Proms: Last Minute Advice

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by Spinal, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Spinal

    Spinal MB Enthusiast

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    So I'm going to listen to some Ravel tonight...

    Problem is, I have a tux in the car and a beige-linen suit on...

    Which would be more appropriate? She's told me she's wearing a "nice dress as it's been a while she hasn't dressed up"... so now I'm a bit worried!

    M.
     
  2. MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    RAH don't operate a dress code for the majority of their events, so you'll be amongst people in everything from evening dress to jeans and T-shirt. Just wear what you feel comfortable in, although if your other half has expectations of you, it's probably more important that you meet those. Not sure what you mean by "tux", but if it's just a DJ, as opposed to full evening dress, it's going to look rather odd with beige trousers and a business shirt...
     
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  3. OP
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    Spinal

    Spinal MB Enthusiast

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    It's a full tux... trousers with the stripe down the side, white shirt and black bow tie... oh, and of course a jacket!
     
  4. MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    In which case, that'll be fine. Just don't expect everyone else to be wearing the same. :)

    Have you got a box?
     
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  5. OP
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    Spinal

    Spinal MB Enthusiast

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    No idea... she's organised everything :p
     
  6. MOCAŠ

    MOCAŠ MB Enthusiast

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    Also, RAH will generally indicate on the tickets if there is a dress code in place for a given event. The Proms concerts are designed to appeal to wide audience, and (apart from the last night) are always fairly informal affairs.
     
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  7. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Enthusiast

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    As there is no dress code to make life simple, as you are not married and therefore not yet in the mode of doing exactly what you are told (summed up by a friend's SWMBOOPOD - "it is not necessary that you agree, it is only necessary that you obey"), you only have one priority which is not showing her up. Unless she is very secure and relaxed, turning up in evening dress to an event where almost everybody will be totally shabby and dressed for a very muggy evening will raise her insecurity levels. Linen jacket fine.

    Linen suit and large panama was the favourite summer dress of Sir Thomas Beecham, the famous proms conductor and all round wit. Merely state that it is your personal homage to the famous man, quote his two most famous bon mots (I will supply them for a small fee) and you would have established yourself as an all round savant and wit.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
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  8. OP
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    Spinal

    Spinal MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks - linen suit it is!

    Last time I was at the RAH it was for my graduation ceremony... (interestingly, I also got to hear that glorious organ play while we were waiting for everything to be set up)

    M.
     
  9. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Enthusiast

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    Mention of that glorious organ (and it is, a great work from Harrison and Harrison of Durham) brings to mind the first Beecham bon mot - walking through the cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral, he noticed a gravestone inscribed with "Here lies a fantastic organist and an excellent musician." To which he remarked "What, both in the same grave?"

    (musicians on the whole don't think organists are)
     
  10. st13phil

    st13phil MB Enthusiast

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    Didn't Beecham used to refer to the BBC Symphony Orchestra as "Sargent's Mess"?
     
  11. prprandall51

    prprandall51 MB Enthusiast

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    Hmm, not sure about the advice being given out here.

    The golden rule is "You can never be overdressed" (except at a nudist colony event).

    If the other half is pushing out the boat, she will expect you to do something similar and your work suit will not cut the mustard (unless a linen suit is not your standard work attire and the linen suit is - for you - pushing the boat out) (No offence intended).

    If you wear the Tux, you will look dashing and impressive and - because it is the Royal Albert Hall (which is a stunning backdrop to any event), you will not look out of place - even if you are the only one there in a Tux (and I bet you aren't).

    Your partner will be delighted that you have pushed the boat out because I bet she has, too. Your only requirement is to carry a confident air all evening and order Vodka Martinis (shaken, not stirred) at the interval rather than a can of Lilt.

    I wish you an enjoyable evening whichever mode of dress you choose but, whilst I have the greatest respect for Charles Morgan, I doubt that a defence of The Linen Suit based around the observation that some old crust who happened to be good with words and waving a wand around also wore one will carry you through. If you had a Panama hat to hand, you might just get away with Charles' strategy but frankly I am sanguine.

    Personally, I am huge fan of PG Wodehouse; he invariably wore cardigans with holes in and house slippers when his wife had people round for dinner but I wouldn't dream of copying my hero the next time my wife has a few friends over to put on the nose bag with us.
     
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  12. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Enthusiast

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    Always scope for a different approach.

    I suppose the acid test is did Spinal get it last night or merely get it in the neck?
     
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  13. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    ...when all is said and done...
     
  14. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Enthusiast

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    There is a serious point in here somewhere. The Proms (apart from the last night) is really all about the relaxed enjoyment of the music. Dressing up in August in a very hot space is not good fun, but more to the point, when it comes to the female of the species, dressing up is accompanied far too often by excessive jewellery (the rattle of bangles is a particular bugbear) and by perfume (I'd rather be able to breathe freely without choking and coughing loudly to the detriment of the sound), and worst is the handbag through which there will be noisy rummaging.

    This is not music snobbery but merely a notion that going to a concert can be absolutely electrifying, and can be completely ruined by someone coughing, jangling their bangles, rustling in the handbag, opening sweets and excessive fidgeting. All cured by being dressed sensibly.

    Wearing evening dress to Glyndebourne or similar is part of the experience, but the auditorium is air-conditioned and on the whole (one mad woman at Don Giovanni excepted) the audience are there for the music and have been suitably trained.
     
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  15. prprandall51

    prprandall51 MB Enthusiast

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    But surely, of all musical events, the Proms is about the complete experience and having an enjoyable evening, and therefore dressing up should be part of the experience if that's what you want to do, and not, if you don't.

    As it happens, I am a complete fascist when it comes to certain events. I abhor the recent trends to casual dress at Covent Garden but I do think the Proms is where you should be free to go as you please and if that means bangles and jewellery galore, that's OK in my book just as much as jeans and trainers.
     
  16. Druk

    Druk MB Enthusiast

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    It's just not cricket, old chap. :D
     
  17. OP
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    Spinal

    Spinal MB Enthusiast

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    Right... so... all said and done... your comments made me dash out of work and change into a tux...

    Quite glad I brought it along actually, as while I was overdressed... and probably the only person other than the conductor wearing a tux, she was suitably impressed. I also ditched the G-Shock for an Oyster...

    She wore a blue dress she had never worn before (and swore never to wear again... women...) with a single blue rock pendant on a silver/white-gold thread necklace (geologist).

    Anyhow; long story short... the tux was the way I went... and am glad I did! Yes, it was quite warm in the RAH, and we did have a box... but whenever the door got opened there was a breath of air... and amidst ravel's notes, how can you complain?

    M
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
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  18. prprandall51

    prprandall51 MB Enthusiast

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    Fantastic. The only person you needed to impress was impressed and that's all that matters. I bet you two looked great together and I bet quite a few other blokes there got earache from their partners for not making the effort you did.
     
  19. Charles Morgan

    Charles Morgan MB Enthusiast

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    Excellent it all went well, evidently prprandall51 is a much shrewder judge of the feminine psyche than me, which is probably why I am a happily misanthropic bachelor!

    The thing that really makes the Proms special to me is having this magnificent cornucopia of musical civilisation on the doorstep, brought to huge audiences of all sorts (that are to be found in Hampstead generally) by some of the world's greatest orchestras, performers and conductors. It is probably because I go so often that the occasion itself is less to me about the fact of attending and more about the music and simply being able to enjoy it in relative comfort. A friend I know goes to each and every Prom as a prommer, pitching up in office wear.

    I still think bangles, heavy perfume, plastic bags are the devil's work in an auditorium, and much prefer the blue stocking approach to this wonderful institution!

    The final word to Sir Thomas Beecham "the English may not like music, but they absolutely love the noise it makes"
     
  20. prprandall51

    prprandall51 MB Enthusiast

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    I see where you are going wrong, Charles. You believe that the final word should be given to Sir Thomas Beecham, whereas I know the final word always goes to the woman!
     
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