Etiquette

Disagree with Miss Manners re: watches at weddings/formal events

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Re: Disagree with Miss Manners re: watches at weddings/formal events

  • NYCBruin said:

    Yes, so wearing one implies a need to keep track of time, which suggests that there are other demands on your time.  This isn't some huge leap in logic.  I'm not saying I would be offended if someone was wearing a watch to a social event, just that the logic behind the rule isn't as insane as some posters here are suggesting.

    And there are rude behaviors that one can only do while wearing a watch, which is another reason why many people advise against wearing them at certain events.  The same way that if you're someone who plays with their hair when they are nervous, people may suggest that you not wear your hair down to interviews or important meetings.  
    No, it doesn't.  Again, you are making assumptions and reading into things.  A watch is used to keep track of time, but not necessarily because someone has some other place to be.

    And just because someone is wearing a watch doesn't mean that they are going to be constantly checking the time.  Even looking at the time once isn't rude. 

    Constantly looking at your watch, sure could be rude.
    If you have no where else to be or no other demand on your time, what is the purpose of keeping track of the time/wearing a watch?
     

    I hate not knowing what time it is. Like really hate it. I don't wear watches but I do check my phone a lot to check the time. It isn't because I'm in a hurry it is simply because I like to know what time it is.
    KeptInStitchesPrettyGirlLost
  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I will be waiting for the ceremony to start while sitting alone in the back of a van (the wedding is in the middle of a garden, nowhere for me to make an entrance from without being seen beforehand). I sure as hell will be wearing my beautiful, classic Rolex!
    ~*~*~*~*~

    PrettyGirlLostrajahmd
  • Oh my goodness, thanks for all the responses!  I've been gone for a day and never realized my little post would garner so much attention.

    I also found it interesting to read the point of view between diamonds/no diamonds before 6PM.  I had never heard that fashion rule before either.  It reminded me of a part-time summer job I had in college selling school uniforms.  I went with my boss to this very upper class hoity-toity (read expensive tuition).  Almost every single mother there was wearing either a tennis or work-out outfit...but with a full set of flashy, huge diamonds.  The whole she-bang...2 carat stud earrings, diamond tennis bracelets, diamond solitaire necklaces at least 2 carats, and enormous diamond wedding rings.

    I didn't really side-eye it, but just thought it was unusual.  In a lull, I mentioned to my boss I was surprised to see so many women wearing extravagant jewelry with casual clothing.  She laughed and said in a fake, haughty tone, "Oh no, daaahhhhling.  That is not extravagant. Those are their "everyday" diamonds!"

    And I had totally forgotten about the "no watches" rule at rush parties!  I think only one alum helping with the party was allowed to wear one so that someone could keep an eye on the time, since each group of rushees could only be at our party for a set amount of time.  Aaaahhh, thanks for the trip down memory lane, lol.

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  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2014
    OK.  Here is the logic.

    Tuxedos are semi-formal dinner clothes.  They were designed for Edward VII, who was a heavy weight monarch, and he was uncomfortable in white tie and tails that he had to wear every night for dinner.  They were considered too informal for weddings until the 1960s.  Formal weddings were most often held in the daytime until then.  The correct formal mens attire is a morning coat (cut away).  Daytime weddings had (and should still have) daytime receptions, so there was no dress issue.  Formal evening clothes (white tie and tails, tuxedos, floor length evening gowns) are as out of place in the daytime as jeans and tee shirts are at a formal dinner.

    Diamonds in the daytime is from a time when only wealthy people had diamond jewelry.  The same rule that made evening clothes inappropriate in the daytime applies to diamond jewelry.  If you watch "Downton Abbey", you won't see anyone wearing them in the daytime, except maybe for Shirley McClaine's character - the gauche American.  Pearls could be worn anytime of day, but diamonds were evening only jewelry.

    Are these rules outdated?  Perhaps.  The problem is that the wedding industry loves to show us magazine ads of bridal parties romping on a green lawn wearing tuxedos and evening dresses in full daylight.  Do they want you to buy or rent those tuxedos?  You bet, they do!
    PrettyGirlLost had a good point, that the DeBeers corporation has been pushing diamond jewelry at us for decades.  Do they want us to reserve them for formal evenings only?  Hell, no!  They want us all to crave those sparkly engagement rings, diamond stud earrings, pendant necklaces and tennis bracelets.  (Tennis bracelets?  The Dowager Countess would have a snarky remark about those!)
    Anyway, you asked for the history, and here it is.  My mother gave me hell for wearing the big diamond cocktail ring under my glove at daughter's wedding. Well, I had to break at least one etiquette rule!

    PS.  I own a platinum and diamond watch from my mother.  It needs maintenance.  It is engraved on the back with one of her ex-husband's names.  Amy Vanderbilt said that a diamond watch was a ridiculous piece of jewelry because you shouldn't wear diamonds in the daytime, and you shouldn't wear a watch with evening clothes.  Hm.  Too bad!



    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    carliealissaPrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Sars06 said:
    And, technically, one should never own a watch with diamonds because diamonds are only for evening. :)

    Who even wears a watch these days anyway?
    I do.  It's a nice watch (looks like a bracelet) so this is one instance in which I'll disregard Miss Manners.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • I think that if I'm ever invited to the annual Highland Ball at Balmoral Castle, the watch rule would be useful information, because I wouldn't want to offend the queen.
    Given the odds of that actually happening to anyone, I think we can all safely wear our watches as we please. 
    Maggie0829PrettyGirlLost
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited April 2014
    I think that if I'm ever invited to the annual Highland Ball at Balmoral Castle, the watch rule would be useful information, because I wouldn't want to offend the queen.
    Given the odds of that actually happening to anyone, I think we can all safely wear our watches as we please. 
    Actually, the Queen violates the diamonds in the daytime rule quite often, and for a reason.  She was taught by her grandmother, the late Queen Mary, that people expected her to look like a queen, and that they would be disappointed if she wasn't well dressed and wearing good jewelry.  I believe her favorite piece is a diamond brooch.  This is why she always wears hats, so she can be easily seen in a crowd.  (The Queen is very petite.)
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    PrettyGirlLost
  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Ack! Paragraphs... @CMGragain My comment was mostly sarcasm. I am well aware of the diamond rule, but I disagree with it. As a previous poster said, diamond studs are more casual than chandelier pearl earrings- wear jewelry that is appropriate to the event. Besides- who made the rule that diamonds are only formal? I'm quite curious as to when this became a "thing". Diamond engagement rings were not popular until DeBeers told the world so (that and you need to spend 3 months' worth of pay on one). Before that it was rubies, emeralds and sapphires- where do they fit into the casual-formal spectrum? I don't have a picture of my watch, but I found one online that is a similar design: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Ladies-White-Pearl-Crystal-Beaded-Stretch-Bracelet-Watch-/360886071609 My watch had 3 rows of pearls, and the watch face was smaller and rectangular so it didn't stick out from the band.
  • Well, diamond jewelry wasn't really popular among the general public until the 20th century.  In Victorian times, colored stones and diamonds together were regarded as vulgar!  That didn't long!  Amy Vanderbilt regretted that her grandmother had given away gorgeous jewelry because she thought the pieces were too vulgar to wear!
    I think that the general idea is that lots of bling in the daytime is in poor taste.  I wonder what Amy Vanderbilt would have thought of the rhinestone chandelier earrings my mother wore to my wedding?  They were so long they brushed her shoulders.
    Just as the rule about mixing colored stones and diamonds changed, I think the diamonds in the daytime rule is/has changed.  I still wore my pearls to daughters daytime wedding, though.  I do really like to wear them, and I don't worry about being overdressed.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    CMGragain said:
    I think that if I'm ever invited to the annual Highland Ball at Balmoral Castle, the watch rule would be useful information, because I wouldn't want to offend the queen.
    Given the odds of that actually happening to anyone, I think we can all safely wear our watches as we please. 
    Actually, the Queen violates the diamonds in the daytime rule quite often, and for a reason.  She was taught by her grandmother, the late Queen Mary, that people expected her to look like a queen, and that they would be disappointed if she wasn't well dressed and wearing good jewelry.  I believe her favorite piece is a diamond brooch.  This is why she always wears hats, so she can be easily seen in a crowd.  (The Queen is very petite.)


    I was reading the news last night and saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a formal event their final night in Australia. And what do I see on their wrists? Watches!!! The Duchess' Cartier watch is seen in almost all of the pics from that night and from most of the engagements on the trip (though most of them were informal daytime events.) I happen to own a Cartier watch similar to the Duchess (I have a different style that is smaller in size) and damned if I'm not going to wear it when I want.

    As I mentioned before, I did not wear it as a bride and there are times when I do not wear it out, but noone is going to dictate to me when I can and can't wear it. Oddly enough, even though I wear my watch almost every day, I almost never use it for time keeping purposes. I don't wear any other jewelry other than my rings and the watch, so it's mainly "decorative." I liked the idea of having it for time keeping, but I found that I rarely look at it for the time.

     







    PrettyGirlLostSP29
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    CMGragain said:
    I think that if I'm ever invited to the annual Highland Ball at Balmoral Castle, the watch rule would be useful information, because I wouldn't want to offend the queen.
    Given the odds of that actually happening to anyone, I think we can all safely wear our watches as we please. 
    Actually, the Queen violates the diamonds in the daytime rule quite often, and for a reason.  She was taught by her grandmother, the late Queen Mary, that people expected her to look like a queen, and that they would be disappointed if she wasn't well dressed and wearing good jewelry.  I believe her favorite piece is a diamond brooch.  This is why she always wears hats, so she can be easily seen in a crowd.  (The Queen is very petite.)


    I was reading the news last night and saw the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a formal event their final night in Australia. And what do I see on their wrists? Watches!!! The Duchess' Cartier watch is seen in almost all of the pics from that night and from most of the engagements on the trip (though most of them were informal daytime events.) I happen to own a Cartier watch similar to the Duchess (I have a different style that is smaller in size) and damned if I'm not going to wear it when I want.

    As I mentioned before, I did not wear it as a bride and there are times when I do not wear it out, but noone is going to dictate to me when I can and can't wear it. Oddly enough, even though I wear my watch almost every day, I almost never use it for time keeping purposes. I don't wear any other jewelry other than my rings and the watch, so it's mainly "decorative." I liked the idea of having it for time keeping, but I found that I rarely look at it for the time.

    Oh heavens! The Queen is probably clutching her pearls...oh wait, sorry diamonds, because she is the Queen so she can break that silly "diamonds after 6pm rule."

    PrettyGirlLostJells2dot0KeptInStitchesSP29
  • I am in such a habit of checking my phone for the time.  When I wear watches it is literally as jewelry.  I couldn't even tell you if they have the correct time or if they are even still ticking.  The watch I was going to wear on my wedding day is purely sentimental.. do you think guests will assume I'm wearing it because I have somewhere else to be if I don't wind it? ;)

     

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  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    CMGragain said:
    OK.  Here is the logic.

    Tuxedos are semi-formal dinner clothes.  They were designed for Edward VII, who was a heavy weight monarch, and he was uncomfortable in white tie and tails that he had to wear every night for dinner.  They were considered too informal for weddings until the 1960s.  Formal weddings were most often held in the daytime until then.  The correct formal mens attire is a morning coat (cut away).  Daytime weddings had (and should still have) daytime receptions, so there was no dress issue.  Formal evening clothes (white tie and tails, tuxedos, floor length evening gowns) are as out of place in the daytime as jeans and tee shirts are at a formal dinner.

    Diamonds in the daytime is from a time when only wealthy people had diamond jewelry.  The same rule that made evening clothes inappropriate in the daytime applies to diamond jewelry.  If you watch "Downton Abbey", you won't see anyone wearing them in the daytime, except maybe for Shirley McClaine's character - the gauche American.  Pearls could be worn anytime of day, but diamonds were evening only jewelry.

    Are these rules outdated?  Perhaps.  The problem is that the wedding industry loves to show us magazine ads of bridal parties romping on a green lawn wearing tuxedos and evening dresses in full daylight.  Do they want you to buy or rent those tuxedos?  You bet, they do!
    PrettyGirlLost had a good point, that the DeBeers corporation has been pushing diamond jewelry at us for decades.  Do they want us to reserve them for formal evenings only?  Hell, no!  They want us all to crave those sparkly engagement rings, diamond stud earrings, pendant necklaces and tennis bracelets.  (Tennis bracelets?  The Dowager Countess would have a snarky remark about those!)
    Anyway, you asked for the history, and here it is.  My mother gave me hell for wearing the big diamond cocktail ring under my glove at daughter's wedding. Well, I had to break at least one etiquette rule!

    PS.  I own a platinum and diamond watch from my mother.  It needs maintenance.  It is engraved on the back with one of her ex-husband's names.  Amy Vanderbilt said that a diamond watch was a ridiculous piece of jewelry because you shouldn't wear diamonds in the daytime, and you shouldn't wear a watch with evening clothes.  Hm.  Too bad!



    Very cool!

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • Hello--

    I was just reading Miss Manners from April 18th where the reader asked if it is okay for her to wear an elegant watch to her wedding reception.  Miss Manners said watches should not be worn for formal occasions (I guess that means for men too) because it conveys that one needs to keep track of time before moving on to the next tic on the schedule.

    I found that surprising and don't agree with it. There are lots of womens' watches that look more like a pretty bracelet than a watch.  But, even if that is not the case, this seems like old fashioned advice that does not have a place anymore in our modern world. 

    Just curious if I'm the one off-base or if she is.   

    Sometimes I think Miss Manners takes things a little too far.  I strongly believe in being your own person and 'doing you'.  If you love watches, wear one.  Now, a rubber-strap Nike watch might be pushing the envelope, but I've got some watches that are very fancy and I wouldn't think twice wearing.
  • When my mother died, I found 45 wristwatches in her chest!  Most had dead batteries.  The platinum and diamond one was among them.  I know she never wore it after the divorce.  I kept a few and gave the rest away.  Mom had a full chest of drawers, in addition to her good jewelry armoir, that was filled with nothing but clip earrings and chunky necklaces.  There were hundreds of pairs of clip earrings.  I gave them away at her memorial service in the senior home.  Those old ladies fought over them!
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  • I just love your scarlett pic @hisgirlfriday! One of my favorite scenes!
    image
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    SP29 said:
    Ack! Paragraphs... @CMGragain My comment was mostly sarcasm. I am well aware of the diamond rule, but I disagree with it. As a previous poster said, diamond studs are more casual than chandelier pearl earrings- wear jewelry that is appropriate to the event. Besides- who made the rule that diamonds are only formal? I'm quite curious as to when this became a "thing". Diamond engagement rings were not popular until DeBeers told the world so (that and you need to spend 3 months' worth of pay on one). Before that it was rubies, emeralds and sapphires- where do they fit into the casual-formal spectrum? I don't have a picture of my watch, but I found one online that is a similar design: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-Ladies-White-Pearl-Crystal-Beaded-Stretch-Bracelet-Watch-/360886071609 My watch had 3 rows of pearls, and the watch face was smaller and rectangular so it didn't stick out from the band.
    According to Miss Manners, her mother said "Colored stones are vulgar," so her answer to your question would be "Not at all."
  • IMathlete said:
    When I was in a sorority, we were not allowed to wear a watch for our Rush events, for exactly that reason.

    I would never wear a watch with an evening gown or cocktail dress, but that's just my preference.

    I bought FI an engagement watch. If he doesn't wear it with his tux at our wedding, I might kill him. :-)
    Neither were we and I always pointed out how stupid I was going to look when I kept glancing at an empty wrist because it is a habit, it wouldn't matter if I had my watch on or not.  Not to mention if you are doing formal rush you are a slave to the clock, down to the second.  
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  • I really don't get this idea that wearing a watch means you are tracking time because you have somewhere else to be and that is the only reason you would be wearing it.

    I have had several jobs where I have had to track time.  Not to go somewhere else but because I had to document what happened when.  To that end I wore a watch.  Because I wore a watch everyday at work I felt naked if I didn't have one on and would call more attention to myself if I didn't wear one.  Think of the person who takes their ring off and is constantly messing with their finger.  I didn't wear one to my wedding only because mine was a functional watch and I didn't have a dressy one to wear.  


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    PrettyGirlLost
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