When I started MicroSolutions I was 24 years old. I had just gotten fired from my job and was sleeping on the floor of a 3 bedroom apartment with 5 other guys living there. I didn’t have a closet or a bed, but I had 2 suits.
I bought both of those polyester wonders, one Grey pinstripe, the other blue pinstripe for a total of $99 dollars plus tax. To go with those fashion forward wonders, I had several white polo button downs that I had purchased used from a re-sale shop, and a couple ties that I had bought on sale or had gotten as hand me downs from friends.
I wore those babies when it was cold. I wore them when it was 100 degrees plus. I ironed them and when I could I got them dry cleaned. MicroSolutions was started in June and over the next 7 years , starting with those first 2 suits, I wore a suit every work day. I bought new suits as the business grew. I bought shirts and ties and shoes new instead of used. I went 7 years without a vacation to make that company work, but I didn’t go a work day without a suit.
Someone had once told me that you wear to work what your customers wear to work. That seemed to make sense to me, so I followed it, and expected those who worked for me to follow it as well.
After I sold MicroSolutions I decided that I never would wear a suit again. I was able to hold true to that while I was making a lot of money trading stocks for the next 5 years, but then Todd and I started AudioNet which would morph into Broadcast.com.
With our new business, I decided that I would have to wear a suit, but would modify the rule so that I would only wear a suit when someone I was selling to was wearing a suit. If they were selling to me, I didn’t care if they were wearing a tux. I was going to go comfortable and not wear a suit.
When Broadcast.com was sold, the suit went out the window completely. I vowed to never wear one again other than weddings and funerals, and only then because it wasn’t worth the hassle to deal with people asking why you didn’t wear a suit. I’m certain the people getting married dint care, and I don’t think anyone is going to be looking down at me wondering why I showed up at their funeral without a suit. Suits make no sense whatsoever.
Why am I such a suit hater ? I’m not a suit hater, I just could never think of any good reason for any sane person to wear a suit in the first place.
Exactly what purpose does a suit serve ? Why in the world are so many people required to wear a suit to work ? Do the clothes make the man or woman in the western world today ? Does wearing a tie make us work harder or smarter ? Is this a conspiracy by the clothing, fabric or dry cleaning industry to take our money ?
Or are we all just lemmings following a standard we all know makes zero sense, but we follow because we are afraid not to ?
If you are a CEO , are there not better things your employees could spend money on than multiple suits, ties, dress shirts, dress shoes, dress socks, dry cleaning, and all the other associated costs ? Gee, no suits would be the same as giving your employees a tax free raise. Think that might make them happy ? Or do employees consider having to spend money on suits a perk ?
Now I understand some people think wearing a suit provides them with a certain level of stature. It gives them confidence. It helps them feel good about themselves. Well let me be the first to tell you that if you feel like you need a suit to gain that confidence, you got problems. The minute you open your mouth, all those people who might think you have a great suit, forget about the suit and have to deal with the person wearing it.
Is there a reason other than “thats just the way it is” ? Haven’t you looked at someone in a suit, trying to look important and just thought how stupid and out of place it is ? Why do we do this to ourselves ?
I know this all is a crazy rant, but come on now. If you have had to wear a suit to work every day, haven’t you wondered why ? If you are the CEO or in charge of a company, haven’t you wondered yourself why you are making your employees waste all that money and come to work and spend the day in uncomfortable clothing ?
Give your suit wearing employees a raise. Tell them every day is casual day.