Like some kind of horrid undead creature that refuses to die, the business suit is coming back. At least that's the desperate wish of the fashionistos of the male style industry. Fortunately, the resistance movement, which started as Casual Fridays, has made significant inroads towards getting people to rethink the idea of having to "suit up" for the business world.
But the battle is far from over. Suits go way back, sharing a history with uniforms and even armor. Remember, metal clothes, made for keeping you from getting lanced or sliced while you're busy trying to murder someone else dressed in metal clothes. No wonder it feels like we're suiting up for battle every morning we're forced to put on that suit and tie.
Suits rarely make people feel comfortable, let alone creative. Was Ben Franklin wearing his tricorn hat, waistcoat and breeches when he developed the heat-producing stove that bears his name? Did the Wright Brothers adjust each others' ties just before taking off at Kitty Hawk? Did Leonarado diVinci wear his fanciest duds to paint Mona Lisa?
Breaking the fashion rules seems the goal of many high-visibility Soloists who have made dressing down their version of dressing up. Steve Jobs and his mock turtleneck black shirts. Bill Gates and his rumpled open-collared button-downs. And they probably had to wrestle Sir Richard Branson to the ground to get him to wear a tie to his own knighting ceremony in 2000.
Ultimately, it's your decision. If slipping into those fancy pants sets you afire, cinch up that belt. Or if going comfortably casual feeds your soul slap on the Khakis.
— Marc Hershon & Jonathan Littman