Did the workplace kill the suit?

For as long as I can remember, men have always worn suits. Ok let me not be blasé with my opening line. Since the 17th century the suit has been a staple of the male wardrobe. However it may not have been in the form that we wear now (picture long coats and cravats). The suit you see today, is said to have appeared in the late 19th century. And the rest, as we say, is history. The suit was here to stay.

I was inspired to write this piece after watching an interview recently where, Guy Ritchie spoke candidly with Joe Rogan (on the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast) about his relationship with ‘the suit’ (as a symbol) and it’s place in modern society. It was rather interesting exchange to see (I watched the YouTube video of the podcast). Joe Rogan initiated the conversation trail (as most hosts do) and lightly mocked Guy for being in a suit with a pocket square; as it’s not something he’d wear himself. What I witnessed next was what sparked my thoughts. Rather than simply accept the mockery or become defensive (like most would), Mr Ritchie began to open up an interesting world of thought with regards the suit.

“The person that puts it on can’t be told to put it on. He’s got to want to put it on”

“Wearing a pocket square makes wearing a suit deliberate”. He makes this statement to highlight that without it (pocket square), it’s like you’ve been forced to wear it; be it church or work. Most guys in business do not wear pocket squares. Not because it’s disallowed but because the have no desire to be in a suit, let alone add extras. “Business never encourages fine suits”. That’s in part because most guys going to work in the corporate world don’t wear a suit out of choice, it’s the office uniform and therefore a prerequisite.

Guy Ritchie mentioned that the death of the suit was the prosaic attitude of “lm going to work and I’ve got to wear a suit and I’ve got to put a tie on, and I don’t want to stand out”. This is hard to disagree with. The absence of choice certainly breeds contempt. “The person that puts it on can’t be told to put it on. He’s got to want to put it on”. With this comes the understanding of why (in most cases) wearing a pocket square makes wearing a suit deliberate; because wearing a pocket square is not part of the “required uniform” and will definitely make you standout.

Own Your Suit

What was interesting is how he reacted to the realisation of why he personally found the suit repugnant. He became angry that the suit had been robbed from us, so he had to create an alibi; a way to understand why it is that he’d like a suit. “I’m going to wear the suit but I’m going to own the suit; and I don’t mean paying for it, I mean by owning it. It’s now my suit, my idea to put it on. I have to personalise it in some way”.

It’s an interesting perspective. In order for him to enjoy his suits, he had to understand the narrative that allowed him to wear the suit (seeing that he’s a talented modern day storyteller, this makes sense. This in turn meant that when he put on his suit (of armour) and stepped into the world, he was having a good time; because he owned the suit.

This is something that we’ve said from the very beginning of Morts & More. There’s wearing a suit and there’s WEARING a suit, whatever one it is is completely up to you. The person that executes the suit perfectly needs to have the right mindset first and the rest is sartorial bliss.

I’ll leave this post with this final and poignant quote, “If you don’t own something, you’re not the boss. You have to take responsibility for everything that you do. Why be subservient? You must be the master of your own kingdom. You can’t just walk into things with your eyes half open. You’ve go to walk into things with your eyes fully open. You’ve got to know what you’re walking in to”.

Thanks For Reading

We hope you got a lot of useful knowledge from this article and hope to see you for all of your sartorial needs. By appointment only, we can meet with you to discuss and create your bespoke garments. We’re based in Bank, London. Book your appointments here.

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