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Black suits-- Fueling the flames

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've been watching this forum for a couple of weeks now, and finally decided to join. I saw the discussion of black suits here after having a similar discussion on askandyaboutclothes.com. The discussion was getting a little long, so I decided to open up with a new thread. Although I fully accept that it is a traditional rule that black suits are not appropriate for business, I have seen so many exceptions lately that I am thinking that the rule has fallen by the wayside. Not only did I observe many of the contestants on last night's The Apprentice wearing black suits (as well as Mr. Trump himself at the beginning), the front page of this morning's Washington Post (see link below) shows both the President and John Negroponte wearing what appear to be black suits-- and I know that the President has worn black suits on many other occasions. I personally love the look of a high-quality black suit (plain or pin-stripes). Maybe this rule is fading into obscurity here in the United States... http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv....tm
post #2 of 16
Don't trust the color you see on TV or print. What appears to be black may actually be charcoal or navy. The nickname for NTSC (the current broadcast TV format used in North American) is "Never The Same Color."
post #3 of 16
I'm pretty sure Ambassador Negroponte is wearing charcoal with pinstripes in that picture. As for the President, too far away to tell.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
I'm pretty sure Ambassador Negroponte is wearing charcoal with pinstripes in that picture. As for the President, too far away to tell.
Actually, it looks like navy with pinstripes from my perspective.
post #5 of 16
Bush does not wear black suits.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Maybe I'm color-blind, but I'm pretty sure that I've seen the President wearing black suits-- either that or my T.V. is really off. I specifically noted it to my wife at the time. As for pictures, I would hope that professional pictures in the newspaper (or the online edition) are pretty high quality. To me, Negroponte's suit looks black-- or so close that it wouldn't really make a difference. Maybe it's like a martini-- the slightest touch of grey (or vermouth) makes it classy, whereas straight gin or jet black is not so much. But that begs the question, if the colors are so close that a professional photograph can't show the difference, is it that big of a deal anymore? If you wear a black suit, people might just assume it's a really dark charcoal.
post #7 of 16
You also have to remember that Bush tries to portray himself as a "common guy" (not much of a stretch there), and has ever since he lost his first Governor bid. His brother Jed is the same, and likes to walk around in a Guayabera. What he wears is completely geared toward his target demographic, and has less to do with fashion than simple politics. So, even if he did wear a black suit, does it matter? I don't think it would hold much weight on what is appropriate for business wear.
post #8 of 16
I went to a wedding wearing a navy pinstrip suit and had pictures taken with the groom who wore a black tux.  However, the pictures came out as I was wearing a black suit.  You really can't trust the colors depicting in prints or on TV.  Lots of information get loss in the process. Colors shown in pints and on TV are just approximation of the real colors.
post #9 of 16
I think it is actually easy to tell the difference. Black has a "depth" or "bottomlessness" to it that is distinctive. It tends to overwhelm and diminish all other colors, except white and deep red. Dark blue and dark gray have a "surface interest" that picks up other colors, and brings them out. This is all sounds imprecise and silly, but it is hard to put into words. In any case, all I claim is that I can almost always tell the difference between very dark gray or blue and black. I have occasionally been briefly fooled by midnight blue, but not often and not for long.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
You also have to remember that Bush tries to portray himself as a "common guy" (not much of a stretch there), and has ever since he lost his first Governor bid.
Bush did not lose his first bid for governor. He won on his first try in 1994. He lost a congressional race in 1978, his first try for elective office. He did not run for anything again until 1994.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
How close up were the photographs?  In this case, the photgraph of Negroponte is so close that you can see the tiny hairs on his head.  Also, there appears to be navy in the pattern of his tie that the picture can convey but that contrasts with the apparent color of his suit.  Granted the President is not the epitome of class, but I'm sure his handlers try to keep him within acceptable business standards.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
How close up were the photographs?  In this case, the photgraph of Negroponte is so close that you can see the tiny hairs on his head.
Picture detail and color reproduction are two different things.  If there were a way to verify the colors, I'd give you ten to one odds that neither Bush nor Negroponte are wearing black suits.  I'd give you five to one odds that Trump's suit wasn't black, either, even though he's not a particularly good dresser. So long as you can distinguish among dark navy, charcoal, and black, you'll readily see that the vast majority of senior employees in conservative industries such as law and banking don't wear black suits.  Non-conservative attire is frowned upon and the junior employees who fail to pick up on that are either told to dress differently or end up in non-client-facing positions or both.  That's based on my work experience in a major Wall Street investment bank that shared a building with several different law firms. dan
post #13 of 16
Quote:
His brother Jed is the same, and likes to walk around in a Guayabera.
His brother's name is Jeb, not Jed. It's an acronym for "John Ellis Bush" At any rate, I don't claim to know Dubya's wardrobe in any great detail but I don't recall ever seeing the man in a black suit, something I would definitely remember.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
I'd give you ten to one odds that neither Bush nor Negroponte are wearing black suits.
They are not, neither one.
post #15 of 16
JAGMAJ
Quote:
Granted the President is not the epitome of class, but I'm sure his handlers try to keep him within acceptable business standards.
A hearty welcome to the Style Forum from an old member. Glad to see you've jumped right in. FYI, there are other sections which deal with Power, Money, and Politics. Just click on The Style Forum > link above and look at the sixth section down. It's a little different here than your old home at Ask Andy. On Andy, the thread just gets locked. Here, when we begin to fall away from the center and start leaning way right or way left, there are magical demons called Super Administrators up there in the ether (of whom we post in abjectness and fear) who will move the entire thread over there to be lost in a morass of republicrat barking of a stridency you would not believe. So here, we respect the office and leave our disrespect, if any, of the present officeholder for over there in never-to-be-read-again land. And oh, yeah. Bush doesn't wear black suits. He leaves that to his employees. Like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.
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