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Business Casual

I watched the movie Wall Street this week. Do you remember it?

It was an Oscar-winner from 1987, directed by Oliver Stone and starred Michael Douglas as an incredibly wealthy but unscrupulous trader and Charlie Sheen as a young, desperately-eager-to-make-it-big stockbroker. I wanted to remind myself of the movie and its plot because a sequel is on its way. To be released in September, the sequel also stars Michael Douglas as the same character, Gordon Gekko.

File:Wall Street- Money Never Sleeps film.jpg

I found the movie itself to be just “okay,” with a predictable plot line. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself! Because let me tell you, I did. Wow, there are countless handsome young men in this movie. And they are all wearing suits. Handsome. Tailored. Suits.

It made me yearn for a time when men wore suits regularly. Now, I only see a man in a suit (including my own) at weddings or funerals. And it’s a real shame, because a suit on a man is a beautiful thing.

And then I got to thinking about this whole “business casual” thing. Who came up with business casual anyway? I’d like to know so that I can tell them what a major disservice they have done for me — and women everywhere.

I think men look good in two types of clothing: casual (Levi jeans and a t-shirt) or formal (a good suit). Notice that this doesn’t include “business casual.” No matter what size a man is, I think these two types of wear can be universally flattering.

But I have yet to see a man look good wearing “business casual.” Have you? All I seem to see are men that look like this:


Neither the “proper” or “improper” forms of business casual in this image do anything for me.

I really just think business casual was a bad idea. Even for women. I would personally prefer to wear a business suit every day. It would make things so much simpler for me, actually because you don’t have to worry about trying to match a suit together! Just go into a store, buy the suit — voila! — an outfit. Love it.  

In fact, the idea of working in a “suit only” environment is so appealing, I would consider it a major employment perk. More handy, certainly, than a gym facility I would never use anyways (despite intentions otherwise!). Besides, a gym wouldn’t even be necessary if people wore well-tailored suits that comfortably cover any lumps and bumps our middle-aged bodies may have.

Instead, one never knows what kind of atrocities they will face when walking into the office … will it be leggings? flip flops? skinny jeans? or just the sad, defeated look of men in pleated khaki pants.

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  1. I f#@kin’ hate khaki pleated pants. They repulse me to the point that I must use profanity. They are not permitted in my home (unless they are on an invited guest).

    My husband wears jeans daily since he works at home. I think he rocks the relaxed top, jeans and funky sneakers look. I’m not crazy about him in a suit. He looks wrinkled within about 30 minutes. Why is that? When I see other men in suits, they look so distinguished and dapper.

    You should see the outfits around my office today on casual Friday.

  2. Take a walk along Rideau Street about 8:45 a.m. on a weekday. I was running a little late last week and in the rush around the Rideau Centre I passed about a dozen men in well tailored, gorgeous suits. So, sexy men in suits do exist, still.

    Also, I learned that I need to be late for work more often and time my walks through the market better.

  3. Khaki pants are fugly.

    I’m all about suits. I have 2 double breasted, 2 three peice suits and another 5 regular suits. Wear them 4 days a week. Would be 5 but I only work 4 days a week.

  4. I don’t know…I have been thinking a lot lately that business suits should disappear completely for men and women. They seem to me really impractical and very expensive. And what is a tie all about? It’s just not working for me.

  5. My first job after university was a suits place, even for the computer programmers. It was okay, although I found that for a woman, having a business type wardrobe was expensive, and plus, I really hated the nylons. I remember I had six different bags hanging in my closet filled with nylons sorted by colour, pattern, and full-size/knee-high.

    While I was there, though, this new guy came in who felt it was unjust that we had to wear suits when even IBM had gone to “Business Casual Fridays.” So he took it upon himself to declare Friday casual day, and he’d come in in shorts and a t-shirt, or maybe if he was feeling especially respectful, jeans. I was so mad, because I am nothing if not a rules follower, and breaking the rules means DEATH TO US ALL.

    It’s amazing how fast this one guy was able to turn the whole office around. He never did get in any kind of trouble and within six months everyone was wearing “business casual” (read: backyard BBQ wear) all the time, every day.

    I can’t say I missed the nylons but it did seem like the quick end of an era. Now that I’m all grown up I prefer a man in a suit — there’s something so mature and masculine about it.

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