Dress Code


Our Daily Correspondent


From a 1962 Clairol ad.

My mother called me to ask how much to tip on a haircut. “A normal haircut,” she said.

“I usually tip upwards of 20 percent,” I said, “but of course it’s at your discretion.”

“That seems awfully high.”

“I don’t know, not for something you wear every day. And if you have a relationship with your hairdresser—”

“I don’t have a relationship with her. I don’t plan to ever see her again.”

“Okay, well, just be sure to also tip the hair washer. And if somebody else gives you a blowout, that’s separate.”

“Oh, I don’t want a blowout.”

“What, you prefer to walk out with wet hair?”

“Yes. I don’t want their trying to trick me with a fancy blowout.”

“I think it would be more of a trick if they let you go out with wet hair, so you couldn’t see what it looked like.”

“They always let me walk out with wet hair at Supercuts.”

“I’m sure they do.”

“I know you think I’m going to look inappropriate at the wedding, but no one will be looking at me. I’ll be clean, at least.”

“I wasn’t worried, but I’m starting to be. You keep talking like your cleanliness is in question. Have you taken to walking around coated in filth or something?”

“No,” she said with dignity. “It was a very poor joke.”

“The first time, maybe.”

“I’ll be wearing a very nice Eileen Fisher long, linen skirt, and a linen blouse. I bought a very expensive Clinique moisturizer. And besides, it doesn’t matter what I look like.”

“Okay, well, I just want you to feel good.”

“I’m worried about disgracing you.”

“You won’t.”

“Okay. Well … ”

Sadie Stein is contributing editor of The Paris Review, and the Daily’s correspondent.