“Door guy would not let me in because I’m wearing a tank top and shorts on a 90 degree day.”

masa 14
1825 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Kind of a surreal moment – Masa 14 I guess is now a night club. I guess it’s been headed there a while. Door guy would not let me in because I’m wearing a tank top and shorts on a 90 degree day. But i guess that’s their policy now.”

Ed. Note: You can see a previous Masa 14 dress code controversy (and subsequent apology.)

82 Comment

  • I guess, now you know. I don’t understand why people get all caught up in the fact that sometimes certain places require you to dress a bit more appropriate than a day out at the basketball courts. Sure its Masa, but this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

    • nust – I think you’re automatically thinking of athletic wear, but it’s entirely possible she was turned away for wearing a nice blouse-like tank and nice shorts. OP didn’t specify. That’s what I wear on hot days, not athletic wear but dressy tops and shorts.

      • How did you determine the gender of the op?

        • Sorry, Anon Spock. I didn’t mean to gender OP specifically — I guess my bigger point was that there *are* more formal ways to wear shorts and tanks than what you’d wear to a sporting event….

          • For a woman, absolutely. For a man? I can’t think of one “more formal” way to wear shorts and a tank top. I’ve got no issue with any restaurant above the level of diner turning away a male (of any species) wearing shorts and a tank top.

        • @dcd Sexism at its finest…

      • I’ll just blindly assume here as well, but if this was a “she” wearing what you are describing, this situation would not have happened, and we would not be discussing. Standing by to be proven wrong.

  • samanda_bynes

    this place sounds like a sh*thole – why people even want to go here

  • Devil’s advocate, but I don’t think I’ve come across a night club that would frown on tank tops… More like a nicer restaurant that would as compared to a night club where people are usually showing MORE skin than they would at other establishments.

    • Not sure if the OP was a guy– but if a female were to where a halter top or similar would the same dress code apply?

  • I can’t blame them. Unless you shave your armpits, you shouldn’t be allowed anywhere wearing a tank top. Especially not metro. But that’s just me. If you do, I don’t mind what you wear.

    • Does this go for guys, too, Anon for this? I certainly hope you’re not a guy talking about only women… people like you boil my blood.
      Girl who shaves but hates misogynistic comments.

      • I could be wrong, but I took the comment to apply mostly to guys. And unshorn armpits are stinkier, at least in my experience.

        • To clarify, I don’t care what people wear, but probably the metro would be stinkier if everyone wore tanktops, especially those who don’t shave their armpits.

        • +1 Enough dance parties have confirmed as such…looking at you stinky hippy chicks

      • I assumed he was talking about men. I worked in a restaurant once where tanktops on men were verboten, because the owner (a man) was grossed out by men’s body hair.

        • Really? I have literally never heard of this. I’d assume that anon for this would just prefer people wear deodorant in that case. I, personally, have never noticed hair vs. non-hairy to be more of an issue than deodorant vs. no deodorant…

          • [In other words, I think I have seen way to many pretty-mean-to-women comments on dating sites and the general internet lately and have grown unconsciously sensitive…]

          • There’s science behind it. Hair retains moisture and odor more than if none were present (or if it were trimmed/groomed).

          • I’ve heard of a few places that had a strict shaved pits policy across the board if you wanted to wear a tank tops.
            On the deodorant or hair pits, I’ve had the displeasure I’ve being around people who shaved but did no deodorant and unshaved with deodorant, and the latter was FAR more rank.

          • I call BS on all that. A body hair policy?? Pix or BS.

          • Yes, some restaurants don’t want pit hair dangling over food. It’s unsanitary to say the least.

      • I meant it for guys. I really hate looking at their hairy armpits. It would apply to girls as well, but a) most shave and b) most others don’t have a lot of hair.

  • I Dont Get It

    Just take off your tank top and shorts! Problem solved!

  • Assuming this is a guy sounds reasonable.

  • Meh, this place is mediocre at best.

  • Some questions to consider 1. when did this occur? (during the day or in the evening), 2. was the OP a guy or girl? (it should not matter regardless), 3. would the OP still be turned away if he/she had one, but not the other? (for example, pants with tank top or shorts with shirt)

    In any case, a restaurant with a dress code warrants an elitist-like atmosphere, I would not bother going there. But others are more than welcome to.

  • OMG, stop whining! So you can’t wear beach attire to an upmarket restaurant? Show a little class and wear your big boy clothes to a restaurant. So what if it’s hot? Show some class and respect and dress appropriately for the venue you’re going to. Restaurants and nightclubs have every right to enforce a dress code. $20 says this is a complaint from another entitled millennial who can’t be bothered to wear a proper shirt at a nice restaurant.

  • I assumed this was posted by a man – as places are likely to see men in tank tops as underdressed.
    And they aren’t likely to see women that way at all – in fact, the more arm upper body skin a woman shows, the more likely she is seen to be dressed up.
    Unless the overall look was not something they liked with the tank on a woman – shorts jeans, khaki, frayed, or not dressy – or, hate to say it, the woman was not considered to be the right race/the right height/the right age/the right amount of pretty or feminine/the right weight/the right sexual orientation – for the door guy – because we all know this dress code stuff is not about being dressed up, but about appealing to men with very limited ideas about how women should look.

  • I can’t say I blame them either. I will never understand the DC phenomenon that is men in tank tops. If you’re not at the beach or gym, just don’t do it.

    • As Anon Spock said to me above (but in reverse), where is everyone getting the idea that this was a guy? I’m not seeing that anywhere…..

      • Probably because women bare their full arms (and often more) routinely. I wear sleeveless tops to the office almost every day in summer. And the dressiest tops for women are often strapless or spaghetti straps.
        Whereas there is no such thing as a sleeveless top for a man that is anything but athletic wear.

        • Reason #1 why it *sucks* to be a guy who works in an office in DC in the summer. At least I don’t have to wear a suit every day. Ugh.

          • You have my sympathy! Take comfort in the fact that the indoor thermostats are set to your wardrobe, and not ours. We can roast outside, or freeze inside. And it’s usually both. No middle ground.

          • Yes, it’s terrible. On the flip side, you (we) are paid roughly 30% more than our different-gendered counterparts (see me not using female there?), so on balance, little to complain about.

          • I don’t think anyone minds “female” as an adjective. The wording “female counterparts” would’ve been fine here.

      • Piggybacking off what you said, there really are no dressy tank options for men, so if one had to guess who was getting turned away, they’d think it’s a guy.
        I’m curious in either case.

  • I was let in 2 weeks ago at night wearing a tank top. The bouncer said it was against their dress code but let me in if I promised to not wear one next time. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was lucky because I am white and was with 2 hot girls

  • i really don’t understand how all these “New DC” people move here and (don’t want to say gentrify, but you know) then get surprised/mad when there’s a dress code?

    but FTR – Masa is nothing worth writing home about. The brunch is ok…nice that you can sit out on a rooftop, but just ok. Other food, i’ve never been impressed. Not a sh*thole like the one person stated, just full of New Dc bros and Beckys.

    • LOL. Total Beckys.

      I’m choosing to assume (until disproven) that this was a guy with white calf socks, nikes, and a “DC Bullets” bball tank top. Also likely a UVA ’14 grad and works for a congressman you’ve never heard of.

    • I’d counter by saying that gentrification has probably increased the number of places that have a dress code.

      • exactly – that’s my point. you really think there was a dress code on u street at places like patty’s and republic gardens?

        • Actually republic gardens had a fairly strict dress code. Men in sleeveless shirts were verboten, as were shorts, plain t shirts, jerseys, hats, all kinds of things.

  • The real question is why anyone would want to go to Masa 14 in the first place?

  • Tom

    Not reporting from fact or speaking from personal experience, but you may want to consider bringing cash if you go here. I’ve heard that there was some credit-card chicanery (double-charges at the bar and a friend who said her card number was stolen not long after going here) about a year or two ago. The double-charge may well have been an accident and the stolen number may not have been Masa’s fault, but I played it safe during the two times I’ve gone since then.

  • Too bad there is no where else on 14th to eat/drink.

  • If we’re talking about guys, I can’t say this bothers me at all. Also, yes, upstairs turns into a night club…it’s hard to avoid witnessing the Friday & Saturday 40-people-deep lines dressed for a night on the town. Many places along this strip aren’t shorts-and-a-tank-top appropriate. I’m actually more surprised you wouldn’t feel out of place being so under-dressed. As a side note, I don’t like that club or the prices the charge, but I’m happy for the crowd Masa 14 brings to the neighborhood and I do enjoy their Happy Hours.

  • Wonder what kind of footwear completed this casual ensemble

  • According to the original post about the now-removed “controversial” dress code sign, there is no dress code for eating there. The dress code applies to “late night hours of operation.” The OP says it was a 90 degree day but refers to there being a doorman. I’ve never seen a doorman policing entrants for lunch or dinner. So the OP went there at night and was subject to the dress code. Not much of a story.
    I do think what this illustrates is the value of having a sign that specifies the dress code. There were a bunch of people who were upset about the sign that was up at this place before. But if there is a sign stating the dress code, at least you know why you are being turned away. As opposed to feeling like you were subject to an arbitrary call by the doorman.

  • More of a nicer restaurant policy than nightclub imo. So now you know and can choose to not wear a tank top if you want to go back. Problem solved.

  • As long as he wasn’t letting other people in wearing tank tops and shorts then I don’t get your beef? I personally prefer more casual places but your choice to wear what they ask.

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