- Jun 26, 2005
- Reaction score
In NYC, I see a lot of men wearing black solid suits, if that's what we're talking about. The black background suit with a pattern on it has been a staple for as long as the lounge suit has been around, in flannel, worsted, with white or colored stripes. One could argue that charcoal and navy solids with enough black in them are for all intents and purposes, black. Only the mind's eye can make the true determination. There are differences at play here. First, is a black solid suit suitable for business? And as a follow up, what businesses in what cities/nations/cultures are we speaking about? I know that Businessmen have been wearing solid black suits in faille for a long time. But the list of black suit wearers doesn't end there. Their industries range from the IT world, to the legal and Finance ones. Probably, these men don't spend a minute thinking about the color's appropriateness or even care about such matters, but they Are wearing black suits. Additionally, the people I know in fashion and more artistic businesses wear black solid suits without blinking. Second, who is the target audience? One wonders who is saying black isn't proper for day suits? Is it the same crowd who may have looked down on Fred Astaire's lounge suits in his Ginger Rogers team ups? What I am interested in is exactly what level of influence is assuming black suits are wrong? What's their viewpoint? Taste level? Motivation? Sure, you can have your opinion but what is it grounded in? Is it really their opinion or something gleaned from some other source, or some other time? I see my tailor making black solid suits all the time, and I am relatively sure they aren't being made for going out after hours. Third, for those who consider the black lounge suit inappropriate. Is it that black solid suits aren't attractive or they aren't acceptable? Two very different ideas. I see men wearing things that are unattractive all the time, that's MY problem. It doesn't make them unacceptable, except to my eye's aesthetic gaze. Someone suggested a black solid suit is as unacceptable as a burgundy solid one? I have no idea where that comparison comes from, it's not true in NYC, it may be true somewhere else. Unacceptable in business, in my mind, is when an item is so wrong to the viewer (obviously or subconsciously) that they can no longer concentrate on the matters at hand and it interferes with the business transaction. We need some hard data for that. However, in NYC, a man walks into my office for the first time in a black solid suit, white shirt and repp tie; I would hardly have the same reaction as to the same man coming in in a burgundy suit. And I am constantly paying attention to clothes! Fourth, I keep hearing the that there is a rule against black solid suits for biz wear, so where is it? Where's this rule? Rules that are unspoken or un-enacted are guidelines or suggestions. I have never seen one against black suits, and all I want is to see where they've been mentioned and by whom. There was definitely a reason that designers chose black in the late seventies, early eighties for the creation of the 'hip" look, a look that was being worn in the 50s and 60s already but not in specially designed suits and sweaters. That reason was because black was avoided. But think of the changing times. Men had fewer suits back then, so black rarely came up. That doesn't mean there was a rule against it; it meant that you ran out of money to buy suits before you got to the black solid. And whatever rule there may have been, is now apparently outdated, black seems acceptable to those who don't think about clothes and that's a heavy tide to turn. Fifth. Quality! This is a great rule for some but can it be applied across the board? If someone is wearing a beautifully tailored and sumptuous black solid wool cloth with beautiful and well coordinated accouterments, does that get trumped by an ill fitting charcoal, Dacron poly monstrosity with clashing accessories? Not in my opinion. Again you don't have to like them, there may be better choices but that doesn't make them unacceptable. I would also add, that if the President of the USA is wearing something it has tested as acceptable, by someone paying attention to such matters, by everyone and is thus a barometer of such broad based acceptability, if not actual stylishness.