Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sartorial Guidance

I routinely go through YouTube just playing videos for music to listen to while I write articles.  Mostly Django Reinhardt, 20's Jazz and 30's Swing.  Whilst going through I found this video:

Now she claims to be giving sartorial advice on how to dress, and somehow this video turned up as part of 1920's videos.  Please save me from modern fashion!

Lets start of with just how sloppy the whole outfit looks.  It is not in any way indicative of how to properly wear a suit.  If this guy walked into my office for a job interview I would be taking a dim view to his work ethic from the start.  Sloppy attire, sloppy attitude, sloppy work ethic.  It's really the crux of the whole "First Impression" routine.  Just a few small changes can make all the difference in your appearance.  Lets start with the hair.  His unkempt mop of tousled hair looks like he just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  At least run a comb through it and style it down into a slicked back look, or better yet, just get a haircut... Think "Mad Men".  While I don't know the composition of his suit, it is extremely ill fitting and has the appearance of Polyester/Rayon.  Stick with natural fibers like Wool because only Wool gives the best "Drape" (How the suit conforms to the body).  Wool suits needn't be expensive.  Men's USA has some nice 3 button 3 piece suits for $169 made of Super 150's 100% Merino Wool.  The styling is Italian which translates to classy and timeless.

The "Mad Men" Haircut
If you're wearing a 2 piece suit, then for pete's sake please button the jacket when standing.  Don't button all of the buttons, just the top button on a 2 button jacket or the middle on a 3 button.  The coat can be left open if wearing a 3 piece suit but in the case of a 2 piece it looks like the curtains are flapping in the breeze or else you just gained a bunch of weight and can't button your jacket anymore.

For a first suit, black is best because it is appropriate for all manner of events.  Get a 3 piece because you can wear it with or without the vest.  Most 3 piece suits feature a 3 button jacket, although you can sometimes find one with a 2 button.  Either one is appropriate as long as the 2 button jacket doesn't expose too much of the vest (the rule is no more than 2 vest buttons showing in the jacket V).  Here in the video, the mistake is made of matching the tie to the jacket.  Unless you're at a funeral, a black tie with black suit is just to somber.  Take the opportunity to add some color to your outfit but I wouldn't recommend that Marvin the Martian tie to an interview.

I don't have a 3 piece suit right now because every time I think I have the money set aside for it... I have another unexpected bill.  This year is shot because I was paying to get the Visa for my wife to live and work in the states.  So what I do have is what you see above.  The Sports Coat is a vintage find from ebay, made around 1948 and in perfect condition.  The tie and tie clasp are all vintage 40's as well.  This outfit is not relegated to just "Church on Sunday" or job interviews, I wear it on a more or less regular basis when I go out, even if I'm going to the store for milk.  I often get compliments and have rarely been asked why I'm dressed up so much.  Going to prove there is rarely such a thing as being overdressed (well a tuxedo to the store would be over the top).


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