OK, let me review and see if I grasp what Maestro Manton is trying to teach:
1) If you like your job and want to be taken seriously at work (e.g., considered for raises and promotions):
a) becareful with what you learn in this forum and others like it and some of our favorite style bibles*, as it can lead you astray into dandified or Euro-flash unemployment.
b) CBD and UCBD is the rule of the day in business: it should be formal, but not overly so (i.e., french cuffs are formal, but too showy); polished, but not overly so (i.e., no artifice); do not look like you put too much tought into your clothing, nor no thought at all"”middle of the road, all the way.
2) stray too far from CBD or UCBD and you will be considered a clown who is more concerned about his clothing than getting the job done.
3) The rules of style are nice, but the rule of business is to the blend in.
I would bet, this advice extends to those of us trapped in business casual hell. If you dress CBD in a BC office, then you will stick out in the same way a dandy would in a CBD office and draw too much negative attention to yourself. Suck it up if you like your job and mothball your suits.
*about those style bibles. While they do seem to mention dandies as something to aspire to, they also speak of not going overboard, of not overdoing it, of moderation. This seems to be one of the messages that the author of the Suit tries to make (saddly, this is also one of the many messages in the book that gets lost on many people due to the artifice of writing in the outmoded style of another"”perhaps the author should have heeded his own advise and that of some many editors and publishers