My first suit ever was bought for me by my older and wiser brother the summer after I graduated college. I opened the box excited for what is usually my best gift and there it was. A horrible looking pinstriped suit. My reaction could not be concealed. I think I laughed, said thanks and tossed the box aside. That suit sat in my closet, tags on, pants too long, for nearly two years before it saw the light of day. It became my “interview suit” and landed me my first “real job” in PR. I’d like to think my sparkling personality and my resume landed me the job, but I guess the professional looking suit helped…
Since then, my suit collection has grown significantly and includes some slightly trendier suits, some suit separates (what me and my favorite coworker like to call “fake suits”) and some classic pin stripe numbers for when I meet with those “important people.”
Lately though, I’ve been noticing less and less women wearing suits, especially in my line of work and on the streets of Manhattan. Even at meetings or events, I tend to see the PR gals of the city sporting trendy ensembles that look professional and put together but not in that “I’m a banker” sort of way. All the women in my office wear suits or at least blazers whenever they meet with clients or go to any kind of event and for the most part so do I, although I usually find myself trying to spice it up with funky jewelry, bright colored shoes, etc.
I’ve posed this question to friends before and have gotten mixed responses. I think men in the city tend to wear suits to work everyday because they are easy and professional looking. Especially those Wall Street types, they are never spotted without the classic suit and tie. In my opinion though, women in certain fields may need to wear a suit to be taken seriously and fit in with the men, like for instance, bankers, lawyers or accountants. I think that for the most part though, people that work in creative professions can get away with dressing nice, but don’t necessarily have to go pinstripes? My boss once told me that wearing a suit makes me look older and will make people take me more seriously, especially men. I do totally agree with this point so I guess there are pros and cons. I’d love to know what others out there working in a creative field in a city or suburban area have to say on this matter!