DEAR MISS MANNERS: My friends and I (all male) are old-school when it comes to being seen in public.

We might meet for a happy hour, go to the horse races or meet for afternoon tea. We always dress for the occasion. Sport coats and ties in correct weights and colors are the standard attire, unless something else is required — along with correct hats, when warranted.

We inevitably get asked if we “just came from a funeral” or if we are “going to a wedding,” but our attire is incorrect for either of those events. Or we are simply asked, “Why are you dressed up?”

Replying that we like to put our best foot forward or that we like to make a good first impression puts the inquisitor on the defense when they remember that they are wearing shower shoes, an undershirt and cargo shorts in a nice public place.