I went to a Broadway show the other night. When I arrived at my seat at the Lyceum Theatre, I realized I was the only one in a suit, let alone a tie.
What strikes me is the lack of common sense in my generation of men when it comes to style. My office has a pretty relaxed attitude towards dress code. It is business casual in name only. I have even seen colleagues come in with sweatpants. Make no excuse, there is never an excuse to wear sweatpants in a professional environment. My fellow millennials have accused me of being old fashion in my sense of style. Yet, having a sense of occasion is as contemporary as a your favorite hipster cafe. This sense that you can wear whatever you want for any circumstance is the type of joke your dad would make. Its funny, but makes us all cringe.
For important corporate meetings, I prefer to wear a suit, but not just any old suit passed down from my granddad. But one that is made-to-measure or bespoke. It conforms to my body and falls where its suppose to. This is an important distinction from any old suit. Because often at these meetings, at least half the participants also wear suits. Yet, I find myself biting my tongue. I want to tell them to just take it off. They are either swimming in it, or the suit looks comically tight. Either way it looks sloppy. On the other hand, I get a lot of facetious comments directed towards me. Even while others with their sloppy suits sit nearby. It seems society has lost its sense of style and it just can’t handle people who haven’t.
As a regular at my local gym, I’m often seen wearing sporty clothing. That seems like a pretty obvious dress code. Wear gym cloths at the gym (duh!). Yet, I was working late one evening, so ended up wearing my suit from work with a change of cloths in the gym bag. Other regulars looked at me, bemused as to why I was dressed this way. We have become so accustomed to dressing down all the time no matter the occasion, that gym goers cannot fathom the fact that I’d adjust the way I dress to the occasion. George Hahn puts it much more eloquently than I ever can so I urge you to read his article.