Suits 101: 25 occasions for a suit
Last Easter, I celebrated Resurrection Sunday at church. Out of respect for Christ and His sacrifice, I chose to wear a suit. When an occasion speaks of special significance, men wear suits. When men conduct serious business, they often wear suits. When they want to look their best, they wear suits. Really, anytime a man needs to tell the world he approaches his affairs the way he dresses, he wears a suit. Put more simply, Suit = Best foot forward.
A suit stands at the pinnacle of a man’s presentation of himself. Through the years, men put their best feet forward in the way they knew. In the 18th century, this took the form of a white linen shirt with a vest and a Justaucorp (a coat extending half way down the leg) – see the photo of George Washington.
Over the years, that coat would morph into a shorter version and men would embark on a trial and error journey through many variations of the suit. We have seen everything from the Sack suit to heavily padded shoulders to shirtless (do not attempt) to gray flannel to the dinner jacket.
As we have it now, the modern suit has landed in a good place. In fact, nowadays we have access to suits with excellent fabrics, quality construction, and affordable prices. So, if you do not have one, search out a good one soon. Here are 25 reasons why:
- Easter church service (Read Easter fashion)
- Wedding (tell the couple its an important moment)
- Job interview (Check out You’re hired! Wearing the right interview attire)
- Graduation ceremony
- Symphony (exception: concert on the park grass)
- Trial (especially if you have to testify)
- Mediation (wear a tie bar)
- Christmas church service
- Political debate
- Important business meeting
- Award ceremony
- Theatre / Play
- High level presentation
- Dinner at a high end restaurant
- Funeral (wear black)
- To preach a sermon
- School recital (i.e. dance / music)
- Television interview (depends on the subject / show)
- Political speech (whether on a local or national stage)
- Baby dedication at church
- Business party (depends on the occasion)
- Prom (for the younger readers)
- High level negotiation
- To teach a university class
A few years back, I was invited to a personally hosted ballroom dancing event. Dress code was listed as semi-formal. To eliminate any confusion, I asked the host what he meant for us to wear. He intended the men to attend in a suit. For the event, the group met at the community center of the host’s neighborhood. Interestingly, only the host and I even had on a jacket that night. Surprisingly, several men chose jeans for the evening. Wow, we have a lot of work to do out there.
The next time you receive an invite to a really special occasion, remember to don that suit. Presenting to a large business group? Tell the audience you know your stuff with an excellent speech and a great suit. It makes the difference. With a properly tailored quality suit, you will find it tough to look bad.
For more on suits, read Suits 101: Elements of a properly fitting suit.
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