Put your "power suit" away
When I see a man in a suit I don’t think he’s powerful. I think one of two things:
- He’s trying to impress someone and he doesn’t really want to wear this.
- He’s going to a funeral.
Obviously, I’ve never been that girl to swoon over a man in a 3-piece-suit. Except in the first few minutes after I met Ryan, and had this image of him walking around Manhattan in a well-fitting suit—turned out it was all a fantasy.
I no longer venture to call the traditional pressed pants, suit jacket and tie, a “power suit”.
I call it an ego suit.
Know what I think when I walk into a room of men in suits and there’s that one man at the table. No tie.
When I see him—he’s the one I want to sit next to.
I want to be his friend.
You know why? Because by sitting next to suits in something that instead, makes him feel good, he says, screw conformity.
He also says, screw ties, they’re uncomfortable. Just like I say screw you pencil skirt – you’re uncomfortable, you sausage-making piece of fabric!
Some of the other men poke fun at him, “Where’s your tie?” they prod. These men are uncomfortable and making a side nod to their own act of sheepish conformity.
“I hate ties, so I don’t wear them.” The tieless man everyone is curious about says.
Kinda like this guy.
Maybe we should all blame the Dos Equis guy for blazing a tie-free trail, bearded almost-full beer in hand.
Or maybe we can blame this guy?
Where’d the term, “power suit” come from anyway? The 80s?
How does dressing like everyone else make you powerful?
Even for women. When I walk into a meeting and the women are so cautiously dressed I used to be intimidated. Partly because they have a sense of style and I clearly don’t.
Power suits are cool if they make you feel, well – powerful. If you just LOVE wearing a suit and tie, or it's part of your uniform that you're expected to wear - awesome! No, really - if you love it, rock it.
But what if your power suit makes you uncomfortable? Like a pair of too tight Spanx crammed into an even tighter skirt. Hello – 10 pounds of sausage stuffed into a 5-pound bag.
What if yoga pants make you feel powerful? What about plaid? Seriously, I want to know this because I really like plaid.
After my last corporate job, I threw out every single article of clothing that didn’t make me feel wonderful. Donated, gone.
If I wear something all day and I don’t feel great – a little off – a little constrictive – It’s out – off to the donation pile. I don’t have the patience to spend my energy looking after articles of clothing that don’t light me up.
So dudes – when you lose the tie – you’re like the woman in white at the big meeting, quiet and confidently sitting at the head of the table.
You’ll stand out. Only a little. But in the best way. In the kind of way that makes people raise an eyebrow, and watch.
But, that’s not why you’re doing it. You’re choosing to feel comfortable in your own power.
Silently, they’re checking you out. Because you had the cajones (ovaries) to take something that’s expected of you–and leave it at home, or in the car, or in your office – or on the rack at Nordstrom.
So, men, I invite you to define your own power suit. And leave the one the last few hundred years or so of history has so boringly dictated to you.