Don’t you look around sometimes and ask yourself: “What’s the point”?

Or the other way round: have you ever been asked this question: what makes you wear coat and tie when most people around don’t? I’m assuming it’s not strictly required of you, just like it isn’t required of me. That it’s an entirely voluntary thing.

There are several answers for this question, and every one might be true for somebody.

You might be a traditional person, for whom dress is important inasmuch as it is proper: a man wears a jacket and tie in public, because that’s just what a man does, and not adhering to these rules is a breach of etiquette. There are probably few people who are so hardcore about this, but hints of this sometimes surface in conversations. And even if you think this approach is anachronistic, or even a little silly nowadays, it is an answer to the question above, and a valid one too.

What I’ve heard time and time again, is that dressing well is a form of showing respect to others; it’s just good manners. And while it may seem reasonable on the surface, I think this notion doesn’t really stand if you look closer. Let’s face it – it’s enough to wear a shirt and a suit, clean and tidy, to satisfy the conditions here. All the fuss with the gorge height and angle, the shape of the pockets, the hand-finished buttonholes – it’s just too self-indulgent to justify with “Oh, I’m doing it just to show other people respect”.

You might want to do the opposite and just use clothes to show people how much better off you are than them; how much more successful and wealthy. Sure, why not; don’t let me stop you.

I, when asked, tend to answer that I look like a sixteen-year-old in a hoodie, so I need that coat and tie to look my age. And buy beer without problems. This might be the closest thing to another argument I’ve heard: dress well to look professional. The way you look may make you seem trustworthy and competent. But in reality, what you’re wearing is just one part of it, and not even the most important one; just your confidence matters so much more. And I know too many hellishly intelligent and fantastically competent people in old jeans to care about that.

The reason for my sartorial shenanigans is just that it’s… fun.

This is not much of a justification, I know. It’s terribly selfish, and lacks depth. On the other hand, it’s about wearing clothes – how much depth are you actually expecting?

This hobby, or passion, can manifest itself in a pursuit of knowledge – of how those things are made; of the process and the work of the artisans. It can be a form of fascination with human creativity and ability to make things from nothing. And beautiful things too – the aesthetic value of this whole affair is not to be forgotten. But at the end of the day, I’m into this because it brings me pleasure.

And why would that not be enough of an explanation?

About me

Szymon Jeziorko

My name's Szymon Jeziorko. I wear ties and write about it compulsively. More...

Stay in touch