“Suit-able” Attire

The president also champions the suit jacket with an open-neck white shirt underneath (no tie) look that has been copied by America’s Funniest Videos host Tom Bergeron, as well as by Jeff Foxworthy, the host of Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader? I see that replication today in the office, and even at some board meetings now and then. It’s crisp, clean, and respectful.

What does the look of today say? For one, it is a statement that while the tone is somewhat serious, the slightly under-dressed executive has a grip and can handle any and all questions, but he does not treat any matter too importantly. It doesn’t deserve the tie and wingtips that signing a peace treaty or union contract might. It makes a statement of casual control.

It’s all about making a statement–one that is respected.

Ultimately, the statement you make is more about credibility than anything else. If you keep your look conservative and display credibility where you work, live, play, eat, or visit, your words will always carry weight. If you are nothing but a talking head, that look will only get you so far. You have to back it up with quality, brother, or it doesn’t mean a thing how great you appear.

If you wear a hat like Indiana Jones or a serape like Clint Eastwood, you look like some juvenile wannabe that hasn’t figured out who he is yet. But a button-down shirt or casual sweater with a nice pair of slacks on what the office calls “casual day” carries many more political chips than a pair of faded jeans and a T-shirt. That credible type of approach applies anywhere, anytime, in any era.

Save the jeans for the company picnic, where they are expected and accepted. Have you noticed how old black-and-white photos of James Dean in his khakis and sweaters never look dated or out of fashion?

Conservative dress is indeed timeless. Now take the next step and donate those leisure suits in your closet to charity. That look is NOT coming back. Thank God.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at rdc@clevelandmetroparks.com.

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