The Corporate Suit
I graduated law school in 1983, and even though my parents were both professionals, they left me pretty much on my own to decide what to wear at the office. The first suit I bought was a thick, wool brown suit. It was a disaster. It was too hot to wear in the office, and it was neither preppy nor fashionable. It appealed to me because of the material (I’m fascinated by the feel of real wool), but no one else liked it. I learned to copy what the other attorneys were wearing, which was mostly Brooks Brothers. Dull, uniform, unimaginative. Fortunately, when I got married, my wife taught me how to shop for clothes that fit me properly. She got it into her head that my body shape was the same as Ralph Lauren’s (short and medetirranean) and that therefore his suits would fit me better than Brooks Brothers. She was right. I also learned to match the suit with a funky colored shirt, and unusual Japanese ties. Many years later I started embroidering some of my ties, and wore these to the office.
The black coat and the foulard tie could never obscure my soul and creativity.
I think that all of us are complex, and we lead many roles in life. We are parents, we are lovers, we are workers, we have our spiritual side, we have our fun or moody side, and sometimes we just want to be left alone. How we dress is a way to express all of these complexities within us. When needed, we will use the uniform mandated by society, but we will garnish it even in the smallest way to let our real self come through.
(c) 2021 Ernesto Beckford