We’re embarrassed by the way he dresses

DEAR MISS MANNERS: We have a close friend who is really one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. His family his and ours often get together for dinners at each other ‘s homes, restaurants, etc.

The problem, which causes some of us a bit of embarrassment, is that his “dress” is always shorts and a T-shirt. Dinners with guests beyond our group, holiday meals, outings at nice restaurants (including some that in past years would not have let him in dressed that way) — the same shorts and T-shirt.

In all other respects, he is a kind, friendly, wonderful, outgoing person. Is there any way that you can suggest to politely address this with him?

GENTLE READER: “There’s a dress code: long pants and sleeved shirts. I hope you don’t mind.”

That people do mind, vehemently, has always puzzled Miss Manners. Everyone claims to dress only for comfort or self-expression, but at the same time, everyone is using clothing choice as a way of sizing up others.

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