When it comes to dining etiquette, knowing how to dress appropriately is just as important as knowing which fork to use. Wearing a suit to a formal dinner is a classic choice, but it's essential to understand the do's and don'ts of suit etiquette at the dinner table. In this blog post, we'll explore the key guidelines to ensure you make a polished and professional impression.
Should you keep your suit jacket on or off?
While it may be tempting to take off your suit jacket once you sit down, it's considered proper etiquette to keep it on throughout the meal. Removing your jacket can give off a casual vibe and may be seen as disrespectful in formal settings. However, if you feel uncomfortably warm, discreetly ask for permission to remove it.
What should you do with your napkin?
Upon sitting down, unfold your napkin and place it on your lap. The napkin should remain on your lap throughout the meal and should be used to gently blot your mouth, if necessary. When you excuse yourself from the table, place your napkin neatly on the seat of your chair.
How should you handle utensils?
Knowing which utensils to use and when can be intimidating, but it's simpler than it seems. Start from the outside and work your way in with each course. If you're unsure, observe the host or follow the lead of others at the table. Remember to hold your utensils properly, with your index finger extended along the back of the handle.
Is it acceptable to use your phone at the table?
Using your phone during a meal is generally considered impolite and distracting. It's best to keep your phone out of sight and on silent mode. If you must use your phone for an urgent matter, politely excuse yourself from the table and step away to take the call or respond to a message.
What about spills or accidents?
Accidents happen, and if you spill something on your suit, it's important to handle it gracefully. Quickly excuse yourself from the table and discreetly dab the stain with a napkin or ask for assistance. Avoid making a scene or drawing unnecessary attention to the mishap.
Should you leave anything on the table?
At the end of the meal, it's customary to leave your plate and utensils as they are. Avoid stacking plates or piling up utensils, as this is the responsibility of the waitstaff. When you are ready to leave the table, push your chair in neatly and thank the host for the meal.
By following these suit etiquette guidelines at the dinner table, you'll demonstrate your respect for the occasion and those around you. Remember, proper etiquette is not about showing off, but rather about making others feel comfortable and valued. So, next time you attend a formal dinner, put your best foot forward and let your impeccable suit etiquette shine.