In Praise of the Suit and Tie

When I was a teenager, the last thing in the world I could ever imagine myself doing was wearing a suit and tie. I thought suits and ties were for what I termed “execudrioids.”

I wore blue jeans that were tattered from being worn daily and washed infrequently. I wore muscle shirts under a black cotton button down shirts. I wore big Nike hightop tennis shoes. My hair was long, sometimes permed, sometimes highlighted. Both of my ears were pierced, one twice, one four times. Mostly I wore big hoop earrings.

Looking like I did won me the attention of people who wanted to fight me for not conforming to their standards. This animosity started my Freshman year at the Catholic high school when a teacher who was also the wrestling coach told me to cut my shoulder length hair or lose it to his clippers. Left with no real choice, I cut it like Billy Idol’s and pierced both my ears. There were no rules about pierced ears yet, so the establishment wasn’t sure what to do with me.

I started a rock-n-roll band my senior year of high school. I borrowed clothes, hairspray, and makeup from my Mom and my two sisters. At night, nothing was off-limits.

After high school, I had to make a living. So I did something I never thought I’d do: I put on a suit and tie.

I expected suits to be constraining. I equated a neck tie with a noose. But it wasn’t like that. Suits had clean lines and looked nice. Starched shirts felt crisp. The right tie gave a suit some pop.

When I started selling, even though I was very young, my clients treated me with respect, like I deserved to be sitting in front of them. This even though I had my long hair tied in a ponytail that reached the middle of my back.

It’s popular now for business people to dress like teenagers. But you will never look better or feel more confident than when you are wearing a killer suit, a crisp shirt, a sharp tie, and a nice pair of shoes.

Treat yourself and buy a nice suit. Dress up. You’ll look good and you’ll feel better.

Filed under: Sales 3.0

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