IT'S 2016. LOSE THE DAMN SUIT.
That I even considered writing a piece about men wearing suits in 2016 seems bizarre to me. 15 years ago I predicted that the suit was very near its end. Really can't believe that it has yet to happen. After re-reading a Mark Cuban blogpost today, from 2007, on why he doesn't wear a suit, I decided to write this, my first piece on this site.
- •Suits are either boring or fairly ridiculous.Let's be honest. 95% of people wearing suits are wearing the same gradation of charcoal as everyone else. Listen - I know. At one point I owned close to 30 suits, all custom-made in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. And here's the deeply insane thing: they were so close i color and shade that I had to number the pants and jacket to make sure I wore 16 with 16, heaven forbid by dark greys would be a smidge off. If you're not wearing a boring suit, you're - honestly - probably wearing a foolish one.
- •Suits are a uniform.That's part of their appeal and part of what keeps them standard fare in some professions in some cities. But, seriously, who wants to wear a uniform?
- •Suits are generally not perfectly comfortable.Again, I wore suits that were beautifully made and perfectly fitted. It still wasn't the real me and because it wasn't, the suits never felt right. I'd have people say, every day, "Wow - he cleans up real nice," or some variation thereof. But that person "cleaned up" in the dark suit wasn't and isn't me. I am me.
- •I'm not hating. If it's you, it's you.I know people (exceptionally few at this point) who enjoy wearing a suit. If that's your groove, please wear it well. Enjoy. But for every person I know who "has" to wear a suit and actually enjoys it, I know 50 who don't. For them, as it was for me, wearing a suit is a chore.
- •The insidious tie issue.I want to tell you something. When you wear a suit and dress shirt without a tie, it GENERALLY does not look good. I'm talking about a traditional suit and traditional dress shirt. It looks like you just didn't wear a tie. And ties themselves are just ridiculous. Again, I was one of these guys. I still have Hermès ties that I thought made me awesome. It made me an asshat in an insanely expensive tie.
- •Your suit doesn't fit.Trust me. It probably doesn't. 90% of men wear their suit too large, poorly-fitted. It might for your waist, but unless you're that elusive and fictitious "average" man whose pants are 6 inches smaller than your jacket (traditional suit sizing) you're erring on wearing a suit one to two sizes too large for the rest of your body. And if you're that other 10% your suit is too damn small, son.
- •Buying a suit sucks.Your options are deeply shitty unless you're willing to spend more cash than you ever thought you would on a suit or unless (as I did) you live in China or Hong Kong. When you leave the ubiqui-suit showroom, that suit will never again for the same. The pant leg will never be what it was when the suit was being altered. The forgiving lights of the suit showroom aren't the real world. Trying on suits is hot and generally miserable and working with a real tailor is as slow as hell.
- •Suits allow you to be un-creative.Uniforms are easy. You just put them on. But you want (or should want) your brand to be self-defined, which is a lot harder to do in a suit. What you wear should have one or two defining features or points. Yes, this can be done if you wear a suit, it's just not easy and it generally doesn't work well. In a suit, you don't have to do anything but put it on and wear it. Actually dressing yourself, from scratch, in a style that defines you is hard and introspective. Try. That.