Saturday, August 23, 2008

Zoot Suit Riot

The suit. A fixture of the American businessman.

Since I was a kid, I associated the suit with success. I wanted to be a guy that wore a suit to work.

Suit=status=power=money=success=everything most people want in life...

However, only when I entered the suit-wearing working world did I realize that suits are a whole load of bullshit, especially when the weather dictates shorts and a t-shirt for anyone who doesn't have a dress code.

Suits are outdated. I was at Santa Monica Acura getting an oil change and peeing. I looked on the bathroom wall and saw a series a photographs labeled "Santa Monica Pier Circa 1920." Sure enough, in each photograph every man was wearing a suit to walk on the fricken boardwalk. Now that must have sucked. While society has made some progress by not dictating that people where suits to their leisure activities, workplace dress codes are mainly stuck in a bygone era.

My friend Mike recently became a lawyer. Mike is a casual, young guy like me. I posed this question to him:

If you, as a lawyer, were wearing the t-shirt and shorts you are wearing right now and we took a bum off the street, gave him a shave, a shower, and a business suit, and then asked people if they would want you or this bum to represent them in court, they would obviously choose the dapper bum. I know this doesn't paint the picture with the most details, but how is someones ability to do a job correlated with the clothing they wear? Many-a-shady-car-salesmen wear suits, yet why do we still associate this item of clothing with honesty, intelligence, success, etc....Conclusion: Our world is messed up.

Kudos to companies like Google that don't have dress codes for their employees. However, this is not only admirable in the progressive sense, but it is practical as well.

Can I really be focused on my work all day when I am trying to soothe the rash on my neck from my tight collar? Answer: No.

For all future jobs, a deal-breaker for me is wearing a suit..I guess I'll wear them to weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, and I have no problem whipping out my tux for special events, but I hereby proclaim that I will never wear a suit to work again, never, no matter what!

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