Recently we found ourselves at a Men’s Suiting store shopping for a new suit for my husband. While my husband worked with the “salesy” associate, I wandered off to entertain our daughter. And by entertain, I mean that I wiped the entire public toy collection in this store with wet wipes. I didn’t really think I was that obsessive, but it turns out I kind of am. It’s just that dirty plastic public kid’s toys kinda gross me out and although I would like to prohibit my two-year old from playing with these toys, that’s a bit much to ask. Restraining a child from playing with toys is like asking the newest it girl to stop wearing the latest fashions. It’s impossible. So I gave in to the playing, but on my terms, with cleaner toys.
While we played with the legos and newly cleansed kitchen set, my husband went about picking a suit and accessories. B.C. or before child, my husband and I shopped quite a bit together. He’s not the kind of guy that requires me to pick out his wardrobe, but he appreciates my opinion. And, well, anyone that appreciates my opinion gets my instant attention. The man has a great sense of style and doesn’t really need my help, but I’m there when he wants a second opinion.
On this particular occasion, my husband called me over to give the final thumbs up to which of course the sales person totally played up. I can’t fault the sales guy, he’s trying to earn a living, but I’m not a huge fan of playing to the stereotype of my husband is incapable of picking out something on his own. Stephen had already made a great selection in suits and a shirt so there was really nothing to contribute on my end, but there was a bit of a stalemate regarding the ties. Now, I can’t say that I’m not the best person to choose a tie, but I know what I like and I know what I don’t like. And of course, I argue that I’m not the one wearing the tie, so it’s no big deal, unless of course it’s an ugly tie. I secretly think that my husband, being the nice guy that he is didn’t want to break the guys heart with his selection of ties – enter me, heart breaker. Immediately, love the suit, love the shirt – that is an awful tie. Really. It was an awful tie.
Side note – my take on a suit: when I wear a suit, I want to feel confident; look pretty and powerful. I don’t wear a typical button down, I want a shirt with a little bit of wow factor. Maybe it could be perceived as too flashy, but regardless of your opinion, confidence goes a long way in making an impression. That is how I pick a suit and the accessories – I want to make a statement.
Back to the shop: The sales guy proceeds to educate me on men’s suits. I had no clue, but how could I? Did you know that 1. You should only wear a black suit to a wedding or funeral because they make too much of a statement – what?!?! For an interview, you should wear a grey suit because it’s more reserved. Don’t want to draw too much attention to yourself. And when giving a speech it’s best to go with navy. 2. Any color tie is the wrong tie, if it’s not a maroonish/red and grey geometric tie. In his words, “if you notice Obama always wears a maroonish/red and gray geometric tie.” I’m sorry, but we’re not running for president and if you don’t mind me saying, the person in that family that gets the most fashion notoriety is his wife, not the president or his tie selection. 3. You want to wear matching socks. No argument there. No one wants to see your white athletic socks peeking out from underneath the hem as you walk.
I totally understood where this guy was coming from, but I just could not get over the tie and the suit color, I think you pick a tie that you like and a suit color that you like because it’s what makes you feel comfortable and confident. For the love, if someone dislikes you because your tie is too edgy as in fashion forward (not edgy as in star wars characters), then they’re just not worth it. It would be like me dismissing someone entirely based on their inability to pick a tie I like. Even I know that’s a ridiculous standard.
All in all, I backed off because I knew there was no point in arguing it any further. I knew that my husband would pick a tie that he liked and that the salesperson was coming at it from a logical standpoint. Plus, by this point, my daughter had started to try on the men’s shoes and I thought it best if I run interference before we get thrown out.
Men’s suiting etiquette is apparently lost on me, but then again I don’t like this in any realm of fashion. Who says you can only wear white after Easter until Labor Day. Doesn’t the fashion world evolve because people push the envelope all the time? And really what does it matter, so long as the fit is right and it makes you feel good, wear what you want to wear.