Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Should I Buy a Suit?

     For over 30 years, I wore a suit and tie to work every day. Get up in the morning, button the top button of my shirt, cinch the tie, struggle into the jacket, lace up the tight shoes.

     One of the great joys of retiring was the freedom to wear what I want, when I want -- in my case, chinos and a polo shirt in the summer; chinos and a sweater in the winter. And then either sneakers, or my clunky brown Rockport shoes, or very often, for most of the day, my comfortable sheepskin slippers from LL Bean.

My entire tie collection, circa 2014
     Actually, for the last few years of my career, my company went "corporate casual" in the summertime, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But even then, when September rolled around, it was back again to the suit and cinched-up tie.

     I bought my last suit in 1998. I was let go in 2002. I have not worn a suit since. A couple of years ago I gave that last suit to the Salvation Army, hoping someone else could put it to better use than I did by hanging in the closet to gather dust. Along the way, I pared down my tie collection to a total of three ties -- two Christmas ties and an elephant tie my daughter gave me when she got back from her internship in Africa.

     But now B wants me to go buy a new suit. Why? We have a wedding to go to in October. And B's son is getting married next spring. She thinks I would look much better in a suit -- or to put it more bluntly, she wants to be seen with a guy in a suit, not some schlumpy guy in chinos and a golf shirt.

     But I say, you might as well ask a federal prisoner, after he's paid his dues to society, to wear his striped uniform again, ten years after he got out of prison. And to add insult to injury, I'd have to shell out $300 or $400 of my own money to purchase this uniform.

     To be honest, I do still wear a tie occasionally. I have two Christmas ties. There are always a couple of holiday parties that seem to call for me wearing a tie. And once or twice a year I wear my elephant tie. But for the most part, I figure I'm retired and should have the freedom to dress the way I want.

     Now I know women like men in a suit, a lot better than they like men in jeans or a rumpled polo shirt, or even a jacket and tie. But I also know that women like to be comfortable as well. When B comes home from work, the first thing she does is head upstairs into the bedroom and slip on softer, more comfortable clothes.

     So what do you say? Do I have to buy a suit?

34 comments:

DJan said...

No, if you ask me. Guys can wear a cool blazer and a tie and look very dressed up. We are a little different on the Wesr Coast, however, than the dressier Easr Coast. :-)

Juhli said...

If you are going to be in formal wedding pictures (B's son) I do think you should have a suit. You could borrow one, check out the offerings at the Salvation Army and other thrift/resale shops and then go to a tailor or spend a lot at a regular store.

Juhli said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gigihawaii said...

Wear an Aloha shirt and slacks. That's what David does. However, if you are going to be a member of the wedding party (bride's or groom's father), then dress as formally as the occasion requires. David wore a suit when our older daughter got married, because hers was a formal wedding.

Kirk said...

Use the force Tom. Resist!

Stephen Hayes said...

I don't own a suit either. If I can't do it in a sports coat and tie I don't go. You could always rent a tux.

Olga Hebert said...

When did the memo about women preferring suits to jeans come out? I did not get it.

Ingrid said...

Buy a suit. You'll need it for the weddings and you never know when you might need it for a funeral.

Anonymous said...

My advice: buy or rent a suit for the weddings. Casual clothing among those more formally attired sticks out like a sore thumb in wedding photos. No one will thank you for being a sore thumb for the rest of their lives.

I, too, wore suits to work. I, too, was glad to get out of them. However, when our granddaughter married about 10 years ago, Hunky Husband and I dressed for the occasion. We are glad that we did.

Cop Car

Anonymous said...

Olga - After about age 40, I think most men look terrible in jeans. My skinny husband is not excluded from my approbation - lol!
Cop Car

Tabor said...

No, you do not have to buy a suit. It would be a nice gesture of respect, though. If you cannot afford it, then there is no need for such an expense. If you can, I am sure you will be able to use that suit at other weddings and funerals, and perhaps other more formal events. One suit in your closet is not the worst thing and perhaps you can borrow or rent!

Anonymous said...

Buy a Suit. It won't harm you!

Denise said...

For what it's worth, I'm a woman that is attracted to men that are cleaned up and dressed well for the occasion. Doesn't mean million dollar stuff, but clean, tidy and nice. Buy one suit.

Barb said...

I would say no, IF you have a really nice sports jacket to wear. I do think a "coat" or a nice phillipino style dress shirt are a minimum requirement at these kinds of things. My question is, what are the women wearing-cocktail dresses? more formal? casual summer dresses? In general I say these days that the men follow the women.

That said, if there are pictures and you are a part, I believe you should fit in-and owning a single suit, that you can wear to weddings and funerals and perhaps a couple other events is not a terrible thing to have. At least guys can wear the same suit every time.

and while I no longer wear heels, I do have a single dress for success wife dress still, in case I ever need it.

JB said...

Like you I was stuck in a suit for a long while, but led a revolt the last few years in the office. I sent all my suits to the Sally Ann as well, but I did get a new one when my oldest daughter got married. Ever since it has hung in the suit bag in the closet waiting for its next appearance, hopefully I won't notice whether it needed pressed or not. For the most part I am a jeans and boots kind of guy.

Terry said...

I am so sorry, but I am with your wife UNLESS you own a very nice sports jacket. But it's a wedding, it's her son's wedding and you will be in the pictures and she wants you to look dressed up. So yeah, you do. Just don't give this one to Goodwill and you can have it for whatever other formal occasion you may have in your future for years to come. Worse case scenario you can use it for your funeral (LOL)

#1Nana said...

I think a sports coat and slacks are appropriate for most occasions that require an upgrade from chinos. But, for the wedding where you are escorting the mother of the groom, you need a real suit...unless its a casual wedding.

Bob Lowry said...

Like you, Tom, I spent way too many years in suits, including the three piece vest look that was popular for a time. When I retired in 2001 I gave eight suits to Goodwill but kept two: one light weight and one heavier. Why? Weddings and funerals.

Each one been used exactly once since then. They still fit and look fine. At this rate one of them can be used to bury me.

Buy a suit. You will feel special and your wife will be happy...with the latter reason being most important.

Anonymous said...

Men's Wharehouse has lovely suits very reasonably, go to that place and buy one, it won't put you back much, they also rent and sell tuxedos and one could get a brand new one in a jazzy style that is not too formal just classy and you could wear it over and over thus saving some money!

gabbygeezer said...

Buy the suit! (I've been married for 53 years and thus am an authority in these matters.)

Dianne said...

David wears a sport and coat with tie on special occasions. He has one nice suit for his funeral. Hopefully we will not need it for a few years.

Rose said...

Whatever your 'uniform' was during the years you worked has nothing to do with more formal life events that we all celebrate. Can you separate the two? If the women are wearing pants then you can go casual. If they are wearing dresses, you know what you need to do.
If you can't stand the thought of a suit hanging in you closet, renting is an option. Good luck with your decision!

dkzody said...

Buy a nice dark suit. You will look good in it, your wife will be glad to be seen with you (how would you feel if your wife wanted to wear a robe and slippers when she went out with you?), and you will look presentable to those other who attend these affairs. Don't give us old people a bad name.

June said...

What? Wearing a suit for two days over the next year will kill you?
Believe me, if B wants you to wear a suit, it isn't worth the energy to resist.

Personally, I think the only thing hotter than a man in a suit is a man in a military uniform.

Anonymous said...

surely you know the rule by now - - HAPPY WIFE, HAPPY LIFE

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Charlie said...


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Now it has been three years since Mama Alisha Lura Helped me tHe first time. Now sHe has left me again, this time it has only been 2 weeks since sHe left. So immediately, I contacted Hector and He is Helping me to get Her back. I feel much hope even though my Heart acHes like crazy.I have been in this mess before and Hector fixed it so i am sure He can fix it.I know that you must have patience and wHen you are in a situation like this it´s hard, but but if you have a problem like me, hang in tHere, i know Hector can Help you and He will. WHen I get my results, I will send anotHer testimony to getyourexbacksolutionspell@gmail.com so that you can know. her web is http://weeblyalishaluraspell.weebly.com/available-spells.html

Sarah Kelly said...

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Sarah Kelly said...

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Anonymous said...

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Aaron11 said...

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