On Suits

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2016 by kmflett

On Suits

Crowds of people crossing London Bridge on their way into work.

Crowds of people crossing London Bridge on their way into work.

Recently there was a letter to The Guardian pointing out the style of dress the writer had found which caused most difficulties over the years was the suit.

I am sometimes accused of being anti-suit myself, although I am writing this wearing a (linen) suit. Perhaps some think I am a suit self-hater.

The man in a suit is something of a stereotype certainly in the City of London where I work. It is a sort of uniform supposed, at least in the stereotypical view, to signal the conformity of the wearer to the norms of market capitalism.

Like all stereotypes the reality is often a bit different. Suits are comfortable to wear (assuming of course that you have one that fits you) and being, mainly, dark, good at absorbing beer stains.

The Financial Times- surely the essential paper for the suit wearer (I’m a subscriber) recently published an article (3rd September) on what it called Broguegate the alleged faux pas of wearing brown shoes with a dark suit.

It quotes Shaun Cole, associate dean at the London College of Fashion as suggesting that ‘clothing displays membership of a tribe’.

The FT argues that ‘the current conflict is over how casually City gents can dress’.

My own observations from the Square Mile suggest that suits are a little in decline, but you won’t see many T-Shirts. What you will see this year, and this represents quite a change of culture, is a lot of beards. That is for another post.

By the way if you think this post seems to be rather male orientated, you’re right. Fashions may change but the City is still dominated by men and the higher you go the more likely you are to find a suit or an ex-suit wearer.


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