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3-piece suit to business meeting?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AvariceBespoke, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Well-Known Member

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    If anyone's worried about taking flak at the office for putting on a vest, they should get a new job.

    Well stated!

    The only questions I would have are:

    1) Do you have the confidence to pull it off?


    2) Would anyone freak out if you wore a sweater vest under a two-piece suit? Then what is wrong with a three-piece?
     
  2. TheDarkKnight

    TheDarkKnight Well-Known Member

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    Not to single you out socky but the amount of crap advice on here is galactic. I have never in my life encountered a client holding their advisor or salesman's being well dressed and well groomed against them. The opposite is often true, that poorly groomed, poorly dressed people are discriminated against but the idea that being well put together cuts against you is false.
    This is not what I claim. Being well put together is great and respectful of the other meeting attendees. However, some clothing choices can be seen as ostentatious or "over the top", correct? I contend that in many professions these days, a three-piece suit would be seen as ostentatious and an attempt at showing off, rather than an attempt at being well groomed and respectful. Not quite as ostentatious as a monocle or gold cane though - a few notches below of that. I don't like being singled out though - there are two of us.
    Without wanting to agree tooo much with a banned member, I agree with sifl. Surely a 3 piece suit requires you are very senior in a company? It's not appropriate wear for say a middle manager? Re an advisor or salesman dressing well, it's a moderate line and what's appropriate for the clientele. If you're wearing splendour and turn up in a high end Bentley, then say "I charge $x per hour", it's likely this will have a very bad effect on middle class people. If your clients are well off and that kind of thing is their level, then no. I've always dressed well at jobs in the last 4 or 5 years and it seems to help me get the job in the first place, people perceive you as very organised and intelligent.... providing you're going in to the job to be dynamic and kick ass, this works well. It's a double edged sword though, male bosses like it because you look how they want the company to look, but they also get jealous too.
     
  3. DStew

    DStew Well-Known Member

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    amazing how many really good points and how many idiotic points have been made in this thread (on both sides of the fence).
     
  4. zaki

    zaki New Member

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    Quite honestly, I'm surprised at folks here who wear suits in business casual environments. Suits used to be considered conservative and serious outfits - instead, people here wear them as a sign of rebelliousness in the name of upholding sartorial standards. For some SF members, wearing a suit and tie has become the sartorial equivalent of wearing jeans and cutting the tie. .
    That's very true. I can only imagine that 60 years ago some of us would have been wearing T-shirts and pair of jeans to work in an act of rebellion against the conservativeness of environment. Here comes the suit, a 3 pc in particular which is a sign of rebellion and not complying to common standards in an office of 2011. If you want to look like a rebel and eccentric, then wear it. Otherwise no. That is really a great story of a suit and the symbolism behind it, how indeed it has changed since 1950's. From the kernel of a society to the avant-garde of it.
     
  5. blahman

    blahman Well-Known Member

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    This is very true. I've had the same experience. After several days of people noticing and perceiving me as metro/gay/whatever, everyone not only accepts but they expect it now. After a while, I saw some others dress better. Some women now ask me for advice on how their husbands should dress.

    Funny thing was when I first decided to wear ties everyone asked why I was wearing a tie. After about a week, no one cared anymore. After about a few months when I decided to not wear a tie everyone asked me why I wasn't wearing a tie. Then after another week no one cared anymore.
     
  6. El Jack

    El Jack Active Member

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    Without wanting to agree tooo much with a banned member, I agree with sifl. Surely a 3 piece suit requires you are very senior in a company? It's not appropriate wear for say a middle manager? Re an advisor or salesman dressing well, it's a moderate line and what's appropriate for the clientele. If you're wearing splendour and turn up in a high end Bentley, then say "I charge $x per hour", it's likely this will have a very bad effect on middle class people. If your clients are well off and that kind of thing is their level, then no. I've always dressed well at jobs in the last 4 or 5 years and it seems to help me get the job in the first place, people perceive you as very organised and intelligent.... providing you're going in to the job to be dynamic and kick ass, this works well. It's a double edged sword though, male bosses like it because you look how they want the company to look, but they also get jealous too.
    Jealousy is a female trait. Men have envy, but it is superseded by admiration if one has the right character. I wholeheartedly disagree that a 3 piece alienates you any more than a 2 piece suit does. In any urban workplace, either will be simply perceived as a suit.
     
  7. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing was when I first decided to wear ties everyone asked why I was wearing a tie. After about a week, no one cared anymore. After about a few months when I decided to not wear a tie everyone asked me why I wasn't wearing a tie. Then after another week no one cared anymore.

    Assuming the dress code is business casual and you're the only person wearing a tie, the first response was probably because they thought you were the "weird" guy.

    The second response is akin to what you ask when the weird guy at work with a mullet has normal hair -- you wonder what's going on, and if the weird guy has finally gotten a girlfriend or something.
     
  8. godofcoffee

    godofcoffee Well-Known Member

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    Jealousy is a female trait. Men have envy, but it is superseded by admiration if one has the right character.

    I wholeheartedly disagree that a 3 piece alienates you any more than a 2 piece suit does. In any urban workplace, either will be simply perceived as a suit.


    3 piece suits are pretty uncommon among the classic suitwearing professions (finance and law come to mind). As has been said above, I doubt that anyone except for senior people could pull it off. Even then, it'd be a hey-that's-weird-but-whatever kind of thing.
     
  9. godofcoffee

    godofcoffee Well-Known Member

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    Assuming the dress code is business casual and you're the only person wearing a tie, the first response was probably because they thought you were the "weird" guy.

    The second response is akin to what you ask when the weird guy at work with a mullet has normal hair -- you wonder what's going on, and if the weird guy has finally gotten a girlfriend or something.


    Hah, +1. I'd rather work with the mullet guy than some nut wearing a tie in a casual workplace.
     
  10. DStew

    DStew Well-Known Member

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    Hah, +1. I'd rather work with the mullet guy than some nut wearing a tie in a casual workplace.

    That's not a fair comparison. With the Mullet you get the business in the front AND the party in the back. What does casual tie guy bring to the table?
     
  11. __PG__

    __PG__ Well-Known Member

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    I'm wearing a 3-piece today. I work in meteorological R&D and I can wear whatever I like. Most people here wear jeans, sneakers and a shirt...or maybe shirt and trousers for middle management.

    Only those in the 'management' and 'corporate' divisions wear suits every day.

    However, my boss wears bow-ties and sportsjackets every day (usually with RM Williams boots). He'll occasionally wear a suit to work with Allen Edmonds tassled brogue loafers. He likes my suits but always gives me grief that my trousers aren't cuffed and pleated.
     
  12. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Well-Known Member

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    At my work, it's encouraged. [​IMG] I stick to very conservative dress but i have no three peices or odd vests, however they're certainly becoming more commonplace. I've noticed more than a few of my customers buying vests.
     
  13. El Jack

    El Jack Active Member

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    3 piece suits are pretty uncommon among the classic suitwearing professions (finance and law come to mind). As has been said above, I doubt that anyone except for senior people could pull it off. Even then, it'd be a hey-that's-weird-but-whatever kind of thing.

    Here in London UK, three piece suits are no big deal.

    You raise a valid point though. The US perception on clothing is a lot more fashion forward and less refined than here in the UK. Hence, the look of a 3 piece is less established and may be out of place. Cool trumps tradition for most Americans.

    Feel free to prove me all wrong.
     
  14. Metlin

    Metlin Well-Known Member

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    At my work, it's encouraged. [​IMG] I stick to very conservative dress but i have no three peices or odd vests, however they're certainly becoming more commonplace. I've noticed more than a few of my customers buying vests.
    ...
     
  15. iamjammin

    iamjammin Active Member

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    That's not a fair comparison. With the Mullet you get the business in the front AND the party in the back. What does casual tie guy bring to the table?

    Haha. So true!
     
  16. blahman

    blahman Well-Known Member

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    That's not a fair comparison. With the Mullet you get the business in the front AND the party in the back. What does casual tie guy bring to the table?

    [​IMG] Ever heard of smart casual? Geez, some people. My tie = smart. My tshirt = casual. It's called style.
     
  17. lasbar

    lasbar Well-Known Member

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    Here in London UK, three piece suits are no big deal.

    You raise a valid point though. The US perception on clothing is a lot more fashion forward and less refined than here in the UK. Hence, the look of a 3 piece is less established and may be out of place. Cool trumps tradition for most Americans.

    Feel free to prove me all wrong.


    I don't see that many around...

    A few more this year but still not that many...

    The same for double-breasted suits...

    I saw one last time I went to Mayfair.
     
  18. Geoff Gander

    Geoff Gander Well-Known Member

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    I've worn them in the past, and the only ribbing I ever got was from one older guy (who never even wore a tie), who asked me whether I was getting into banking. The execs (especially the ladies) complimented me. I also wore a pocket watch with it on occasion - no one noticed.

    Unfortunately my 3pc is shot (10 year old crappy fused suit), but it served me well. I'll be replacing it with something SF-approved. Maybe even with a lapelled waistcoat.
     
  19. Geoff Gander

    Geoff Gander Well-Known Member

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    I am beyond caring if anyone did. I got them all used to seeing me 'dress up' for work a long time ago. If you own one, wear it like you don't care. Be approachable in your demeanor.

    +1

    It's all in the attitude. If you feel uncomfortable in the clothes, it will show. Slap on that 3 pc like you don't care, and act like you normally do. It's trite, but it's true: Wear the clothes; don't let them wear you.
     
  20. fwiffo

    fwiffo Well-Known Member

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    Quite honestly, I'm surprised at folks here who wear suits in business casual environments.

    Surely a 3 piece suit requires you are very senior in a company?
    It's not appropriate wear for say a middle manager?

    I've always dressed well at jobs in the last 4 or 5 years and it seems to help me get the job in the first place, people perceive you as very organised and intelligent.... providing you're going in to the job to be dynamic and kick ass, this works well.


    My office is officially business casual every single day, no casual day. I wear a suit and no tie. On days I meet VIPs or do presentations, I wear a tie. I used to do suit & tie every single day. But I'm new.

    A senior executive, frankly, has more capital to spend. If he dresses slovenly, it's his perogative. Being in middle management, I have to get up and conduct all the presentations, stand at the front of the door to greet people for my meetings, meet vendors, etc. Dressing well helps with the presentation technique. 9 out of 10 times if someone new to your office is lost or needs something, they'll go to the best dressed person. If you want to hide from contact and clock in 9-5, then dressing like the masses helps.

    I just started at a new office. Bringing my suit + no tie or suit + tie but jacket off has already made a lot of people in my group step up their dress and take their jobs more seriously.

    Vis-a-vis a three piece, I work in a support department in insurance and at my old job carried it off once a month excluding summers. I got a few comments at first but no one paid attention at the end. I see people wear suit & tie for customers and since the people who work in the company are my internal clients, I'm dressing as part of my service to them. I learnt that from a contractor in London who would corral network cables in a suit and tie because to him anyone who pays him is his customer and that's the image he presents to the customer.

    Funny thing was when I first decided to wear ties everyone asked why I was wearing a tie. After about a week, no one cared anymore. After about a few months when I decided to not wear a tie everyone asked me why I wasn't wearing a tie. Then after another week no one cared anymore.

    Someone else posted this in another thread and I remember the comment was how this was a great social experiment.
     

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