I’ve long posited that women have it easy when it comes to deciding what to wear in the work place. There is so much variety and choice out there for you ladies, it is almost harder to come to work not looking stylish than like you just stepped out of a magazine shoot. But for men, we really don’t have many choices. One choice we do have is “suit or no suit”.
I’ll leave it to you, the reader to decide what you wear but here are sides for both arguments:
When I arrived in London my boss’ first remark was, "While you’re waiting for your real clothes, go buy some suits." And so, off to Oxford Street, more old men, a copious amount of ale, and I was in 4-button black and grey suits and, once again, a vest.
Without the guiding principle of a "uniform" I was spending more and more time worrying if I was wearing the right clothes for the people I was meeting. This led to keeping a suit and tie on the back of the door, many hours (and dollars) spent shopping, and time every morning puzzling over what goes with what.
So I’ve returned to the fold. The old men and their yellow tape measures have forever vanished, so I am left on my own as I browse the five styles of suit at Charles Tyrwhitt–three British, two Italian, no American. I buy them. I wear them. And I question myself no longer.
After I sold MicroSolutions I decided that I never would wear a suit again. I was able to hold true to that while I was making a lot of money trading stocks for the next 5 years, but then Todd and I started AudioNet which would morph into Broadcast.com.
With our new business, I decided that I would have to wear a suit, but would modify the rule so that I would only wear a suit when someone I was selling to was wearing a suit. If they were selling to me, I didn’t care if they were wearing a tux. I was going to go comfortable and not wear a suit.
When Broadcast.com was sold, the suit went out the window completely. I vowed to never wear one again other than weddings and funerals, and only then because it wasn’t worth the hassle to deal with people asking why you didn’t wear a suit. I’m certain the people getting married dint care, and I don’t think anyone is going to be looking down at me wondering why I showed up at their funeral without a suit. Suits make no sense whatsoever.
Personally, I fall in the no suit camp. Jeans are becoming more and more acceptable and with a crisp white dress shirt and a nice v-neck sweater, I think I can walk the right side of business casual.
After all, this is the Internet.
Image: David Armano