With some of the guidelines that are laid out for how a suit should be worn and what are the proper ways to care for and maintain a suit, not to mention the mere price of a high end suit, some may feel like suits are a man-made creation that limits creativity and constrains professionals to the money-making industry of suit purchases and upkeep for the rest of their lives. That’s one way to look at it.
Another view, however, is as a liberating piece. For those who don’t want to wake up in the morning and figure out what they can wear for work that would both be appealing and professional, it’s a “uniform” for adults that frees your mind to thinking about other concerns besides what you’re going to wear on Monday morning.
Without the guiding principle of a “uniform” I was spending more and more time worrying if I was wearing the right clothes for the people I was meeting. This led to keeping a suit and tie on the back of the door, many hours (and dollars) spent shopping, and time every morning puzzling over what goes with what…Is the suit a sign of freedom or oppression? Is it a complete anachronism of Mad Men machismo and discrimination? Or is a suit a uniform men and women should both wear?
David Silverman, entrepreneur and business writing professor had both experiences. As a young man, he felt forced to wear suits at all the jobs he first took on and wasted no time in adopting the ‘jeans and a t-shirt’ attire once he started his own business. However, when it came to his client meetings and other B2B meetings, he quickly realized the grave impact dressing casually all the time had on his first impressions and consequently his ability to be taken seriously and close deals.
Wearing a suit is not just to make you feel important; it tells others that what you have to say is important, too!
This, I think, just grants women one more reason to consider reclaiming the suit as a customizable feminine article of clothing. The better we can design the suit to meet our body’s needs, the better we can look, the easier dressing up becomes and the more likely our counterparts of both genders are to take us seriously. So to answer David’s question, women should absolutely wear suits as well, if they decide it’s what works best for them.