On Saturday, Wesley and I went shopping for wedding suits and found a great deal on Alfani Red suits for $200. Amanda approved. Win-win. My main criteria for suit shopping was comfort. That's why I swayed away from the option of tuxedos in the first place. They're just too damn uncomfortable. I came up through Catholic elementary and junior high schools, so I know first-hand that all uniforms are uniformally uncomfortable. People give tuxedos a pass because they're usually worn only for memorable occasions. They also make you look like a penguin, and penguins are undeniably cute. This doesn't make tuxedos any less comfortable to wear.
The suit I bought, in contrast, well, it feels like wearing pajamas. That's comfort. I've felt really good about the idea of a suit and have been watching old episodes of How I Met Your Mother where "Suit up" is the phrase that pays.
The problem with suits is that they're all status. This doesn't dissuade me from wanting to wear one at the wedding, but it makes me thankful I don't have to wear one everyday at work. Whereas suits are the business man's uniform, jeans are every man's uniform. (Pant suits are exclusive to Hillary Clinton and the legion of women who take style tips from Katie Couric, including Mom.)
I was reminded of this status quo at Starbucks this morning. I wore my usual work attire: shirt, jeans and sneakers. Everyone else: suits. I was waiting for my drink when a young woman who was clearly homeless asked me to buy her a cup of coffee. My every-man uniform must have made me more approachable than the suits that hovered around me.
I grabbed $2 out of my wallet and handed it to her. She declined.
"I'm too embarrassed to stand in line with all of those suits," she said.
I put the money in her hand and said, "Half of the suits are douchebags. I don't think you have anything to be embarrassed about, and I doubt Starbucks will deny a paying customer."
She smiled and jumped into line. Who doesn't need a hot cup of coffee in the morning?
The problem with suits aren't what they look like. I look fresh as sunshine in mine. The problem with suits are that they're a uniform of status, and that's either uncomfortable to wear (if you prefer jeans) or look at (if you aren't part of that demographic).
Whether wearing a suit or buying a cup of coffee, comfort is key.