Wearing a Suit and Other Musings

I’ve always loved wearing suits. To me, they’re the perfect uniform. Especially on days when I’m totally exhausted and fighting to keep moving forward, wearing a suit makes me feel like I’ve put myself together and I’m taking charge of an otherwise unruly and unmitigated mess of a day.

But I get why men are resistant to the idea of wearing a suit. Maybe they feel awkward or homogenized. Or maybe there’s just not much occasion for it in their line of work. For the most part though, I think it stems largely from the fact that many men just don’t really know how to select and wear a suit. So rather than invest the considerable time and effort necessary to figure that out, they tend to pull back from it and instead stick with what they’re comfortable with. 

Ultimately, this makes sense; but I still feel like this is a bit of a loss for our current culture. Not because I subscribe to the notion that there is some sort of moral obligation that we have as a society to cling to the formality of bygone eras, like those days were somehow better, but more because I think that it’s unfortunate that the concept of dressing with intention, care and effort has been largely obscured by a worldview whose guiding principal is, “what is the bare minimum effort that I can get away with?”

If your goal really is getting ahead of the curve on your suit game then there are a lot of really great options for making that happen.

But then, we’re not really talking about suits anymore, are we? 

I’m not a social revolutionary and I’m under no delusion that my political rants or moralistic soapboxing can affect any real change in the world. I do believe, however, that making the daily personal choice to place value and significance on a life well lived is something that can ultimately make my life better. And hopefully, by extension, those choices will reach beyond me and enrich the lives of my family. Maybe they will even go so far as to affect a few friends and touch a handful of acquaintances on social media.

Whatever the case may be, I’m starting to realize that the purpose of this blog is for me to have a place to explore and sort through all the little meandering streams that this idea of “a life well lived” might take me down. Perhaps that’s too broad a concept for a blog. Maybe that’s just another thing I’ll eventually realize that I can do a better job of.

Either way, thanks for reading. I’ll try to keep things interesting…

– Ben

  3 comments for “Wearing a Suit and Other Musings

  1. Tim
    December 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Ben….2 general questions. I have a black suit that I got for free from men’s wearhouse after i forced my groomsmen and ushers to rent tuxedos. I’ve never worn it. Mainly because I am not a huge fan of black (don’t ask me why I didn’t get a different color haha). I wear a light gray or dark navy blazer most days and love the vertatility they offer, but the lack of having one go-to staple suit is haunting me.

    So 2 questions: A) Charcoal or Navy? B) Custom or off the shelf?

    These questions are vague on purpose because I’m inteterested to see how you interpret and respond.

    Thanks!

    -Tim

    ps I love brown shoes

    • benhulet
      December 29, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Tim – Sorry for the delay in getting back to you here. To answer your question, both Charcoal and Navy are great all around options. That being said, if you had to pick one, I’d probably go with Charcoal first; it’s completely classic and gives you just a tiny bit more wiggle room with colors than Navy does.

      As far as custom goes I’ll say this: I’ve only just gotten my first custom suit in the last month and if I have my choice, I’ll never wear anything else again. I just didn’t know that a suit could fit and feel like this one does. Cost can be an obstacle, of course, but there are some good options out there. I got my new suit from J.Hilburn (jhilburn.com). They do made to measure suits and shirts with tons of custom options. A personal stylist in your area (there are over 3,500 nationwide) will meet with you, take your measurements, show you fabrics and options and then facilitate the whole ordering process. Your suit will come in about 3 weeks and you’ll probably never wear anything else again…ever. You can definitely go with an off the rack suit and still look good, but if you’re serious about your suiting, custom is the only way to go. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. – Ben

      • tim
        December 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm

        Thanks for the info Ben. I was hoping you said both charcoal and custom because that was what I was wanting to do. Next on the list…Rok espresso maker!

        -Tim

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