Friday, February 08, 2008


My third post ever was about professional attire and I think it is high time I revisited it.
Thailand when you think about it, is a ridiculous place to buy a suit, moreover wear them, but it is one of the biggest things to do. I can tell this because of oversupply, you can't walk down a street in a touristy area of Bangkok without being accosted for walking, and offered a took-took ride to a bunch of homogenous gaudy buddhist temples and as a bonus a trip to the export market to buy jewellery if you are a girl and to get a suit tailored if you are a guy.
I have a few thai made suits over the years from my parents travels as part of their way to tell me they love me.
Yet as I had been suckered into taking a completely superfluous took-took ride (although good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement) and was sitting with an Indian guy doing the worst sell job on me in my entire history (more on that in another post) I was looking at the catalogue and thought, suits are really stupid.
I love suits, as a traditional costume, but hate wearing them unless they are part of an event, like a party or something or an actual costume.
But when I sat in a Thai Tailors I realised that suits are banal, peices of shite. Just another manifestation of the consumerism that has born $50,000 watches and other beyond practical consideration inventions.
Although suits are more the other end of the spectrum, like when Mercedes had to bite the bullet and release a line of 'affordable' mercedes, and thus destroyed the value of the mercedes brand - its exclusivity.
In the desire for one to be associated with the uppercrust, a desire I just don't understand, I mean seriously, why the fuck does anyone want to pass themselves off as anything, do you really feel that bad? anyway as part of the so called pursuit, backpackers of all backgrounds can walk in and get themselves a nice suit they don't need in Thailand and go back to wherever they came from and go to football functions, Year 12 Valedictory dinners and Cousins weddings and absolutely look the part. The part of a douche that goes up the arse to be more specific.
One place that definitely isn't the Milan Spring Fashion festival is the Brownlow Red Carpet Special, but with the nutbag Demitrious insisting on 'black tie' literal interpretation of the invitation, the Brownlow's still have a world of class that Rugby presentation nights don't have. And that's because Rugby breads ugly, yet they still insist on putting thick necked brick shithouses in suits.
Its the Jordan phenomena of dressing sporting professionals for 'business' but has lost sight of the game. It is a phenomena that could have done so much good by working backwards, as in people wearing less suits to work.
Praise goes to AI for wearing his homeboy gear to games, and Steve Nash for wearing the appropriate Jeans and T-shirt.
It all reminds me of the most astute two messages on the subject of suits and professional attire I ever read, and they come from Dogberts: Top Secret Management Guide.
Here they are:
1. 'They may never respect you, but at least they can respect your clothes'
2. Shopping Tip - Next time you are buying a computer, ask the sales clerk what clothing the companies employees wear, and if you don't like the answer don't buy the product.
Yes good clothing can command respect, by respectable people. And there are books like 'dressing the man' that can fill one with wonder at the universe of attire for men. But the point is that the best thing about most suits, the feature that gos the farthest is who's wearing it.
Yes, image making, networking and all that other shit is a reality when it comes to job advancement, recruitment etc. But they are not good realities. Like Slavery was a reality if you were African American in the good old days, what do you do? Buy a book and get educated and go to seminars on how to 'play the slave game' or do you try and campaign for change in the world?
Suits are bullshit and I maintain even after two years of blogging, a distraction from professionalism. In my eyes, if the person wearing the suit can't pull it off, and I mean even a well tailored, well coordinated suit is difficult for a football player to pull off because I know they are paid to play football, then the suit enhances the joke, not respect.
I love the 3 piece suits of the old westerns, but the single breasted uniforms of the new generation are starting to get up my nose. I suspect some kind of armeggeddon may be approaching whereby the suit is no longer considered stylish at all, I did see homeless people in Japan dressed somewhat immaculatley by Australian Werribee standards. If homeless people are wearing trousers with nice leather belts and english toed leather shoes, what giddying heights must the rich ascend to next.
You guessed it, the new rich are dressing down, and have been doing so for ten years.
But if you think you can walk into a job interview of mine with a firm handshake and a suit and tie and I won't read your resume, ask you questions to determine whether you are actually capable of adding value and also capable of thinking and learning. You've got another thing coming.
Of course first I need a company...

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