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  • Ray Peck

Dress Smart, Think Smart, Be Smart!

Picture in your mind...........James Bond!....Smart, intelligent, good looking, well groomed and virtually always, always, in a suit.

A suits says, "I'm serious, I'm self conscious, I'm confident and I have impeccable taste!"

The gentlemen's suit is like your oldest friend and will never let you down. It can accompany you to pretty much any occasion without embarrassing you (unlike the hoody and tracky bottoms!) Dress it up with sharp, crisp white shirt, understated woven silk tie and silk pocket square and a pair of high shine, good quality leather shoes and you can walk confidently into the best hotel, theatre, restaurant, meeting room or anywhere where the smart people go!

Dress it down with a softly tailored block colour, open neck shirt, polo shirt or even a fine knit roll neck sweater, no socks (if you must!), and soft leather or suede shoes, possibly loafers or brogues in tan or brown and you're ready to party, dine, socialise and relax without losing that sharp, smart image of a man with his finger on the pulse!

However you wear it the suit is here to stay and is still the staple, must have inclusion in your wardrobe. Fashions and trends come and go, but look back through the ages and they have almost always revolved around the good old suit. From Teddy Boys to Mods, Soul Boys, Men in Black, Pulp Fiction and The Beatles, all rocked it in their suits!

Today's trend is very firmly stuck in the gutter with the masses finding comfort in sportswear and slouch wear. Recently I was on holiday and the hotel had a 'strictly no shorts' policy at evening meal time, which is perfectly acceptable. But I was astonished and slightly annoyed when a smart middle aged man was turned away for trying to enter the restaurant wearing tailored shorts and a nice linen shirt yet a slightly younger guy, wearing jogging bottoms, with a baggy backside, and a t-shirt, was allowed entry. Don't get me wrong, I do realise that strictly speaking the hotel was enforcing the rules correctly but in all honesty there is no way that you could say that the young man in the jogging bottoms looked smarter than the chap in the tailored shorts. I can't even say it is a generation thing as I see many middle aged men walking around town centres wearing this uniform on a daily basis. I guess it is a cost v affordability issue and I get that the sports brands cater for those who want to wear loose fitting clothes that offer a degree of comfort without worrying about creasing etc.

But that's the problem isn't it? There is no need to make an effort, no desire to make an impact or to impress your peers or even your partner.

My father worked in a factory and we lived on a sprawling council estate but he would never leave the house without putting his sports jacket and shirt and tie on, even if it was just to pop to the newsagent. It is all about standards.

I know that whenever I am going to a social event, even where the dress code is very relaxed I make a conscious effort to try to be the smartest or best dressed man in the room. When I am in my suit, whether for work or pleasure I feel like I am taken more seriously and definitely feel more confident.

The thing is, the suit offers so many options that you can never tire of choosing a new design or style or fabric. The choices are endless, wool/ Linen? Cotton? Pinstripe? Check? Plain? Birdseye? Houndstooth? Flannel? Worsted? Single or double breasted? 2 button? 3 button? 4 button? Side vents, Centre vent, Slant pockets? Jetted or Flaps? Working cuffs? How many buttons? Monogram?....................... I've not even scratched the surface.

Whether you choose an off the peg option which you can buy from as little as £85 on the High Street or go for the truly personal touch of designing your own and having it personally tailored to your exact measurements and body shape, there are suits to fit virtually any pocket these days.

So a suit can be your individual statement, as unique as your finger print and still as cool as hell! You just haven't realised it yet!

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