Is It Worth It?

In a world where being casual, no matter the situation, is socially acceptable. Is it worth it to go through all the hassle of dressing up? The answer, of course, is a resounding YES! I know that the majority of the time there is absolutely no need to be wearing a suit or a tuxedo, but there are definitely times where "dressing up" is a necessity.

When I first started my career in the men's fashion industry, the "rules" on what to wear and where to wear it were changing. Now, the whole fashion industry has been thrown on its head. Men wearing jogging pants with a sport coat and tee-shirt, men wearing skirts....yes....I just said that and no they will NEVER be in my store. There is nothing wrong with expressing who you are through your clothing, I do that every day. However, there is something wrong with society when I show up to an event with a sport coat and jeans on and feel over dressed.

What happened to the men like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, who dressed up even when they were going out for drinks with the rest of the "Pack"? What happened to the idea of men taking pride in themselves and caring about their appearance? I'll gladly tell you what happened, WE HAVE BECOME LAZY!

Growing up in my hometown the idea of dressing up was something that rarely happened and wearing a polo was considered to be well-dressed. It's a sad fact to see the entire menswear industry be thrown to the wayside because of laziness. So, I am going to tell you a story...

I have a very special customer that comes into my store twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. This customer started with me about two years ago and came in looking for two dress outfits to wear. (P.S. a dress outfit for us is a sport coat and dress slacks or a suit.) So, I helped him out and luckily he FELL IN LOVE with our clothing and service. Once my work was done with him, I waited. This waiting period is fun for clothiers because we know if we did our job right he will come back and come back he did. Twice a year for the last two years I've helped him and I've loved it.

Last week, this man came in for his spring visit and he told me a story that was striking. First off, every time he comes in he continually tells me about the compliments he gets on our clothing and I love to hear his stories,but this time it was different. He explained to me that he had gone out to a restaurant in town and was dressed to the nines with one of our ensembles. He said that as he was walking into this restaurant everyone was staring at him and people would compliment his outfit.

When he sat down for dinner, the manager of the restaurant came over and told him how much she LOVED his outfit and that more men should dress that way! As the dinner was coming to a close, he saw the manager walking back to his table. Once she got to the table she told him that the bill had been taken care of. He asked, "Why? How?" She said, "Having you dressed the way you are in my restaurant makes my restaurant look great and I just want more of the men in this place to see you and dress the way you do!" As any good R. Coffee Gent does, he kindly thanked her and walked out of the restaurant happy and confident.

So the final aspect of this article. Is dressing up worth it? Is the hassle of thinking and deliberately making a clothing choice worth it? Is any of it worth it?...........

I don't know, you tell me.


-James R. Bower Jr. (Jimmy)

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