Wednesday, October 01, 2008

On Wearing Suits

Do you wear a suit to work? I don't, and neither does NBA owner and business maverick Mark Cuban. The business suit use to be a universal requirement, but it's becoming much less common. Cuban talked about his own decision to opt for casual wear in his blog.

Why am I such a suit hater ? I'm not a suit hater, I just could never think of any good reason for any sane person to wear a suit in the first place.

Exactly what purpose does a suit serve ? Why in the world are so many people required to wear a suit to work ? Do the clothes make the man or woman in the western world today ? Does wearing a tie make us work harder or smarter ? Is this a conspiracy by the clothing, fabric or dry cleaning industry to take our money ?

Or are we all just lemmings following a standard we all know makes zero sense, but we follow because we are afraid not to ?

If you are a CEO, are there not better things your employees could spend money on than multiple suits, ties, dress shirts, dress shoes, dress socks, dry cleaning, and all the other associated costs ? Gee, no suits would be the same as giving your employees a tax free raise. Think that might make them happy ? Or do employees consider having to spend money on suits a perk ?

Suits used to be standard attire for NFL coaches on the sidelines, until the league signed a $250 million contract with Reebok mandating that coaches as well as players wear Reebok sportswear exclusively during games. Niners head coach Mike Nolan had to petition the league for the right to wear a suit during games, and it took almost two years to get their permission.