With fall officially thrust upon Colorado, it is exciting for myself and my ladyfriend because we get to pull out all of our sweaters, her tights, and all the other impeccably fashionable fall cold weather gear. We love fall because it is the one season where we get to really express ourselves and have just enough layers to do it. But just like any other season, it is important to recognize and remember important clothing rules. Actually only one rule, wear your clothes, don’t let your clothes wear you!.
This random fashion thought comes from my excursion out during lunch. When I was out I saw a gentlemen in a Navy 3 piece suit sans jacket. He was wearing a pair of brown oxfords, his hair was well trimmed, and he had an air of confidence verging on the point of cocky douchey. All in all, he was along the lines of what a satorialist would consider well put together. But something about his outfit just didn’t sit right with me. I mean I wasn’t like “pffft, look at his slightly too long pant cuff.” But I wasn’t going to praise it either.
I looked at myself on the way into the sandwich shopped and I realized what I didn’t like about his outfit. He was letting the outfit wear him. Today I am wearing a vintage military sweater, a green yellow and red plaid shirt, brown pants and boots with my suede bomber jacket. A really simple clean outfit. I didn’t in no way feel as professional as this guy did, but I did feel confident and like myself. It was something that I felt comfortable in and could really identify myself.
When you let clothes wear you, your body language changes. Even though you are exuding an air of overconfidence, your body moves awkwardly, your gestures become more elongated and comical. Clothes are chosen as a status tool. You want to be appreciated and respected, but you don’t want to look like you are wearing your fathers suit. When you don’t feel comfortable in your clothes, people can tell and you can lose an air of confidence and to me, it gives a large sense of distrust. It shows me that you don’t trust yourself. A little harsh yes, but it is important because it shows earnestness to me and not a general submission to the status quo or perceived confidence of fashion.
It is always important when you are getting dressed to remember a few different things. A. Where are you going to be wearing these clothes for the majority of the day? B. Who are you interacting with and in what capacity i.e. casual, professional, laid back? C. The weather.
It’s cold today. Like freezing cold. Like I am not wearing anything thinner than a bulky sweater. If you are committed to wearing a suit, wear the whole thing outside at the very least including your jacket. Yes, you do look cool in the vest, but it conveys the rebellious teenager persona of the kid who wears sandals, shorts, and a t-shirt in January. You want to be taken as a professional. Also, a three piece cotton suit is not for cold weather. A 3 piece wool suit is. If you want to wear your cotton suit or (like me) cotton is all you have, opt for a sweater or cardigan rather than the vest. Not only do you maintain those lines and standard look, but you also add a different color, textile, and pattern which gives your outfit an extra layer of sophistication and that you are in control of your outfit. There is no reason you should leave for lunch or a walk and come back into the office red faced because you were cold. Even if you weren’t, nobody wants to see someone cooler than they are by facing the cold nearly naked.
Remember, clothes are an extension and visual representation of your confidence and your personality. If you want to be seen as the most dapper man in the room, take time to appreciate the rules and precedent set by the clothes. You can’t deconstruct your outfit till you understand how an outfit works and what following proper etiquette can convey.