oh and I couldn't care less how much that T shirt costs someone. A £90 Gucci T shirt does not make you "smart" just because it was dear). ;-)

Athens
Level Contributor
18,811 posts
117 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Dress code at Rules

<<I tell you what though, it ticks me off, after all this effort, when I dress in a jacket and trousers just to be sure, and some scruffy git is wearing jeans and a T shirt next to me! Come on, if somewhere is a rated restaurant, at least make a bit of effort!

(Oh and I couldn't care less how much that T shirt costs someone. A £90 Gucci T shirt does not make you "smart" just because it was dear). ;-)>>

AMEN!!!

There is no point for nice restaurants if we don't make the effort to dress up!

London, United...
Destination Expert
for London
Level Contributor
3,822 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Dress code at Rules

What really ticks me off is that if I meet the restaurant's minimum dress code that there will be someone sitting nearby who will spend part of their evening looking at what I'm wearing and feel the need to privately criticise me.

I say this as someone who does dress up when going to nice restaurants but doesn't pay much attention to what my fellow diners are wearing because I'm always with good company and my attention is on them and having a good evening.

Just my humble opinion of course :).

Athens
Level Contributor
18,811 posts
117 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Dress code at Rules

The thing is, Mick, that at some places the minimum dress code is kind of "vague". Or, people with less than the minimum are allowed in.

For example, in July, I went for tea at Dukes. There was this group of people wearing jeans or vermuda trousers, flipflops (both men and women) and footy jerseys (the men). The minute we sat down, our waiter apologised for both their appearance and their behaviour (they were very loud and possibly drunk) but they were residents of the hotel. For me, this was rather annoying because I made the effort to look nice at a place which is "required" to look nice and yet some peole who didn't were sitting next to me!

I just don't understand what's wrong with making the extra effort to look nice for ourselves and the people around us who did the same.

Hitchin, United...
Level Contributor
8,322 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Dress code at Rules

So to be clear Mick, what are you saying? That I'm wrong to be offended at the guy at the next table wearing a T Shirt while my party are wearing shirts and jackets?

Or that I shouldn't worry about what everyone else is wearing?

You did say "If everyone fits into the dress policy" (Or thereabouts, I apologise for paraphrasing). So if everyone fitted the policy, there would be no offence, no?

I'm not sure on your point.

All I say is that if you are fine dining, then dress smartly, then you can't go wrong.

It's such a shame that people don't see the need to dress up for a 5 star restaurant these days. Comfort schomfort. It doesn't take much effort to put trousers on. They're not uncomfortable. If one truly wants to be "comfortable" and wear jeans, trainers and a T shirt, I can reccommend a good burger joint in Soho where they wouldn't look out of place, AND they could drink budweiser out of the bottle if they so wished.