I can't help but feel that last Friday's post about menswear was a bit like an unfinished sentence. It bothered me to gloss over the suit, because despite the fact that we live in a time when tee shirts and jeans are often the norm for men, the suit is still meaningful.
I'm not going to attempt to make an argument for English tailoring vs. Italian, it's really a matter of taste (and body type). I will say that I'm always intrigued by the current media blitz on the end of formal menswear. The cover of Time Magazine was heralding casual wear last week, since they are predicting that the majority of people will be working from home.
Later that day I thought it was interesting to come across this article by image consultant Sandy Dumont, one of my colleagues at Affluent Magazine. I thought I'd reprint a bit of it here and get your opinion on the whole debate:
Whether you’re headed for court or trying to chat up a pretty woman, casual attire will decrease your chances for success. Far too many people dress for their own comfort rather than for increasing their credibility with clients. There are also those who dress for “rapport” with the people they encounter. Professors and high school teachers mistakenly do this, and they usually have less control over their classes than the teachers who dress more professionally. Professional attire conveys more authority. Professors are, in a sense, “substitute parents” and most teens and young adults feel less secure when their parents look immature.
At a recent workshop for the general public, I presented a slide show with before and after photos of a number of my clients. The after photos of both men and women showed them dressed in classy looking professional attire. An attorney in the audience spoke up and said he disagreed with me; that he always dressed casually with his clients, because they were “ordinary folk” who had suffered personal injury in accidents. He was wearing cheap, ill-fitting khakis and a baggy green shirt and tie that “matched.” He explained that he liked to dress to have rapport with his clients. “Tell me,” I asked him, “do you think your clients would like an attorney who would have high credibility with the judge and jury, or an attorney who looked like them?” I rested my case and the audience took my side.
- Excerpted from "How To Increase Your Chances for Success" by Sandy Dumont.
What do you think about all this? I'd love to know!