I think it’s time for me to get another suit. I only have my one bespoke one. It’s black, made of super 140’s wool. It’s not exactly summer weight. We’re getting closer to the summer, and I am pained that I don’t have a suit appropriate for the season. Funds have dried up for now, but I don’t imagine it’ll be long until I can afford another suit if I am so properly motivated.
I’m thinking I’ll get a nice light gray suit with a fabric and lapel style as seen on Tom Cruise in the movie Collateral. Not that I’m trying to rip off Michael Mann’s fashion sense (he does have a penchant for dressing his characters in gray suits though). I intend to wear it as depicted: gray suit with white shirt, no tie (hey, it’s the summer time), but with the waistcoat. The suit in the movie appears to be one with two buttons, double vents, a notch lapel, and besom pockets, with a single button on the cuffs.
I’ll keep most of said features, including besom pockets; oddly enough, the chest pocket is also a besom pocket, which looks odd to me. I don’t prefer the single button on the cuff though. De rigueur on the number of buttons on the cuff would seem to be four, but I think I’ll go with three for a less cluttered and cleaner look considering that the material is a light gray. As for the shirts I’ll be ordering, I’ll get a white one and a very light blue one. They’ll be very light and soft fabrics, none of that stiff stuff that gives a formal impression. The collars on the shirts will be wide spread, more on the short side as I intend to mostly wear them without a tie. Taller collars, especially stiff ones, impart a more formal look that wouldn’t be congruent for the more relaxed look I’m looking for. As for cuffs on the shirts…I think I’ll have to go with a rounded corner convertible cuff for the white shirt and an angle cut on the blue. Plackets? Not on the white one, but perhaps on the blue one. Most important though is the selection of the fabric. That’s not something I can conjure up in my imagination, but it absolutely must be light and breathable. I have no clue what the pattern is on the fabric of that suit, but it’s got those subtle lines that I like. After this second suit, I wonder what I’d get next. I’m thinking a man’s got to have maybe three or four suits, if not five: one for every day of the work week. I mean, you don’t go about buying it all in one go: these are garments that you collect. They make up your personal collection. Bespoke clothing should last you ages if you take good care of it. So maybe a suit a year for the next couple of years.
I think a plain black one would be a good staple: I’ve got these striped ties that don’t really work well with my current suit (it has thin herringbone stripes) as it just ends up looking way too busy for my tastes. Then I could get a navy blue one. That makes it four. Oh well, perhaps that’s all I’ll need.
On another note, I think it’s a shame to see so many awful suits walking around Midtown Manhattan. I recognize that some folks may not be able to afford a bespoke suit (to be honest, if I can afford one, I can’t imagine a full-time office worker with an annual salary having trouble getting one). But really, getting an off-the-peg suit altered isn’t an arduous task. It’s such a shame that so many people see the suit as a mere uniform of the corporate world. Men should take pride in their appearance. Even a sanitation worker’s jumpsuit can be worn with dignity and pride (not that I look down on them, but their uniform serves as a good example due to its utilitarian nature and to the fact that it will inevitably become soiled). Just look at Hannibal Lecter.
Having a neat and sharp appearance is not about necessarily about fashion. Fashion is about making statements and serves as a way for one to announce one’s identity, to signal to the world the culture to which they subscribe and the tribe they belong to. Quite often, being fashionable means having the money to procure such fashion. But simply taking care of one’s appearance is, to me, immediately noticeable and is much appreciated, far more appreciated than hip fashion trends. A man can look very respectable even in a $200 suit and a $50 pair of shoes. It’s only a matter of taking the care to look so. And men should make that effort more often.
Seeing that it is now hot, men on their lunch breaks stop wearing their suit jackets. I sigh deeply each time I see a man whose shirt is all puffy and bunched up around the waist, the wrinkles in plain view. It only takes a second to tuck your shirt in properly and to hike up your pants. You can also fight this puffiness by pushing the excess fabric to the back if you can’t afford to purchase better fitting shirts. I personally much prefer the waistcoat as it serves many purposes. For one, it breaks up the width of my torso and chest. Secondly, you don’t have to deal with the puffy waist because the waistcoat covers it up. Finally, it serves a utilitarian purpose: to add very functional and useful pockets. I find that having my iPhone in the waist pocket is incredibly intuitive, not to mention fashionable as it does not ruin the drape or lines of my trousers the way it would if I kept it in my pants pockets.
Now, off to invent a scheme to get some fast money…