Men in suits: A thing of the past?

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A few years ago I wrote an article (Dutch) about the benefits men experience when wearing a suit. And I’m not talking about how the outside world perceives a man in a suit. No, I’m talking about how a man’s behaviour can change for the better when wearing a suit. Several studies have been done on the subject; this article is based on one of them.

Men in suits: A thing of the past?
Photo: Pixabay

Publishing this article and sharing it on social media triggered a lot of reactions. Especially on Facebook and LinkedIn, the comments poured in. On LinkedIn there were several men who fiercely opposed the findings of the research. It could not be true, they claimed it was absolutely ridiculous. Interestingly these men were all suit wearers as their profile photos showed. This explained their indignation they felt personally addressed.

But their negative reactions did not go unnoticed and people were quick to point out that they were overreacting. On realising their comments were not so polite the gentlemen deleted them.


How important is a suit?

This discussion got me thinking about how many men still wear a suit to work.  Or is a man in a suit a thing of the past? A quick look at fashion trends in recent years shows that our dress style has become much more casual and wearing a suit has become far less common than it once was. In the short video below, you can see how over the years trends have changed and the modern man is wearing a suit less frequently.



Wearing a suit to work: overdressed?

But are you really overdressed if you wear a suit to work nowadays? Are jeans and shirts more appropriate? Regus, the global flex workplace company researched this topic.

The research showed that 68% of respondents find that wearing a suit and tie to be too formal for the modern workplace. 50% were of the opinion that wearing a t-shirt is acceptable and 87% feel that jeans are acceptable. So, does this mean that we can comfortably turn up at work in our casual clothes? No, Dutch people place importance on having a separate work wardrobe. Only 5% find it acceptable to wearing jogging pants to work and as I previously wrote only 10% find flip flops acceptable for a day at the office.



Looking at the research results I can conclude that men in suits – thankfully – is not a thing of the past. Men wearing suits is not as common today as in years gone by, but suits have not been completely forgotten. From experience I know that men do not wear suits for the following reasons:

  1. They find them uncomfortable

  2. They feel awkward because they are not used to wearing a suit

  3. They receive comments from others that they do not want to deal with


How do I know this? Well quite simply I am in awe of people that are not fans of traditional business attire. I love to hear their opinions and experiences. It gives me food for thought and a lot of inspiration.

Ok, back to the topic in hand. If you read the 3 points listed above, you will see that these are emotion based. I get it, choosing work clothes is a personal choice and different for everyone. But on the flip side this is what makes it so interesting.


I am curious to hear from you. Do you also find it annoying to wear a suit? If yes, I would love to hear your reason.




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