Putting on just a few simple pieces of cloth can make a difference between looking like you’ve just rolled out of a ditch and looking like you run millions of dollars on a daily basis.
News has hit this week that Goldman Sachs, one of the strongholds of required formal style, is loosening its dress code and shifting away from the required suit and tie that was once universal within the finance industry and across the professional world. It comes at a time when industries are relaxing dress codes and men are dressing more casually in professional settings across the board.
Before you burn your suits and use your ties as belts, this isn’t a total death knell for modern men’s formal style. The missive from Goldman doesn’t directly outline a new dress code for men, instead, they're leaving it up to personal judgment and workplace appropriateness. There’s no doubt that certain industries will still require suits and ties, politics and law being two that spring to mind immediately. Societal change happens slowly and over great lengths, which means the suit is still up there for one of the safer formal choices for men around the world.
Whether you’re headed to a wedding or a serious job interview, or even at your next court date, a suit still tells the world that you’re a serious person who can be trusted and respected in his own right. If you’ve ever watched the Kingsman movie series, you may remember that Colin Firth’s character, playing the role of mentor Galahad, introduced the secret spy agency by saying, ‘The suit is the modern gentleman’s armor.’ Putting on just a few simple pieces of cloth can make a difference between looking like you’ve just rolled out of a ditch and looking like you run millions of dollars on a daily basis.
In my own life, I’ve seen this play out time and time again. At one point in my career, I was working as a community manager for a small tech startup. We were being showcased at an event and our whole team was there. Coming from a different meeting, I was in a suit and tie while our founders were in jeans and casual shirts. I can’t tell you the number of times people at that event assumed I was a principal investor or the owner of the company instead of a new junior-level hire. Just by dressing a certain way, I gave out a certain image that got me a lot more respect from strangers than the people who had spent years of their lives creating a revolutionary new product.
The suit may be on its way out of society, it may not. There’s a lot to be said for the changing facets of fashion and style across time. We don’t wear hats every day the way men would in the 40s or the 50s, but they’re still for sale and in use around the world. Until the day comes that the modern suit and tie has the same relevance as the medieval suit of armor, it’s still important to know how to wear one and how to do it well. We’re here to help make that job a bit easier for you and to ensure that no matter where you’re wearing a suit next, you’re going to do it well enough to make a difference.