To the SFers that don't work in a field which requires suit and tie: When do you actually wear your

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by dreamspace, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Fred G. Unn

    Fred G. Unn Senior member

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    I'm a jazz musician.When performing, I could wear a suit or t-shirt and jeans and most of the time it would be fine. Often guys wearing both combinations will be on stage at the same time. I tend to overdress just out of respect to the bandstand and the audience. When teaching, I'm usually in an odd jacket and trousers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
  2. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    I think the issue of contextual dressing has been pretty well covered here, and there's nothing wrong with looking your best in a great suit on occasions that do in fact call for it. I also do think that in certain major US cities, it is easier to pull off than in parts of the country that tend to be more casual. I may be a bit biased since I have grown up around and lived in major cities for my entire life, but even today it is hard to see a serious backlash from dressing above the average actually occurring. Of course, when you live in a major city, you also have a lot of special events to go to and even nice restaurants with some sort of written or unwritten dress code, so this may normalize it a bit. Plus if you are friendly, not snobbish and not standoffish, a lot of the negative reactions, even if they might occur otherwise, will go away. Perhaps you'll be judged by some stranger across a crowded room, but if you can't knock out someone's stereotype of people who dress well within 30 seconds of meeting the person, that's on you. I'm not saying ignore context by any means, but I do think the negative reactions you cite are probably exaggerated (at least in my experience).

    There is some wisdom to focusing on quality and fit over elevating one's level of formality in some contexts (contextual dressing threads and discussions already go here), however, but tailoring remains very important and I think your second paragraph acknowledges this. In a sense, the more casual one gets, the more certain tailoring details matter. I'd disagree with the idea that a shirt and trouser look without a jacket is more flattering to the male physique in general, though. It may be more flattering for men in great shape who can more ably show off their physique by wearing less clothes, but I'd think 90% of men would still look better in a properly tailored jacket.
     
  3. Danleyness

    Danleyness Active Member

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    I'm a singer. In my dayjob I bartend, and wear blacks (chinos/collared shirt), but I wear suits for the gigs I pick up: either concerts, weddings, or funerals. I also wear suits for auditions. This is a little peculiar to the classical/operatic world, as this certainly is not the norm in musical theatre.
     
  4. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    I work from home two to three days a week and visit job sites two to three days a week, so I look forward to the days I can wear jacket, collar and tie. I'm being asked to step up a notch which will mean working from home full time. If I make the jump I may as well burn all my business clothes and order a few sweat suits.
     
  5. ChetB

    ChetB Senior member

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    Slight derail, but I'm wondering, Dig: have you considered a more SW&D-based approach to your dress code, since wearing black is less of an obstacle in that context? You could still keep it conservative with basic, classic tailoring-inspired pieces—I'm thinking some Peir Wu-like trousers and a poplin hidden placket shirt or something.

    Then again I don't know the exact nature of your work so maybe I'm off base.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
  6. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

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    You're right, that is actually what I meant... I think structured coats, especially shoulders, mask an athletic build's features, and can even suggest chunkiness, which is why some guys look better in just a slim-fitted dress shirt. I'm going to be experimenting shortly with canvassing a dress shirt to take the ripples out, as I'm curious what it would look like. Maybe go with a navy shirt and trousers to replicate the uniformity look of a suit... (realizing I'm edging on flamenco dancer territory there).

    I'm on the west coast; it's true that if you're in the CBD during weekdays a suit is normal; but if you're a young guy trying to socialize in one after hours, the casual culture won't be kind to you, just my opinion.
     
  7. size 38R

    size 38R Senior member

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    I work in the Foreign Export/Agriculture industry. which means my work can be anything from driving a tractor, to a business meeting overseas.

    So i mostly wear "Trad" workwear. today, all Denim and tweed. yesterday, Brioni 150's. the suits are mostly for going out to bars, and meeting important contacts.
    But i feel the reception would be the same or better if i was wearing workwear. - just like suits too much.

    Dress as well as you want to. as long as you are well dressed. people will see you respect yourself, and your job.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  8. Radhruin

    Radhruin Member

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    Teacher. Lower secondary school at the moment. SC, shirt and dress trousers, chinos or jeans. No tie, as it would be slightly out of place, and because it can be somewhat unpractical when you're surrounded by 25+, at times rowdy, kids. This is most days though, depending on the classes I'm teaching on a given day I might wear just jeans and a hoodie or somesuch, as it improves my approachability with regard to some of the pupils.

    Most of my male colleagues wear trousers and a shirt/t-shirt/sweater, though some will wear a SC regularly (mostly the guys doing administrative work).
     
  9. Digmenow

    Digmenow Senior member

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    Sadly, that first season was a magical year in which every casting call fell on a day that I was already available. Then, HOC changed casting companies for season 2 and I was lost in the shuffle. I seriously doubt that I would have been able to make the same commitment to the second season that I had in the first. Alas, my acting career has indeed careered to a halt, for now.

    Now for a brief interlude...
    A: No, this is a rutabaga.
    [​IMG]


    I am too old and unhip to do SW&D with any authority. The dress code requires pants at the waist and shirts tucked. I have a black, box hemmed camp shirt that I daringly wear untucked on warm days when I am 100% certain that no corporate types are in town. Here's an ironic photo of me trying to do something in one of last year's themed threads. My right boot is exposed only for the purpose of photographic documentation of the footwear.

    [​IMG]

    Interestingly (to me), it was advice from the very persona memorialized in spray can black in that picture who gave me some sound advice on my wardrobe for work. His post was quoted (thereby saving it from the now infamous "...") in the thread linked to my sig below.

    I have tried to follow it ever since.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  10. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    You have to judge your own context so I apologies if this comes off as overly acerbic, but as a once and possibly future teacher / professor its my view that teachers are constantly banging on about the lack of respect and salary they get compared to any of the other old and established professions. The thought of a teacher of any sort in hoody and jeans makes me shiver and wonder why the aforementioned complaints exist. Would you respect a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant, a judge, a CEO who came to work in a hoody and jeans? You can always make the claim that clothes don't correlate with how well anyone can do their job, but I will make the counter claim that there IS something of a correlation between a certain standard of dress and the respect and commensurate salary. I was at school from the mid seventies till the late eighties and the scruffiest, schlubbiest teacher I ever encountered from kindergarten till graduation still wore a jacket and and tie every day.
     
  11. Radhruin

    Radhruin Member

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    I agree in principle, but theory is only worth so much. In this case, it's the simple matter of clothes creating too much distance between me and some of my pupils. Sure, it isn't the biggest factor, but sometimes every little bit helps, and I've got no qualms with sacrificing style for communcation when necessary. Can't comment on the salary much, really, since I get paid pretty well. Out of curiosity, are you speaking from a US context?
     
  12. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

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    ^Going tie-less then taking off the jacket when you go into the classroom could be a good solution; the kids see shirt, adults in the halls see jacket. That's what I'd probably do if I was a teacher, in the US.
     
  13. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    I have always thought that tweed and cord jackets are the teacher/professor stereotype for a reason- they're tailored jackets, but in aggressively casual fabrics. A tweed jacket and jeans (or more casual khakis) with an open collared shirt would make you approachable to students, while still formal enough to convey some authority and get you taken seriously among adults. In my experience, it's a look that crosses all sorts of lines.
     
  14. Digmenow

    Digmenow Senior member

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    I wear either of those during the colder months over my black button collar shirt and khakis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  15. Radhruin

    Radhruin Member

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    I already got plenty of those, and they do me well! (Getting taken seriously by adults isn't the primary concern most days though...) Really though, and without wishing to offend, the cases in which I don't wear tailored clothes at work are very specific, and done for reasons you can't really appreciate fully unless you're in the room or know the individuals I work with.

    As a sidenote, remembering back to when I gave lectures at university, I can't really recall that many more of the male staff(or visitors) wearing jackets daily than at the school I am currently at. Sure, quite a few did, but not as many as I'd expected given the fertile ground for putting on tweed and cord.
     

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