When I met Kumar about a decade ago, he introduced me to the unique world of men's fashion. That initial arousal of my interest in this sub-discipline has grown and has been held ever since. Well, at the very least, I've been "sensitized" to it and can now spot (and smell!) a faux-pas from a mile away! And now, Kumar and myself are forming a dynamic duo (of sorts!) and together, we're endeavoring, to gently nudge and guide men, on to the path of sartorial "enlightenment."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week Fifteen: The Three-Piece Suit

Shortly before I graduated from school, they held the usual annual career week to help place students into jobs and equip them with the necessary job-hunting skills, etc., etc. Instructors would play the role of potential employers and conduct mock interviews to where we would have to dress up accordingly. I clearly recall a male Italian (yes, his background is totally relevant!) classmate of mine who showed up in a three-piece suit. Our teacher kindly but not so discreetly pointed out to him within plain sight and earshot of all of us that the "right" to wear such a suit is "earned." Poor Joe (or was it Tony?) never challenged this, and neither did I rebutt - I guess, it is because I silently agreed with her assertion. It kinda made sense to me at the time that one would need to have a title attached to his name to pull off a three-piecer - either that or you would need to be plain metro, like Kumee...or both!

Ok, so any self-respecting, self or otherwise proclaimed "fashionista" must have read Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic" series or at the very least have seen its screen adaptation. There's a scene in there where our darling protagonist Rebecca Bloomwood, is re-touching in the ladies room right before a function. She notices a thread sticking out of her copiously bead-embellished bolero and with one swift yank, sends the beads a skittering and scattering, leaving the floor strewn with a million of the shiny tiny orbs, rendering the jacket unwearable. She deftly and heroically breaks a middle-aged woman's nasty fall from slipping on the beads that could very well have resulted in a fractured hip requiring a replacement, and yet after all of what had transpired, unfazed, Becky, heads out without her bolero, in a black and white dress which bears a striking resemblance to the banquet servers' uniform, and naturally, in a funny turn of events, gets mistaken for one...

Why did I take pains to relate this to you? Because whenever a man decides to wear a three-piece suit outside of the cold and imposing confines of the boardroom, and especially at a wedding or another formal event or soiree (where cocktails are served!) sans his jacket perhaps feeling too warm after an energetic cha-cha-cha or what have you number or two! (lol) he is venturing a risk of being mistaken for the hired help lol. To make this possiblility as remote as, uh, possible, and avoid yourself some needless embarassment, forget the good 'ol white shirt this time, and pair the suit up with a jauntier one and a good-quality (must I even say it??) complementing tie so that at the very least, you'll be known as the "well-dressed maitre d'."

Here's Kumee with two-thirds of a three-piece black subtle pinstripe Boss suit, purple checks Boss shirt and a solid purple, textured Boss tie, uh, Boss shoes:

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