Gentlemen, we need to have a talk. Specifically those of you with your shirttails out after five. Perhaps you’ve watched too many episodes of “Party Down South.”

You had it going on during “The Great Gatsby,” but shortly thereafter you began a monumental backslide that continues today. Now no one knows where casual stops and cocktail begins.

Fortunately for men, cocktail attire is pretty simple and there’s room for variation. A dark suit or well-pressed pants, sport coat and a crisp dress shirt and tie is sufficient for most occasions. For less formal events, you don’t always need the jacket but you can’t go wrong with one.

What’s appropriate to wear for cocktails can vary depending on the location and event, but what doesn’t change is the most important element: a man’s clothes must fit well and look sharp. As for business casual, while you can ditch the tie, your shirt should be tucked if it has a tail.

When in Rome, you do as the Romans do. This is not Malibu or Miami, where shorts or shirttails on the beach is the law of the land.

This is the Deep South. Gentlemen here are a cross between Rhett Butler, Jean Lafitte and Atticus Finch. They define ease with elegance, and a Southern man properly attired is a sight to behold. We are still more GQ than Huckleberry Finn, and our men wear seersucker or linen suits even when the temperature matches the humidity. They are proud to do so.

Whoever let you out the door, much less agreed to go anywhere with you, I want her name.

In the meantime, tuck in your shirt, boy.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at


You had to be there. The 65th Annual Gridiron Show went on for two days at the American Legion Hall in the Capital City, and there was no politician left standing. Roasted well-done by a combination of vaudeville and political satire were David Vitter, Bobby Jindal, Bill Cassidy, Burl Cain, John Kennedy and many more, all courtesy of the Capital Correspondents Association Board and crew. Pols present included Congressman Garrett Graves, Sen. Dale Erdey and Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain, while our favorite acts, if we had to pick, were “Darth Vitter,” “Cooking up Louisiana” and “Bye, Bye Bobby Jindal, Goodbye” sung to the tune of “American Pie.” Just so you know, there was indeed fried chicken at Mike Strain’s table.

Ladies choice

A celebration of the second volume in the series “Louisiana Women: Their Lives and Times” took place at the A. Hayes Town building adjacent to the University Art Museum. The evening featured readings and discussions about the women profiled in the recently-published volume, all of whom played a significant role in shaping the state of Louisiana culturally, politically, economically and socially. The book was edited by Mary Farmer-Kaiser, dean of UL’s Graduate School and history professor, and features a chapter on Rebecca Wells written by UL English Professor Mary Ann Wilson. Socially significant were McNeese second-wave feminist Janet Allured, Cherie Kraft and Lynda Frese, who also fought the good fight and will retire shortly from university teaching to become a full-time artist.

For She’s a Jolly Good Fellow

Lee Audiffred only thought she was attending a dinner for Sen. Fred and Debbie Mills. Friends and family surprised her instead with a birthday party at Café Vermilionville, expertly arranged by husband Marty and Chad Trahan. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour and elegant sit-down dinner, and when asked her age, Audiffred replied, “Old enough. For anything and everything.”


So much fun, they had to spread it over two days this year. The Alexandre Mouton House allowed the public a preview of its famous tablescapes on Sunday with a sold-out spring lunch on Monday. Sponsored by The Acadiana Advocate, Party Central and Lowry’s, 24 individuals and businesses set the table Southern-style in order to raise funds on behalf of the Mouton House, including Party Central’s own “High Tea at Downton Abbey,” Gardenaire’s “Shades of Grey,” Kiki’s “Proposal” with antique ring holder— and, yes — genuine diamond ring, and Colleen Ottinger & Associates’ “Un Fete Parisienne” with Veuve Cliquot and cigarettes. What we loved: Yvonne Mitchell’s antique china, Petroleum Club’s picnic catering and Michelle Munsell’s tiny cookies and specialty cake — the top tier was a boiling pot with crawfish, all edible and made of fondant. That takes the cake.