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On being the best dressed man in the room - some observations

simpleman

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I had to do some cross country personal travel, and then attend a rehearsal dinner that evening. I decided to dress for the rehearsal on the plane and just wear it all day.

I knew the rehearsal dinner was at an upscale gastropub, so I chose to wear some dark tan chinos, a light blue shirt, a herringbone brown sport coat, some wingtip boots, and a navy blue tie.

Throughout the traveling, I found people were more willing to help me, was able to get a couple upgrades, and had a very positive experience. At the rehearsal dinner, I was shocked to find that I was the best dressed in the room (of the men, the ladies were all wearing nice dresses, their significant others were all wearing denim and polo shirts).

1) I felt more confident in the situation. I knew no one there but the bride to be and my wife.
2) I made my wife look better. I complemented her look, and she was able to show that her husband was put together and therefore she had good taste.
3) I showed respect to my friend just by looking sharp.
4) people naturally wanted to come over and talk to me. Helped project an image of being a leader.

Finally, the thing that really stuck out to me was that I was wearing clothes that I am comfortable in, both how they fit, but how they look. So being relaxed but looking sharp is what allowed the look to work all together. I never thought about my clothes until I reflected on the experience this morning. I never looked down on anyone there (and don't!), I just allowed my style to passively work for me and my wife.
 

mrjamescost

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Interesting. I remember an occasion when I was unemployed. I was invited to a ‘jobs fair’ in which local businesses would put together a stall and potentially recruit those in attendance. As I was required to dress ‘smart,’ and as I was just getting into dressing better, I put on my tailored navy suit and quality shoes. When I arrived, some of the people doing the recruitment looked at me as though I was one of the organisers of the event. I sensed a little intimidation from a few. Yet there I was, just another person looking for a job. So many others never put in much effort. I wondered if I was overdressed. :-/
 

Mr Lam

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I had an interview at a luxury boutique today and I came to the interview with my best navy blazer, grey summer flannel slacks (which worked really well with the texture of the blazer), a knitted tie and brown derbies.

Everything was tailored and I felt absolutely stunning through out the entire day and while walking in to meet the owner of the business.

I wasn't trying to stand out, but I can vouch that dressing amazingly well had a big influence on my confidence. I let my clothes quietly tell the owner that I was put together and knew my stuff while we were having our chat.
 

A Canuker

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One should always strive to be well put together, separation from the other 95% isn't the worst thing to do in life.


Dress for the job you want, not for the position you are in.
 

clee1982

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I don't know, sounds like just stand out in a different way, if everyone is wearing suit and you're the only one showing up in Hawaiian shirt, then you're definitely showing who is the boss...
 

Mr Lam

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I don't know, sounds like just stand out in a different way, if everyone is wearing suit and you're the only one showing up in Hawaiian shirt, then you're definitely showing who is the boss...
Bonus points for marching in with confidence. The difference posture and stance makes is amazing
 

coldsalmon

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I like classic menswear for a few reasons:

1. It's a hobby I can "do" all day long. Whatever I'm doing, I start out automatically having fun.
2. It helps me to channel my obsessiveness and anxiety into a concrete and innocuous form.
3. I get to spread joy to other people.
4. Ties are fun!
 

BXpress

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"So being relaxed but looking sharp is what allowed the look to work all together"

That's almost a requirement for wearing suits. It's funny that if you are uncomfortable in suit, even inexperienced eyes notice it. There is nothing more pathethic looking (i don't mean that in a harsh way, it's not for everyone) than a guy in a suit who moves and behaves like he has no confidence wearing the thing at all. You can easily spot the once a year suit wearer. On the other hand, acting overconfident in a suit can also be a sign of not knowing what you're doing. Often seen with younger people, who when in a suit walk around with a very arrogant, almost comical CEO-like swagger (in their X buttoned supertight jackets and high water trouser slim fit suits).

Last Saturday me and my girlfriend were at a classical concert and it was a total farce in every aspect. The Orchestra was amateurish and the audience was horribly dressed, nobody made an effort. Some sports coats here and there (less than 30 guys i'd say), but the rest of them...one guy even wore a sweater with a hoodie. I had my charcoal DB suit on and i was the only guy with a tie. This is where being the best dressed man means nothing really, when everybody around you is slouching it to the max.

It's not my goal to make people look like peasants or to be better than others in sartorial things, but very often people make me look the best dressed guy by not a making an effort at all. I would be a liar if i said that i don't enjoy how their wives look at me, but I'd prefer it if everybody around me look their best. It really elevates the whole event to a diffierent level.
 

JJ Katz

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It's not my goal to make people look like peasants or to be better than others in sartorial things, but very often people make me look the best dressed guy by not a making an effort at all. I would be a liar if I said that I don't enjoy how their wives look at me, but I'd prefer it if everybody around me look their best. It really elevates the whole event to a different level.

I think that BXpress makes several relevant points that I, for one, find valid.


Even within the ‘CM’ community, one often finds a degree of self-criticism based on the assumption that an elegant dresser is implicitly belittling others or inherently wishing to stand apart. But many of us simply enjoy a certain look, a certain type of elegance (more or less codified as ‘classic’/’tailored’ menswear). We would wear that even if others were not present and no one else cared (though, clearly, many do). That’s why I disagree with the idea that it’s somehow rude not to conform, on dress*. If the ‘standard’ becomes soiled underpants and flip-flops does it make me a jerk if I wear shorts and a polo shirt?. Of course not. In my thinking, I would love it if I went somewhere and I was just one of many (most) well-dressed men. I don’t particularly WANT to distinguish myself via clothes (as opposed to, say, my character). But I also don’t want to forsake aesthetics that I find pleasing** and, today, that means standing out.


* = excepting specific occasions with a stated or universal dress code

** = from a ‘communitarian’ standpoint, I accept that a purely arbitrary / solipsistic reference in aesthetics could be viewed as flawed but I think the considerable historical precedent and ongoing relevance / use of CM gives it a strong standing beyond purely individualistic considerations.
 

simpleman

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Fortunately, at the wedding, I was one of many well dressed men. The bride commented on how nice everyone looked and it really made her day to see everyone looking sharp. The groom and groomsmen all looked great in classic navy suits. It really did elevate the whole event. I'd say about 3/4 of the men wore a suit, a few sport jackets, and a just a few ties but no sport jacket.

Now if guys would just stop treating their suit jacket as if it were a piece of outerwear to be stripped off as soon as they are inside...
 

JJ Katz

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That, BXpress, encapsulates almost perfectly the 'anarcho-dandyist' aspect of chappism, if we can look past the clearly ironic/humorous choice of terminology.
 

erakettu

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As an university student I tend to wear collared shirts, jumpers and chinos on a daily basis. This seems to be unusual, as most people are wearing ragged jeans, slacks, hoodies, even training clothes. I've downplayed the dressing with wearing more casual end of clothes like button-downs and cable knits. Even with these I tend to stand out, though I havent noticed any weirdness regarding to peoples reactions. It is easy to go talk to people, and people seem be able to come talk to me easily.

My parents always taught me to dress well (ie not wear sweatpants to school) as a sign of respect to others but also because you represent you and your family. Also I've noticed its more versatile to dress well all the time, since you can go straight to work or to town from class.

What comes to dressing up, I think it's possible to dress too well. For example I recently had to call and ask the groom about wedding dress code, since invitation said "blazer" but i was about to wear a suit. I only own one and its a fine mtm suit and I thought it might stand out a bit, especially if the groom would not wear a suit himself!

What I'm trying to say, sometimes you have to read the situation and adapt to it. Atleast I feel that sometimes dressing too well, going overboard, will result in getting some awkward looks, even though you feel good and confident wearing it.
Maybe you have to give others some slack
 

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