Let’s get this one out of the way first: today’s business suits look like you just put on a lot of weight. They’re short, they’re tight. They look stupid. And they make you look stupid when you wear one.
But in their own overstuffed way, they are a great equalizer.
How? Well, there are two kinds of suit wearers: the ones who look like they were born wearing one and seem as comfortable in it as they are in a nice warm bath.
The other kind looks like it’s the last thing it ever occurred to them to wear and are about as comfortable as the squirmy kid about to pick up his date to the junior prom.
The new styles make everyone look like they belong in a Clearasil commercial.
A business suit as an authority costume? Not so much anymore.
Oh, you can still get traditional stuff. And if you shop in the right “vintage” clothing stores you can find some of the outrageous “styles” some of us wore in the 1970s.
You can pay in the high four figures for a suit that makes you look like you were caught out in the rain in something from Robert Hall, Crawford’s, Howard or Alexander’s.
Uncle Sol sold for Crawford. He liked what he called the “cloudy suit.” It faded in the sun and shrank in the rain so you’d best wear it only on cloudy days.
If it shrank, it was on you, not on some high paid designer with a family tree he can trace back to the Marquis de Sade without spending a nickel on Ancestry.com.
Brooks Brothers gets it right. They designed their sack suits to be out of style right from day one, which was more than 100 years ago. And they remain little changed today.
They look awful. You look awful in them. But wearing one you are making an un-fashion statement. You can get a bargain at certain times of the year. But don’t shop their outlet stores and expect to get the same quality.
There, when you buy, you don’t get the Madison Avenue sales professional, he (or she) is more like the fast food counter worker. Don’t be surprised if the kid who helps you asks “you want ties with that?”
--Saudi women voting and running for and winning office? Next thing you know, they’ll want to drive. When that happens, auto insurance rates will skyrocket and the sheiks will have to sell half their Rolls Royces and Bentleys to pay the increase.
--Only one more GOP presidential debate this year, and it’s tomorrow. How will we survive the rest of 2016 without the electrifying presence of such heartthrobs as Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush? More to the point, how will they survive?
--Three cheers for the Vatican now that it’s freed the Jews. We are no longer considered “perfidious” and the Church of Rome has decided to consider converting Jews a lost cause… and maybe an insult. Anyone else out there want to join this party?
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015