Why I Don’t Wear a Suit and Can’t Figure Out Why Anyone Does !

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.

407 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Wear a Suit and Can’t Figure Out Why Anyone Does !

  1. can imagine that suits did a similar thing in the workplace at one time. At one period in time, a sharecroppers son and a wealthy heir should have little outward to distinguish them as such when they show up for work at their investment bank.

    Comment by coskunlar vinc -

  2. Funny, I liked the guy\’s comment about \”getting laid\”. I remeber a girlfried telling me she thought suits were sexy. Kinda like that black mini-dress in reverse.

    Suits are a \”power commodity\”, and a status symbol, like a fast sports car. All Fortune 500 CEO\’s (except for rock star CEO\’s like Steve Jobs) wouldn\’t be caught dead in a company picture not wearing a suit, especially CEO\’s of Financial Institutions. That\’s why you\’re expected to wear a suit to a job interview, unless you\’re interviewing for a Silicon Valley startup as a programmer (computer nerd). It\’s A-OK for the geek squad and other Internet marvels, but not for brick-and-mortar industries.

    Comment by Mike -

  3. You read my mind! I remember last summer I saw these two old men crossing the street downtown. They were both wearing long-sleeve suits and ties in 100 degree weather, and I thought, I wonder if they realize how stupid and unnatural that is. To risk heat stroke just to look important was so pathetic to me. We\’re all human so I\’m just sayin…keep it real.

    Comment by Wendy -

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    Comment by Sam -

  5. I agree that suits shouldn\’t be required, and it seems that there will always be trends of acceptable dress, whether it\’s polo and khakis or a suit and tie. I myself have several very comfortable suits I had tailored here in Korea (I teach high school), and there is an overly-pronounced value on appearance here. Nevertheless, when I think of suits, instead of thinking about CEOs and prison uniforms, I think of the portraits of writers like Joyce, or rock bands like Muse, or painters like Van Gogh. All dapper, maybe a bit dandy, in trousers and collared shirts, or maybe wearing a vest… If I was uncomfortable in a poorly-fitted suit, or the style didn\’t suit me, I might do otherwise. But it\’s an all-weather thing, and maybe I\’m a touch vain, but it doesn\’t look half-bad. Of course, there are plenty of ways to have a good apearance and feel comfortable at the same time.

    Comment by Adabeie -

  6. no no no my friend! suits are classy! nevermind the bosses, suits are sharp. I try to wear a suit as often as possible and for no reason at all. I like to show up at casual parties full of my friends who are wearing ripped jeans and a white tee playing beer pong off of collapsable plastic picnic tables and there I am in a nice suit. It throws people off. Suits don\’t mean business, they scream \”I\’m so full of class it\’s oozing out of my nostrils. And I\’m mysterious too.\” cheers.

    Comment by Kyle -

  7. I agree with you Mark totally. Why wear a suit? What purpose does it serve? I know some people who wear suits who are stuffy, snobbish and they look so silly on a hot summer\’s day. Everyone should dress comfortably like Mark. By the way, I think you are very handsome.

    Comment by Kay -

  8. Why don\’t kids in the fifth grade wear ties like I do every day?

    Comment by kolbe -

  9. I wear ties to school a lot. I am more comfortable in dress pants than jeans.

    Comment by Malik -

  10. I would agree with you, however, you are in the position to make rules from looking at your background story. At your status an a successful entrepreneur, there is not reason why you ought to follow rules for those who must appeal to people in your position. As you said, those who are buying something from you would like to know that you took the time to prepare yourself. One of the ways to show this is grooming yourself… Buying a product is the same as buying a service; interviewing for a job would be equivalent.

    Comment by mutazn -

  11. am happy someone thinks that suits are unnecessary and damn too uncomfortable.
    I almost thought i had a perception issue, because i always see people wearing suits as ugly and at times dumb. Suits are neither practical or smart looking. I think most people don\’t like suits but they are forced to wear it because of dress codes of some firms and being made to believe it gives them confidence.
    I am a visual artist, there are works you create at times and you know you did put in good creativity and effort and it still comes out as a dumb art, same applies to all good suits.

    Comment by prince kalu m. -

  12. How can so many of you \’hate\’ an article of clothing? Why not hate your underwear or socks? Why not hate your eating habits, you accent or shaving? What the hell? Stop shaving or brushing your teeth. Show the world how cool you are and grow a beard. A protest beard.
    I love this banter of yours. Guys so insecure about their inability to dress themselves that they rejected it completely, like spoiled kids in wrinkled pajamas. You guys seem reasonably smart. Tech experts and all. Hey Marc, if you shirt was tight and your tie was choking you, all you had to do was loosen your tie and next time buy a shirt with a half size larger collar. Shirts shrink over time as your neck naturally drops and widens.
    What, your suits not comfortable? Let some fabric out, lose ten pounds, buy a larger size or here\’s a new idea – unbutton your jacket and drape it over a chair until you leave.
    Hating suits, my friends, is a very irrational act, especially if you haven\’t figured out how to wear one.

    Needless to say, I was sad to see the suit die for most men. Most look like slobs – and wear their casual clothes with greater religious fervor than the suitwearers (their fathers) did suits. The funny thing is that they think that they are somehow cooler and less predictable than their slave-to-their suits predecessors. In fact, they are exactly the same as any other generation except that they are afraid to admit how frozen fearful they are of anyone finding out how incredibly inadequate they are at dressing themselves with variety or, worse, be accused of caring about clothes. Somehow, over 40 years, a man who had three wardrobes, one for work, one for weekends and one for Saturday nights and occasions gave way to a single wardrobe that men believe fills all bills and is so incredibly boring and unimaginative. But thats the point. Today, men who even care about their appearance or simply choose to be more creative in their rotation, are considered \’gay\’.

    Why do you think the American male rejected the suit? Because it wasn\’t as comfortable as his shlumpy dockers and his monogrammed golf shirt? Of course not.
    Men have been wearing suits comfortably (and still do)for over four hundred years. If they were that uncomfortable, don\’t you think someone would\’ve figured it out and promoted \’casual\’ in the 17th, 18th or 19th century? Long before air conditioning? Does Mark Cuban think he\’s the smartest guy to come along in four centuries? Or is he afraid of turning into his father?

    Suits died for most men because many techncrats like Mark and Bill and Steve, very successful men in their fields, convinced our culture that breaking away from tradition makes you cool and that REAL men don\’t need clothes to show how smart they are. Yes, it is somewhat like the revenge of the nerds, as a matter of fact.
    It was a great moral victory for the nerds to get everyone to dress like them! Its pretty tribal. And they pulled it off. Except, their time is nearly up. When everyone does something (like earings in a man\’s ear), its clearly over and time to get off. Everything changes eventually and believe me, anyone in their 30\’s and 40\’s will wear suits again — and love it for the refreshing, renewing power of change.
    See Bill Gates now. Man, those are ugly suits. But once a nerd, always a nerd.

    Well, the only thing certain about clothes is change.
    Every generation chooses to look different than their father.

    Suits as we knew them are gone for now. But I promise you, they will come back to a new generation in a more comfortable form and a more distinctive form. And when they do, men will be seduced into shops by the woman in their lives who will finally insist that they grow up and look like \’men\’ not boys.
    Women look better and take care of themselves and dress better than ever. Even I am mystefied when I see some gorgeous woman walk into a good restaurant with a guy wearing his jeans, black dress shoes, a striped, wrinkled dress shirt hanging out of his pants. He looks like her ward. Nah, women are not going to put up with this phono machismo bravado forever.
    And when your getting less than you used to, you\’ll be wearing a tie sooner than you expected. (Dont forget to wear it loose)

    Comment by gene silverberg -

  13. i live in malaysia, and i seriously cannot understand why people like to wear suit. it\’s a tropical country with temperature ranging from 25 deg celc (that\’s during raining season) to 38 deg celc. =_=

    i cannot even last long with a necktie…not to say a suit.

    Comment by Alvin Lim -

  14. Hey..the company I work for has a quite casual working atmosphere, no one is required to put himself in an uncomfortable clothes, eveyone is enjoying our comfy dressing as well as our work..

    Comment by Echo -

  15. Everyone who wears a suit is trying to make themselves look important but I think it is not as comfortable as t shirts.

    Comment by Justin -

  16. I put my picture on my new website uclaim.com. I\’m wearing a white shirt and tie with a leather jacket, not a suit. My web developer thinks I should wear a suit. But, as an insurance adjuster in a blue collar area, I have found that people were less trusting when I showed up in a suit. I assumed I should present the same image on the net. I represent policy holders who beleieve they were underpaid by their insurance company. To them suits represent \”the establishment\”. What do you think?

    Comment by Ron -

  17. Okay, I\’ll bite… I freakin\’ LOVE suits, man. I like the subtle matching of accessories, shoes, the look of a badass new tie – freakin\’ overcoats, dude! You obviously have \’been there and done that\’ with suits, but you just didn\’t dig \’em. That\’s your prerogative, bro. For me? I just bought three new suits and a new pair of Johston Murphy wingtip tassel loafers this week. …and I\’m looking real hard for a sweet hookup on some french-cuffed shirts so I can style with my new Mont Blanc cufflinks.

    To each his own, I suppose.


    Comment by Tgardner -

  18. Go naked… It\’s way more comfortable than wearing clothes. πŸ™‚

    Hey Mark, If I were you, I\’d just wrap myself in all that cash you have laying around. Kind of like a money suit.

    PS. Use a few 10,000 bills to cover the private area. You\’ll get way more attention that way…

    Here\’s a question for you. A guy walks into a bar with 10,000 bills covering his privates. How long does it take him to find a love connection?

    Comment by David -

  19. I am a recent graduate from the University of Michigan and I\’m trying to advance into the professional world. I have no money so, like so many others, I will be starting my bigger life by going into more debt just to hone the professional appearance. I like your story because I am mostly scared sh*tless about just how I\’m actually going to get my foot in the door. I have no financial safety net so in the next month I will be taking the biggest risk of my life: $5000 savings left over from college, all going towards a new studio apt, suit, and life looking for entry-level work in Washington DC. I hope I make it because I\’m all in. The last thing I need is to worry about where to buy a suit, what a good price range is, and all the rest of it.

    Comment by Isaac -

  20. What a refreshing view! I actually printed this! I left corporate hell 4 years ago, and have never looked back.

    Comment by Susan Lewis -

  21. Mark,

    Gee…I wish that you would have had that philosophy when I worked for you at MicroSolutions!! I hated those hot, humid days in Dallas having to wear a suit. That\’s ok…I don\’t wear a suit now either.

    Ed Heath

    Comment by Ed Heath -

  22. i like suits for themed events; 20s themed dinner parties for instance. purely aesthetic. i don\’t want to wear one to work everyday, but i do want to wear one with killer heels and red lipstick every once in a while.

    Comment by gina -

  23. I agree that wearing a suit is uncomfortable, and since I live in the Northern Hemisphere, suicidal. It\’s the same arguement that school kids have against uniforms. Try and find something that doesn\’t look the same as everyone else, damn near impossible. So why not wear something that makes you look elegant. I don\’t wear a suit to work or meetings, but I am sick of being badly dressed, of wearing jeans ( which is bit of a uniform ), t-shirts and the like. I know that this is really about media manipulation and received ideas, about not accepting everything we are told, and if that is the case ; then don\’t listen to it, and listen only to the beat of your own drum.

    Comment by Alex dodd -

  24. A tee shirt and shorts bars creative expression because nowdays everybody wears tee shirts and shorts. All men dress alike just like most women dress similar, depending on trends and time period.

    Comment by Lynn -

  25. Um…..\’cuz suits are awesome. Maybe if you bought the right suit, you would understand. They look phenomenal and feel really good. The only reason not to wear a nice suit is if your ugly and the suit would feel bad if it was on you.

    Comment by Brian -

  26. I hate wearing suites and my job doesn\’t require me to do so! I wear jeans most of the time..

    Comment by free ps3 -

  27. Man, I love the way you think! And I wholeheartedly agree, although there is a small part of me sad, thinking I may be letting my grandmother down. πŸ˜‰ You know how much they dressed up – those born in the early 1900\’s!
    But, along the same, token – as a stay at home mom, and now a work at home mom, I long ago completely gave up \’girl shoes\’ – you know, those atrocities that aren\’t shaped to fit any human foot I\’ve ever seen! And you know what – my feet are happy and they thank me daily!
    This was a great post, I\’m glad someone had recently commented on it to draw my attention to it! It was cool to not only read your relaxed point of view on the dresscode, but, also, to hear a bit about your beginnings!

    Comment by Lisa Marie Mary -

  28. Mark, as a teacher I think that dress clothes are an indispensable teaching tool. Children, like many adults, are subconsciously impressed by certain clothing; they also make conclusions about your personality and aptitude based on clothing. Of course, these assumptions are unfair and unfounded, but they are a product of our society and culture. Wearing a suit says, I\’m hard-working, efficient, and successful, so you should listen to me. Wearing a t-shirt and jeans says, I just walked in of the street for this Chemistry class and afterwards I\’m playing basketball. Studies have found that students pay more attention when taught by someone wearing a suit or at least a tie. Yeah, it\’s stupid and doesn\’t make logical sense. But it\’s also a way of thinking that\’s passively indoctrinated into us at a young age.

    Comment by Dave -

  29. I think you\’re way off base and here\’s why: you are sharing your personal dislike for suits, and as a value judgment it\’s as subjective as not liking any other \”optional\”/non-functional accessory/apparel. Attack the disease of consumerism, etc — not one symptom.

    Comment by Warehouse -

  30. Many people have come to the same conclusions you have, we call them nudists. Yes, wearing a suit is a meaningless and pointless gesture. So is just about everything else you do.

    Comment by James -

  31. I\’m sorry but I have to disagree with you. Business casual or business, period is and should continue to be the appropiate attire in the corporate world. There are guidelines by which we all live by one way or another (whether we like it or not) and a professional dress code should not be exempt or taken lightly. When I come to work and see my fellow male employees geared in a clean pressed shirt and tie and creased pants (it doesn\’t have to be expensive) shined shoes,it leaves a good and lasting impression of a serious minded and professional individual. Many who murmur their woes of \”dressing down\” everyday might consider readjusting their thinking. Would you rather feast your eyes on an individual with pants hanging to the crack of the buttocks nnd a T-shirt twice as large as any obsese person? Then comes the slovenly hair and quite frankly the stench of body odor. Let\’s not forget the attitude that accompanies such attire? Women too can benefit from this message,particularly those who dress immodestly.

    Comment by Carolyn -

  32. I have worked in one \”suit required\” environment and numerous very casual environments. I found the level of focus on acceptable clothing to be a great barometer of business adaptibility.

    I like Mark\’s focus on the economics of the suit…it costs a lot of money and indicates a focus on the appearance of performance over actual performance.

    I\’ll wear a suit again at my own funeral.

    Comment by BJ Kroeger -

  33. You people are savages. Death to the suit? We live in a world where people look and act like trash. God forbid someone take a little pride in the way they present themselves.

    Comment by Ryan -

  34. I completely disagree.

    A well-tailored suit not only looks damn good, but they are far superior in comfortablity than jeans or dockers. The key items are \”well-tailored\” and quality of material. Polyester is absolutely NOT a good material for a suit as it doesn\’t breath, it\’s hot, it scrapes (literally) your skin in the most annoying areas, and they are cheap looking.

    Spend $400 at Macy\’s and you can get a very reasonable suit which will last for 10-20 years if properly dry cleaned; spending more will yield something than can be worn for life.

    In addition, suits look great. Anyone looking at Mark on television knows he looks like a slouch, or child, who doesn\’t take anything seriously. Is that true about Mark? Maybe not, but who knows as his dress sets the appearance and anyone with half a brain knows that appearance and first impressions in any modern society is everything. Wearing a suit tells others that you mean business, take their time seriously, take your work seriously, and CARE about your looks.

    Comment by Brian -

  35. There are two main reasons to wear suits. Firstly, it\’s a pretty good functional set of clothing. They\’re nice and comfortable(and I wear $200 suits, not $2000, so it\’s not like I\’m even at the high end), they look generally good, and they work in a broader range of climates than most clothes because you can open/remove the coat depending on temperature.

    Secondly, they\’re a signalling mechanism. You walk into a job interview, and they have no way of telling whether you\’re serious or a slacker – unless you spend some time and effort to show them that you\’re willing to go out of your way to appear respectible, of course. Someone in a generally-suited job who goes around in a T-shirt and shorts looks like a dabbler instead of an expert, because the experts wear suits. It\’s arbitrary and somewhat silly, but it\’s a way of conveying information that can be appraised at a glance instead of requiring a prospective client/employer/voter get to know you well before they can judge your merits. It\’s the same as a university degree in a lot of ways – it doesn\’t mean that you\’re smart, it means that you managed to finish four years of a presumably-difficult academic career successfully. Information can be conveyed by plenty of means other than the message you\’re trying to send, and a suit is one of the more prominent ones.

    Comment by Alsadius -

  36. I hate wearing shirts at all. when i am around my house, it\’s gym shorts and no shirt. Suits hide muscles. thats why people wear them because for the large part of america, people are ugly and out of shape, a suit distorts that because many people look the same in a suit. Unless you are ridiculously obese, you can not tell someone that has a chiseled frame from someone that has never touched a weight in his life.

    Comment by JR Ewing -

  37. I\’ve never owned a suit, never worn a suit (or a tie), never understood them, never will. (Never say never, right???) That being said, I do own some nice shirts, sweaters, shoes, and pants that will cover me in \”dressy\” situations, but most days it\’s jeans (most with holes and rips) and t-shirts and New Balance jogging shoes- ahh the freedom of being self-employed….


    Comment by Adrian Batanea -

  38. It makes me very happy to know that someone who thinks this way is successful.

    Comment by Todd Gebhart -

  39. After all, you decide. If you like to wear jeans all the time, the wear jeans all the time. iF you like loose jeans, wear loose jeans. If you like tight jeans, the wear tight jeans.
    Jeans are accepted in many places and they are comfortable. Right now, I am very happy shirtless, with some (tight jeans. It is about what you like.

    Comment by Matthew -

  40. Mark, I hated suits at least as much as you do. It\’s only a few months back that I actually found out how important it was. It works on at least 2 levels:

    1) By wearing a suit for a meeting, you communicate to the person you\’re gonna meet that you care. It\’s like marriage: imagine your bride showed up wearing an old sweater for the ceremony.

    2) The first impression does count. Even though you \”forget about the suit once you start talking\”, the important thing is that you still perceive the person one way or the other.

    I don\’t wear the suit to work on days when I\’m not going to meet anyone \”from the outside\”. Also, when someone comes in to try to sell me something, I don\’t feel obliged to wear the suit. On important meetings, though, I wear it.

    Comment by Filip -

  41. This may be the most ridiculous Thing I have ever come across. I realize I missed the boat on this blog, however I sure am glad I found it now. Why do we wear suits? I guess your asking the wrong question. You should be asking why we follow any social standard and or societal past-time. Why open doors for women, every guy knows its a ploy to get you laid no? I mean c\’mon buddy here\’s the deal. If youre a Gym teacher or some IT guy who punches keys all day and occasionally eats his own dandruff, then forget it youre not required to wear suits. If you have a job that requires you to wear a suit and doesnt pay you enough to afford said articles, then you need to evaluate the BS chop shop youre working for. Suits, and I do mean GOOD suits are worn by people who do have a certain stature, I mean lets be honest your local pizza delivery boy doesnt wear one for a reason. Truth be told, I\’m sure some people look at someone in a suit and think \”wow, he looks out of place\”…This is of course is when said suit is drinking bud lights at the local watering hole in a room full of construction workers. For the rest of society, its not that odd to see someone wearing a suit, however it is odd to see someone wearing a Fanny Pack, Khaki shorts and white tube socks to work, you should be punched in the mouth for that….. And for the Don Juan who didnt wear a Suit/Tux to his own wedding…. WOW Buddy, your wife is one lucky lady…. Does your trailer automatically widen to accommodate all of the children you cant afford? This will be the first and last time I say this Take the Social Security money you collect from hard working people like myself, buy yourself a suit and give your wife a proper wedding, sleaze-ball.

    Comment by Suit \'em up Cheap-o -

  42. It\’s not just that companies demand suits. I have a problem with the whole notion that some clothes are formal and some are casual, that you can dress up or down. That\’s just not democratic, it imposes a kind of caste system. Further, I happen to like the ability to move freely and to carry multiple object in my pockets in an organized way, which formal wear simply does not allow.

    I also like jeans because they clean easily, if you spill liquids on your hands you need not seek a napkin, unless the liquid may stain a color visible on the jeans. The formal suit is expensive and hard to clean meaning one must be to careful when eating or bending over to avoid mishaps with the sleeves or tie.

    The tie itself gets caught in drawers and hangs in the way of files you may need to read, and is in general a superfluous piece of cloth that interfere with one\’s productivity. What is it\’s point anyway, to cover up the shirt buttons as if I\’m ashamed of them?

    There is no reason why the suit should be considered formal wear anyway, or why we should even have \”Formal\” occasions anymore. Hell, for me a formal occasion means me and some of my drug addicted, pierced and tattooed friends drink until we puke on ourselves and thrash out (head butt, push, kick and shove each other) to metal music with \’obscene\” lyrics.

    I fail to see why I can\’t be a metal head at work, as that is how I am. They don\’t make black people wear white paint to work, why make me wear a suit, cut my hair, and adujst my ways and beliefs?

    Comment by froclown -

  43. People seem to take you seriously when you wear a suit. And as long as you\’re not lame, you can be very fashion forward and trendy in a suit. A suit makes you look good, clean, well put together. There\’s a certain sex appeal that comes along with wearing a suit. Jeans, flip flops, and t-shirts are for bums. It\’s for people who don\’t give a crap. You can\’t expect to recieve respect when you cannot even respect your own appearance. Society is in a state of fashion anarchy, where people like you who post these articles fuel this rebellion. It takes just as much effort to put on a suit as it does jeans and a t-shirt. Suits are perfectly comfortable if you have good posture and are not a slouch. Bottom line… would you rather look like Jeff Bridges \”The Dude\” in the Big Lebowski, or Jude Law in Alfie? (Hint, women think Jude Law is sexy).

    Comment by Steven -

  44. EVERY man should wear a suit, 3 peice if possible, because men look HOT in suits….. and all men want is to be hot for girls. that\’s why they\’re working so hard to make all the money. So i have to disagree and encourage all men to buy really expensive suits and wear them!

    Comment by Joy -

  45. Anyone could have made many in the stock market during that time.

    Comment by George DeBoerini -

  46. Mark,

    The ironic thing is I\’m not a big fan of the suit either, but I do enjoy watching what the NBA players wear to games when they are sidelined. Oringinally a doubter of David Stern\’s dress code, for me it\’s added an interesting element to the league and the fan fare outside the lines.

    Comment by Jeff Jul -

  47. While I agree with your comments, I actually enjoy wearing suits during cooler temps (but I don\’t wear neckties!). With suits, you cut down on your laundry, and still look good. Tailored suits can be comfortable. Also, suit jackets have extra pockets for wallets and keys, so your pants aren\’t bulging in the wrong places and your not sitting on your wallet.

    Neckties however, are evil, and should be eradicated immediately. Neckties promote gender and cultural bias, are uncomfortable, harbor germs, are susceptible to entanglements, are symbols of enslavement, and serve no functional purpose.

    Down with neckties!

    Comment by Eric -

  48. I tested the theory of \”wearing what your customers wear\” on my husband – who is a pharmacist and we have a business together. For a long while, he refused to wear the white coat thing that you expect pharmacists to wear. So he dressed like his customers in jeans, t-shirts and flannel shirts. I don\’t think it really mattered to the customers much once they knew him, but the white coat thing makes him look like an expert.

    Now, he wears the white coat uniform, because it gives him a level of authority and it is a \”non-thinking\” uniform for work.

    I think that the suit is similar. It gives an impression of authority, it is a uniform, and it becomes an expectation. I think it depends on the industry and event. Sometimes, it is very comforting to see that tradition and sometimes a suit says, \”I am important.\”

    On a related topic. A group of us were in Pittsburgh last summer and someone introduced Mark Cuban or a Mark Cuban \”look a like\” to us. Maybe, we would have believed we were meeting a billionaire if he had a suit on!

    Comment by Annette -

  49. Mark I feel the same way so I wrote this:


    Sorry about your 2 OT loss the other night. What a game…

    Comment by Joel Bechtolt -

  50. Thousands of years from now, when future anthropologists dig up our civilization and try to piece together our way of living, the multi-million (billion?) dollar suit and tie industry will be reduced to one meaningless comment in collegiate textbooks: In the early part of the 21st Century, men routinely wore pieces of cloth tied around their necks for ornament.

    Comment by Mark Giordano -

  51. \”Tell them every day is casual day.\”

    As long as laziness does not replace casualness – its all good.

    Comment by donkurleone -

  52. Consider too the time each day wasted on picking up dry cleaning, removing lint, putting in cuff-links, wrapping that tie around your neck, polishing shoes, ironing, etc.. If one is honest about this it comes out to be about an hour per day. Who wouldn\’t like an extra hour of sleep each day? Remember that the next time you are staring at the alarm clock refusing to believe it\’s time to get up.

    Comment by Eric C -

  53. Death to the suit! Just like you, Mark – only for weddings and funerals. Plus, they aren\’t a \”fit\” for the image our company is trying to project. Thanks for the blog!

    Comment by Mark -

  54. I agree that we shouldn\’t wear suits every day but it boils down to your professionalism and character, sure you can sell a million dollar house in board shorts and a T-shirt and you can maybe say a Mass in jeans and a polo shirt, or hell you may even be able to address the United States as president in your underwear but Suits and/or uniforms are there to distinguish your professionalism. Maybe it doesn\’t appeal to you by yourself but to the majority of people a suit or uniform conveys a sense of professionalism, maybe in your line of work it doesn\’t really matter because you may not be dealing with people and their money but your right you do stick out as the guy with the suit on, otherwise you would just be another person trying to get business instead of a businessman trying to get business.

    Comment by BigMel -

  55. You\’re a freakin genius and I hope to god that Corporate muttonheads everywhere are reading what you have to say and applying it.

    Comment by Luke Mc -

  56. I really like your take on the suit but I like wearing them for the right occasions. BTW, don\’t sell the team, they would be nowhere without you. Remember when the suits ran it and they stunk. Have a good one.


    Comment by Al Renteria -

  57. Wearing suits do not make sense if:

    – You work at home, in front of your computer the whole day
    – Your work does not involve having meetings with people wearing suits
    – Your name is Steve Jobs…

    Wearing suits makes sense if:

    – You like wearing suits!
    – It builds up your confidence!
    – You want to give the impression that you are serious about business: I mean, come on, dress code is important. Would you like your banker to come with a pair of shorts, hawaian t-shirt and fliflops?

    Comment by Gael Ovide-Etienne -

  58. >>Is there a reason other than \”thats just the way it is\” ?

    Nope, that\’s just the way it is.. everyone, must wear a suit. Everyone should also do Yoga, the South Beach Diet, jog at least 3 miles per day, own an iPod, get a penis extension and believe in god.

    …kidding aside, I don\’t personally wear suits, but I like the way that intelligent rational people look in them.


    Comment by Steve Naughton -

  59. I dealt once with Microsoft and they also were not wearing suits (they were dressed in business casual). Of course, we were selling to them. From what I\’ve heard, they always wear a suit when they sell to customers.

    Comment by Ayal Rosenthal -

  60. Mr. Cuban, I respectfully disagree with your opinion re suits. Sure, it\’s not a pleasure wearing them everyday, and I wouldn\’t want to. But there is something about coming out of a shower and slipping into a perfectly tailored Paul Smith suit pant, tying a Kiton tie around your neck under a spread collar, and then placing the jacket on, which, has also been perfectly tailored to fit your upper body in the gayest sense, sumptiously. Trust me, there\’s nothing I like better than wearing my Merrel shoes, with cotton pants, a nice shirt and a sweater everyday. But you feel clean and powerful when youre dressed to the nines, (even if you\’re not a billionaire at the top of his game).

    Comment by Aaron Retna -

  61. Suits aren\’t alone in being worn to make people feel better. For some, a shirt from the GAP does it, for others, armani.

    Nevertheless, Mark, you are now in a different position then when you were back then. You don\’t have to care! You couldn\’t have employed this same attitude when you started out.

    As a sales person, you need to dress in the way your prospects expect. For instance, in san fran or silicon valley selling to corporate or IT it might be just a nice shirt and casual pants. But in the mid-west, selling to a mature conservative industry (ie oil & gas instrumentation), a proper suit is the way to go (ie blue shirt, red tie, etc).

    Let me paint a situation here – let\’s say I\’m in my mid to late 20\’s, an enterprise software sales person focused on the US-defined mid-market. I show up on site for an in-depth customer demonstration, in Oklahoma. The company is an old-boys network – selling instrumentation into refineries.

    I\’m in a golf shirt and khakis. I look around the room – ALL SUITS. Their very first impression of me is of some kid with no respect for his elders. I can fight it through the words I use and my knowledge/professionalism – but it\’s an uphill battle I don\’t need. Why not show up dressed the way they are? When you\’re young, you have to. When you are selling technology into a techno-phobic culture, you have to. They already have a hard enough time accepting some punk kid telling them how to reshape their business.

    If I take this line of thought further – why not have prosecutors do their closing arguments in hawaiian shirts? πŸ™‚

    Comment by Chris Hamoen -

  62. Hey I\’m just here supporting my man DIRK for MVP and lets not forget about Josh for Most Improved! And to also get a little support of my own. Please follow the link below and vote for my remix for a tribute to the late great NOTORIOUS BIG….


    Vote DJ Iceberg Slim

    Thanks for the support!!!

    Comment by silkyslimnyc -

  63. Totally agree, used to have to wear a suit, when I joined
    Home Depot, as a manager that was no longer a requirement.
    That was 20 years ago, and I now only wear them to special
    events, weddings, etc. On a totally different note, very
    proud of my son, he is the Producer of Jake\’s Closet. To view
    the trailer go to:



    Comment by Ray Lanfear -

  64. Hi,
    Agree with you 100per cent! To wear a suite is like showing – I\’m in the game, I\’m a player.
    But you know, you can effort to yourself not to show \”I\’m a player\”, if you are the game inventor, otherway you r just not a player, and you r out, sorry to say that, but it\’s true.
    As about myself, First I did not want to hear much about the politics on my workplace, after that I did not wear the suits, and today – i quite my job and trying to invent my own game.
    That\’s the way it goes, I suppose.
    Pls, put attention, that when you had your company, weared the suites – you expected so from your employees, for them – the choice is not an option.

    Comment by natalka -

  65. Men look hawt in suits. I love the NBA rule regarding suits because all those guys look really really good.

    Comment by Laura -

  66. Interesting discussion.

    Michael Locker MD

    Comment by Michael Locker MD -

  67. You sure are stirring up a lot of suit wearers. The fact is they are just better dressed than you and when a first impression is made they are going to get a better review.

    My suit guy knows how to make me look good and he does it at a great price. http://www.myhaberdasher.com

    Comment by Stone Williams -

  68. Maybe you just haven\’t found the right suit guy. Try http://www.myhaberdasher.com

    Comment by Stone Williams -

  69. I agree, somewhat… For the most part, I do believe that it\’s about running with the herd. The corporate environment can be pretty ridiculous… that\’s why I work on my own. If you HAVE to wear a suit, then you might as well be wearing a uniform. And while I don\’t think that what you wear restricts or promotes creativity, I do think that your ability to chose what you wear does. I work in Real Estate and no matter who my clients are, I wear whatever I feel like wearing at the time. If I feel like wearing a pair of jeans and a T-Shirt, that\’s what I\’ll wear. If I feel like wearing a suit, I will do so. Most of the time, I wear jeans, a shirt and a sports jacket. I would also like to add, here in Miami, it\’s not as bad as in many other places. Particularly in South Beach, you have a lot of freedom to wear whatever you want to the office. And you are also seeing a lot less ties in this city. When people do where suits, a lot of times you\’ll see the top button opened with no tie. The joke is the guy who hits the happy hour still wearing the suit and tie. UPTIGHT!!! I think it\’s hilarious how in places like Tokyo, you see black suit after black suit for miles on end. It really kills people\’s individuality.

    Comment by Adrian Sanchez -

  70. In 1981, I applied for a low-level administrative position with a large company. I was warned, \”Wear a suit or they won\’t hire you.\” Not only didn\’t I wear a suit to that interview, I didn\’t HAVE a suit to wear! Interviewed with a subcommittee of the board of directors. Wasn\’t hired.

    Fast forward 10 years. Same company, only this time CEO position. Again, no suit. Again, subcommittee of the board (two of whom were there in 1980) but only one remembered me.

    This time, hired. Six months into my sojourn and initial review time, the person who remembered me said, \”Too bad we were so hung up on clothing, we could have had you in our company for 10 years already … think where we\’d be today.\”

    Nuff said.

    Comment by Hal -

  71. Not if you have to wear a suit every day, but there\’s something special about putting on a really nicely tailored suit. You look good, you know you look good. I tend to strut a little more when I know I look really polished.

    Comment by Corporate lackey -

  72. I use to wear suits strictly for the situation, much like yourself if I\’m selling on Wall Street, I would add the suspenders. As an observer of people, business, etc. In business, especially large companies, people survive by conforming, blending into the wall, \”riding the wave\” in tough times. I\’ve tended to get \”whacked\” for flying to high above the radar screen – I remember sitting outside a CIO\’s executive office because I needed to have his final sign-off on a large project, sitting on the floor, had my lunch brought (taco bell) and just waited him out, it was that important, and I wasn\’t wearing a suit, he was, so was everyone else on the executive floor, all conforming, not thinking, not creating, not going to the mat to get something exciting done… They were suits for all the same reasons Catholic schools wear uniforms – it makes sense only in an odd way.

    Comment by Peter Mojica -

  73. Nietsche said it best, going beyond suits to clothes themselves. \”If we were Gods, we would be ashamed of our clothes.\” The exquisite point is that even the Gods, just like you, would wear suits to funerals (so they wouldn\’t waste time telling people why they didn\’t)–but they would be ashamed.

    Comment by Cory Williamson -

  74. Great post – it\’s not about the suit, really…it\’s about the tyranny of the suits.

    Suits are as relevant to business in the future as cursive handwriting is to education in the future.

    Comment by Lee Stranahan -

  75. Mark,

    Maybe if you could get Jerry Jones to quit wearing suits, his team would start winning like yours!

    Comment by Flashman -

  76. i agree i hate suits the fact that me being in miami nothing is more annoying than wearing a suit inthe summer when the temp is 95 degrees i love being in shorts and t shirt all year
    that is one advantage we have here the temp is great all year

    Comment by carlos -

  77. People were suit because other people respect suits. I don\’t like it, you don\’t like it, but there it is. Maybe you don\’t respect suits — that\’s fine, you don\’t have to. Neither do I, inherently. But tons of people, perhaps the majority, do. And when you have something to sell — whether it\’s a product or yourself (and I guess, ultimately, it\’s always yourself) — you want an edge. And suit will, most of the time, give you an edge.

    You might think, well, OK, if that\’s true, limit suit-wearing to salesguys. But when you work in a corporate environment where your work is sold on persuasion, you\’re very much a sales guy, even if you\’re a tech guy or at a junior associate level. And if the person you\’re selling to is fixated more on why you aren\’t wearing a suit than why they might or might not be persuaded by what you have to say, then you\’ll have a problem at your job. That sucks, yes. But there it is.

    Quit and get a new job? Sure, OK. That\’s easy for some people — difficult to impossible for most. Most of the time, from a personal economics standpoint, it\’s better just to absorb the cost of the suits/incidentals than fight the power or focus on getting other work just because of dress code.

    I\’m obviously speaking from a rank-and-file perspective. If you\’re a billionaire sports team owner, that\’s a different deal, obviously.

    Comment by Chuck Hildebrandt -

  78. wearing a suit or wearing casual attires make no difference in the business world from what i see. Either way u still have to look decent, even if u wear short and t-shirts u still gotta buy a lot of them so u can change them every day, im pretty sure u wont wear the same stuff 5 times a week. so why not wear a suit instead, u can have a different look everyday with one or two suits, but just different ties and shirts, wouldnt that save u money as well. you do not HAVE to buy expensive suits, it really depends on ur salary. Either way, the purpose of suits is to maintain a decency, professionalism within the workplace, because what happens if someone wears a tshirt wit some offending cartoon or slogan on it, i ve seen enough grown ups with those.

    Comment by Oliver -

  79. I completely agree with you regarding suits. I\’m a Stanford undergraduate, interviewing for jobs ranging from startups to McKinsey, and one of the downsides of the McKinsey job is having to wear a suit. Being casual doesn\’t just equal a raise they won\’t have to give me—they could pay me $10,000 less if I didn\’t have to wear the suit and I\’d be equally happy. (Think about it: $10,000, after taxes, is about a two-week amazing vacation. If I could be comfortable for 50 weeks out of the year versus travel for two, I\’d happily take the every day comfort.)

    Suits don\’t show authority—they show fear and conformity. Suits are no proxy for intelligence, wealth, connections, creativity, leadership, or anything else of use in business. Does Sergey Brin wear a suit? Does the guy at the Cingular store wear a suit? I rest my case.

    I\’m a girl, and I hate stockings, pumps, skirts, and everything made of synthetic fabric. Having to wear a suit is like a tax. Working at a startup is like living in a tax haven. Down with suits!

    Comment by Jessica -

  80. Mark, A suit jacket hides armpit sweat, which can hurt a deal or your chances of getting laid. The tie gives those special people in your life an opportunity to buy you something practical. Suit pants are harmless enough unless you are totally against pants and if so I suggest sweatpants, which are comfortable but can cause some difficulties to \”arise\” when worn in public around the wife/girlfriend.

    I am new to the blog….I hope you welcome me


    Comment by Derrick Daniel -

  81. Afternoon Mark!

    I would have to completely agree with what you are saying here. One thing in perticular really suck with me while reading this:

    \”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.\”

    How often do we see this in today\’s society? I myself used to wear a suit to work everyday due to the company dress code. As of Jan 1, we moved from business suits to \”Business casual\”. You can defintely see the change after these first couple months. Employees are not worried about dry cleaning, ironing their shirts, and buying new ties! I can lounge at my desk in a pair of slacks and a collared shirt!

    So I say out with the suit! I say stay comfortable!

    Comment by Jesse -

  82. A few years ago, after the dot com bubble burst, I was in New York City and someone there said to me \”I hear that people are wearing suits in Silicon Valley again.\” He said it in a very smug superior way, as if this was proof that some deviant culture (Internet, Silicon Valley, tech folks, etc) had been entirely wiped out by the civilized world. So I think you are dead-on that wearing a suit has become, for some of those that wear them, a symbol of superiority.

    But there is another simpler explanation — inertia. Suit wearing evolved in an age when most people had to do hard physical labor that would destroy nice clothes — so people that wore them were saying \”I don\’t have to do hard physical labor.\” Clothes as an indicator of class. Over time, suits became the uniform for office workers and as these ranks grew, the reason changed from the initial objective of differentiation to one of assimilation.

    What is interesting is that in whatever culture you visit, people tend to dress alike — Its what the anthrophologist Victor Turner calls liminality. Human beings want to be included. There is safety in being part of the pack. So we dress alike (speak alike, eat alike…) in order to show that we belong and are not dangerous outsiders.

    I bet your employees dress like you.

    Comment by Ted Shelton -

  83. Hey Mark

    Danes don\’t bother with suits, work from 8 to 3, but are among the most productive Europeans! Maybe we don\’t need suits, but they looks good!

    Go Mavs

    Comment by Mo -

  84. Suit wearing, like many aspects of the business world, the dating world, and other social environments, is an example of an arms race. Companies that dress down appear less official – think about it. If everyone employed by a company has enough money to wear a suit, this does not mean they are legit, but based on clothing choice along, I would argue that they are less likely to be some sort of scam if everyone has a suit on. The most well successful companies’ employees wear the nicest suits, and the most successful employees within a company wear the nicest suits. Furthermore, while it’s somewhat arbitrary (I guess this was the point of the whole blog), wearing a suit is still a way to make customers sleep better at night – because they see the company as more legit. If this is your definition of lemming-dom, I guess you’re right, but I don’t think it’s totally pointless, like you made it out to be.

    Comment by Drew -

  85. Suits make no sense I say that everyday! I work in television production as a frelance stage manager and there is nothing better than going to work in whatever I want to. Even while at meetings at a more progressive MTV I can sit in a meeting with a producer that wears a t-shirt and director that has a mohawn and then an exec that is wearing a suit and all of us are comfortable in our own skin. While it may not be a full blown conspiracy like 9/11, suits are pointless and are just a way to further widen the gap between the haves and the have nots. Just my humble opinion.

    Comment by Tony Rose -

  86. I never wore a suit. Even for my wedding. In fact, I don’t own a suit. Once, i rent a tux for the Emmy Awards but that’s it. My business attire are a good pair of shorts and a t-shirt. When I need to go upscale, i wear a pair of jeans and a polo. Once, somebody asked me why I never wear a suit. Suits are like prisonners uniforms. They “jail’ my creativity.

    Comment by wow power leveling -

  87. You are right why were a suit … in fact why where anything. Do we wear close just because everyone else does. Is it not insane that I chose to cover my nakedness.

    We were what is appropriate and fitting to the situation. It is a simple as that. If it is not or you have a “real” problem with it people will change as you clearly have.

    Comment by Mark -

  88. Mark – I agree with you completely. Unfortunately the expectations of where I live (Japan) often make it an impossibility NOT to wear a suit. For 8 years I worked in a company here that demanded I wear a suit every day. This year, I quit that job & now work for a company where as long as I am dressed neatly, it’s all copacetic. Never been as happy as I am now. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Don in Japan -

  89. I work for a large company where the upper-level management is required to wear suits and ties. Everyone else can wear buisness casual attire. I think it is stupid. Do they wear that clothing just to remind us that we are “below” them? Down with the suit! I agree with most of you that a suit is very appropiate at important social/family events. The suit is used way to much in corporate america.

    Comment by Jordan -

  90. Yeah… Shirts… Ties… Suits… It’s a bummer! If we could all be so lucky as you! Unfortunately it’s my reality here at work. So unless I win the lotto, or come up with the next Youtube… I’m stuck!

    On the flip side, I find the chicks dig a sharp dress guy… πŸ™‚

    Comment by Ties -

  91. I agree with a lot of people’s comments on this topic, including Mark’s. When I was younger (I’m nine years younger than the brother I’m about to mention), I thought it was really cool that my brother, Marshall, could show up to AudioNet and Broadcast.com (and eventually Yahoo!) wearing what he did because I was so used to the idea of dressing up for work. But then, does it really stay as dressing up if you’re required to do it 5-6 days a week? Wouldn’t “normal” attire just become dressing down? But that’s another topic, I suppose. I have no problems either way. Personally, I love dressing nicely, tie and all. Being comfortable at work’s great, too. Right now, my attire is made up of cargo pants and a t-shirt and I work tech support. I will say this, though. There was one day last year when all of us had to dress nicely and it did actually seem to produce productivity among the development team. Is that because of the attire or simply the change? Maybe the best way is to just switch it up every once in a while. Keeps you on your toes.

    Comment by Chris Yount -

  92. I still don’t think you can deny that a man wearing suit and tie looks professional and is more likely to get business from someone on presentation alone.

    I also think it looks smart and makes you feel good.

    But then… I am biased… http://www.tiesplanet.com

    Comment by www.tiesplanet.com -

  93. I totally disagree with you! A man wearing a suit is like a woman wearing a dress. Why would a woman want to wear a dress when she can be wearing pajamas which is way more comfortable? It’s because it looks good to wear a dress. Likewise, it looks good to wear a suit.

    Comment by Jason -

  94. well sir, i think suits look nice. nothing worng with formal dressing.

    Comment by cole -

  95. Sunday February 11, 2007

    Mark Cuban,


    Wearing a suit is no big deal it’s what’s under the suit that counts !


    Comment by Nancy Morales -

  96. I don’t mind dressing up every now and again, but having to do it daily would be a bummer.

    Man, do you actually read all these comments? You have 300 plus comments on your attire! Wow, who would’ve thought your clothing would spur such responses?

    Comment by Lovie Lamb -

  97. Mark,

    I wear a suit once/week – to church (I’m a preacher). I could not agree with you more, however, on your perspective.

    What you are reflecting is a typical postmodernist critique of modernist tendencies. Modernism has an abundance of “rules” and “regs” that are culturally driven. Clothing is a cultural phenomena. The “suit” requirement is flawed. I’ve actually heard people say – it makes you take your work or activity more seriously than if you were dressed otherwise. This is patently absurd. I’m sure you’ve had some great days of productivity in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

    Some of the best studying I’ve done has been in my PJ’s! And, as far as “respect” or decorum – some of the most reverent prayers I’ve offered have also been in the same. I didn’t need a tie & button down and wool, tailored pants and coat to do that. If someone else feels the need – fine. Don’t force it on others.

    That said, postmodernism’s rejection of the “suit” metanarrative does have to deal with some standard of clothing. For example, I suspect there is some circumstance (maybe your making a pitch to a client of your company) in which you would request an employee involved to dress with some degree of decorum. Would it matter to you if a guy comes in – not having showered for a few days; greasy hair; a ratty, holy, grubby and filthy t-shirt; a pair of ripped up jeans and filthy bare feet?

    Of course, that’s an extreme. But, it’s just to make the point that most would request at least a small degree of decorum in dress.

    Ultimately, I do agree completely with you about the suit. Thanks for the rant!

    Comment by Jeff Young -


    Comment by Alan -

  99. I just started wearing a suit at my job. As someone who is seriously interested in business, im proud to wear a suit as its something that alot of businessman do. I laugh when you see people at work who put alot of work into wearing “dress casual” clothes, there are so many options and work to do that right, its just easier to wear a suit to me. At the end of the day, im serious about business, so why should I be casual about clothing.

    Comment by Brandon -

  100. My riffing on men’s suits:


    Comment by Alex Bunardzic -

  101. i’m fully for the suit. hail to the suit, shirt and tie….i love you all! and why not? i am semi-retired and no one decides what i wear. i feel just as comfortable in a suit as what i do in a t-shirt, strange that but there you are. after reading previous bitching about the glorious suit i hail it as a source of self pride and respect, not only for me personally but for society itself. it’s a matter of self choice…if you dont like wearing a suit to the office/work place then the solution is obvious; move onto another job where you can be totally casual. regards. george.

    Comment by george -

  102. Great article and rather insightful of your culture. In the U.S. it seems to be all about individuality and the right to do as you please in the interests of creative thought and FREEDOM.

    You say that you are not anti-suit but you have brought out the anti-suit brigade judging by the comments here.

    I am a 40 year old Australian CEO, educated at a private school (mandatory uniform) and then on to University where no uniform was required, and freedom of choice was the theme.

    After enjoying the freedoms of casual attire, I insist that the staff of seventeen here at the office are free to wear what they like to work (Central City Melbourne).

    After reading your article, I asked the team why they all choose to wear suits to work. The younger ones said that it represents their pride in their career achievement. The older members cited conservative tradition and the freedom FROM choice.

    I had to think about this or a moment. Suits give us the freedom from choice that is a problem for so many who are anxious about decision making and its consequences. I agree with them, its easier to pick a tie and suit combo than a whole outfit. At least with a decent suit, one cannot be ostracised by suppliers, clients, our parents and the public for wearing something inappropriate to a professional environment. Theres a lot to be said for staying under the radar. And if people underestimate us as a result, then we have the upper hand.

    Comment by Mark Vincent -

  103. “A meditation on the power of images, place and the loss of the self in a digital culture. This cinematic journal by Wim Wenders centers on Japanese clothing designer Yoji Yamamoto, and explores how what we wear can define us as individuals.”

    — Richard Kadrey

    Notebook on Cities & Clothes
    Director: Wim Wenders
    1989, 81 min

    Comment by Radu Danila -

  104. …and EVERY Friday is ALOHA FRIDAY!

    Wear an aloha shirt, tasteful or otherwise…

    Create a recurring “Out of Office” meeting for every Friday at 3:00pm and take off a little early for the weekend… In the very least you will divert all but the most important Friday afternoon meetings, and take off for the weekend in laid-back Hawaiian style!

    Be CASUAL, dude!

    Comment by Mike Dooling -

  105. I think whether or not you wear a suit to work depends on the nature of your profession. A small study recently published in Australia showed that patients had more confidence in doctors who dressed more professionally than in doctors who did not. These patients were adults. As a pediatrician, I figure little kids and teens are not that concerned with my dress, but since the parents pay the bills, I want to at least appear like I know what I’m doing. After all, even if we can’t judge a book by its cover, we’re still human, and we usually do.

    Comment by Barbara Durso -

  106. Right on brother, ONCE AGAIN, WHY I LOVE MARK CUBAN.

    This world is too damn PC. Some people like suits for various reasons, others don’t. Let’s not analyze and examine everything in this world. Whatever works and gets the job done.

    Comment by s -

  107. Mark, your take on players having to wear suits on sidelines? Especially since the majority of fans are not suit-wearers but the majority of those who buy/rent suites and buy high-$$ tix are well-dressed. Business casual on sidelines?

    Comment by Kane -

  108. This is great Mark! I am a mid size business owner and I have the same rule of thumb for me and my employees. I hate wearing suits. For that matter I hate wearing ties, ironing, and I really hate dress shoes. So I wear jeans to work every day. Only time I don’t is when I have a customer meeting. Why then? Because in the end it’s worth the money I make on a deal to wear a suit then not close a deal because a customer thinks I’m a slob (which I am). Basically you have to pay me to wear a suit. I clean up very nice, but you still have to pay me to wear a suit.

    Comment by Willy -

  109. I like the lemmings part. I recon the world has slowy begun to change already when it comes to wearing suits. I see more and more people wearing jeans and a cool shirt to work at companies where almost everyone had studpid blody suits all the time.
    I recon the trend has started to swing away from suites. In any case, people work better when they are comfortable!

    Comment by Brent -

  110. I loved the scene in The Pursuit of Happyness where will smith goes to his interview without a suit but in dirty jeans and paint all over. They ask him what he would say if someone were hired without a shirt … “… he must have had on some really nice pants …” BRILLIANT!

    Comment by Herman -

  111. In a corporate culture where the CEO so disdains suits, do you suck up by dressing down? Do you fast-track by joining in criticism of the suits? If so, what happens to those who have to work both inside and outside the company and still have to dress like the people they’re selling to? It doesn’t make a lot of sense to have the people who represent you in public at the bottom of the social order.

    More often, I’ve noticed, promotion of casual dress at work makes suckers of those who buy into it as colleagues who knot that tie and toss on that jacket pass them by.

    Yes, suits are expensive. So is a decent education, so is a decent haircut and so are those self-improvement workshops on public speaking, marketing and proposal writing that you wouldn’t need if people cared about your ideas, not your presentation.

    The reason suits are expensive is because they’re worth it. In a world where it would really help to know everyone and everything if you’re serious about moving up, the jacket and tie are a slam dunk. Put ’em on and, voil, you’re an Instant Professional. And don’t tell me you can listen to your bosses and colleagues repeat the same nonsense meeting after meeting, keep quiet to maintain the peace and still do your job effectively, but that a little strip of cloth around your neck paralyzes your ability to get any work done. Putting on a tie, like nodding and smiling when the CEO complains about them, is part of the game. Anyone serious about advancement shouldn’t be too put out by playing along.

    Final thoughts: If the necktie really is that bad, get your collar measured and start wearing the right size of shirt. And if you plan on setting the standard for how to dress at work, and not by taking things up a notch, it’s a good idea to become CEO first. Last, but not least, if you’re a CEO, you’ve probably had a day or two where looking professional helped carry you through even though you weren’t exactly on top of your game. Be generous: don’t put your employees in a position where they have only their competence to rely upon if they want to appear professional.

    Comment by GeoffB -

  112. i agree with you Mark. Nowadays we dress business casual at work 5 days a week. ONce a week we get Jeans day. The funny thing is though that even on Jeans day the Men are required to tuck in our shirts and we can’t wear sneakers. It really makes you wonder what management is really thinking about instead of what they should be thinking about.

    Comment by Pdiddy -

  113. Those who can, help.
    Those who can’t, yell and need to look as if they’re helping.

    Comment by Hierarchy is dead -

  114. I totally agree, I hate suits but even with this sometimes you are “forced” to wear. πŸ™

    Comment by Catalin -

  115. I have never purchased a suit in my life, and I think I never will.

    Comment by Ballet -

  116. I think CEOs wear suits the same reason used car salesman wear them – if you have to sell a pig or a lemon you need something to gain your customer’s or employee’s trust in order for them to believe what your saying. Some people still fall for the “professionalism” trick. A lot of it just goes back to old America business. The problem for suit wearers now is people have evolved enough to see thru the cheap (or expensive) suit and not get fooled by the way someone dresses. As the saying goes, the clothes do not make the man (or the businessman in this case).

    Comment by Shake -

  117. hard to figure why anyone would have so much distaste for clothing of any kind. I like suits, i like shorts, t shirts, etc.. I wear them all. it doesnt bother me if other people wear what they want. We are judged in different walks of life by what we look like. Have you ever read “BLINK”, first impressions are important. Sometimes a suit makes the impression you want, and sometimes jeans make such.. sometimes ranting and raving about the ills of suit wearing make that impression. i dont like steel toed boots, but they have their place. no difference.

    Comment by keith orr -

  118. I was watching the Mavs play the Bulls the other night, and my wife walked in and said she thought you looked ‘cute’ just dressed in a t-shirt. I guess that means I have to kick your ass now. Nah, I’ll just let it go, but only because Dallas is awesome this year. Win it all!

    Comment by The Buss -

  119. I honestly think that wearing a suit is not necessary to go to work. Appearance is one think and what you have behind that suit is something else. Anyways, of course a suit will make you look better than a jean and a polo shirt but can you imagine working on a computer all day with the suit on and a tie. i will recap one of the comments, “Suits are like prisoners uniforms. They “jail’ my creativity.” well!!! you make your choice.

    Comment by Gabriel -

  120. It reflects the change in social rules of today’s time. I suggest that you read “Generation Me” by Jean Twenge.

    Comment by Stephen -

  121. The suit thing…

    Having employees dressed however they want will make things unpleasant, I know some idiots who really don’t know how to pick their clothes, so I don’t need those to talk to my customers dressed like that.


    Comment by Vladimir Ghetau -

  122. Not only have I not wore a suit in ten years, I only worn hard soled shoes once in 17 years. My feet hurt like crazy that

    Never did understand the tie thing either.

    Comment by John -

  123. OK do you have a too big car?
    Do you have a too big house ?
    Do you have too many pair of shoes ?
    Do you have a plane ?

    I know Buffet would answer no to those questions and he wears a suit but fot the rest of us we have them as soon as we can afford them and we do that to show off.

    That’s the equivalent of the suit factor appearence and money boost your confidence: the suit is a recognisable item and it is affordable to the common man.

    Personally I wear one sometime when I got a date with a girl I don’t know
    I look great in it…

    Comment by mamadou -

  124. I mostly agree, my motto is “dress to the ocassion”. I don’t view suits as necessary but I believe in the importance of pulchritude (after cleanliness).

    Like it or not, suits tend to be aesthetically pleasing to most people and sometimes that counts. You have the luxury of not having to wear one, I do too (for different reasons).

    I still wear a suit on ocassion, like a couple of weeks ago when I took out my wife for dinner. Before that, the last time I wore a suit was at our wedding!

    If I go to a rock concert I usually wear my black T-shirt but don’t go all the way and dress up as say… a punk rocker.


    Comment by Cesar E. Perez -

  125. They are costumes folks. We wear one all the time, except when we go naked. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that just because you wear t-shirt and jeans and are comfortable, that you aren’t in your uniform, and conforming to some idea of who you think you are.

    People show up in the suit costume because of the role they are playing in the particular play that they are in at that moment. They often don’t know that they are in a play, or have any idea that they are in a role. CEO is definitely a role, and the generally accepted and recognized costume is a suit.

    And like all things, there are nicer costumes that make us look better, or help us think we do. And there are audiences that take those cues and respond as they might.

    LA is a great town for showing this- it doesn’t matter what you dress like there as long as you have some sense of concept and presentation. Be EMO but be a together EMO. Be punk, but be authentic not poser. Be mod, but know how to ride your scooter. Be random and be avoided.

    The real question, as Cuban points out, is how people handle their lines- what they say and do in the moments of their lives.

    Comment by patrick -

  126. I hear you on this one Mark. I love that the majority of the IT / engineering world is slowly switching to a no tie no jacket no problem world.

    Comment by Nick Harris -

  127. It’s Wilson and Kelly’s broken windows theory. There’s a psychological impact to wearing a suit and the gravity it connotes. You wore one when you needed the dough and dropped it when you didn’t.

    Comment by Sam Jacobs -

  128. Why do your coaches wear suits then? Does the NBA have a dress code for coaches as well?

    Comment by Joe -

  129. Suits are a uniform like any other. However they can be expensive, look good and allow for some expression. There is no doubt one has a special feeling wearing a good one. I don’t wear them anymore but did so for about 20 years. Now when we go out for a fancy night or I have an important day of meetings I like the feeling it gives me. I think it is far easier to get away with not wearing a suit if you really bring value, content, money or whatever. For some people they just don’t have the option. If you are the lowest guy on the totem pole and everyone else is wearing a suit it’s hard to do otherwise.

    Of course some people have taken being “casual” to new heights with $400 shirts, $500 pants and $1000 Brioni sportcoats. They still want you to know they have money.

    Comment by Kris Tuttle -

  130. Mark:

    Greetings from Plano. I totally agree with you on the matter of suits in thw workplace. I was “corporate” guy for many years. Now it’s so much better out of the big company world, where I dont’ have to conform.

    I also subscribe to your views on Video delivery on the Web. I have started a company in Plano that is focused on doing just that for an untapped market. I know this will appeal to you because of its multimedia aspects. I would love to tell you about it. Please send me an email and I will send you the details!


    Comment by Bob Charles -

  131. Imagine situation. You are going to a bank. You have your first milion earned and you want to put it onto one of the best accounts. And there you go – approaching to a desk with a guy that is wearing casual t-shirt (with a hole – probably) and a nice ripped jeans. I would like to know if you will leave your money in a company that wear that kind of outfit – cause I would probably be gone as soon as I get there. By wearing that kind of clothing you show respect and professionality. Do you think heels are comfortable?? You guys are thinking that wearing a nice suit and a tie is the end of the world. I would even narrow this to American guys – European ones do not say anything they know what the good savoir vivre is. And I am not harrassing here American culture or so I am just highlighting that majority of men (I would even say all of them) on European weddings (as a example mentioned) wear the WHOLE suit with all tiniest details. For what? – To show that this day for the young couple so important is also important for them (and if not at least they wear it as a appreciation of so much money spend on a reception) I could say many others arguments – but to huge sadness of mine I know from the example of my boyfriend whatever I will say – you are not gonna to understand this. I guess its that kind of selfish American guys culture.

    Comment by European girl -

  132. Ask your wife – – – I’ll bet she thinks you look pretty darn sexy in a tux. Every man does!

    Comment by Jackie -

  133. I have not read all the comments so I don’t know If someone already has stated this. Wearing a suit has nothing to do with confidence it has to do with class difference and is another way that the upper classes can oppress the lower ones by having them buy a shirt, tie, shoes, cuff links, suit jacket and pants and on top of this have a different set everyday. After all the upper class can only keep there exclusivity of being extremely wealthy if they make as many arbitrary rules and boundaries and barriers to entry. And second of all I get more dates when I were a suit and I also look good when I wear a suit so i will continue to do so.

    Comment by CA -

  134. Dear Mark,

    EVeryman should own a suit. I’m sorry you had that bad experience but you must remember you were wearing POLYESTER! Even cheap $99 suits today are made of wool. IF a man buys a well fitting suit with a nice shirt nice tie and shoes, he would look and feel great I promise you. It does alot for the confidence and women love it. Also, you dont need to spend $3k on this ensemble to pull it off either. One could spend $800 at Jcrew putting together this piece and still come out looking great. Also, Mark, it would help if you advocated WELL DRESSED casual attire.

    Comment by Jeffrey O. -

  135. I totally agree. Unfortunately agreement from anywhere except the top only carries so much weight. I work in consulting and there are so many dinosaurs (mostly on the client side) that see suits and the like as respect and the way things are done. We want their money, we play by their rules. I will however say that a good suit, well made, well fitted does carry considerable weight in terms of confidence and stature in certain circles, and a bad ill fitted suit can do the same amount of damage. If I were to make the rules for my company, I’d certainly encourage working from home and dressing down because there’s nothing like a building full of suited consultants talking to their computers. Another subject would be the way women dress in the workplace and how they can certainly use that an advantage. Suits can only do so much for men. The way a room will change is limited when you walk in with the perfect suit. The way a room will change when a woman enters looking a certain way is an entirely different story. If anyone says that’s a sexist comment I hope they at least admit it is a very true reality.

    Comment by phil -

  136. Also, for many men, the tie is an inexpensive way to express individuality without violating the dress code.

    Comment by mensimageconsultant -

  137. The tie became tradition long before modern marketing methods.

    It can flatter the face and physique, if in the right color/pattern and size and knotted appropriately. However, because it requires fastening the top button of a shirt, it’s unpleasant in warm weather.

    Comment by mensimageconsultant -

  138. Suits I can understand. Some people look really sharp in one. But ties… now theres an atrocity Ill never figure out. What genius got up one day and said – ya know what would go well with that button down? Something that feels like a noose, looks like a leash and comes in polka dots or stripes..”
    Seriously, the only genius involved in the great tie conspiracy had to be the person who managed to market the tie so well that millions of men felt the tie was not an optional but necessary part of any wardrobe..


    Comment by Mike -

  139. I really never had understood this suit thing but now even less I now live in Asia and it don’t matter how hot it gets the business men still wear suits are they crazy 45C and they still got suits on

    Comment by Paul -

  140. I look great in a suit (I don’t mean that in a conceited sense). At 5’0 tall it’s difficult to present myself in a proportionate way. A well cut suit and bad ass heels do that for me. And as far a comfort, I don’t purchase anything that isn’t comfortable in the store.

    Comment by Jenny -

  141. Great point! Upon further examination what exactly is a tie for any way? I understand the functional aspect of a suit ensemble…the pants, the shirt, the shoes and possibly the jacket if cold or to appear more formal. Now the problem I have is the tie. What the hell is that? A piece of silk fabric tied into a knot pulled snug around your neck. Sounds like a sick form of personal torture to me.

    Comment by Bill -

  142. Mark, I have one question for you.
    Would you hire someone for a high position if he came to the interview in casual clothes ?

    Comment by sedu -

  143. And there is always the realization that you, Mr. C. would look better. Nothing wrong with that.

    Comment by Derald J Benton -

  144. Agree with you about the sense/nonsense of wearing a suit.
    But, somehow people do look at people in a different light when they are wearing a suit. A lot of them think a person is more important or even has more acceptable opinions, if he’s in a suit. After all, you could be a millionaire. Ha. Joe

    Comment by Derald J Benton -

  145. Just another addition.

    I believe that as MEN we should all try to find our own personal style. You don’t have to be wearing a suit but at least try to find stuff you look good in. If you dont know just ask a girl/woman that you know that is a decent dresser and ask them to go shopping with you. Set up a budget and they should know the cheaper cool places to shop are.

    Get a decent pair of shoes, a belt to match, a decent watch and whatever else. These three should make anything you wear look a 1000 times better. I usually only wear a $100 suit, $150 shoes, $60 custom made shirt, $40 cufflinks, and a $7000 watch from a friend. with these accessories my shirt and suit look like they are worth 10 times what they really are.

    I know not everyone can get a watch like that for free, but at least get something that looks good and fits you. (a womans perspective is an absolute must)

    Some people can pull off a simple T shirt and jeans really good. Marlon Brando, James Dean, etc. Other people look great in suits. Others in sweaters. So, instead of us looking bad in ill fitting or badly matched stuff we should just put some effort into finding out what style you like.

    and for god sakes learn to color coordinate. Learn which colors look good on you.

    Comment by yaminomusuko -

  146. That’s true – ties can be bad for one’s health.

    Dress codes can take account into all sorts of details, including climate. For example, they can require suits in three seasons but only a dress shirt and pants (like comfy linen) in summer.

    It would be nice to hear about the dress code for Mark Cuban’s employees (besides the basketball players, who have to abide by the NBA’s rules on that). Also, Mark has the ability to arrange with retailers and cleaners discounted services for his employees, if he wishes to save them money without letting them dress in ways that harm productivity.

    Comment by mensimageconsultant -

  147. Great rant. I love it.

    I wear a three piece suit and tie everyday. Maybe an occassional sweater. The reason I do that is because I just like the fashion, it sets me apart from others. And trust me I look damn good in a suit. I look better in a suit than anything I have. There used to be some internal issues like you said about having to have to want to look “serious” or whatever, playing into the look. Going after the Halo effect. Of course now it’s different. I have that confidence naturally.

    Now it’s become a signature of mine. I’m always in a suit.

    That is the only reason someone should wear a suit in my opinion. IF THEY WANT TO! Mandatory suit as a uniform is a ridiculous idea. Also, very unfair most of the time. I work here in Japan for a net company now and its not a problem, but even when I was working for a uber conservative NPO which catered to older conservative men the women were all wearing whatever they wanted! That is totally unfair to mandate something for men but have women runnning around in casual clothes. This I have found is true in most of the countries I’ve worked in!

    Oh and another tangent: I read a report a few years back in a newspaper (can’t remember which) that wearing ties are one of the leading causes of oxygen deprivation to the brain. I don’t know how true this is. But if so, we tie wearers are going to be in serious trouble in the future. Tumors, strokes, anurisms, a whole plethora of stuff could be happening to us in a few years. Then again I read this in a Japanese paper. where the trend has become the cool and warm biz looks in order to reduce air conditioner usage.

    Comment by yaminomusuko -

  148. I’d say that what matters is freedom and how well one feels in a suit vs. without. I’ve seen dress code enforced and people “complying” with it wearing “suits” that belonged on a scarecrow, not a human being. I’ve worked in places where dress code was lax, yet people would wear a suit out of “tradition” (some would even wear a three-piece!). And I also seen dress-down days when I would question the sanity of some staff.

    I for one has gone through cycles of suit/no-suit/suit every 15-18 months. In summer I see little reason in a suit, while in winter it might actually help with insulation! Other than that, there are industries and there are times when a suit has its place. It does serve a very similar purpose to school uniform, as pointed by other commenters — in particular it does discipline one a bit.

    Comment by Andrei -

  149. Ultimately, the worst thing about the “rant” is that, like almost any other anti-suit piece, it offers no alternative, which sends the message “dress however you like.” When that happens, trouble ensues. A suit is not needed in every dress code (and every dress code need not be strict), but when people look vastly different at the office (or in many other situations), behavior often suffers as a result.

    Comment by J -

  150. i wear a suit, when attending a bar mitzvah or wedding out of respect for the event

    Comment by bobby -

  151. When you’re the owner, no suit will make you work harder or smarter for your company. Even when you’re at a company with a clear solid organizational culture, you can relay on other signs as ways to keep people focused. But for so many loose-tightened organizations, for a lot of companies who were not clever enough (or rich enough) to start by having a great selection and hiring process, dress codes, schedules,… are signs (there are alternatives, but should be used then) to every employee that they have to deliver (it’s like the broken window policy as crime reduction strategy)

    Comment by manuel -

  152. Suits are a symbol of conformity and gives the people who where them a feeling of security.

    Comment by Hone -

  153. How about wearing one as to not look like a slob and show some respect to yourself and others.

    Comment by John Dolce -

  154. Im in blinding agreement with you on this one Mark. Ive nothing against suits in general, but much against forcing them to be the uniform of the day, or standard company attire. I railed against this myself for years having no choice but to comply. When finally taking over my own organization, where the decisions were mine to make the change to casual dress was among the first policy changes I implemented.

    Comment by John -

  155. Yeah but I look fucking good in a suit!

    Comment by Ryan -

  156. I just hate ties. They are evil. I have no problem wearing slacks, or a dress shirt (tho I don’t like to tuck it in), but I hate ties! Why do we choke ourselves for an accessory?

    Comment by trip -

  157. My parents had a guy who managed their money for a time and he always wore these impressive three-piece suits. I always thought he was a blowhard and not worth the material the suits were made from. Long story short – he ended up taking some of their money and personally ruining the lives of several clients. He spent four years in jail.

    Don’t be fooled by people with fancy suits. They’re usually hiding something.

    Comment by The Wealthy Geek -

  158. Yeah, as an entry-level worker, I’d rather invest my money in something that has ROI rather than buy clothes for the office.

    I think it’s peer pressure more than anything. Once I started wearing jeans every day to the office, other women followed, and everything is more casual and more comfortable. Just need to step up and not worry what people think of you. F-em. It’s your quality of life.

    When I was at a Google sales conference, someone once told me that I was too underdressed (in my jeans) to meet Larry and Sergey. So I went back to my hotel room and changed, only to smile to myself as Larry and Sergey got up on the dais before us — wearing t-shirts and jeans.

    Comment by Ginger -

  159. Simple: it hides your gut.

    Comment by Alex -

  160. Right on.

    I use to be an equity analyst for an investment bank. Got really tired trying to read, think and write with a suit on.

    I now am a business columnist at a newspaper. I essentially do the same thing as I did when I was an equity analyst (read, think and write) but now, my productivity and thought process has improved greatly, Just because I am comfortable.
    Too bad I don’t have the confidence to write about that as definitively as you do, afterall, it is much easier to appear on CNBC wearing a Steelers jersey when you have a couple of Bil in the bank. Thanks for speaking what I had in my mind for the longest time.

    Great post!

    Comment by Shuen -

  161. I understand why you don’t want to wear a suit — what I can’t figure out is why you do not understand why so many people have to.

    Suits (in a modern sense of the word) have been worn since Louis XIV of France, and then Charles II, king of Great Britain, so decreed to members of Court in the 17th Century.

    Why did they? BECAUSE THEY COULD. They established their dominance over their domains.

    Ever since then, the wearing of a suit has been a social sign of conformity and stature. It is shorthand for your place in the corporate pecking order.

    You wear a suit because you must in order to earn a paycheck, join the team, win a contract, sell a product or service. It is a uniform that can at times declare “I am of lower significance than you, and I humbly wear this suit as a sign of respect and deference, so I may win favor from you, or a contract, a vote, or a raise, and please won’t you buy some whole life insurance from me.” Back in the day, IBM was infamous for the blue suits their employees wore, as a sign of total subjugation to the corporate entity over the individual identity. Is it any surprise the mainframe manufacturer failed to adapt well to the era of personal PCs? It was an anathema to them.

    Those of independent financial means have little need to subjugate themselves for financial purposes, and thus don’t often wear suits.

    Comment by Barry Ritholtz -

  162. The guys in the suits keep everyone and everything in check. Imagine this scenario at a NBA game: Two Zebras dressed in plain clothes seated in the stands and calling fouls from their seats. Gotta be able to tell the players from the pretenders. Yes, I do know that some of “The Suits” may be the pretenders, but hey it’s in the game,corporate, social or otherwise. Time to clip on a paisley tie,dust off and don that $99 seersucker suit.If your 2006 W-2’s don’t reflect 6 figures dawg…
    Suit Up And Play Ball!


    Comment by MitchMatch -

  163. Life is full of reasons to smile. Stop wearing suits and start smiling! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Find all World Class Gurus at one Place: Apurv -

  164. Funny how you decided to rebel AFTER you were financially stable. You are so courageous.

    Comment by Mark Smith -

  165. I’m not a die hard fan but when I do check out your blog I find some very interesting and relevant topics. This one in particular hits home everytime I have a meeting/presentation. As I am making the final adjustment to my tie, I ask myself if what I’m doing or selling is worth the uncomfortable feeling of wearing a suit. It’s kind of like wearing a straight jacket for money. The rebuttal may be that I need to find better fitting suits..true. But I gaurantee that if Armani himself were to fit me, the suit wouldn’t be as comfortable as jeans and a tee shirt.

    Your career history and that of other very successful people provides the answer. NO! There are alot of ways to make money, feed my family and enjoy the pursuit of happiness without having to feel locked down, uniformed and controlled by corporate politics. If more people could cut through the “suit/no suit” part of your post and get to the meat – “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.” We could end the debate.

    Another simpler way to say it… “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”. How many slicky Willy, suit wearing schiesters have conned people out of money just because their suit gave them a false sense of respect or trust. Too much of our decision making process is based on looks/attire. As more business is done via email, web conference or netmeeting, suits will no longer be needed. Performance is the final judge!

    Now I need to go log onto my scottrade account to sell my shares of Men’s Wearhouse πŸ™‚

    Comment by Mike T -

  166. I just started wearing casual clothes after 17 years in the corporate slave camp. Funny how something so small makes such a big difference in your attitude.
    I found that the more comfortable I dress, the more successful I am. Living life on your terms makes more sense as you become older. You can do this if you’re bringing value to the marketplace.

    Comment by Sam Crowley -

  167. I don’t agree with you saying that you have a problem if you need a suit to gain confidence. 90% of the people feel actually more confident when wearing a suit. Especially people who just starting to work.
    ‘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’. Yes, the person wearing the suit. Who s actually confident, because he wears a suit. The suit is not important anymore. The person in the suit is confident now, and will perform better.
    I also hate a suit, but if a suit still has the image ‘if you are able to wear one, you must be person who has done well’, people feel good in a suit.

    Comment by hman -

  168. hey, can’t knock a leader. I frankly have to admit I were some sort of suit a jacket with shirt/casual pants, but no tie. I have never owned jeans! I think I’ll go out today and pick up a pair just to see what i’m missing out.



    Comment by pat -

  169. I couldn’t agree more. When someone walks toward me wearing a business suit, I do not get a positive first impression of them. My first impression is of someone whose first order of business was an attempt to impress me by wholly superficial means that are totally irrelevant to their level of skill, competence or experience.

    I know that some companies in my industry (NOT mine, thank all the gods) require that employees dress in professional outfits when they are traveling, even though their actual business meeting will not take place until the next day. Their justification is that they are representing the company.

    No, they don’t.

    Until the moment you walk through your client’s (or whomever’s) door, nobody knows who you are or who you work for, and nobody cares. You’re not representing anything or anyone. You’re just another anonymous traveler.

    Comment by Constance Reader -

  170. A-men, brother!

    A well-fitting suit can definitely make me feel more confident, but they’re expensive, confining, and high-maintenance.

    Why not just bind my feet, while you’re at it?

    Comment by Kurt Zorenkarnz -

  171. Great win for the Mavs over the Lakers…they were tired from the nighe before (against San Antonio).

    Comment by basketball training -

  172. I definetly agree Marc. I love suits because I feel that represent political power. I think growing up we see that the man with the suit is the man in charge. I on the other hand like to dress casual and urban all the time. So I think that people might wear suits for respect i.e funerals, weddings, career.

    Comment by Mike Wade -

  173. While I wouldn’t want to wear a suit to work every day, I really don’t see the big problem here. I look good in a suit and don’t mind wearing one at all. And people who claim wearing a suit stifles their creativity obviously can’t be very creative.

    It is, after all, not the clothes that make the man.

    Comment by Carl Alexander Sverdrup -

  174. Mark I enjoy your blog and comments and spots on PTI a lot. Unfortunately I feel you got this one wrong. I am sure you have taken or read some psychology books in your life. Perception in life is everything. It can create presidents or make great ones fail, and it can also create career’s and wealth. People interpret your actions through the biased eyse that gaze upon each of us. Steve Jobs doesnt need one right? Well he has established himself in that mode, just have you have created your own persona through the mavs, your success, and your air time. People wear suits because because a first impression is most of the time the most important. I hope one day I can also set my own standard with the wealth and prestige you have earned. But until that day comes (if ever) I will try to tip the scale to slightly favor interactions I have. Best, Jason

    Comment by jason -

  175. I work in a cube environment where customers come and visit 1% of the time and our bosses make us where a tie everyday but Friday. I hate the fact that I sit on the phone all day and I’m so uncomfortable, some of the biggest deals I have made have been on a Friday, coincidence I think not…Thanks Mark, I sent your article to my boss.

    Comment by Wes -

  176. Dear Mark

    I am a South African, former lawyer and banker (now entrepreneur) living in London. My “suit” story is similar to yours: Straight out of varsity I got articles at a law firm in Johannesburg. I bought a cheap suit, a pair of black shoes, white shirt and my varsity tie I got as a graduation present. After wearing this “uniform” for about month everyday, one of my fellow clerks (who is now a senior advocate and sometimes judge in South Africa) felt really sorry for me and took me to the “Oriental Plaza” (an area in those bad apartheid days were Indians traded all sort of interesting things). There with my first salary (R800 – about $150 today) we bought some material and gave it to his uncle, a tailor, who made me two suits. Man was I proud! The suits sure made the man (so I thought)! Anyway, I always wondered -why do we wear suits here in Africa (especially in summer). Many years later I moved to London and join Clifford Chance (a huge law firm). Again I went off to buy suits (now I could afford a few fancy “English” pin-stripe ones) but I looked completely out of place in my “pin-stripes” and reverted back to the “normal” suit. As luck had it in about 1998 I started my own business and it was not long thereafter I decided “no more suits”. Those were the “internet days” when half of London stopped wearing them. When the “internet bubble burst” many people (in particular the institutions) reverted back to suits as if the lack of one marked you a failure. Lucky for me, today I still do business without a suit. It was interesting reading your blog today (have never done before) as the article posted brought back fond memories. Thanks

    Comment by Jacques Tredoux -

  177. Before we moved to Dallas I worked for a Fortune 20 manufacturing company and we wore a suit everyday. Don’t know why, no rule, we never met customers, vendors, etc., just each other. When I learned my wife had a job offer in Dallas and I told my company I would be leaving my 2nd level management job, I quit wearing a suit! To heck with it I was quitting and everyone knew it. So I started showing up at the several meetings that I had everyday with the exec’s wearing a golf shirt and slacks. By the time I left 5 weeks later, no one was wearing a suit. Strange, one person can make a difference!

    Comment by Dwayne -

  178. I agree in part with your assessment as to why suits are unecessary. But I also believe that ones care and attention to their physical appearance reflects (to a point) how they work and the quality of work they produce. A suit is not necessary, but professional appearance. Wearing a suit every day to see the same people you see 90% of the time is definitely a waster of time, money and effort.


    Comment by Patrick Allmond -

  179. If you were selling something, you’d wear a suit. The old sales maxim, “when in doubt…” applies to suits, too. It’s mostly a business custom.

    When I don’t wear a suit, it’s because I don’t have to. I suspect that’s true of you, too, Mark. Mark “the rebel” don’t wear no stinking suit.

    However, when making that next — 2nd ? — big business deal…when in doubt…

    Comment by Ray Myers -

  180. For a lot of men a suit reflects a certain boundary between “serious” and “fun”.

    In a sales environment (as you surely know) it can become too easy to fall into a sort of “Buddy Syndrome” where you can begin to think of a (new) sales target as a friend.

    In that case, focus is lost and perspective may dim.

    A sharp, tailored suit–and I’m including women’s business “suits”–can be a constant, automatic reminder that you are in an environment where you are trying to reach a goal and not gain a companion or confidante.

    Comment by Felicia Miller -

  181. Hey, I put on a suit to read this blog. They both make me feel more important! (insert smiley here)

    The real problem with suit-wearers is nobody knows how to tie a tie. If you can’t do the full Windsor, then jeans and a T-shirt is much better.

    Comment by Dempsey -

  182. Ha ha! I liked reading this blog entry…

    My one arguement: Hotness. Yup. Last night a dashing man took me to dinner. He was wearing a suit. He looked really great. So, don’t throw all your suits out the window, guys.. some women find them sexy.

    PS It’s probably a safe bet to throw out the “polyseter wonders”.

    Comment by Joanna -

  183. Because suits look nice, and thei’re comfortable when of good quality. I actually like wearing suits, and I’m not even working yet.

    Comment by Crow -

  184. The term suit comes from the word “suivre” in French meaning “to follow”.

    I have always tried to match the dress of my envoirment but I really was never told I had to wear a suit. I did so to assure that I was viewed as conformal, expecting to reach success by being equals.

    Man I wish corporate would have said something like, “relax wear what you would like, that which makes you more productive”.

    I can say now I know that being conformal does not equal success. I had it all wrong.

    My definition of a person wearing a suit and tie is: “A person who is conformal” whom has not reached success,finicial or spiritually, being comfortable in his/her abilities.
    Or possibly is required to.

    When I walk into a room for a board meeting or corporate gatherings, I can tell you who has gained success and who has not. I can gurantee you the one(s) who succeeded, are not in ties.

    “You know you have succedeed when you can burn the suit”.

    Comment by Jeff Taylor -

  185. It’s funny, when the temperatures get too high in good old England, reporters at the House of Lords are allowed to doff the jackets. In my simple-minded Caribbean country where the temperatures are routinely too high the poor worker drone sods have to wander around in full attire all day.

    Comment by marc -

  186. If this has already been said then I apologize, but I would suggest that despite Mr. Cuban’s wealth that he’s never worn a good suit.

    I have no need to ever wear a suit or sports jacket, but I do so on a daily basis because it brings me enjoyment. I love getting dressed every morning. It has absolutely nothing to do with conformity because I’m the only one in my office that dresses well. I spend thousands a year on this stuff and wish I could spend more.

    That suits have to be uncomfortable is a complete fallacy. I’d suggest you try one from Attolini, Borrelli, Kiton, or any of the top Savile Row or American tailors. Ignore the fashion labels and go with the high-end italian makers or a top-flight bespoke tailor. Do the same for your dress shirts. Off-the-rack always fits badly and the materials available for those choosing to have their own made are simply incredible. Have a shirt made from Alumo’s Soyella Zephyr and tell me again that you don’t understand why anyone would want to wear one.

    My Borrelli and bespoke jackets are like a second skin. Not only do they look fantastic, but wearing one is like wearing as sweater. I have complete mobility and never feel constrained.

    And yes, I wear them on Sundays too.

    Comment by Jody -

  187. Suits look good. They hide flaws. I don’t want to see your pimply legs or your skinny arms. I don’t want to see your hairy chest. I don’t want to see your beer gut. A suit hides all those and more.

    Comment by kickstand -

  188. OK, ladies & gentlemen, here we go…I’m with Mark. I have a boss who (contrary to our company business casual policy!) thinks you should “dress like your boss” and “dress like who you want to be, not who you are” – both of which are a load of ?&%#$. My boss’s boss dresses WAY more casually than my boss, and I would LOVE to dress for who I want to be, which is far closer to my boss’s boss! The boss has flat LIED to staff members about company policy, or had someone else relay a “you’re not dressed appropriately” message because the boss is too *&%#@ to do it themself (reference used to hide gender, not plurality). I do NOT see external customers, only corporate “customers” within our company. Also, there are individuals who can’t work worth crap, but they dress to please the boss. More power to them.

    I may not be rich like Mark, but I have my self respect and will NOT be a lemming. My happiest days are the casual days when we can wear what we want (and yes, as “professionals” the staff here does not show up in shorts and flip flops, but jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes are acceptable) and can get work done without worrying about anyone ruining suits, shirts, shoes, ties hose, or whatever they are wearing. WAY more productive than when stiffened up in the “uniform” of establishment.

    And yes, I’m older than Mark.

    Comment by Dont want my boss to know! -

  189. Now, I think most of the people agreeing here with you are from a similar background, ie tech.
    However, what about different jobs, like a salesmen?
    You go into a nice store looking for product X, do you really want to see someone behind the counter, or walking towards you, wearing a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. (Hairy legs included) Or would you rather have someone looking professional? Someone who looks like they know about the product you are about to buy, who if you had questions they could probably answer them.
    Yes, that tie that guy is wearing doesn’t mean he is a better salesman right away, but what it does tell me is that he is putting in effort to play the game of looks and appearance. In sales, thats half the game. The other half is knowing about your product and how to spin it. If the guy is dress to look like he is walking the walk, then his talking job is half done.

    Comment by Remington -

  190. Yep. Suits suck. But would we watch Jon Stewart if he did the show in a t-shirt and jeans? Like it or not people evaluate you based on what you wear–they fit you into certain categories–and they do it without knowing it. We all do it, even if we become aware of it. This is especially true for first impressions.

    Status-seeking seems to be built into our social evolution. Without the clothes, we’re still just a bunch of monkeys–clothing helped tell us who is who on the ladder of status when such things were expensive and could only be afforded by the rich.

    Even though they really don’t serve as a sign of status any longer (there’s no way to tell whether the person can actually afford the suit or whether they’re leveraged to the hilt) we’re still running on the old mindsets we grew up in and it’s not easy bucking this trend in situations where you are not yet independently wealthy or haven’t found work that frees you from the suit. That’s part of what keeps the suit alive.

    Comment by Scott -

  191. My wife is a fan of old movies. One thing I noticed is that those guys, in addition to wearing their pants on their waist rather than their hips, always wore suits and ties. Even inside, with their friends, on the weekend. I always thinkg “They must be stifling inside those things!”

    My current job is business casual, and I still hate it. As a software developer, there’s no reason for me to have to wear a certain attire to work. There’s no reason anyone who makes a decision should be seeing me. All that should matter is the code I write. Forcing me to wear a certain ensemble would be like making sure all the robots who put cars together have a fresh coat of paint.

    Luckily, I’m getting a new job here soon. The dress code is “be comfortable.”

    Comment by Icelander -

  192. Ditching the suit is like a baby-step rebellion against the industry (cotton, manufacturing, dry cleaning and everything in between). If you really want to take a stand, just ditch the pants and shoes altogether. Put the stake down and call for a full-blown, barefoot (or socks), boxers and T-shirt revolution…I did, and look how f*cking witty and creative I’ve become πŸ˜‰

    Comment by That Guy -

  193. I like suits because they don’t require a lot of planning to coordinate in the morning. Being a woman, I don’t have to wear a tie with a suit, so there’s no being uncomfortable. I refuse to wear nylons though. I actually think its less expensive to wear suits because, all you have to do is change the blouse/shirt/tie & it’s a whole new outfit. Besides, there’s really no such thing as business casual for women. When our department went “business casual” it meant absolutely nothing to the women. It’s not the suit you’re annoyed by, it’s the expectation that it’s necessary to do your job. For me? I think men look hot in suits – I think it’s that whole “man in a uniform thing”. And I’m all for hot looking men.

    Comment by SammyDKat -

  194. There unfortunately has to be a lowest common denominator when it comes to the business world. In a small company where there is a decent amount of control, you might get away with bypassing this, but to keep up a level of decor in a huge company, you will have to adhere to some rules. I don’t believe you need to wear suits all the time, but some sort of business casual dress to keep up the environment is needed. With that being said, isn’t wearing a suit, getting to the root of the matter, a traditional show of respect, whether it be to a client, or in an interview etc…

    Comment by Dan -

  195. I like suits. They hide many flaws and, if you buy the right one, are very comfortable.
    The people crying about a lack of individuality need to both educate themselves about suits and look around. Where is the individuality in an office full of men in polo shirts and khakis? I have suits in colors ranging from black to gray to blue to dark green to brown to tan, etc…toss in pinstripes, plaids, seersuckers, etc. and you have a really diverse array. On top of that ties and the underneath shirts – cuffs or no, stripes, plaids, etc..
    The alternative? A polo shirt & khakis? Or maybe a blue button-down and brown pants? Whhheeeee! That’s great. You and the cashier at blockbuster could swap wardrobes and no one would notice.
    But, that’s just my opinion.

    Comment by Rodney -

  196. Theres a place to dress up and a place not to. Steve Jobs doesn’t know, obviously.

    Comment by George -

  197. I prefer suits and/or sport jacket and tie for work. I look good in them, and I feel dressing well lends an air of seriousness.

    As for being comfortable, well, I am comfortable in suits. That’s because they are made of good materials and they fit.

    I can’t help suspecting a lot of men swear off the suit because they buy cheap ones that don’t fit, don’t breathe, look like hell and are thus uncomfortable.

    And as for the guy who says a suit stifles his creativity, and all you other self-styled non-comformists out there, the real free spirits wear what they like. I’ll stack my creative side up against anybody’s.

    Comment by Patrick L Sullivan -

  198. I was watching the E channel the other day and apparently the Donald has purchased himself a $15000 star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

    How Trump is that??

    He wore a suit.

    Good luck tonight!!

    P.S. What are you going to wear?

    Comment by Toni Marano -

  199. Actually, I like suits. It helps that I’m a student so wearing suits isn’t the man-coming-down-on-me that it is to people commenting here, but a well tailored suit makes me look good. Which means that I like a suit just as much as I like any other piece of clothing which makes me look good. I went through my rebellious cargo pants, t-shirt and hoodie phase years ago – claiming it was comfortable and thus better – but it made me look like a little punk. I prefer the suit.

    Comment by Guy Sie -

  200. Mark, I am not a tailor, but from what I have gathered, suits make most people look better. I don’t mean from a “power perspective”, but more from a practical one: a suit will hide a body’s imperfections. Few people look better in something other than a suit.

    Comment by BIll Rausch -

  201. ‘Fake it til you make it’

    Wear a suit until you’re successful enough you no longer have to wear a suit to be thought to be successful.

    Comment by HiMY SYeD -

  202. Not many places require them as much as they used to. IBM used to be so strict guys had to wear sock garders to keep their socks up.

    Comment by flash devs -

  203. People who wear suits do it to feel self-important, according to Mark. According to the posts here, people who don’t wear suits often do it for the same (inverse) reason: to feel liberated, creative. Sounds almost as pompous to me.

    If a suit makes someone feel more confident in a business situation, then fine; if wearing slacks makes them feel more creatively free for their career, then fine too.

    People are always going to dress to make themselves feel good one way or another. And so you’re right to say it should not be up to the CEO, but equally (as Surya suggests), it seems rather harsh to bash all suit wearers as lemmings.

    Comment by Tom -

  204. you hate suits because you don’t wear bermuda shorts with them. that is what you need to wear when it is hot out ya fucking stupid american idiot.

    Comment by Dave -

  205. The only way people will ever stop wearing suits is when it finally becomes “socially unacceptable” to wear a suit. Because people are, in general, spineless.

    So we need to start making fun of people who wear suits. Ridicule them in popular media, movies, and TV shows. 60 minutes should do a segment on the arcaneness of suits. Same with 20/20. Colbert needs to make fun of suits on his little show. We need to make suit wearing look as reduculous as that Microsft employee (from the MS vs. Mac commercials) looks in his little suit.

    The reason people WEAR suits is for fear of looking out of place. So we need people to feel out of place FOR wearing a suit. Most people are spineless and will do whatever it takes to fit into their little niche of society, so the people who HAVE the ability to redefine trends in society need to start making fun of the “suit monkeys”. Monkey see suit. Monkey wear suit. Hell, men are now wearing those silly purse things these days, OVER their suits, so if men can have purses now, what’s so hard about ditching the monkey suits??? Also I think men should be allowed to wear bras if they want. Personally (and I am a man) I like the extra chest support while I’m jogging.

    Comment by Clay Ferguson -

  206. Apparently a lot of people look good in suits. Or at least they (or their wife) think they do. And they’re great for scoring random chicks at bars.

    … What, was I being snarky? Sorry. I do consider myself respectable in a suit, but I find them suffocating (in the over-dressed sense) and high-maintenance. I guess jeans and a collared shirt are more my style. To each their own, I suppose πŸ™‚

    Comment by Jeremy -

  207. Suits is part of the culture in US I guess, in order for someone to really take you seriously. From where I’m from, unless you are 30+ years old, you are probably too young to take on a management position. WTF!?!!?

    Comment by Paul -

  208. Suits certainly have their place in the workplace but I don’t believe it’s a neccessity for work performance or success. We stopped wearing suits in my company when we called on a bank and found that even bankers were no longer wearing them! If someone has no day-day-day face-to-face interaction with a customer, what difference does it make what they wear as long as they are productive?

    By the way, Mark, thank you so much for all of your hard work in bringing exciting and winning NBA basketball to Dallas! This Mavs team, led by Avery, is certainly the best team in the league playing a great combination of offensive AND defensive basketball. Plus, we always seem to be flying under everyone’s radar!
    How does it make you feel that our team seems to get so little attention and that those Suns in Phoenix, despite our record against them and the rest of the league, seem to be the darlings of the basketball media?

    Comment by Bill -

  209. Down Town Los Angeles

    LOS ANGELES — They say Los Angeles is 100 suburbs looking for a city. With any luck, they are finding one.
    A development boom worth $10 billion is remaking the face of downtown Los Angeles, leading boosters to predict a renaissance in what used to be the desolate center of the capital of sprawl. From concert halls to condos, developers have built or are planning hundreds of projects that they say will end the sense of Los Angeles as a rudderless megalopolis with a rotten core.

    Eli Broad, left, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and County Supervisor Gloria Molina look at a model for the Grand Avenue project, which has Broad as the committee chairman. It is one of the major undertakings planned to revitalize the older urban core of Los Angeles. (By Mel Melcon — Los Angeles Times)

    Best of the Post: NationThe best photographs taken throughout the nation by Washington Post photographers in 2005.
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    “They used to say, ‘There’s no there there,’ ” said Margie Busch, a 30-something financial analyst who moved to a downtown loft recently with her girlfriend, Suzie Jones, a waitress and aspiring actress. “But we’re here and we’re happening. L.A. is changing. It’s becoming a city.”
    According to the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, developers are planning to more than triple the number of residential units from 8,000 to 27,000 in the next four years. Despite worries about a real estate slowdown, condo waiting lists continue to grow, even though prices have doubled in two years. In October, a building with 191 condos sold out in seven hours. Other projects were fully booked 18 months before they were built.
    “When I started here five years ago, they said downtown would never work,” said Hal Bastian, the vice president of the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. “Now they are saying it’s too hot.”
    To be sure, downtown Los Angeles faces enormous problems as it seeks to transform itself from a gritty urban landscape into the Manhattan of the West Coast.
    The area has 6,000 homeless people, the most concentrated population of the destitute in the western United States. More pets than children live downtown, and no schools serve the area. Because much of downtown was rebuilt at the height of the automobile age, at some intersections its impossible to walk across the street.
    At night, the area is desolate and its nightlife is more like a dusk life. The kitchen at the swankiest restaurant, Pinot, closes at 9. It is impossible to hail a cab because the police department refuses to allow random stops, but even if it did, most Los Angeles cabbies would not take short fares. Local redevelopment boards have hired their own security services and trash collection services because city services are stretched too thin. And the only way the city could persuade a supermarket chain to open a store downtown was to give it a $7 million subsidy; even so, it will not open until late 2007.
    A cast of characters is leading the charge to remake downtown. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa shined shoes in the 1950s at Seventh Street and Broadway, once the busiest intersection in the West and the center of what was the largest public transportation system in America until the suburban boom led to downtown’s bust. “I remember the heyday of downtown LA,” Villaraigosa said in an interview. “We had more theaters on Broadway than anywhere in the world. Then it went downhill. Now what you’re seeing is a renaissance.”
    The mayor said that in the past 16 years only two high-rises over 10 stories were built in Los Angeles. Now the city Planning Department has 46 proposals for construction over the next four years.
    Another perhaps more ironic booster is the billionaire Eli Broad. In another life, Broad co-founded Kaufman & Broad, now KB Home, one of the biggest independent builders of single-family houses in America, and was known as the King of Sprawl. Now Broad, 72, founder of the insurance and investment giant SunAmerica, now part of AIG, is putting his money and muscle behind remaking downtown.
    Some have suggested Broad’s interest in downtown is a form of penance, something the solemn mogul denies. “Every major city needs a vital core,” he said in an interview. “Here you’ve got 13 million people, you need a cultural and civic center.”
    Broad has been the prime mover behind the $1.2 billion Grand Avenue project, which he has called alternately the Champs-Elysees of Los Angeles and L.A.’s Fifth Avenue. Plans call for 2,600 condos and apartments, a nine-acre recreational and cultural promenade, 400,000 square feet of retail space, a 275-room hotel and a 50-story tower designed by architect Frank Gehry.
    On the other side of downtown, meanwhile, work has already started on the $1.5 billion L.A. Live sports and entertainment mega-project by the Anschutz Entertainment Group. It will include a 55-story hotel on top of a mall housing a 12-screen movie house, several theaters, nightclubs and shops.
    Downtown Los Angeles is slowly amassing cultural weight. The Staples Center opened in 1999 and currently is home to four professional teams. In 2002, work was completed on the $190 million Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which towers over U.S. 101, downtown’s main north-south artery. A year later Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall opened, its shimmering walls billowing like the sails of a clipper ship. Add to that the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the $300 million renovation of the granite-and-terra-cotta city hall.
    California historian Kevin Starr said he was unsure all the development would combine to create a center where they was once none. “I think L.A. is still uncertain as to its urbanism, unlike New Yorkers who are fundamentally certain about theirs,” he said. “Over and over again we debate this issue: Are we or are we not a big-time city?”
    Even some participants in the downtown boom wonder if Los Angeles can remake itself into a more traditional city.
    “Angelenos are different than the rest of Americans,” said Dan Rosenfeld, a partner at a downtown real estate development firm. “We are a collection of individuals, not a community.” He noted that Los Angeles has some of the best private gardens in the United States but the worst parks, some of the most stunning private architecture but disappointing public buildings, the greatest private art collections but middling museums.
    “L.A. is impossible to plan,” Rosenfeld said. “Its civic character is a bundle of energy and not a place.”

    Its great to know LA is becoming a NEW NY and if you need any kind of ink for your printer visit

    Comment by shayan -

  210. Well, I must say I knew nothing about you until you owned the Mavericks. Even then, not being a basketball fan, I didn’t know anything about you, until of course, Sportscenter put you on the air 24/7 for ranting and raving. Since then I’ve pretty much looked at you as one of the most layed back, and probably the coolest owner out there, in any sport.

    I actually give you more respect because you don’t wear a suit. Not following the norms of society is more than likely how you got this far to begin with, and if it works, why stop?

    Keep up the good work Mark, I look forward to seeing another fit on sportscenter, it keeps me occupied lol.

    Comment by Anthony Pinzone -

  211. suits are historical garments from Europe. When it’s cold, it makes sense to layer up with scarf (tie), jacket, shirt, trousers, …

    i would add one other category that you are likely to wear a suit to: legal proceedings.

    Comment by g -

  212. Although an interesting article, is it really that practical.
    Just like most things, 95%+ of the people are not in the same position as Mark Cuban so they do not get to determine their daily dress code. They have to follow the mandate. Not saying it is right, just kind of is what it is.

    Personally, I like wearing suits. As one of the earlier commenters stated, there is a certain methodology of getting dress when you are wearing a suit that is like none other.

    Suits are going nowhere!

    Comment by Brian May -

  213. because without a suit, David Stern is just another old, overpaid, overweight, over-privileged white dude. Same as Bush/Cheney/etc. Why does any pol wear a suit? To try to get some respect. Why does anyone wear a suit? To try to get some respect.

    Why not go without a suit? Well – you could – if you had talent. That’s why people wear suits – they have no talent – they don’t deserve any respect based on who they are. They have to use long-held cultural institutions to enforce their worldview – else, why would any of us listen to them?

    Comment by Peter -

  214. Wow alot of suit haters here. I kind of like wearing a tie, not necessarily a jacket with it, but wearing a nice outfit to work gives me that confidence you describe. In addition, it projects a positive attitude to those around you.

    Don’t get me wrong, if I had multiple 8 figure exits I wouldn’t care less about my initially projected appearance and you know damn well the people around you don’t care either.


    Comment by Nick -

  215. The main reason the suit remains is because of the blind situation that workers find themselves in when becoming employed.

    The company I work for requires collared shirts – which include polo shirts – because customers might come calling but other than that, the dress code is very lax. But I came into the interview wearing a suit my parents paid for. This is simple incentive.

    See, as a job applicant, I did not know if a suit was expected. If I showed up in a suit, and a suit was not required for the interview, then I lost nothing by having one. However, if I did not show up in a suit, and a suit was required, I lose the job.

    Furthermore, even if I know ahead of time that a suit is not required, I know there are other applicants for the job – and you do not want to look less professional than your competition.

    In the workplace is a different matter, but interview suits are likely here to stay.

    Comment by Brian Boyko -

  216. I am thankful I have never had to wear a suit to work. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Todd -

  217. Clearly, when you’re rich as shit, you can wear whatever the hell you want. When you’re anybody but the CEO, you wear what you’re told to wear. Sure, Mark Cuban can say F suits. 99% of us can’t.

    Comment by Nick -

  218. I’m very familiar with Mark Cuban’s success but I disagree with his attitude toward professional attire. It’s easy to spot who is wearing the $99 polyester suit and who is wearing the Armani.
    A great suit makes a statement about the person wearing it.
    It says “I am in control, have impecable fashion sense, am powerful, and can afford luxuries that others cannot”.
    A bad suit says “I’m really trying and maybe someday I’ll make it.” All suits are not created equal.
    Like any other status symbol or piece of clothing, the suit is an accessory that helps to convey the message of who you are.

    Russell Rockefeller

    Comment by Russell Rockefeller -

  219. This is a GREAT post. I have long hated suits, and usually work in a more business casual environment thankfully. I posted about this on my blog as well.


    GREAT post.

    Comment by Jim Johnson -

  220. In a court of law, you would wear a suit in order to show respect and deference for the court. Although this is a rare situation, it explains why suits have become prevalent. It’s an agreed upon standard that limits the amount of personal judgement. That said, there are very few situations where it objectively makes sense to be uncomfortable. Often times it’s for the same reason that it’s a hassle not to wear one at a wedding/funeral: expectation. Most people have reasons other than hassle for playing along. It doesn’t become a personal perception problem until you’ve obtained those goals and do it out of habit or to conform to a standard. So in that sense, as a billionaire, you are absolutely correct. No clothing will make any difference as such things will not affect your bottom line. The suits will remain in effect so long as other business leaders remain trapped by convention. It is my hope that telecommuting and other forms of internet communication will help along these lines.

    Comment by Justin Brown -

  221. I want to work for you. Seriously.

    Comment by Brian Schick -

  222. I’m here at work wearing a suit right now. As a creative, long-haired, goatee wearing, t-shirt and jeans guy, being required to be a short-haired, clean-shaven, suit and tie wearing guy really stinks. It’s not worth the $10/hr I’m paid to wear these things. I don’t even wear a suit to church on Sunday; I wear a t-shirt and jeans.

    Death to the suit!


    Comment by Paul Clifford -

  223. It’s all about that “first impression” thing. Look your best and all of that.

    I loathe suits myself and tend not to wear them unless absolutely necessary (like weddings etc…)

    I’m a sweatpants and t-shirt kinda guy, but this one time we had someone show up at our startup when we were discussing an acquisition/merger and he rolled in wearing some gray sweatpants (and he was outta shape).

    I can tell you now my first impression was… slob. Also I was thinking “Would I like to work with this guy if we merge?” So while a suit wasn’t necessary, at least put on some decent jeans or slacks. Sheesh.

    Comment by Digger -

  224. Working for 9 years in IT service industries i found that the more conservative i was forced to dress the messy-er I looked. I had a job where i sat at workbench all day in slacks and a tie and was expected to stay nice looking working on dirty printers and desktops. I don’t know how many times i had to crawl under some dirty desk in my khakis. That’s why when i started National Computer Brigade i decided that uniforms would be much better then ties and slacks. Adapting military BDUs provided a much more comfortable attire that could withstand the work and still looks good to destiguish yourself from others. Plus people always want to know what its allabout, its great pr. http://www.tulsacomputerbrigade.com

    Comment by Curtis Allen -

  225. you should wear the clothes that makes you feel good and express your personality. I don’t agree with the companies which force their employees to wear suits, ties every day, either. But I do understand why they are doing that – this is the form of control and creating discipline at the work place. They do it for the same reason every soldier in the army or every prisoner has the same uniform. This is the way of institutionalizing and controlling humans and their relations.

    Comment by Daria -

  226. I work in a business casual atmosphere. If we are working in the lab we wear jeans. When with the customer, we wear khakis and a nice shirt.

    But my question, where do you draw the line? Tennis shoes? Shorts? Sometimes women can dress in a distracting manner (my personal favorite). Everyone draws the line somewhere. Surely you have some dress code for your employees.

    Comment by Doug R -

  227. Polyester is no so great.

    Comment by ac -

  228. I always tell my friends and family members how stupid it is too wear a suit. Or to even dress up. Everyone tells me that if you do not do this then you will not get the job you want. My opinion is if they do not want me because I am not dressing the correct way then I do not need them. Mark Cuban can I work for you…

    Comment by Joel -

  229. “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain.

    As a consultant, I am bound by the requirements of whatever contract my company signed with the client. However, I refuse to accept any assignment that involves having to wear a tie. How does wearing a tie improve my ability to write code? To ‘look more professional’? I work with a bunch of computer geeks. We couldn’t possibly care less about ‘looking professional’. We judge each other on the quality of our work and our ability to get along with each other in a work environment. Nothing should matter beyond those two things.

    Comment by rev_matt_y -

  230. suits are a leftover from the feudal days of european society. to distingush upper classes from the lower classes, elaborate outfits were created that were simply impossible for the lower classses to afford, much less keep clean.

    you can’t do manual labor in a suit and keep it clean.

    i sold my software company back in 1997 for a song, and bought a suit for my interview on CNN a couple of weeks after. i will never wear a suit again except for weddings and funerals, only because i don’t want to offend my religious nutjob family members and cause a scene.

    suits are just a psychological leftover from the 1700s that stuck around.

    it’s time for them to go.

    Comment by james -

  231. I’ve been trying to tell people this exact thing for MANY years. I bucked that system for the last 25 years, now I own my own software business and HIGHLY discourage anything but jeans. I also have long hair. It’s what you know and how you conduct yourself NOT how well your dressed!

    Comment by simp -

  232. The way you describe is how I feel about jeans. Everybody wears them and most people shouldn’t. They are uncomfortable and uggly, except on supermodels. Nobody ever told me to wear a suit but I liked how they looked and I think they are very convenient. Lots of little pockets to keep/lose stuff in. Expandable: cold = add vest an tie, Warm: lose tie and vest. After I sold my first company I started having my suits tailor made. People partly know and remember me because I look good in a suit but I would be able to make an equally good impression wearing something else. It is all just a part of your image. Wear what you like and what looks good on you. Don’t matter if its a suit, jeans or nothing at all: just make sure you feel good and are comfortable…

    Comment by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten -

  233. The suit is a normalizing influence. It’s use in corporate life is more about control than about self esteem. Wearing a suit helps you fit in. It addresses the one common element we all share, insecurity and a want to belong. Most kids entering the work force look forward to their first suit, and then grow to hate it as Mark is displaying.

    Suits help you speak in front of people, introduce yourself to new colleagues, and feel good about yourself. All things required in corporate “cube dwelling”. As long as you wear a suit, you work for someone else.

    Chew on that.

    Comment by GJL -

  234. AMEN! I’ve never understood it and never will…

    Comment by Biggsy -

  235. I like wearing a suit to work. I buy good wool suits that are warm in winter and cool in summer. It’s no hardship at all, they are very comfortable. My company recently abolished the dress down days because people abused it and looked scruffy. Ripped jeans and football (soccer – I’m in the UK) shirts really look messy. The company could not rely on people to take responsibility and look smart and casual.

    Comment by Roy -

  236. There must be a reason under the surface why suits might serve a purpose. If it were possible, would you let your Mavs go casual and wear what ever they wanted? Whould 5 guys fashion-freelancing on the court add value to the win column?

    Comment by Steve E -

  237. I live and work in Bangkok Thailand, the world’s capital for conventional clothes. About 10 years ago I bought two very expensive hand made suits. Since then, I have worn them a total of perhaps 10 times. They sit in my cupboard in their plastic cover doing nothing these days.

    I run an IT company. My usual dress is comfortable slacks and a long sleeved business shirt, and that is as far as I am prepared to go to look ‘business like’ these days. My staff come to work in anything they feel comfortable in. My very pretty secretary wears jeans (she has great long legs!). When I meet clients, I’m there to talk business. If they can’t handle that I don’t deal with them. So far, no one has ever objected. In fact, many of my colleagues in other companies have started following suit (pardon the pun!)

    Go for it. Why should we conform to such an outmoded style of dress just because “we always have.” Be comfortable and you will be more productive.

    Comment by Marc Holt -

  238. 1. I agree that people should not be forced to wear a suit.
    People should not be forced to wear a t-shirt and jeans either.
    People should wear whatever they feel comfortable with.
    2. I must tell you, I look very nice in a custom made suit. I enjoy looking at myself on the mirror when I wear it. It is very comfortable also — More so than jeans and t-shirts. Jeans restrict movement a bit, and t-shirts aren’t as warm as a jacket — I get cold easily.
    3. I do not wear a suit every day to work. A suit is for special occasions. Occasions when I visit clients, interviews, weddings, funerals, or important meetings. I wear dress slacks and dress shirts to work — with a wool sweater on cold days (most of them). I wear jackets (and/or suits) only when visiting clients. Again, don’t force yourself to wear something, just wear because you want to.

    Comment by Jose -

  239. Sir, your problem is indicated by the fabric your suits were made of. Polyester will not allow the skin to breathe, nor will it properly trap body heat. A suit made of decent wool would not have caused these problems and one can find such suits at very reasonable prices if one looks hard enough.

    The wearing of a suit in this day and age is mistaken as old fashioned, but I put it to you: in an age when everybody wears tracksuit bottoms or ripped jeans, tatty plimsolls and t-shirts with vulgar slogans on them what better way to rebel than to care for your appearance while still totally disregarding the advice offered by such rags as GQ? When everybody is a rebel, nobody is.

    Comment by Mr. Dreadful -

  240. The use of a Suit, or the excuse of wear a suit ( common called dreassing codes ) is used to descrimitate people by social classes.

    Comment by Tomboa -

  241. So I presume no employee of HDNet, 2929, or the Mavericks is required to wear a suit?

    Comment by Doug Nelson -

  242. No one has mentioned the utility of a suit jacket. Most days its just right so I don’t have to wear an outer jacket. And have you ever noticed how many gadgets you can stuff in the pockets? I have a friend who calls it his “briefcase”. Sure, it makes lumps in the suit, but its utility and if you have to meet with someone you can empty the pockets. Cargo pants aside (swinging my gadgets around at knee level never seemed like a good idea), I’d like to see a t-shirt and jeans guy carry an iPod, headphones, cell phone, pda, moleskine, pen, sunglasses, business cards, and have room left over for a camera or whatever–at least without carrying a man-purse. And if you bother to look around, suits aren’t that much more expensive than the normal casual looks of today, and as a bonus, you can have them tailored very cheaply/easily. I’d like to see someone walk into the tailors with a t-shirt and jeans to have them fit perfectly…

    Comment by Robert Ian Wallace -

  243. I love suits, I love the history, the tradition, the look and the material. I think a man should have a suit and not only for business meetings. The world has seen a decline in many things manners, scruples and principles. Is this because of this suit ? Of course not. Is the decline in suit wearing apart of this downward spiral? certainly.

    Comment by Jamara Newell -

  244. I have a thought. Companies use signals all the time. If kids within a family earn good grades, auto insurance companies lower the parents’ rates. This is because child achievement is positively correlated with responsible parental influence. Auto insurance companies use this correlation as a signal of a safe-driving (low-cost) customer even though grades have no direct causal relationship with driving behavior. Wearing a suit is a signal to the company that an employee is good at following a convention, no matter how inane. Though there are many creative business jobs, the overwhelming majority of tasks in business require a respect for company rules. If the employee will wear a clean suit each day, this is a signal that he or she will learn and follow company protocol (moreso than the guy who won’t).

    Comment by Shane Sanders -

  245. If any of you losers want to get hep to the suit, see: http://www.filmnoirbuff.com

    Comment by YourMama -

  246. Hello Mark.

    I agree with you Mark this is an interesting post, which will make everyone read till the end and responses too.

    1) “You wear to work what your customers wear to work” Whoever told you this is very important for any businessman/women to make his/her costumer comfortable when he/she talks with them.

    Comment by Daniel -

  247. Nice article, i completely agree.

    Our main design office is in Tucson, AZ (very hot) and I generally ride my bike to the office. Over a year ago a client called asking to meet about re-designing their website. We had completed a small print piece for them, which went over very well, so I assumed it was a done deal and told them I could meet later that afternoon. I walked to their office (downtown Tucson is quite small), had a very good meeting outlining what it would take to complete their site, and gave them a rough estimate.

    I found out a few weeks later that they have gone with a corporate firm in large part because they were “not comfortable” with my t-shirt and shorts attire. I was shocked! With temperatures over 100 degrees and they expect slacks and a collar from a design firm?

    Over a year later and their site is STILL not up. I’m sure they are enjoying the well dressed sales people as they present each new delay πŸ™‚

    Comment by Tucson Design -

  248. Yeah, and another thing: shampoo!

    I realized early on that clean hair was just a sellout to button-down, submissive corporate conformity. C’mon, the fact that a person shows up with clean hair tells you *nothing* about their attitude or competence. I only washed my hair when I know the person I’m selling to is a hair washer. Now as I run my own business, I’ve broken free from the brainwashing. I save precious minutes every day that the shampooing sheep waste in their showers with their mindless lather-rinse-repeat. I’m proud of my greasy locks. It tells my employees hey, you needn’t waste money earned here on shampoo. Show that you are an independent thinker!

    Comment by Steve Parker -

  249. I agree!
    Wearing a suit coat in the summertime is downright stupid!!!
    Specially if you live in Texas.
    Wearing a tie around your neck is even dumber.
    Worst of all is the knowledge that most people who wear a suit do so to give the impression that they have money.
    Those who really do have money dont have to wear suits to impress anyone.

    Comment by bgarrett -

  250. But there is something to be said for feeling more “professional” in typically professional attire. It’s easier to feel like you’re at work in a suit than in shorts and a t-shirt.

    Comment by basketball drill -

  251. I suppose you don’t bother to make your bed in the morning either? I think suits are great and necessary. Some work and social environments beg for a standard of dress and conduct. There are numerous reasons for it. A person’s attire or more importantly lack of attire has an important none verbal message. How a person dresses, whether they shower or bother with under arm says a lot about what the person thinks of themselves.

    Comment by Matt Beaton -

  252. You hate suits. I hate ties. There’s only two things a tie is good for. Keeping the hot sauce off of your shirt and blowing your nose:-)

    Rant on, Mark!

    Comment by Glenn (Customer Service Experience) Ross -

  253. 1. Suits make middle-aged men look better. Notice that the cut of the lapel and the drape of the jacket disguise the pot belly.
    2. Suits distinguish the wearer from those who do manual labor. Wrinkles cannot be present, the suit coat is cut to make movement difficult, the shoes are shiny, so therefore no dirt, the socks and shoes are inadequate for walking — actually they will land you in a world of orthopaedic pain eventually.
    3. Suits are expensive to buy and extremely expensive to maintain, and you must purchase at least 3-5 of them. This shows the world that the wearer is from an upper income bracket. Status.
    4. Suits make young men look like dorks. And this is important, because a young man starting out needs the approval of the older, established men. And that young man is more attractive to the young women, with non-Republican hair, tans, lowfat bods. Soo, a suit and a haircut is really a symbolic castration ritual to bring the young apes down the ladder below the older bulls. Harsh, but true. No matter how much you tell yourself you look better in a suit rather than a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, it just ain’t so. Suits represent wealth, power, and integration into the business world, which is attractive to the opposite sex for reasons of status rather than sexuality, tho the two are inevitably confused.

    Comment by catbeller -

  254. The same point could be made about ties, jeans, flip flops, or even all clothes. Aren’t we all lemmings at some level. The question isn’t “why does society wear suits?” The question is “Given that society (on average), places a ‘premium’ on suits, how do I take advantage or use that?” Now if I wear a suit to a meeting with mark, if he is really “suit neutral” then I neither win nor lose – no big deal. If I wear a suit with somebody who appreciates a suit, then I come out with an intangible plus – that is worth it to me. i would avoid the suit if I knew the other side loathed suits (which is probably where mark falls) – like in silicon valley in the late 90s. Few things in society “make sense” but that doesn’t mean that reckless disregard will go unnoticed or without consequence.

    Comment by Jim Mollen -

  255. “What? I threw something on, I like looking good”
    Granted I would never make anyone wear a suit to work if they were a programmer. Programmers need to do what ever is necessary to get the job done. If they have to rock a bath robe and chain smoke cigarettes – let them do it. The office is an antiquated idea anyway. I have a hard time with anything but a really good suit. And to the tie-haters. Calm down with the suit jackets, no tie- no jacket. Keep it real with the freaking chest hair, this isnt a disco. Its business.

    Comment by Alex Saretzky -

  256. 3 Short bits for business attire (not specifically suits):-

    1. Suit style clothing has kind of evolved out of the more serious/formal aristocratic wear for the lord of the manor. Since at least the 1800’s, anyone wanting to be seen near this ‘lordly’ class would wear something similar – mainly as a way of being identified with that group. Hence, we wear the stuff to show off our status.

    2. Derived from this is the psychology of fitting in. In a modern workplace context, clothing is like any other element of rapore. Fit the look/style of a client or industry you are communicating with and the look/style is no longer an issue – any message you put out can be seen more clearly.

    Within suit circles, the classic example given in toastmaster type forums is advice to wear a dark suit and subdued tie. Why? so that viewers mentally tick the box that the speaker is part of similar background, and the clothing then becomes irrelevant. To prove the point, a guy running one of these wore a bright purple suit for the next session – virtually no-one could remember what he talked about while wearing it. By the same token – work with media/ad agencies and the best fit might be jeans/business shirt.

    Congruence builds rapore.

    3. While I will still regularly wear jeans and tshirt into the office, doing that every day in a past ‘funky’ type role was actually not that great. One of the big pluses of wearing business attire is that it actually IS business attire – at the end of the day, once the gear comes off, the mental switch flicks over to off-duty.

    And that is something increasingly more important where the work/home lines are getting blurrier in terms of hours and constant technological contact. While not necessarily meaning a suit – separate business attire helps draw a line between work and other.

    Short answer for ‘why does anyone wear a suit?’ – status, rapore, delineation.

    Comment by Ekfud -

  257. Exactly! I think as this country has grown and the international landscape as come to the forefront, we’d embrace the ‘teleconference’ mentality. Suits wear suits because they don’t have a personal style and fit the mold. I operate in Advertising, and it’s pretty easy going unless it’s a client day.

    So does a suit make me look like I’m doing better work? Getting better results? Finding new ways for messaging to break through the clutter? If suits did all that, why are the ones making money are businesses/people who chill in shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt?

    LOL…I’ve have my casual attire on soon-full time.

    Comment by Q -

  258. Post #19 Surya, and others…

    Having done both in my careers and currently in a Financial Institution that doesn’t require suits – I applaud this idea.

    Business Casual can make you look just as smart and feel just as confident as a suit. Some of the smartest guys I know, responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in financial transactions, can’t match colors.

    Are suits necessary? Sure, for the same reason you wear a suit to a wedding. It shows respect for a particular person (visiting dignitary), place (church) or thing (e.g. Formal dinner/Awards ceremony). Is it necessary for going to work with your peers every day. Absolutely not…!

    Ditch the suit and use it for occasions that require it. If you need a suit to prove how important you are, guess what? You’re a tool and everyone knows it suit or not!

    Nice post Mark. Cheers!

    Comment by Jordan -

  259. I am a Teacher. This profession used to wear suits ties and the whole get up. White shirt and tie. Now we wear polo’s, we wear jean’s on Friday’s. I have don’t think when I wear a tie for game day that I feel more powerful or I do a better job on that particular day. It does not do it for me i guess.

    Comment by Browie.com -

  260. Mark, just out of curiosity, if a person interviews with you for a job, what do you think about them showing up in a suit? Would you take a person, man or woman, seriously if they did not show up to meet you for the first time in a suit? Just curious. Also, I am so excited, I am going to my first of many Mavericks games tomorrow night. I can’t wait to see them kick Kobe and the collectives ASS!! And you were talking about t-shirts the other day. I had one made especially for the game. It is AWESOME! I am sure I will end up on the jumbotron. See you tomorrow night!

    Comment by Erica -

  261. Dr. Freud says another reason you dislike “Trump the Chump” is because he embraces the suit…

    Comment by jzahod -

  262. There’s some reverse snobbery going on here. I mean, how many people (especially how many people here) have had to wear suits to work – few and far between by the looks of it. Certainly not me.

    Seems to me if there’s a uniform today it’s T-shirt & jeans. Wearing a suit to my work would make me stick out like a sore thumb and actually be far more non-conformist than wearing the t-shirt and jeans.

    Please, there’s nothing rebellious about a t-shirt.

    Comment by tom s. -

  263. I work for a major web hosting company. We are located in the states, but the clients I deal with are in Europe. No face to face contact, so every day is casual. Its really a nice bonus to be able to come into work in jeans. No more ironing for me!


    Comment by Jenny -

  264. I can’t say that “nobody” prefers to wear a suit to work, but I’d be surprised if that number exceeds 1% of the population. I demand that my employees NEVER wear a suit. Why? Many reasons: Because I want to know who it is that is in my organization. Because I want my customers to know who they’re dealing with. Because I want to foster a culture that encourages relationships of trust to be built among coworkers. A suit rarely means dressing up for success. For the most part it means, “We at XYZ Corporation do not want you to be who you are. Your personal qualities and characteristics are getting in the way of our business. Please hide these qualities as best as you can while at work.” I do not think this is good business, and I think that business becomes mundane in the process.

    Comment by BD -

  265. I tend to dress casually or in a suit depending on what mood I’m in . I’ll mostly wear a suit if I’m meeting clients but sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it.
    I’ve been asked more than once why I’m not wearing a suit and my answer is always “It doesn’t take any special skill or knowledge to wear a suit, it just proves that you own a suit”.

    Comment by Dave -

  266. I’d really like to hear what Thomas Mahon of englishcut.com has to say about this topic.

    I have a very comfortable (but inexpensive) suit that I don’t wear often, but don’t mind. People like the way I look in it, and it does a good job of flattering my figure. I don’t know if it gives me any extra confidence, but I do get a different response from people when I wear it.

    Comment by Jemaleddin -

  267. i think its an ego thing… i dont wear a suit every day but when i need to wear a suit it becomes hard for me to walk thru doors and such cause my head is so big… it makes you feel very important when its out of the norm… i can see how it would be tho if i had to wear one every day…

    Comment by paul -

  268. I don’t know how I feel about the whole suit thing. I understand that there’s a lesson behind it, like question assumptions, as others have pointed out. But let’s get to the example. I act differently when I wear a suit. Luckily, I’m able to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work everyday, but on the few occasions that I do dress up, I act differently. I treat others differently. It’s almost sub-conscious. Costco has a dress standard of collared, tucked in shirts. I think the employees act differently at Costco then if they were working at a different retail store. I can understand saying that wearing a suit everyday might diminish the effects of the sub-conscious behavior change, but having a dress code affects behavior. When I was a teenager, I would go to dances. Some were casual, others required a collared shirt and tie or skirts. The dress up dances had a different feel to them. I think it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, but the experience associated with it. If you don’t normally dress up, then it’s a special experience and you act different. If you do normally dress up, then it’s just another everyday thing.

    Comment by Dan Sage -

  269. Suits are never good. I had to wear them when I worked part time in college for a real estate dev firm. I was their gopher, and I had to wear a suit! what is that? i couldnt even afford food yet alone suits. From that day on, I vowed to not work in a place that wore suits, because it doesnt really foster creativity, and most people dont feel comfortable in them. I know that everyone at that company that wasn’t the boss hated wearing suits, and theyd gripe and groan all day.

    thank goodness for startups and having my own startup, its all casual all day. As long as your work gets done, i dont care if you’re in the office, yet alone if you’re wearing a bunny outfit.

    Suits suck. 40-60 hours of ‘face-time’ sucks.

    Comment by adam -

  270. This all brought back terrible memories of my early career in food service. We had a district manager that required all his managers to dress in ties. No dockers cords, nothing. So there I am 20 something years old sweating like a pig behind the cooks line.

    I can understand him wanting us to be professional but it’s the person and the work ethic that make the professional, not the damn suit and tie.

    20 years later I am wearing whatever I want to wear into work and making 5 times the salary, thank god I did a career change into IT. Now instead of spending money on suits and dry cleaning I can afford to buy the tools needed to keep up in my field.

    Comment by TimD -

  271. Hey Mark, I totally agree with your assessment, at what point did a particular type of clothing have any importance to the kind of work you do or don’t do. It’s one thing to look professional, it’s another for so many employers to have mandated dress codes that require wearing expensive to maintain and uncomfortable clothing on a daily basis.

    Comment by Dan Bailey -

  272. As a respected business owner could you come to my workplace in New Zealand and tell my bosses this?

    My contract says that I am to wear tidy clothes which I can handle and do but they are trying to force me to wear a tie which I flat out refuse to do.

    I am a hardware engineer and am working over spinning fans etc so a tie is a health and saftey issue but when I try to tell them this they think I’m joking.

    Tidy clothes are not good in my line of work. For the last week I’ve been doing a project replacing CRTs with LCDs and at the end of the site, let alone the day, my clothes are covered in dust and dirt etc.

    Please come and tell my bosses that clothes don’t represent professionalism but that it’s all in the attitude. They may take someone like you seriously as opposed to someone who works for them. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Loweded Wookie -

  273. Dude, can you do us all a huge favour? It’s guys like you that have the power to change these stupid paradigms.

    Speak out publicly against the suit, Mark. Please.

    Comment by Chad Poirier -

  274. I have $900 in my pocket…..

    I could spend it on an expensive suit instead of a cheap one in order to make a contrived statement about “who I am and my magnificent significance” to the world….

    Or I could spend $200 on a leather jacket and have enough left over to take my wife out on more than one fantastic date night.

    Would she prefer the fabric or the adventure………….

    Comment by Steve DeFino -

  275. Why where a suit? Why, because they’re wonderful pieces of clothing. They look snazzy when properly fitted and of good construction. I work for an agency that hires people for thier minds and abilities, not for what they wear, and it shows. Most of my peers wear jeans and a t-shirt to work, but I refuse. A suit not only looks and feels good, but it looks professional.

    To quote the French, dressing well is about showing respect for those around you.

    Comment by Kimo -

  276. I couldn’t agree more–suits are a waste of time and money. In an effort to get me to dress better, my wife once told me to dress for the job I wanted, rather than the job I had. I said, “Okay, I’ll show up to work in a Red Sox uniform.” She has never said that again.

    While we’re on the subject of things that need to be eliminated, how about fancy china?! If it doesn’t make the food taste any better, I’m not sure why I should be wasting my money on it.

    Comment by BostonMike -

  277. I thought going into advertising would allow me for a less rigid dress code- well, I was super wrong- not only do I have to dress in corporate wear, it has to be trendy!! I essentially now have expensive wardrobes and it makes me sick. I just started the “real” job in Sept…and I can’t wait until I move up the ladder a few steps so I can stop being uncomfortable and irritated all day. What makes things worse is all the creative people get to wear whatever they want..I’d be willing to dress nice for client meetings, but I’m not in those yet.

    I can’t begin to stress how my productivity increases on Friday when I can wear what I want.

    Soo frustrating.

    Comment by S -

  278. Would you support a sports team that didn’t have matching uniforms? A suit is just a sign of organization and structure. Sure wearing one everyday is a pain, (what sports team does that) but it helps to look professional when you’re trying to be professional.

    Comment by Motorcycle Guy -

  279. I’m very familiar with Mark Cuban’s success but I disagree with his attitude toward professional attire. It’s easy to spot who is wearing the $99 polyester suit and who is wearing the Armani.
    A great suit makes a statement about the person wearing it.
    It says “I am in control, have impecable fashion sense, am powerful, and can afford luxuries that others cannot”.
    A bad suit says “I’m really trying and maybe someday I’ll make it.” All suits are not created equal.
    Like any other status symbol or piece of clothing, the suit is an accessory that helps to convey the message of who you are.

    Russell Rockefeller

    Comment by Russell Rockefeller -

  280. Its just material isn’t it? Why the obsession from those who set the codes?

    What would people think of me because I do not feel a functionless piece of cloth dangling from my neck that gets tangled in … wait a minute….brainstorm here……When I need to, I can adjust the tie as useful body language. Or can display dominance by having a red tie and not having to adjust it. Yeeah…..

    The NBA created a dress code because it was worried about image. They sent the message: “Don’t let us see who they really are unless its on an episode of ‘Cribs'”. Gluttony is good marketing. The rest of the world loves that don’t they?

    Ignore the guy who lives comfortably but also gives a lot of time to the community, he wears a sweater.

    When we see a suit why not think; “Kenneth Lay”, A “highly successful super moral high character business focused powerhouse that I can trust with my money”. Then again, maybe that is what we do think. Because outside of the moral part he and his cohorts were all of those other things.

    I wear a shirt and tie each a day as a uniform just like athletes wear in their respective field. When required to include a coat (in 90+ degree weather) I ask for the nearest thrift store where I could purchase a suitable garment for $15 or so and give it back at the conclusion of our business. This does not go over well. Why not? I was willing to meet their needs wasn’t I?

    I once knew a skilled colleague that wore a lime green tie, orange shirt, black pants that were 2 inch floods with white socks. He told me “I wore a freaking military uniform for 20 years serving this economy only to be greeted in the ‘free’ world with another dress code. I can dress however the hell I want to, and I am in compliance.”

    On the equalization issue: Those being paid well not being separated from those making the minimum by all having to wear suits. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE !! Why the need for the illusion? Really, its not a loaded question. We know the difference by our vacations, houses, cars, big screen TVs and so on. Is the dress really fooling anyone?

    A company decided to be ‘modern’and go to a casual dress code. A girl with a huge rack came into work wearing a tube top and distracted everyone (me)…. no I am sorry that was a fantasy. All that happened was a dude grew a beard and I thought of Al Queda.

    Time to simplify this lengthy comment and make a point. If we would all just wear suits and be happy doing so the world would be a better place and far less complex. There is no need to learn to accept each others diversity when when clothes can make us all look the same. And BTW I look great in a suit too.

    Comment by Steve DeFino -

  281. I personally feel much better attending to a formal reunion with a suit
    Its not about a conspiracy or people making you wear one, its just a formal clothes for formal events…

    But its often over-used, some CEO s make you wear a suit even if it’s not even necessary, I mean, you can work with any outfit you want.

    Suits are about Formality, Good-Looking, Sexiness but most of all for reflecting the world about your good habits.

    Comment by Ivan -

  282. I am not at all a suit guy, and normally I am kicking and screaming before being forced to put one on (you can probably tell I am another web site owner). This only happens about 10 times a year, so I can deal with it.

    Just to play devil’s advocate-
    – suits are warm, which is nice for NYC winters
    – cost effective, you can get buy with just one or two and wear them a few times a week
    – some people look good in a suit (even a cheap one)
    – a jacket does a great job of hiding a beer belly (or tattoos, etc)

    Comment by Sal Cangeloso -

  283.   I think you missed the point when you assumed that people wear suits for confidence. I don’t think it’s confidence, per se, but what you are wearing will affect your mood and your focus.

    For example, I do some of best thinking while sitting around at home in my underwear. It’s comfortable. I have some great ideas sometimes.

    Contrariwise, feeling more professional can have its advantages. At work, due to the nature of what I do, I am treated differently and I also act differently (two dynamic factors), and I prefer the influence of more “professional” attire.

    I can respect and understand why no one would want to wear a suit, but is it so difficult to respect and understand why someone would not? 

    Comment by jessemoya -

  284. Dude I agree. I’m a chick but I hate having to walk down the street wearing job interview clothes. Living in rural Australia usually means wearing t-shirt or singlet and jeans around the streets and a nice outfit when you’re going out somewhere nice. Big blazers and high heals and all that other crap when you go into town makes you stand out. They make me feel kinda important but I also feel amazingly over dressed and get the horrible feeling that everyone looks at me. They probably don’t but eh. I’d be just as happy, look nicer, and be alot more comfortable just wearing a nice button up shirt and a skirt with a nice pair of flats. I hate heals.

    And to whoever it was up there that commented on the school uniform thing being related to this…its not exactly. School uniforms all cost the same…they cost a shitload…but they’re the same. Suits can cost anywhere from like $50 (If you’re DAMN lucky) to $500. The more your suit costs…the more “important” you are…or atleast thats what corporates like to think.

    Comment by Vampsy -

  285. It’s all about proving to your employer that you will not be the nail that sticks out. Conformity. That’s why the military does it. That’s why corporate America does it. It doesn’t matter if it’s 95 degrees and humid in the subway station, I usually am the only one who takes off his suit coat. And I get the strange looks! I would not want an employee who goes against his own common sense just to “stay in line”.

    Comment by Frank -

  286. I couldn’t agree more.. a success like you can do whatever he wants and nobody could ever say it’s wrong with what you’ve achieved.

    Comment by Chuck Nguyen -

  287. Suit, schmuit. Wear what you look good in. If you have a 60″ waist you’re going to look a lot better in a suit than a T-shirt (think the Comic Book Store Guy in The Simpsons).

    The other argument for the suit – not that I wear one – is that it gives the other guy nothing by which to pre-judge you. That may or may not be a good thing.

    SO what do you think about Rolexes and other bling?

    Comment by Tim H -

  288. I agree with you completely… Personally I hate wearing suits also.

    Comment by Timoty -

  289. I have to agree. I think you should take it a step further for warmer climates. I see no reason to wear pants. πŸ™‚

    Comment by Jesse Mullan -

  290. You’re also an entrepreneur who can make up his own hours, dress code, and the like. Not that you’ve always had it that way. But it’s easier to say that now that it would be if you were 22 yrs old, just out of school, trying to land a job. Having said that, I totally agree with you.

    Comment by basketball drill -

  291. chicks dig guys in suits.

    Comment by nickolas -

  292. Check out the encyclopedia of fashion ( if you know where to look you will find it;-) )and you will discover that the suit is derived from the military uniform and that the shaved face is new too(WWI), it was introduced to allow an air tight fit between the face and the gas mask.

    Comment by Dan -

  293. Now, I may not have a job that requires a suit, but I do own one, and I love to wear it.
    Because: 1. I look damn good in it. 2. I feel good in it. 3. It’s easy, no thinking about what to put together, it’s just there.

    Comment by Matt R -

  294. I have to disagree. It’s all part of the “scumming down” of America. You get on a plane and some fat whore is wearing compression shorts and a tank top. Let’s bring back the well dressed American standard of yesteryears.

    Comment by Frank Doss -

  295. Mark, your point is made in exactly the opposite direction.

    The reason why we wear suits:
    To get in the same position you did when you stopped wearing suits: to trade stocks for 5 years then have enough money for Broadcast.com

    Suits DID help you get there my friend. BTW: I don’t wear a suit anywhere. I’ll let you know when I get to start trading stocks.

    My guess: you did the right thing for those years you wore a suit. Not to confirm your confidence but to help communicate to those that can’t see your confidence without a suit.

    Comment by KennyMatrix -

  296. You are in a position where wearing a suit is not necessary. I don’t hate suits, and I don’t love suits, but there are some reasons to wear them.

    The main reason you already hit in your post. You wear them to weddings because it is easier than explaining why you are not. That may seem trivial, but when I am trying to explain a complex idea or convince someone to buy something or do something in a different way, there are already enough distractions available; I don’t want them to be worried about my attire. If getting the message through is easier in a monkey suit, I’m going ape.

    I’m a prof, and aside from some of the practical issues (it’s nice to have extra pockets), a jacket is what students expect, and it helps them learn. That’s right: the sports jacket is a learning tool. Students who are taught by someone in a sports jacket think that the person is more knowledgeable, more engaging, and more interesting. (One of my former graduate students has done research in this area.) Students learn more when they are interested and engaged. I can break those expectations, and often do, but really, there are more important kinds of boundaries I want them to be traversing.

    So, sometimes I wear a suit because–as silly as it may be–it is an effective communication tool.

    Comment by Alex Halavais -

  297. 110% agree with you Mark.

    Suits are ridiculously outdated in today’s world where comfort is more important than trying to impress someone.

    It is true that suits do make a guy look sharp and on women they get a power look also. But only because we’ve all been hypnotized visually by a 100 years of seeing the most important and powerful people wearing suits, and then the more wealthy you are the more high end the suit on you. It’s really bizarre when you think about it.

    I only wear suits to weddings and funerals. I guess we’re all still stuck with that for now. LOL But I hate every minute of that confined feeling and that damn tie around my neck.

    Suits evolved obviously to distinguish the classes in our society. I’m sure in the very beginning to be able to buy a suit and they were all custom made back then, it was a BIG DEAL. This started the ball rolling and guys with the most money wore the nicest suits. When corporate America began, and especially IBM, the white shirt, tie and dark suit basically became the uniform required by society to look like an executive or professional. It was a trap and men fell in generation after generation to conform.

    Gradually, as corporations have lost their lustre and more entreprenurial style businesses began with the advent of the technology era you had non-conformist CEO’s running the show and setting the lead for style. It was great to see when companies no longer require employees to wear ties. Then it was no more jackets, but still look dressy. Then it went to hey be comfortable and wear whatever you want.

    And this gave us our FREEDOM to be ourselves!!! No longer did corporate society look down on you if you went to work or meetings without a tie and suit. Soon it caught on like wildfire and most companies and it became one of the first questions prospective execs would ask about a company they were considering working for, “What’s your dress code?”.

    I’d say by another 100 years, there won’t be suits at all and we’ll be totally dressed futuristically with exotic new fabrics that will be able to transform colors to whatever we desire by using quantum nanotechnology of some sort. Fabrics that will be embedded with all sorts of sensors to allow more air in when we get warm and tighten the fabric bind when we get cold. But it will be all about comfort and embedded apparel technology.

    It’s fantastic to see so many non-conformists and non suit wearers in this current generation of young entrepreneurs! Corporate america has no choice but to accept reality. People don’t like suits and ties. They are uncomfortable and reduce your work efficientcy and productivity.

    Comfort rules and deservedly so!!

    Comment by Kevin - BigTicketDomains.com -

  298. I feel like a fraud in a suit. I’d rather spend a couple hundred bucks on jeans than a hideous suit anyday. Amen Mark.

    Comment by Lacey -

  299. Hey Mark, never really heard of you before today (I’m from the UK) but I agree with you totally. I’m a consultant so am expected to wear a suit whenever I’m with a client, that’s fine and it doesn’t bother me but it’s only that way because everyone thinks that wearing a suit makes better business and as you know – it doesn’t and I’m sure I’d be more productive if I were more comfortable. I doubt things will change any time soon though – dress is much more relaxed than it used to be but there’s still a long way to go.

    Comment by thirtyfootscrew -

  300. When I went back to contracting in 1997, one of the first questions I asked was “Do I have to wear a suit and tie?” I generally turned the job done if I had, unless they’d at least let me ditch the tie.

    Comment by raj -

  301. I’ve never *had* to wear a suit, but I often *choose* to wear a suit. Personally, I like them. Isn’t that enough reason? I don’t rant and rave about people who wear baggy pants that fall off of them. I would never, ever wear such clothing myself, and it looks like the most uncomfortable thing ever, but everyone has their own tastes.

    You don’t seem to believe that anyone would ever wear a suit unless “forced” to. There is such a thing as style and fashion, you know. It’s fine if you don’t subscribe to such things, but to claim that you literally cannot understand why anyone, ever, would wear one seems to me to really be stretching it.

    Myself, I’d love to have a nice Armani suit. And believe me, if I ever get one, I’m going to wear it to work despite the fact that everyone else is in jeans and t-shirts. You know why? Because I like them, I feel comfortable wearing them, and I think they’re cool. So stop raining on my parade, dude!

    Comment by Jonathan Henderson -

  302. I completely disagree. I started wearing a suit everyday (the only one at my software company) and have been amazed at the impression my dress makes on others (especially from the generations that grew up before the 60s) and my own changed perspective. Jeffrey Tucker puts it well in his “How to Dress Like a Man”:
    “They say this is fine [wearing yard work clothes to work, etc.] because it is comfortable as if the only thing that matters in life is comfort. Well, it is also comfortable not to shave and not to bathe, and we have a word for people like that: slobs.”

    Comment by Stephen W. Carson -

  303. Amen! Not only are suits expensive, moths find them delicious. When was the last time you had to store your jeans and t-shirts properly for fear of them being eaten by insects?

    Comment by Mike -

  304. Mark:

    I feel the same way. When I do wear a suit I do so as a sign of respect for people I’m meeting. As for creativity, blue jeans and t-shirts are the way to go.

    Comment by Jason Beaudreau -

  305. The threads on your back might make an impression, but in the end, it’s the individual we should pay most attention to.

    Comment by Ronald Lewis -

  306. I work for a company with offices in NYC, Houston, and LA. When we have internal meetings in NYC, we all wear suits. In Houston, it’s button down shirts, in LA its polos and khakis. Same people, same discussions, three different cities, three different attires. Why does any of it actually matter?

    Comment by Jim -

  307. Wearing a suit is just another example of a bygone era, like carrying a briefcase. Times have changed; nobody carries a briefcase anymore. I never wear a suit and get to wear jeans on Friday, I think that should become the standard now.

    Comment by michael -

  308. I’m a college student and I work part time (holidays and some weekends) in an outsourced call center. Dress code is smart casual (slacks, a polo shirt and decent shoes [*not* trainers] will suffice) as potential clients are sometimes shown around the premises. Fridays are Casual days.

    I personally own a suit, I got one the year before college as I had a few Debs’ to go to (the Irish equivalent to the US Prom, check it on Wikipedia) and for future Weddings, Funerals and Job Interviews. I wore it into work the last day I worked before term started again, for the laugh, to see what reaction I got. All my fellow employees though I was being called to court as this was the only logical explanation they could see for a young person to be wearing a suit on a normal work day.

    Comment by David Dolphin -

  309. People who claim that suits somehow “stifle their creativity” are more moronic than those who wear suits. If the clothes you wear affect how your mind works, you should seek help.

    Comment by Michael Terry -

  310. I’m also a non-suit-wearing guy, and I don’t know why people wear them either. Perhaps it is to prevent everyone from wearing cool tshirts with catchy phrases or clever graphics on them.

    Comment by WTL -

  311. My personal goals:
    1. To wear sandals whenever someone isn’t paying me.
    2. To pay myself. I like my rules better than anyone else’s.

    Comment by Ryan Mickle -

  312. This is why I liked working in California, and why I think the west coast is a better place to work than th east coast. I’m a bioinformatician and none of the companies I worked for in silicon valley had a required dress code. On the east coast, however… even if you’re just a simple programmer who never has to deal with the customers, you’re expected to wear a suit.

    Comment by Pierre -

  313. People always told me, “wear a suit on your interview and you will make a good first impression”.

    I personally, never wear suits, dress shirts or ties. I prefer to dress for interviews how I will dress for work every day. I will not come in once in a suit and then never again wear one.

    I prefer to make an honest and truthful first impression than a fraudulent one. I want people to be impressed with my skills, not my choice in suits or my ability to conform to standards set by people that have been dead for a very long time.

    Comment by Mike -

  314. Wearing a suit makes me feel rich, classy, and fashionable.

    Comment by Rob -

  315. Mark, you ask what purpose a suit serves.

    As noted, it’s a uniform for professionals. Police, military, food servers, doormen, maitre ‘ds, inmates, they all have their own uniforms. Uniforms reflect cleanliness, dignity, seriousness, order and authority. It’s not because we’re “lemmings” to corporations or there is some imposing force (lobbied by the garment industry!), it is because for some reason we are either hard-wired or programmed to accept uniformity. In a room full of casually dressed people, the guy with the suit appears to be the leader.

    I am not a “formal” person. I like suits but I dislike all of the layers and inconvenience. I think it is a mistake though for many businesses, especially professional services like lawyers, consultants and such to go casual. I’ve worked in law firms that were “full suit everday” (in Texas, no less) and casual ones, and looking back, I prefer to be suited. While it is easier and more comfortable to go casual, I sense a loss of control over a situation when I’m not suited, especially when trying to dispense legal advice to clients.

    I sigh at the “don’t judge me for how I look” responses by the suit haters. They’re like responses against people who dislike tattoos, piercings, long [male] hair, etc. It so happens that society inherently likes the values of suits and uniforms, despite popular pushes against them (and grooming standards). Clean cut may go out of fashion but never out of favor. You can fight it all you want, but I think it can be very imprudent to push against the forces that be until you can leave or control the game. As you see, Mark Cuban wore suits until he was “made,” and then he could eschew it. Being a rebel doesn’t work that effectively until you’re in control.

    Comment by Ryan -

  316. I wear dresses. They’re simple. No need to find matching tops and bottoms, belts, etc. No suits for me.

    Comment by Esme Vos -

  317. I think that ties developed originally as “bibs” for European aristocrats, so that they didn’t get sauce on their white shirts. They remain a fashion staple because they accentuate a particular body part…

    Comment by Mark -

  318. I of course agree, just think how nice a job interview would be if you didn’t have to get all suited up… Man that would be sweet, if you could just wear jeans and a t-shirt, and no one would judge you.

    Where is this place, because I would move there in a heartbeat. Try telling that to the big wigs here in Manhattan, home of corp. america and they would laugh at you all the way home.

    Too bad here in the crazy world suit’s will never go away.

    Comment by Crazyglues -

  319. One reason you might not like wearing suits: You wore suits that cost $99. Try one that costs $999. Some of them are more comfortable than jeans and a t-shirt.

    One reason some companies might require suits: Men don’t know how to dress “business casual.” Polo shirts with collars curling up. Rumpled khakis. Dirty loafers. Faded t-shirts stretching over beer bellies.

    One reason I like wearing suits: Instant respect at airports, restaurants, grocery stores, a host of other public transactions.

    Comment by Pointed Cap -

  320. You wear a good looking, high quality suit (not a $99 polyester one) for tradition, respect, and class.

    And at times, to make the right impression. If none of those things hold any value to you or anyone else, then of course it doesn’t matter.

    I say this being a guy who loves plain Tshirt and jeans more than anyone. I also appreciate the qualities of tradition, respect, and class.

    Comment by Michael -

  321. Not in agreeance here with you. I’m in sales and the first impression goes a long way. I don’t think I could initially overcome going to sales call wearing birkenstocks (with black socks), cargo shorts, and a metallica shirt (none of this being my usualywear)… even if I blessed with the platinum tongue.
    In the business world, the first impression goes a long way in determining whether someone is professional enough to provide you with services. It’s also a bit political… if you care enough to dress well when you visit a potentially big client, the big client may take some notice.
    I personally do not feel more confident in a suit, but I do feel like it only adds to the professional persona I bring to the table.
    It’s completely fine for engineers and the such to dress in whatever as they really have no outlet to the outside world.

    Comment by Matt -

  322. 20 years ago I worked in Insurance and had to wear a Coat and Tie,not really a suit as my top and bottom DON’T match.I bought 4 at the Thrift Shop for a total of $80. Today I still have 2 that fit and wear them as needed.Having been retired for 2 years I seldom need them.When I look at the wasted hundreds of dollars sitting in closets,usually outgrown I laugh.Still a thrift Shop devotee,although I will buy a reasonable pair of New pants once in a while.

    Comment by I K -

  323. Unfortunately, it is a gray hair tradition and once their time has past we will see it less and less.

    I have been noticing that when the young bloods are starting to come to the forefront of company practices, there is a steady climb in business casual.

    I believe suits are more of a mental gain then a business support structure (IE dress code giving a community feeling). Suits can make people feel empowered and sway various sales decisions with the attire.

    Personally, I think suits are just fancy winter wear. But, I am sure my clients wouldnt like me to show up in my remote management gear of boxers and socks!

    Comment by Chris Cramer -

  324. Should we expect to see Maverick players doing interviews on TV in casual shorts and T-shirts too?

    Comment by Linus -

  325. Ya gotta keep the suit man! How else will my favorite comment make sense when someone asks “what did you think of him”? and my answer is “He’s just an empty suit”

    Comment by MIke Genette -

  326. In my personal opinion, I prefer to look nice when working. My workplace environment allows me to wear basically whatever I want to work. If I so choose, I can come into the office in a t-shirt and jeans. However, when I wear to work what I would wear to the bar on Friday night, or lounging around watching football on Sunday, or to the mall to buy more jeans and t-shirts, I find myself to be in the same mindset as when I am doing those other things, not in the mindset I should be in to be a productive employee.

    Someday I do aspire to be in a role where I can set the rules on what other people wear when they come in to work for me, and maybe I will set the standard that what one wears does not matter so much. But I will notice the newly graduated college kid eager to stand out by wearing a suit before I notice the kid in his holey pair of Lucky Brand jeans and his latest thrift store find. I will assume the first took the time to care about how he looks in a work environment and that the other didn’t care enough to put any more effort into what he is wearing than to pick up and put on the first thing he stepped on when he got out of bed.

    Comment by Nick -

  327. I wear suits because women like the way I look in a suit. I do not have a billion dollars, so I go for whatever advantage I can find.

    Comment by TomTomTommy -

  328. Mark,

    The problem with your argument is that it becomes reductive. To avoid the reduction, you create an imaginary line of appropriateness. In other words, you deem suits unnecessary, but you’re still in support of wearing clean, untattered pants and an “appropriate” shirt.

    What makes khaki pants and a tucked in golf shirt so much more preferable to a suit and tie? Why not wear swim trunks and a dirty, ripped tank top to work every day? I’ll tell you why not–because you DO believe in the hype about clothing. You do still subscribe to the fact that “the clothes make the man” in Western culture (to at least some degree).

    Impressions and opinions of others–whether right or wrong–are very real and have very real effects on our lives. Whether it should or not, what we wear can and does shape those opinions. Therefore, what we wear has a very real effect on our lives.

    Comment by TCz -

  329. Man do I agree with this 100%. Just finishing graduate school and attending so many interviews in suit, only to have the darn thing off 5 minutes after it is over, I have grown to hate the suit a lot earlier in life. Sure I am willing to give credit to those people who manage to wear a suit everyday of their life, but in long run it just doesn’t make sense. You are the same person with or without a suit on. Hey Mark, if you are looking at highering any new minds for your business, take a look at my resume. Good luck the rest of the season.

    Comment by Eric Schmidt -

  330. The reason people wear ties (and suits) is so that everyone will know who will do exactly as they are told, regardless.

    Comment by Michael -

  331. Mark, not everyone has a billion or so dollars backing their “no suit to work” rule. Come on man, if I am meeting a real estate agent to sell me a house, I want him/her wearing a suit. It shows respect and professionalism. It does not give them a pass to have no clue about the house for sale, however, but I don’t want some guy showing up in jeans, air force ones, and NY Yankee fitted turned to the back. Did you ever think that perhaps one small factor of your business being a succes was that you dressed nicely and had your employees do the same? Obviously, whats under the suit is more important but……”Would you buy a new Mercedes or BMW or Bentley (whatever you drive) that was gorgeous and flawless inside, but all scratched up on the outside with a horrible paint job?”
    Now that you have ton of money…money talks, not the suit.

    Comment by James Stewart -

  332. Mark,
    I have to agree, but our company has gone business casual unless there are customers on campus. That said, we have folks here who wear clothes that I would wear to do yard work in to work. Totally unacceptable, but because it is a union represented environment, everyone is afraid to say anything. Thoughts?

    Comment by Matthew Harte -

  333. I wear suits because I like the way I look in them, and the suits I wear are comfortable. And I like suits, the same way I like jeans, and sweats, and my flannel PJs.

    Comment by Gerald -

  334. I remember the days when my closet was filled with suits. Now I own two, and the only place Ill wear one is to weddings, funerals and the odd business meeting in Asia. Interestingly the jeans and shirts I wear everyday to the office cost more than suits I use to wear.

    BTW, one thing that really irritates me is showing up to a meeting and the other guy is wearing a really bad suit.

    To me it doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you take a little pride in how you look.

    Comment by Tim -

  335. Hi Mark,

    the moment I finished reading your article I asked myself why you don’t start telling your employees they don’t have to wear suits. Not that I want to start a new feud with David Stern, but your own Mavs employees are sitting on the bench wearing suits because they are forced to do so…and surely not all of them like it!

    So, go ahead and show the rest of the world how to do it…!

    Comment by Jan -

  336. I buy suits for interviews and then sell them on eBay AFTER the interview. I share your attitude when it comes to suits…

    Comment by Eddie -

  337. It might all be about the economics principle of signaling…

    Comment by PRoales -

  338. Just catching the tail end of (71) comments; I guess Im late to this one πŸ™

    glad to see you posting again;

    – all I could think while reading was – Henry David Throeau “Walden” who stated; (not comparing quality) Just good to see you still have a brillant mind – Rbowles

    on money:
    “Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.”

    on success:
    “…a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

    on economic equality:
    “The luxury of one class is counterbalanced by the indigence of another.”

    on smarts:
    “Sometimes we are inclined to class those who are once-and-a-half witted with the half-witted, because we appreciate only a third part of their wit.”

    on fashion:
    “The head monkey at Paris puts on a travelers cap, and all the monkeys in America do the same.”

    on change:
    “Things do not change; we change.”

    on life:
    “This is the only way [to live], we say; but there are as many ways as there can be drawn radii from one center.”

    on the future’s potential:
    “Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning-star.”

    Comment by pallet jack -

  339. I used to work for this company where the boss would literally walk around on Friday with scissors and cut your tie off. It only took a couple cuts to learn that he didn’t want to see a tie on Friday. I could understand why it was only Friday. Sounds harsh, but it was actually funny.

    Comment by Jason -

  340. Hi Mark:

    This is a difference between made man and one who is trying too. You can afford to take a chance. To be honest I never could understand earing one unless you are in a cold place. But what do you think about a guy showing up for interview with out wearing a suit.

    Just cant afford that risk. Just waiting for time to write a similar rant.

    Liked your post. honest as it is!!

    Comment by Vijay Chandran -

  341. Mark: why do basketball players where uniforms? why not just play shirts and skins? of course you couldn’t sell all those team jerseys.. suits have as long as i’ve been around been traditional business attire. i understand in silicon valley accepted business attire is khakis, loafers and polo shirts. I think your original mentor had it right, dress to make your customers comfortable, not yourself.

    Comment by geoff gilbert -

  342. Formal attire of any kind is about appearing civilized and disciplined. If an individual takes the time and energy to look professional, then he gives the impression that he truly values his work.

    If a person, however, is not concerned with his clothing choices and how they reflect on the workplace, then it also makes the statement that he doesn’t feel it necessary to commit serious attention to either his career or his coworkers’ careers.

    I don’t think the issue of a uniform is entirely about inducing conformity and restricting individuality anyway. It is far more about providing a respectable convention that eases the social interaction amongst one’s peers in vocational, educational, and governmental affairs.

    Of course suits shouldn’t be mandatory for every job, but likewise they are a custom that should not altogether be abandoned either. Whether somebody is the CEO of a major corporation or a field agent in the FBI, looking decent earns you credibility and respect.

    Seriously, I wouldn’t want to see President George Bush in Bermuda-shorts and a tee-shirt addressing the nation on television just because he decided it was in the government’s best interest to institute a casual workplace in the White House.

    PS. Keep in mind, that as part of EOE, in many states nowadays an employer cannot discriminate based on gender-identity. So, if casual dress is to be openly permitted as this article suggests, then that provides the automatic allowance for gender-bending males to wear all the dress-down attire commonly expected of their female counterparts — scoop-neck blouses, low-rise flare jeans, knee-length skirts, hoop earrings, etc. In other words, if you really want to toss fashion customs out the window, then be fully prepared for the outcome.

    Comment by Randall Krause -

  343. Im not the one to comment on blogs, but I have to admit that i STRONGLY agree with you! ~ There are So many people today that have that status of “Im better than you b/c I have a 3 piece suit”.. If someone enjoys a suit great! but why would a suit be mandatory? They’re uncomfortable and it can become pricey b/c we just cant have one. There has to be atleast 2 to swap out during the week.
    You made a great point “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.” Its not what someone wears but who they are inside. Just like when we were all young and heard that

    We can’t judge a book by its cover!

    Comment by Andrew -

  344. I completely agree it is ridiculous to wear a suit to have the inflated sense of self-esteem. Heck, that was one of the reasons I quit my previous job: they were going to enforce a dress code requiring us to wear suits.

    However, I must say that I really like Barney’s suits in How I Met Your Mother, and his catch phrase, “Suit up!”

    Comment by Jan! -

  345. A suit doesn’t have to be a prison for creativity. Being forced to wear anything would be bad, but a suit can make you feel professional and ready for work. It’s a way to seperate your home life and work life.


    Comment by Ian -

  346. My company makes and sells $4000 English “Savile Row” suits to a very upmarket client list. We also sell to what I call “suit geeks”, who are a subculture unto themselves. It’s a lovely business, I have to say.

    My preferred “uniform” is jeans, black oxford shoes, blazer, and a good English shirt. I only wear the full 3-piece once or twice a month.

    What’s important in clothing is how it makes you feel. If suits don’t do it for you, that’s OK. If they do, we’re happy to have your business. If I sold jeans and polo shirts, I would say the same.

    Comment by hugh macleod -

  347. I can barely believe this post – you can’t figure out why anyone wears a suit? Have you seen, for example, Reservoir Dogs? The reason people wear suits is because if you wear the right one, it makes you look smart, professional and damn cool. More importantly it makes you *feel* all of those things.

    Suits aren’t just about appearance, it is the psychological aspect behind them – both in how they make you feel and how they make other people feel – that is important. If you’re missing out on that then I’m really sorry to hear that.

    All that said, enforcing suit-wearing in the work place is silly in 95% of cases.

    Comment by Colin Ramsay -

  348. i agree with your state: “every day is casual day”


    Comment by had -

  349. A suit is simply to make you look different than the Janitor. Else, How would your boss know??? he he…

    Comment by Chris -

  350. I work for a Web 2.0 incubator in Mountain View, CA called MonVia, and we’ve had several investor meetings. You couldn’t make me wear a suit — I’m going to be as “professional” with or without a suit on. It’s my work ethic that counts, not the clothes I have on.

    Comment by Sam Purtill -

  351. Mark:

    Bottom line: The suit does not make you or the organization, etc…

    The individual (as a person) is the true fabric of an organization.

    If your good at what you do, a suit is not going to make you any better at it or improve at it, or alter your work ethic, values, etc.

    Comment by Michael -

  352. I find it funny that all the “rebels” here are wearing either jeans/khakis or polo/white t-shirt. YOU are wearing a suit. We all wear suits. Show up to an important meeting in flip-flops, pajamas and unshaven – and then call yourself a rebel.

    Until then, it’s nothing but pot-kettle.

    Comment by AGORACOM -

  353. Right on, bro. I don’t understand why we think we have to operate like this. I have served as a pastor in southern baptist churches and I don’t understand why people think you need to wear a suit to church. I’ve got some interesting stories on this same topic.

    Comment by Britton Wesson -

  354. I agree with you completely. I often wonder why sports commentators wear suits. Or basketball coaches for that matter. Check out the guys on the NFL pre-shows…they look like fools wearing suits. I think their audience would relate more to the guys wearing t-shirt and jeans. Do I really trust a commentator with a hanky in their pocket? Give me a break. What’s up with the suits?

    Comment by Tim -

  355. Why wear a suit? Like winash said…Because…as ZZ Top sang: “Every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man…”

    Comment by Dave -

  356. “I just could never think of any good reason for any sane person to wear a suit in the first place.”

    I was telling my wife about your post on the commute home.

    “See? I think Cuban is absolutely right,” I said. “I can’t think of any good reason for anyone to wear a suit either.”

    “I think you look really hot in a suit.”

    Enough said.

    Comment by Dave! -

  357. Mark,

    Your comments regarding why you dont wear suits and cant figure out why others do, reminds me of another post you had a couple of years ago about being agitated whenever someone used the phase “thats the way we have always done it.” I think people who wear a suit fall into this same category.

    It wasnt that long ago that casual clothing was introduced to our society. If you look back at old photographs people were either dressed in a suit or work clothes. I think people who are wearing the suits today are doing so because thats how it was done in the past.

    Comment by Russell Driver -

  358. Why do I wear a suit?

    Why the same reason that those stuff shirt basketball owners make those high priced players wear a coat or jacket or whatever that dress code is while they are sitting on the bench being ohh so attentive.

    Why do I wear a suit?

    The same reasons that those Police wear those uniforms that make them look like penguins.

    Why do I wear a suit?

    The same reason why those basketball players back in the day wore the shortshortsand now wear those trunks so long they look like they are auditioning for MTV.

    Why do I wear a suit?

    The same reason that our men and woman in uniform wear the uniform..so they know who is on their side..and it helps them display discipline and most of all pride.

    Why do I wear a suit?

    The same reason that your little general wears a suitbecause hes been told to by some guy or gal to make sure that the products branding goes over well never mind by the second half after cursing at the refs, snorting and spitting and sweating his decorum has gone completely to hell.

    Why do I wear a suit?

    Now a-days I dont. But when I did, I must admit.I looked good do tell

    My how times have changedaww what the hell!


    Comment by AP -

  359. Another great post. And you took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve thought the same thing a hundred times and can’t figure out why more people don’t think the same way you do on this.

    Comment by basketball drill -

  360. Even more so with a necktie.

    Comment by kenji mori -

  361. Toni: My favorite store is Victorias Secret but Id never think of going in to work in my bra and underwear. Im pretty sure I get fired.

    Or you’ll get a promotion! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Diego -

  362. I have always thought that business casual or less will work for most jobs without a problem.

    Comment by Dustin -

  363. The majority of you who wear suits don’t look good in them. Get over yourselves. Those who do look good in them know that the rest of you don’t.

    If your business strategy requires the suit because of client expectations or whatever, then *buy* those employees who require it the appropriate suit, the correct tailor, and the proper maintenance. It seems like a minimum expense if it’s required. And if it was /that/ important, I don’t know why you’d let your employees buy used clothing – which, per the orignial post, is obviously happening.

    The alternative to the suit does not include being a slob or looking like an r-tard. I don’t know why some posters imagine that “not bathing”, sweats, and cutoffs are somehow the desired alternative. If you have employee’s who suffer from bad wardrobe decisions, then provide them with the proper training if it’s important to you.

    Otherwise, who gives a crap. Let the crossdressing /genius/ do whatever he wants – and if it bugs me, he can work from home.

    Comment by Chris D -

  364. I really feel your comments on unnecessary requirements at work place that people take for granted simply as rule they cannot go against without getting punished. Being Japanese working in Japan where things are more concervative and conventional, I strongly feel like having a number of headstrong elder workers who are so 20th century listen to what you have to say. Well, luckily I’m in a more casual work environment so I wear biz casual cloth without a choking tie. Everytime I ran into guys all decked out in suite and tie, I feel their pain…

    Comment by Yuji -

  365. Mark, Great Post!! I recently attended a wedding and I was the only one not wearing a suit. I didn’t even care. If I cared what society thought, I’d be working in a miserable office with miserable people. Instead I work at home, mostly in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I’ll occasionally put on a polo and jeans if I have to meet with someone.

    Don’t get me wrong I own 3 suits, but I do my best to not wear them.

    Comment by Ryan -

  366. Mark, I concur…suits are a waste! Working in professional services we have to wear what the client wears and I can never figure out why people wear suits everyday…its so old schoool and stupid.

    Go Hoosiers!

    Comment by Mitch -

  367. When I was hired for my first job a little over 20 years ago I started out with dress clothes (minus the coat) and a tie. After about three weeks one of my fellow programmers told me to lose the tie because it wasn’t required (most of the bosses had one so I was just following along).

    As the years went by the whole department’s attire and gradually the whole company’s attire began to move to more and more casual clothes. A large part of this I attribute to being that generation of managers. The same guys who wore suits and ties were also the clock watchers. It was just a different time… different style of dress… different style of management.

    Eventually, after I had built up enough credibility I said the heck with it and started wearing jeans every day (talk about saving money on dry cleaning). Much like yourself, if I had a meeting with someone on the outside I would dress up but that eventually became less and less.

    At first I got awkward looks for wearing jeans, but after a while nobody cared.

    I’m at another job now and have gone back to khaki’s four days a week and jeans on Friday… but the urge to go back to jeans everyday is coming back.

    Comment by Gene Wicker Jr -

  368. I was on a train last year from Osan to Seoul and a guy came through selling tooth brushes and a bunch of other random stuff. Funny thing was, he was wearing a really great well put together suit and people were buying the stuff from him.

    People are pattern driven sense makers and take cues from all kinds of things, including, for better or worse, suits. When I’m in the office I wear jeans, a black tee shirt, and I rarely shave. When I’m meeting with customers from the government I wear a suit, but with a relatively simple blue or white shirt and decent tie. When I meet with commercial customers in a major metropolitan center like NYC or San Fran, I wear a nicer suit and a tie that I really like. Then I stop off somewhere for happy hour.

    Comment by Jim S -

  369. to poster 4. While it is a shame you had to start out with cc debt, buying a suit and tie and certainly a better reason to go into debt than most of the reasons that people do at age 21.

    Comment by superdave -

  370. I hardly ever wear a suit, but I enjoy the times when I do *have* to wear a suit. I also feel that form and function are not mutually exclusive, so if you have to wear a suit find something that fits well and have fun with it!

    Comment by Tom -

  371. Well the reason people wear suit is probably because it looks better than the alternative: whatever that may be.
    Clothes are a form of communication just like body language or posture. It conveys to the other person an idea of the type of person you are. That idea is a positive one. Now you can act like a clown and negate any benefit a suit brings. But wearing a suit is like putting your best foot forward. When you are trying to make a sale it is all about gaining an extra edge on the competition. All things being equal if your competition wore a suit and you did not, well you LOSE!

    That is my point.

    Comment by Antonio Howell -

  372. Mark,

    Youd look good in anything. Not everyone is that lucky.

    I like a man in a suit. I like a man in a t-shirt and jeans but the best accessory by far is a killer smile.

    My favorite store is Victorias Secret but Id never think of going in to work in my bra and underwear. Im pretty sure I get fired.

    Comment by Toni Marano -

  373. A couple of reasons for suit wearing –

    1) It takes effort to put on fancy clothes. You have to tie the tie, tuck in the shirt, shine the shoes, dry clean the clothes, etc etc etc. If an employee wears a special outfit that requires effort to keep up and get dressed in, it shows a certain commitment to being professional. Some may believe that if their employees look around and see people who all make that effort, it will make them feel pressured to act professionally. Is this true? Maybe for some kinds of people.

    2) Don’t underestimate the significance of tradition. There is no logical reason why we do almost anything exactly the way we do it. People wouldn’t be able to operate if they didn’t have millions of traditions, big and small, to follow. Why can’t we just change the tradition? The older a tradition is, the more set in stone it seems and the less compelled people feel to question it. This freedom from questioning a tradition allows people to go on with their every day lives.

    Finally, I am all for banishing suits. Those are my best arguments for not doing so, but if I were running an office, i would want to set an example for my employees that things should be questioned, that they aren’t lemmings and that they need to think for themselves. THey can keep all their other traditions, that’ll keep them sane.

    Comment by Max -

  374. Hey Mark,

    Several thoughts:

    1. In our society, there is a perceived “level of respect” a person should give to anyone they speak to… when you dress ratty to meet me, when you don’t listen, do you really care about me or my business?

    Another thought: the “more attractive people are more successful” studies that most of us have seen… Dressing well may be considered a (non-surgical) way to look more attractive, and become more successful, earning more money.

    Althought they go into other areas of attractiveness such as height and weight, one article is here:

    “Surprise! Pretty people earn more – Fed Reserve study shows beautiful people make about 5% more than their average counterparts.”
    Link: http://money.cnn.com/2005/04/08/news/funny/beautiful_money/

    Personally, I see it as just another social construct that gives us familiarity with our surroundings. Most people in SciFi shows look like goofs in their “uniforms” but they really aren’t substantially different from our methods of dress. A tie is really just a soft, fancy belt for your neck. 😎

    Just a thought… 😎

    Comment by Charlie Nichols -

  375. I agree with comments 19 and 32 plus:
    Of course it is expensive wearing a suit and keeping this kind of apparel tidy. But it simply is the best looking way a man can dress himself. Be it with or without tie, leave the jacket on or not – the suit with its huge bandwidth of fitting situations is just perfect as it is. Except for the beach etc. of course.
    And if you ever go to Europe and watch some truly beautifully dressed people, say in Milan, you’ll throw all that teeeee shirt stuff in the trash. And get a decent Brioni.

    Comment by Tilman -

  376. I can sympathize with your thinking, but I personally like wearing a suit every now and then because they just plain look good. And if they are comfortable (i.e. tailored properly) I feel good too.
    I’m lucky to work at a place where I can wear jeans and a shirt if I want, and most of the time I do. But nothing quite matches the feeling of wearing a nice suit. As a bonus, chicks dig them as well.

    When the NBA instituted the dress code, my belief was that within a few weeks, the players would actually enjoy having to wear suits. It would force them to ramp up their style, and since they have money to burn, they can assemble a top-notch wardrobe. It’s easy to see that those guys look a lot sharper now, and I bet most of them would say they’ve enjoyed wearing stuff that’s a lot higher quality than they otherwise would have.

    Comment by Brade -

  377. Right ON Mark! I work at a TV station and only the sales guys wear suits. The GM wears a suit about half of the time. I have two suits. One that I bought in 1991 and the other in 1997. I only wore them a few times; two job interviews, a court date, and a few weddings. That’s it. I had a roommate that spent a fortune having his suits dry cleaned every week. There are better ways to spend ones’ money. Yeah I like looking good but a suit? No way!

    Who invented the freaking tie? How does someone come up with such thing?

    Comment by Jose -

  378. I seldom wear suits, but always have a tie. Occassionally depending on the weather, I will wear a sport coat.
    Why? Because my boss likes it. If my boss likes it (and she has complemented me on the way I dress) then I shall continue.
    Why? Because I am judged on the way I look and act as well as the way I perform.
    Mark? (Does anybody call you Mr. Cuban?) You are also judged on the way you look and act (duh) but with a gazillion dollars, you have options the rest of us don’t enjoy.
    I guess that’s another reason I “hate” you. You don’t have to wear a suit and/or tie.
    How about a post on “Why I don’t fly commercial, and can’t figure out why anyone does.”

    Comment by Duffer -

  379. I agree to some degree, but the problem arises when people who have no sensibility end up wearing cut-off jeans, ripped jeans, a mullet or worse…

    As a business owner you have to set limits otherwise people will take advantage of it and end up making you and your company look bad.

    If I have a group of salesmen and women I sure would want them making a good impression on my clients and potential clients cause most people won’t respect the decision to let my employees where whatever they want. If I want clients I’m forced to portray a certain image to get and maintain those clients.

    This also goes hand in hand with a previous post about golf courses making you wear a collared shirt. I myself have been mad at this knowing good and well that I looked fine (nice khaki pants, black v-neck sweater covered by a nice golf jacket), but this golf club in Las Vegas still made me buy a $100 collared shirt. As mad as I was, I still understand that their job isn’t to decide if my wardrobe looks nice enough, it’s to help me with the best possible service and to enforce certain guidelines to ensure others don’t take advantage of the rules and end up wearing cut-off jeans and a cut-off Metallica shirt. The same goes for upscale nightclubs.

    Point is… people want to be surrounded with like minded people and want to do business with people they trust and can associate with and the way you portray yourself sends a loud message about who you are.

    I’m sure there’s plenty of people that would do a great job wearing jeans and a t-shirt in any kind of business, but it’s the people they do business with that might not see past their exterior and as a business owner I sure don’t want anything negatively labeling my employees.

    There’s still plenty of room for individuality even while having to wear a “monkey suit”.

    As the great Jerry Seinfeld once said… “Women must have developed the suit since they already say we all act the same, why not make them all dress the same”.


    Comment by Bryan Hauer - Blog -

  380. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with questioning conventional assumptions. I also believe that business dress standards probably have relaxed considerably in the recent past.

    That being said, there often is good logic behind common assumptions. In this case, why stop at suits? Why do we brush our hair? Why do (some of us) wear deodorant? Why do we engage in any sort of personal hygiene?

    I think there’s a reasonable explanation for all of these behaviors — business and society value it when people take the time to look presentable.

    I’d like to think that sales contracts and job positions and everything else is rewarded based on merit. But frankly, for a number of industries, it’s not always that easy to differentiate yourself from a competitor. Sales pitches sound the same, resumes look similar, and a lot of decisions get made on totally subjective rationales. With that in mind, yeah, I think it makes a lot of sense to look as presentable as possible. It may not be the most comfortable, and I agree it may be overkill to have that everyday. But if dressing up conveys a sense of professionalism that clients value (whether that’s fair or not), then it’s not just some thoughtless tradition.

    Comment by JJ -

  381. My wife thinks I look good in a suit.

    I love my wife.

    You do the math.

    Comment by Scott Yates -

  382. Why do I get the feeling that everyone commenting is wearing tacky khakis and a much to old, collar curled under at the tips, un-tucked polo shirt to work.

    I can picture quite a few people at my office jumping on the anti-suit bandwagon and taking it way too far. Especially when they believe Mark Cuban is reinforcing their laziness.

    I routinely give presentations about the design and look of my company’s products. One of my major points is that when competition gets close, style decides.

    When you are the brightest you have some leeway, but when you are racing neck in neck with other people or companies every little edge makes a difference. Appearance is powerful. To deny that is insane. I would advise always looking noticeably more refined than those around you that might be competing with you in any way for anything. That probably includes throwing in the occasional suit.

    Having style is actually a skill. A skill that can be practiced and improved upon. A skill that can be measured. A skill that can have intelligence applied to it. Don’t get lazy.

    The suit isn’t your enemy. It is a tool in your arsenal. When and where you use it is at your discretion, but don’t start getting the mental attitude that the suit is your enemy.

    Comment by Chad Meeks -

  383. I completely agree and luckily have the luxury of not wearing a suit to work. Granted I work in broadcast production, so the idea of anyone editing, filming, etc in a suit would look rather funny. its a hands on job…

    On the other hand, I wonder if this is the culture you believe in for the Mavs? I take it you don’t agree with the NBA dress policy and we know players dont.

    And on a side note, as I read this, I can’t help but think of Terdema! I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ussery at a special function before a Mavs game, and man did he look “smart” in his suite. Granted, he is an extremely well spoken, well educated, eloquent person, and the suite fits him well.. but I just wonder if he isn’t the ying to your yang? I can’t see him sitting around the office all day in sweat pants doing his Lawyer thing… lol

    Comment by Matt Price -

  384. Ideas rule. At least those with some real substance. Suits are just style over substance. And for many in the corporate pecking order who are afraid of competing in a meritocracy, it’s a way to keep score.

    Comment by jim wegerbauer -

  385. This was an excellent post. I think dressing up for work is overplayed, and I feel the same way about school uniforms. We want conformity in this society; everyone to look the same, and it’s silly. I work for myself and I do trainings for teachers. I currently wear a suit but it seems silly at times when I see teachers in front of me that are casual and comfortable. I may relax it in the near future unless I’m trying to sell myself (not literally, really).

    Comment by Lamarr Wilson -

  386. The reason to where a suit is to dress like a man.

    First, there are clothes for public consumption: clothing in which to present yourself to others and thereby convey an elevated message about yourself. These are types of clothes you wear to work, to the store, out on the town, at a wedding, at church, at parties, or wherever people are going to see you. The primary objective here is that you look presentable, that you are civilized, a gentleman and not a beast.

    The other type of clothing is that which serves a pure functional purpose: that is, that which you wear for yard work, fixing your car, an evening at home, a Saturday washing the house or cleaning, or just knocking around the park with kids. Everyone knows what type of clothes these are. They can all be bought at Wal-Mart or thrift stores, and they are made of cotton.

    The great dressing error of our time is to confuse the two. Or more precisely: people think that it is perfectly okay to present yourself to others in clothes which serve a purely functional purpose. They say this is fine because it is comfortable as if the only thing that matters in life is comfort. Well, it is also comfortable not to shave and not to bathe, and we have a word for people like that: slobs. If you don’t want to be a slob, you have to live with a bit of discomfort.

    If men could absorb that simple lesson, the world would be a much more beautiful place in which to live. Elevated dressing causes people to behave better. Crime might fall. Manners would begin to come back. People might clean up their language. They might listen to better music and read better books. Something resembling civilization might return.

    Comment by Chris -

  387. Amen from a fellow suit hater. IMO suits only reinforce the tendency to look at people superficially. Any idiot can buy clothes. True (relevant) story from the Valley. A well-respected Silcon Valley law firm was pitching a perspective client who was a recently funded startup. Their entire exec team was there but no one was introduced w/ titles mostly dressed in high-end business casual (no one wears suits in the Valley) and one guy in jeans. The partners from the law firm paid little attention to the guy in jeans who, turns out was the CEO. Bad move. No business.

    Moral of the story: Better to judge the man, not the clothes.

    Comment by Mike G -

  388. Sorry you had to suffer for so long;-) My early corporate life included shirt, slacks and tie – we rebelled, declaring the tie cut off circulation to the brain that we needed to think…

    One anecdote on the other side – I once had to counsel a junior member of my team to wear nicer shirts with collars. It is one thing to be casual, and another to look like you’re at the beach. (or going out on a date)

    Comment by Steve Tylock -

  389. I think you’re way off base and here’s why: you are sharing your personal dislike for suits, and as a value judgment it’s as subjective as not liking any other “optional”/non-functional accessory/apparel. Attack the disease of consumerism, etc — not one symptom.

    1) Sure suits aren’t practical, but how many items do we wear in our every day life that aren’t? A lot. Now, I see that you typically wear t-shirts and are a pretty simple guy. I respect that. But are you saying you want everyone to be like you? And if you are saying that (which I don’t have a problem with), why don’t you then attack the numerous things which are not practical apparel?

    2) If you just meant to direct your post to CEO’s and people in charge of dress codes– *then* I’m with you. You’ve got a powerful demographic reading your blog, and I believe if this didn’t come across as calling suits stupid in general, and instead calling the forced practice of suits as the dress code foolish, you might have changed some decision makers minds.

    3) Instead your post came across (to me) that you believe that everyone who wears a suit is trying to make themselves look important. Really?

    I love wearing a suit. But it’s because it feels energizing to me. I don’t think it makes me look important, but it gives mea feeling of “focus”. There’s a methodical process of getting ready in a suit that helps to ready my mind. It’s the same feeling I get when I get a fresh haircut or take a long much-deserved hot shower. Now, some people do try and act important and wearing a suit is one of the many ways they try and project this (including talking on their cellphone as loudly as possibly as publicly as possible). You should pick on those things as well?

    Why does anyone wear a suit? The same reason people wear white hats, sweatshirts, high heels, fashionable scarves or any other “optional” accessory/apparel. When it’s by choice, I’m great with it. If it’s forced, I think it’s questionable (as you do).

    End diatribe.

    Comment by surya -

  390. wearing a suit has gotten me laid multiple times. i dont need one to get laid, but its easier for me with a suit on @ random happy hours. so hail the suit.

    Comment by winash -

  391. Yes, the post is about suits, but the underlying premise is a very good one for entrepreneurs and anyone else that wants to be successful: “Question assumptions”

    Comment by Tim -

  392. During the days when CompuServe was run by former IBM execs, the dark suit, white suit and power tie was definitely the only accepted dress (per IBM’s Buck Rogers). And I think it played a role at setting a professional attitude, particularly in the B2B part of the company (which purchased MicroSolutions).

    But like many companies, we went with the casual trend in the 1990s. When we did the first of our ‘casual days’ I remember remarking to the CEO at the time (one of the IBMers) that seeing everyone in golf shirts and khakis made the place feel like Microsoft. He said it made him feel uncomfortable. I commented that perhaps we should look at the 1990s market cap of IBM vs Microsoft and decide which company had the dress code right.

    My theory is that there’s a connection between the level of conservativism in dress and the state of the economy. It has long been said that dress lengths move inversely with the stock market (maybe Britney’s antics are an indication that we’re at a peak!!).

    I think there’s something like this with men’s clothes too. When men’s fashions shift from casual (or gregarious like the 70s-80s) to conservative, it means we’re close to the bottom, and have shifted into a attitude where it’s time for serious work.

    Like you, I quit wearing suits when I retired. But there are times when a suit is appropriate, especially when it is a sign of respect (e.g. at the funeral).

    Comment by Paul -

  393. I’ve only had one job that required a suit, an internship in Germany. I hated wearing one every day, but on certain occassions, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a suit. A suit looks good, better than a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. Wearing a suit to a wedding or a funeral means you give a crap enough about the people to try and look your best.

    Also, like Matt said, it’s a signaling device. Sure you can look like a slob in a suit, but that’s the wearers fault. A stylish, well pressed suit that fits can make you look a heck of a lot better than a nice sweater and jeans.

    Besides, the worst part of wearing a suit isn’t the suit, but the noose/tie you have to wear. God I hate ties.

    Comment by Mo -

  394. I totally agree with you Mark and your statement about only wearing a suit if the person you’re selling to is wearing one. I am a regional sales manager for cable and satellite tv signal processing equipment and 99% of our clients are the not wearing suits.

    Comment by David Ward -

  395. While I completely agree that suits are worthless, they do have one redeeming quality: I look damn good in them. That said, our image of what looks good is of course skewed by tradition and James Bond movies. Throughout history the trend in fashion has been toward more comfort, thus the recent rise of the no-tie look. While I doubt the t-shirt will ever be considered appropriate dress, I hope our requirement of a suit is replaced by a requirement for substance and smarts.

    Comment by Richard Crowley -

  396. I agree with you, death to the suit.

    Comment by Shinda -

  397. I spent most of my childhood and all the way through college wearing old navy jeans and those $5 “flag” t-shirts. When I got out of college and got a job, I found that I preferred wearing suits and was sick of wearing casual attire every day. The suits are more comfortable (the better quality ones) and they look better on me – it’s not a confidence issue for me. To each their own, I guess.

    Comment by JB -

  398. Suits look nice, and for societal/brainwashing reasons can really set the tone for a high-power meeting, business pitch, or special event. But for every day? I agree–it’s asinine. Luckily, I get to dress pretty comfortably and casually for work, and occasionally will put a bit more “effort” into my look and go with a tie or a blazer. But regardless of whether it’s a suit or a sweater and jeans–it’s not the fabric pieces themselves, but the care and grooming that goes with it which makes a difference. I would have a much more (superficial) favorable impression toward a professional in a clean sweater and nice jeans with combed hair and a wisp of nice cologne than I would for some schmuck in an ill-fitting, wrinkled suit and a greasy side part.

    Comment by Matt Mendolera -

  399. I can imagine making everyone wear suits is similar to the reason that schools make children wear uniforms.

    I have friends who teach at inner city schools and the children there have to wear uniforms. The logic: poor children in inner cities go to great lengths to shed any outward vestiges of poverty – to that end they make great strides to acquire popular culture items (clothing, phones, ipods, etc) in order to appear wealthier than they are. This leads to unnecessary and distracting strife between and amongst students. Uniforms thus remind the kids that they are ALL THE SAME – and need to distinguish themselves academically and otherwise, rather than using other methods of individualism as springboards for identity.

    I can imagine that has some value to those students.

    I can imagine that suits did a similar thing in the workplace at one time. At one period in time, a sharecroppers son and a wealthy heir should have little outward to distinguish them as such when they show up for work at their investment bank.

    I can imagine that there was a value at some time.

    Comment by blyx -

  400. Mark, I graduated from Texas A&M with a Business Information
    Systems degree in 1990. I drove to Dallas for an interview at Lennox (sp?). Yes, I
    played the game: I put on my suit. When I arrived, it was a freaking
    morgue! Dark, gloomy, no windows. I swear I saw Bella Lugosi’s ghost
    walk past me. I kept asking myself: How in the hell can these
    programmers be creative in this environment? Well, I already made
    the drive, and I knew there was no way I’d work for them. So I
    played with them. Messed with them. The VP pulled me into his
    office and asked me what my dad did. I thought WTF? why does that
    matter? Funny thing was my dad quit his job so I told the man “I
    dunno” and kept staring at a picture of his daughter on his desk
    while he talked to me. It was a blast. Once I knew they could not
    “get me”, I made the best of it.Anyway, this post is GREAT. You have
    a lot of people who don’t like you and a hellouva lot more who do.
    The ones who don’t just won’t “get it” when reading this and will
    have more reasons to try to put you down. The ones who appreciate
    everything you stand for are here, chearing, from desks behind PCs
    and… quite appropriately, are wearing a T-shirt.


    ps-no lie,
    right now I have on a white t-shirt and jeans… and working on my
    website ( http://www.boxscorebasketball.com ) along with doing
    research on my masters thesis. And the jeans and T-Shirt allow for
    more creativity.

    Comment by greg -

  401. Preach on, brother. 33, self-taught software developer, six figures, radio/TV major in college, still never even owned a suit. I don’t intend to.

    Comment by Jeff -

  402. I agree completely.

    This reminds me of having to wear a shirt with a collar at some golf courses. Ridiculous!!

    Comment by John Lynn -

  403. Interestingly, right after reading your post, I read a StrangeEconomics blog post (www.strangeconomics.blogspot.com) on the same general topic . According to the study in the link below, women who “dress up” or spend more on beauty-enhancing goods and services make more money but there are overall diminishing marginal returns for each expense on new beauty enhancing goods ability to return more income. Interesting read.


    Comment by Matt McMahon -

  404. I started working for a large Fortune 500 company five years ago, fresh out of college. I didn’t have any kind of signing bonus to get me started. As a result, I had to put my first shirts, ties and dress pants (which were the required attire) on a credit card.

    How silly is that?

    Starting my road of financial freedom and responsibility from my parents with an irresponsible credit card debt required of me because I had to wear pressed shirts and neckties to work?

    Comment by FilteringCraig -

  405. I never wore a suit. Even for my wedding. In fact, I don’t own a suit. Once, i rent a tux for the Emmy Awards but that’s it. My business attire are a good pair of shorts and a t-shirt. When I need to go upscale, i wear a pair of jeans and a polo. Once, somebody asked me why I never wear a suit. Suits are like prisonners uniforms. They “jail’ my creativity.

    Comment by William Reymond -

  406. Mark, I work in a quite casual environment. Some people wear jeans every day, and everybody wears jeans some days. Usually, it’s pretty business casual.

    Every Tuesday, I wear a suit. It makes me feel comfortable.

    Comment by Dave -

  407. I have to agree. I think you should take it a step further for warmer climates. I see no reason to wear pants when shorts will provide the same function. πŸ™‚

    Comment by G Meyers -

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