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2020Twenty: Suit Up

Updated: Jun 14, 2020

Maybe it’s because this past year I’ve gotten hooked on the TV show, “Suits”. Or maybe its because subconsciously I want to emulate Harvey, because he just always looks so goddamn confident and sexy. (use of language is an inside joke for those of you who watch “Suits”) But a desire has been building within me for awhile now to own a custom fitted or bespoke suit.

I’ve never owned one because I have never had the need for one. Now, one can (and has) argued that there is ALWAYS a need for one, but I haven’t seen it that way. Do you remember Barney from “How I Met Your Mother”?

“Suit up, score chicks, be awesome!”

He made me laugh, but if you recall even he got teased mercilessly for ALWAYS wearing a suit. Sure, he did score all the chicks… but I can’t say “scoring chicks” is really a factor in this goal - that ship sailed a long time ago!

See, from the time I was 13 till I was 28 I worked in professional kitchens. It's not really an industry that promotes looking sharp and sexy. Then for the next eight years I worked in concert production. I actually studied the industry intensely when I began, dress code included, and found that 80% of industry leaders wore casual, smart casual or trendy dress code. The other 20% wore Business Formal like Ari from “Entourage”, but those were the agents - and no one likes agents. So, I built my wardrobe accordingly, leaving out a custom fitted suit. I felt confident, I felt sexy and I was often the sharpest looking professional in the venue, yet not feeling I was overdressed.

And now, I’m a stay-at-home Dad with absolutely no opportunity to dress up. The most social interaction I get on a daily basis, is with the kindergarten moms at drop off when I show up with Liam wearing glasses, lounge pants and a Kid Rock t-shirt! Most mornings I’m scrambling to find a pair of (battered and worn out) jeans before Elyse walks in the door to begin therapy sessions with my kids. “Suit up”? Yeah, okay… for who and what?

So why do I still have the desire? Until I started thinking about writing this blog in the past few weeks, I had forgotten that when my dad was roughly my age (late 30’s) he bought a suit. I still remember what a big deal it was for him. It was probably the most expensive thing he ever bought himself, and it can’t have cost more than a few hundred dollars. If I recall correctly, it was NOT custom fitted because it always looked like he was drowning in it, and it was green. But… BUT… I will always remember how his demeanor changed every time we wore it. It gave him a surge of confidence and pride that I rarely saw in him.

When I used to go to work, or out to meet new people, or even to teach at college or speak publicly somewhere, I’ve always had my go-to, smart casual outfits. But there have been a time or two where that’s been questioned - by complete strangers no less. That gets in your head and you begin to question everything. At least I do.

See, I don’t even know when the right time to “suit up” is anymore. Date night with the wife which would probably leave her feeling under-dressed? Delivering a lecture to a room full of college students in crop tops and torn jean shorts? Or kindergarten drop off with the other moms who are in yoga and lounge pants? The only place I am confident it might fit is if my public speaking career takes off. Do you remember that from my sixth goal?

So again I ask, why do I even have this desire? Is it because three of my favourite TV shows are, "Entourage", "How I Met Your Mother" and "Suits"? What is owning a suit going to accomplish? How is it going to change or improve my life? And at what cost? See, I don’t want to do what my dad did and buy the last suit on the clearance rack. It’s one of those things that I feel you need to do it properly or not at all.

I dunno. It’s been on my mind enough to warrant a spot on my #2020Twenty but much like yesterday's goal of buying a new vehicle, there are factors in play - mainly financial that may make this goal tough to achieve.

However, if I DO manage to accomplish this goal, “it’s going to be legen…wait for it…and I hope you’re not lactose-intolerant cause the second half of that word is…dairy!”


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