When making a good first impression is absolutely essential, when it really matters to show people what you're made of, there really is no other choice but to wear a suit. The thing about suits is that they didn't just come to exist by accident. They are the cumulative effect of thousands of years of evolution, starting from when the time our ancient ancestors clad themselves in bison skins, through the era of pantaloons and puffy shirts, and then finally around the mid 19th century, the modern suit style began to emerge in earnest.
Whereas previously clothing design had changed rapidly and often, since the suit first made its appearance, it has undergone very few changes, and there is a good reason for this. It is hard to improve upon perfection. And it hardly needs to be said that when it comes to men's clothing, the suit is the perfect choice for virtually any situation not involving the application of strenuous effort.
Let's take a look at the features of a suit that have contributed to its success:
- Suits project an image of masculinity. A good suit design mimics the ideal of male physique.
- Suits are flattering. If they are tailored correctly, they hide flaws and enhance positive attributes.
- Suits are traditionally associated with wealth, power, and influence.
- Suits are also associated with high intellect, good manners, and sophistication.
In other words, there is nothing that can do so much for your image compared to wearing a suit. That is also the reason why military dress uniforms are modeled on business suits. But it must be understood that you should not just go out and get any old suit. You need to be selective about choosing a suit that fits everything about your life. The kind of suit you choose can make quite a difference.
Go and check out the movie Spectre, and pause it around 18:17. In this scene we have three very important characters, each with their own traits and each with different suit styles. What they wear tells us a lot about them before they utter a word.
- James Bond ('007'). It's rare that we ever see Mr Bond dressed in anything other than a suit. The requirements of his job are that he needs to be able to blend almost invisibly into any urban environment while still retaining the ability to pull off extraordinary feats of athleticism. His color choice here is various shades of gray, because flamboyant colors won't work for a secret agent in the field. He wears a single breasted jacket with peak lapels worn unbuttoned, with a waistcoat underneath. What is being subtly hinted is that his jacket is unbuttoned to provide easy access to the gun we know must be strapped under his left arm. If you are really paying attention, you'll see more evidence the gun is there because the sleeve on the left side rides too high on the cuff.
- Max Denbigh ('C'). Max is an ambitious young man who wants to drag British Intelligence kicking and screaming into his vision of modernity. His suit choice is the least traditional of the three, perhaps because he wants to put emphasis on his desire to break away from tradition. A simple single breasted suit with narrow notch lapels, worn with a narrower tie choice. His impression is not so much about power and more about style and elegance. He wants to show confidence through slight understatement, and this is a sharp contrast to M's choices.
- 'M'. Being the head of one of the world's most secretive organizations is no easy task, and it's made all the more difficult when some young upstart comes along and tries to usurp your position. M sees himself as the guardian of a timeless tradition, one that he feels can be trusted and depended on just as much as people can trust and depend on him personally. His image of a reliable, traditional, and powerful master is reflected in his choice of a pinstriped navy double-breasted suit with wide peak lapels. He shows that he is not a fossil through his choice of a blue shirt, which provides a modern contrast to his otherwise old-school appearance. The look is topped off with a wide tie in a contrasting tone.
As you can see, getting the correct suit for the image you want to present is something of a science. Fortunately these days you can get help with things like that from suit specialists such as Studio Suits who have expert tailors and stylists on their staff to help you make informed choices. In this way, your image will be whatever it is you wish to convey. Just like James Bond, Max Denbigh, or M, when the image is right you will find the world opens up to you and gives you what you want.