“Set Your Sweat Pants & Sports Jerseys Ablaze…Embrace Being A Man With Open Arms.” [August 13th, 2010]
“Americans have grown too accustomed to being comfortable. I find a different kind of comfort when I know I look good.” ~ Tom Ford
Here’s the thing: Only a fool leaves his home trussed up in clothes that he isn’t comfortable in. It’s impractical, and will not do you any favors if you’re too focused on how badly your outfit feels on you. Somewhere along the way, however, we (Americans in general, and American Men in particular) became resolved to the notions that comfort, above all, is what matters the most, and that comfort is synonymous with sloppiness. Hence, our rather unfortunate national addiction to clothes big enough curl up and sleep in.
A few weeks ago, after scaling the initial “Why are you wearing a suit?” hurdle in conversation, I was asked: “Yeah, but aren’t you uncomfortable?“ Oh the outrage that was my internal monologue (my internal monologues are always brimming with outrage)! This has to be one of the most common sartorial misconceptions of our time. The idea that suits are stuffy; the idea that ties must be wrenched from around one’s throat at the earliest opportunity, like the ropes and gags that bind some poor kidnapping victim. Many people think this, and it is a shame. If a man isn’t comfortable in his suit, it is quite simply because he is doing it wrong. I don’t suggest that guys should be able to scale fences or do pirouettes in their business suits. But there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to go about your day without remembering that you have one on every few minutes. If your suit doesn’t feel right on you, it’s either because it’s not a proper fit or because you haven’t quite wrapped your mind around the concept of wearing one with frequency. Both of these things can easily be resolved.
But back to sweat pants, sports jerseys, and other similar staples that announce our unique American-ness to the rest of the world with a sheepish grin and helplessly shrugged shoulders. Comfort makes a lot of sense, but so does preserving one’s self-respect. I’m not saying you need to suit up just to go to the grocery store, but the fact that you aren’t leaving your home to go to a business meeting, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave your home looking like you mean business. For heaven’s sake man, have some pride in your appearance. Put on some proper shoes…a shirt with some semblance of a collar. It doesn’t take much. The smallest sartorial nudge will set you apart; a beacon against the landscape of blinding mediocrity.
See the Light. Then become the Light that someone else follows through the void.