the suit effect


I’ve never been a fan of suits.

Suits present people, uniformly. They, like school uniforms, take away peoples individuality. Suits give people an air of importance, when it may not be so deserved. They also present people to be much more affluent than they actually are. I also know of politicians that lie to the public, and world leaders who kill people and yet wear suits in interviews- to look ‘respectable’ to the public.

Suits don’t leave a good impression on me. I have more examples…

I used to work with people that wore suits everyday. The shirt and tie and jacket and trousers, separated the hard working employee’s at the coal face, from the unforgiving task masters that always wanted more, yet praised and paid very little. The suits stood for something, it stood for ‘watch out’, ‘I’m important’, ‘respect the position I’ve earned because you haven’t achieved what I’ve achieved’. I also remember ‘dress-down-fridays’, the day of the week when suits were replaced with beige chinos and golf jumpers to show that really ‘they’ were just like ‘us’. What did we do on ‘dress-down-fridays’… that’s right, absolutely nothing, it was just another day at the coal face.

I don’t feel good when I wear a suit. I barely feel good when I wear a tie, and I certainly don’t feel good when I wear tight fitting shoes. I can’t think of anything worse that throttling my neck with a tie, that doesn’t allow my body heat to flow easy (and I need it too, believe me!).

It is for the above reasons, that I don’t own a suit, norย do I wear one for any occasion. Weddings, funerals or job interviews. I can’t think of any reason why I would ever need to wear one, and I resent anyone that asks of me to wear one. I always ask ‘why?’.

Pretty much the only answer they can give is ‘it looks smart’.

‘Look’ is the key word there. Not ‘is smart’, but ‘looks smart’. Its not important that someone ‘is’ smart naturally, its important that someone ‘looks smart’ for the day, and generally they are memorable ones. Ones that get photographed, and placed in a frame and set on the TV to be remembered as that ‘great day’ when everyone ‘looked smart’.

Lovely. Fake, but lovely.

A suit doesn’t make a man, a man makes a man. A suit doesn’t make a man smarter, intelligent, educated, important, interesting, funny & charismatic. And guess what, everyone can spot a man that doesn’t normally wear a suit. Its like a game, the signs are obvious, the table manners, the greetings, the hellos and goodbyes, the car they drive, the food they choose to eat, the topics they discuss, quality of their teeth, where they put their hands when they talk and the amount of eye contact given.

Suits are the attire of a man that wants to impress. My old boss used to say, ‘old money, doesn’t require suits, only new money and those that want new money require suits’.

All that said, next weekend, I’ll be shopping for a suit because my partner wants me to wear one for a wedding. Why? because “it looks smart”… go figure.

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3 thoughts on “the suit effect

  1. ‘Suits are the attire of a man that wants to impress’ – yes, absolutely. So is brushing your teeth, putting on deodorant, smiling when you meet someone, telling someone that the meal was lovely when you hated it, etc. etc. You may not ‘like’ having to act in particular ways but unless you would rather have the consequences, then you make the decision to do it for other benefits. Just as the man with the suit decides that he’d rather wear the suit than be up against a disciplinary at work, you ‘chose’ to wear a suit to the wedding because it was better than facing the consequences of having a disappointed and annoyed girlfriend (or perhaps even finding you no longer had a girlfriend at all!).

    Living as part of a society involves choice and compromise and if you don’t want to compromise on rare occasions then there’s always some Hebridean islands to go and live your completely free (but very lonely) life upon. Think yourself lucky that the choice wasn’t between wearing a hijab or getting yourself stoned or lashed. At least the consequence of choosing not to wear a suit wasn’t death.

    And anyway, you looked very nice indeed.

  2. hrm… death or suit… death or suit… suit or death… you’re killing me with such predicaments. Ok suit but only if I don’t have to wear a tie. And, can I get away with black trainers?

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