In a Recession, Dress Up To Cheer Up
Only the smart will survive, so pull your socks up
Guest blog by Meg Dunn, creative director for Executive Apparel
A few weeks ago, I had dinner with Executive Apparel's president and its director of product development in Orlando, Florida. In desultory fashion, we discussed the weather (unusually cold for Florida this time of year) and the economy (not so hot either) over dinner until someone raised the subject of socks. Suddenly the evening sprang to life: The men pushed their chairs back from the table and rolled up their pant legs. One of them was wearing a low black sock that ended three or four inches above the ankle, revealing a hairy yet snow-white leg; The other gentleman had his thin calf covered in a finely spun material. Each man stared at the other’s socks in uncomprehending horror.
I thought of each of them this morning when I read a New York Times blog in which a fashion writer advised men what to wear on the day they get fired.
“The perfect termination outfit should feature professionalism and employability as the top note, but with accents of confidence and an aftertaste that leaving the premises means moving on up. A sober suit with a bright shirt is perfect.”
The advice appealed to me, as did the delicious compress of the writing. Yet the post immediately caused a storm of self-righteous indignation from readers accusing the author of crassness in focusing on accessories at a time like this. Such readers miss the point. Accessories are even more important at a time like this. Even in good times, there is nothing trivial about what businessmen and women choose to wear.
A peep under our pants at our socks will reveal some of our true personality that we keep hidden; a peep at the rest of our outfit will tell what line of business we are in and a clue on the state of the economy. One of the few welcoming side effects of recession is that we all smarten up. A sober suit is not only the right thing to wear the day you get axed, but also the right thing to wear every other working day too.