Slipping into a well-fitting suit jacket like is being in love. Its like there’s confidence woven into the fabric. Once the jacket is on, a quick tug of the lapels and a man is ready to conquer the world – or at least the board meeting. It’s why men spend a lot of money having custom suits painstakingly created from bolts of fabric. While the common man relies on the trusted names of designers committed to style, quality, and fit. Whether it’s a boutique men’s shop or a department store, men pony up as much as they can possibly afford – and then perhaps a little more – to have their shoulders hugged just so by a great suit.
Who can judge when a man and his suit are in a loving, committed relationship? One where they bring out the best in each other? You don’t have to be an expert in men’s fashion to know when the two are in harmony. A woman knows when a man’s suit is right by the way the lapels lay on his chest and how the fabric feels when her hands glide down his shoulders. Men notice how the jacket’s top button has just the right amount of slack and how the pants are a perfect compliment to the shape of the jacket. Most importantly, the one wearing the suit knows the relationship is real. Just like a romance, he sought this suit out and took the time to make it his.
There are times however when men will show up to the wedding with an “escort”. And by an escort, I mean a cheap suit. The quality isn’t there, the fit is too loose, and it’s obvious to everyone that the relationship isn’t real. Nowadays, men don’t wear suits as often. The workplace is much more casual than decades ago. So, on the uncommon occasion when you need to suit up, bring the love of your life – not a cheap date. Because you will miss the opportunity to make a statement to all who see you. You will miss the chance to say, “My inner quality is matched by my outer quality.”
My father worked for IBM in the 1970s and 80’s. He repaired large photocopiers in office buildings. It was sometimes a physical job that required him to be on his knees with his hands deep in the mechanical bowels of a copier. But, he wore tailored three-piece suits and perfectly shined shoes. When he walked into the customer’s office he wanted their respect. And he got it. He could have worn just a shirt and tie but he didn’t want to squander the opportunity to be acknowledged for his perfectly crafted attire.
All men have that chance. We can pursue something deep, real and meaningful – a relationship between fabric, soul, and body that elevates us. We can build that one suit around us that makes us unstoppable. Stepping out of a luxury vehicle is impersonal. Flashing an expensive watch requires no commitment. But, seeking out a craftsman to chalk and pin us, then waiting patiently for him to create something beautiful that we fall in love with – that is an experience worth the sacrifice. Because, when you step into a room, your love story is envious.
By Art Henson