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The Demise of the Suit

By Tina Portelli


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The elusive suit; do clothes make the man or does the man make the clothes? Sitting in the park this sunny afternoon I am noticing how few men are dressed in suits. I start to think about this and realize how few men there are in suits these days in general. Is it because of the heat of the summer weather, the economy or just a relaxed attitude in dressing these days?

Did the tie die too? Hardly a suit on the subways, or walking the busy streets of Manhattan, certainly not in this park. Perhaps they are all holed up in the corporate offices high in the sky making deals, trying not to wrinkle them. Will suits be the dinosaurs of the twenty-first century? The workplace has relaxed its dress code, and it started with dress down Fridays and has extended to dress down period! Even the Mafia has found Izod and Nike.

Does the less professional attire yield a less professional worker? Call me crazy, but for me there is nothing more appealing than a man well put together in a suit. Of course, the clothes make the man to an extent, but even an Armani can't hide a loser. Let us not forget the last Oval Office resident who always wore a suit. In his case, that suit was better off put back on the rack, on sale, marked down. I love to be picked up for a date, greeted by a man wearing a suit.

Does a suit yield a more romantic type of man. In the movies it does. For me, a suit signifies that old standard gentleman-ness. Give me Grant, Peck and/or Bogart, all suited men (They all suit me) Where art thou?

The more I think about this issue, I am realizing that the clothes do NOT make the man. Ghandi wore white pajamas, Jesus wore a white sheet, and Buddha went topless. Will I have to narrow my selection of men down to Undertakers? Or, should I just wait until next winter and see how things look? Suits; will they ever come back? Probably, but by then I'm sure I will be wearing diapers!

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