1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

black suits?????

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by seanandnik, May 4, 2005.

  1. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,189
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2003
    I love my db black suit.

    Don't be afraid to wear a black suit.

    I would wear it on a train, I would wear it in the rain, in a box, with a fox, in a house, with a mouse, I would wear one on a boat, with a goat, I would wear it here and there. I would wear it anywhere. (well, anywhere I would wear a navy suit.)

    (can you guess what book I read to my 4 year old last night?)
     
  2. marc237

    marc237 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,381
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    I am assuming not "The Dandy," by Manton.
     
  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,236
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    I agree with Manton on black suits as unsuitable for *most* businesswear (besides, they are impractical - it is much more difficult to match shirts and ties with black rather than navy or charcoal and medium grey suits). The exception being in creative fields, of course, where black suits are standard.

    That being said, and although Manton may disagree with them, the really influential mainstream designers who *really * influence what men wear in the workplace, have decreed the black suit as indispensible - the suit to have. It is one of Donna Karan's basics for men, and Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole have made similar statements. Whether you think these designers make garbage is irrelevant, they, and not Flusser, and not Manton, and not those old dudes sewing away at Kiton, really do dictate the menswear landscape in America to a large degree. You might not like it; but thems is the facts.
     
  4. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    20,008
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    New York City / Buenos Aires
    Ladies and gentlemen, may I present a Harvard education. [​IMG] Jon.
     
  5. Teacher

    Teacher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,939
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Forks, ND, USA
    To take this a step further, seanandnik, let me add that clothing choices are not dictated by facts (historical or otherwise), but rather by taste. No one tells me what I may wear; I'm a big boy with my own developed sense of taste. Therefore, I honestly don't give a rat's ass what Manton, Flusser, or Donna Karen think about black suits, and neither should you. Do what you wish.

    Now, knowing what affect your choice of clothing will have on others is a different matter. If you're highly conscious of what others think, then examine those around you and how progressive they are in their fashion senses. If very progressive, go with the black suit; if staid and traditional, shy away. But if you're okay with the occasional glance of disapproval while you're out at the club (which may or may not happen), then I reiterate: do what you wish.

    (And remember, folks, he did indicate that this would be primarily for attire to clubs, not business meetings.)
     
  6. Teacher

    Teacher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,939
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Forks, ND, USA
    Hmmm, now that I look back on my previous post, it seems that I may have worded the first paragraph a bit strongly. My intention was not to indicate that Manton, Flusser, and Donna Karen have no taste or sense of style, or that they can't be valuable resources (they all can), but rather that I don't let others tell me what looks good.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    For the record, Teacher, the original question which started this whole business was not "Do black suits look good?" but "Are black suits considered appropriate for business?"

    The answer to the first question is indeed a matter of taste.  Personally, I do not think that black suits look good.  Yet I realize that others do, and I have repeatedly encouraged others to dress according to their own individual sense of stlye.

    The answer to the second question, however, is a matter of fact and not taste.  Some reasonably argued that in our time what is "appropriate" is in flux.  Which is why the original debate soon evolved into an inquiry into whether, historically, throughout most of the the 20th century, black suits were considered appropriate for business.  I made the best case that I could that they were not.  I may yet be proved wrong on that point; who can say?  But I was emphatically not telling anyone what to wear.
     
  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,236
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    I would agree with Manton that black suits were not acceptable until the early to mid 1990's, during which minimalism became mainstream, and minimalist designers changed, at least to sme degree, the business dress landscape.
     
  9. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    I agree, or fear, that you are right. We of course strongly disagree on whether this change is good or bad.
     
  10. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,272
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    No way this could possibly get as big as fast as the last one... BTW just got my old trusty Zegna 2 button with pinstripes tailored, so I plan to wear it in a business setting this season... [​IMG]
     
  11. Teacher

    Teacher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,939
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Forks, ND, USA
    Actually, Manton, I was not aiming my comment directly at you. I was continuing the thought from the post I quoted, which is why I used the same names he/she did. If you'll read the second part of my statement more closely, I do address the "acceptable" portion of the original question when I talked about how others receive one's clothing...I just furthered it by stating that there is a difference between being aware of how clothing affects others and dressing to one's own tastes.

    "For the reacord, Teacher, the original question which started this whole business was not 'Do black suits look good?' but 'Are black suits considered appropriate for business?'" -- manton

    Are you referring to the previous "black suit" thread? I don't remember, and you're probably right if that's what you mean. Seanandnik, however, said nothing about business; in fact, he specified that it's a casual suit and wondered if it's appropriate for an upcoming wedding. That's why I said nothing about business. I also avoided addressing the wedding question because others had done so in a way that I could add nothing of my own to that discussion. In a later thread he said somthing about going out to clubs...that's where the bulk of my concentration lay.
     
  12. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    41,568
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    Yes, I mean the original 52 page black suit thread. That's where I had my say. I was intending (and attempting) to stay out of this one.
     
  13. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,236
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Just when I think I'm out...
     
  14. WJTW

    WJTW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    99
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    To be frank, I have never heard of black not being suitable for business until now, so, imagine my surprise. I can't really tell from actual experience since suit wearers are quite rare here, but black seems to be the colour most worn by the younger generations, either required by the company/store or because they believe black to be the suit colour... I think black is also more commonly seen worn by hotel staff (counter staff, especially) here. I have also seen the salemen in the boutiques of certain brands dressed in black suits. But personally, a black suit does not seem unsuitable (pardon the pun) and I might even get one if I have the chance, although I would prefer a lighter shade. Mid-grey or charcoal, perhaps? WJTW
     
  15. dah328

    dah328 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,603
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2003
    Really? Â Practically every interview guide I read when I was a junior and senior in college said to avoid black in favor of navy or gray suits for business interviews.
    It sounds like you're talking about retail sales here. Â That's not the context I would mean were I asking about business attire. dan
     
  16. cpac

    cpac Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    206
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Another black suit thread?

    I think it's destined to remain a controversy. The few things people can agree on is that:

    (1) it's much more common these days to wear a black suit than it was a while ago

    (2) black is especially popular in New York (and possibly LA), and may well be more "acceptable" in those cities than it would be elsewhere

    (3) If you're looking for a basic suit, it's far better to go with charcoal or navy, and it's definitely worth at least looking to see what makes you look better.

    (4) the "rules" (whatever their merit may be) would prohibit black suits in business settings.
     
  17. Matt

    Matt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,179
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    Sunny Saigon
    and let us never speak of it again
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by