Friday, 15 April 2011
The suit. It has to be the most timeless piece of clothing the fashion industry has graced the world with. Now I'm not going to sit here and pretend I know everything there is to know about suits. Actually, much the opposite, I know very little. But I think what is important is what I do know when it comes to this classic outfit. I have one, and only one important thing to stress:
A man in a suit is the best that he can be.
Throughout history the suit has pretty much always been around in some shape or form. It is my experience that whatever can last the test of time is obviously something worthwhile, something someone got right. It has often been said the famous dandy Beau Brummel influenced and established the modern day suit, understated elegance. An immaculately dressed man at all times throughout his life. It is often noted he spent hours in front of a mirror perfecting the tie of his cravat (not the most attractive feature, but respectful nonetheless). He influenced men around him to think twice about their appearance before they walked out the door, he gave society class and for that he is remembered.
A suit can transform the mediocre into the swoon worthy. It can take kilos off him and it can give him an air of confidence he would otherwise not have. The outfit places you amongst those who seem successful, educated and well off. Your appearance is the first thing someone (a woman in particular) observes. So why not make it a good one? In a crowded room a suited man is where our eyes travel. Although the men around him may be better men, they may be smarter, funnier, richer but that one well dressed man gets the hello despite how dickish he might turn out to be.
Here is the important bit: a suit cannot be just a suit. A $50 piece you pick up from Lowes is so grotesquely inferior to something that is made for you, a piece measured to your singular proportions, handmade with the finest of materials and cut with experienced hands.
While I’m at it I should mention garish and flamboyant suits should be left for the costume party and nothing else. A bright pink shirt should be worn for charity reasons only and for goodness sake brown and black can only be pulled off by the very very few, so as a rule just don’t try it. And, just in case, no themed ties please! So, part with your money and purchase that investment for it will last you a lifetime and grant you attention you never had before.
I could sit here all day rolling off fictional characters, famous stars and the like all who wear the suit with perfect precision. James Bond, Mr Darcy, Scott Schuman, Don Draper, Tom Ford, Barney (How I met your mother), Winston Churchill, Karl Lagerfeld, Cary Grant... These men we all remember, men who have a reputation, whether they be gentlemen, players, cheaters or all three. The reason we swoon, the reason why they are talked of is because of how they wear the suit. Many fashion houses build their foundations on this one male outfit: Armani, Hugo Boss, Zegna... so go on and tell me it is over rated or boring; I will just call you naive.
Australians should take a page out of the European play book. (I know, I seem like a kiss their asses everyday) but just one day in Italy can show you a world of style Brisbane does not have. A perfectly constructed suit is a rare sight in our city, walk one narrow lane in Italy and five men will grace your day with something outstanding. They don’t even know you can wear a shirt without a jacket and unkempt shoes belong nowhere but the trash. Now don’t go telling me our climate does not suite the suit (word play!). There are such things as summer suits just look it up!
So there it is, a suit can get you further than any other outfit, it is the go to for any man, it is the perfect dress. Yes, I may have a slight penchant for the odd hiking outdoor attire or (I’m scared to admit it) the odd wife beater singlet... but that fetish can be addressed another day. But if it came down to it, a pristinely cut suit, complete with a crisp ironed white shirt, silver cuff-links, a simple tie and a timeless pair of polished leather shoes would be my ultimate preference.
Uniforms.... well that is an entirely different kettle of fish.