Why do men wear suits?

There are few things I find more unpleasant than wearing a suit; maybe a jab in the eye with a sharp stick. Shirt tightly cinched up around the neck secured with a tie, a completely useless accoutrement. A wool jacket when I should be walking around in shirtsleeves.

So what explains the persistence of suits? They are not only omnipresent in western countries, they have invaded the entire world from China to Africa, Latin America to Western Asia.

Do people wear suits because they enjoy the feeling of wearing a wool coat in the summer? Is it somehow mandatory in some circles? If so, why?

Interestingly, the only time you see a group of western men without their suits is if it is a group of scientists. I think scientists hate suits because they are rational people.

Blue collar workers are contemptuous of suits. Bosses are known as “suits”.

You thoughts.

Because people are conformists.

Get a decent tailor.

That’s precisely it. Have you ever tried crawling under the table to fix cables while wearing a stiff suit? It’s damn near impossible.

So the guy wearing a suit is seen as the executive who doesn’t have to do such things.

I have no idea.

I bought my only suit for my wedding 17 years ago, and the last time I wore it was 2006. I’ve considered wearing it since then, for court appearances and for that one press conference with the Secretary of Defense, but I decided that I didn’t want to be overdressed for the occasion.

I love suits. I have this awesome black Armani suit with scarlet stripes and a mandarin collar: it looks like something Magneto would wear to a board meeting. And there’s the Edwardian suit with the frock coat, and the grey Italian mod suit with apple green pinstripes, and, oh, many, many others. Suits and ties and waistcoats and hats - so, so many hats - fucking rock, and when you face the world looking good, it’s like having armour, its straightens your back and you look the world in the eye with a grin. Women like a man who dresses right, too

The only time? Aren’t you the one who just said blue collar workers are contemptuous of suits? Besides, it seems like they’re getting less common as we become less formal as a culture. Lots of other folks don’t wear them–IT guys, teachers, professors, journalists, gigolos…

Don’t suits derive from military uniforms in some way?

A few years ago I got rid of my remaining (3?) suits as well as a huge number of ties. I’m 57 now and my personal goal is to never wear a suit/tie again. So there.

Because I cut a fine figure in a well tailored suit. That’s why.

There’s a time for a suit and there’s a time to not wear a suit. It’s a form of dress, nothing else.

Well-tailored suits are sexy!

That said, I hate pantyhose and ladies’ suits, so I get what the guys are saying.

Every girl’s crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.

Men don’t wear suits nearly as much as they used to, so it’s not just scientists who don’t wear suits. Looking around my office, I don’t see anyone wearing a suit this morning.

Having said that, if you are being choked by your tie, it sounds like you are wearing an ill-fitting shirt or your tie is way too tight.

Exactly. I’m having trouble understanding what the question is here. I mean, why does anyone wear anything? The new trend toward casual has gone too far, imo. Not saying that everyone has to wear their formal best all the time, but jeez, is it really that hard to put a little effort into one’s appearance on occasion?

Exactly. When I was a little boy, shirts and suit jackets were always a little uncomfortable. Now that I buy decent clothes that fit me, wearing a suit is on par with wearing a cardigan or sweatshirt. Not quite as comfortable, of course, but perfectly comfortable.

Of course, when it’s 90 degrees out a good fitting wool jacket isn’t any more comfortable than a good fitting sweater or sweatshirt. But 3 seasons a year, suits are a great option when appropriate and perfectly comfortable.

Because many women’s knees go weak at the sight of a well-tailored suit?

That being said, the trend is shifting away from suits. My SO has only worn a full suit maybe half a dozen times in his life. It’s just a form of dress, and sometimes it’s nice to dress up.

But I agree the tie should probably go. I am sad about this, because it looks nice, but really it is a ridiculous article of clothing, prone to being uncomfortable, needs to be tied properly, has to be matched, costs too much, and can get caught in things. It is just an unnecessary piece calculated to make men pay more.

Guaranteed sex from my wife that night.

Probably to set them off from the common blue collared folk.

I was actually thinking along these lines just the other day with respect to the tie I was wearing. The suit and tie has been men’s accepted formal/professional wear for well over 100 years. I wonder when it will change and, if so, to what?

I work in the legal field. To a large extent, a suit is a uniform. In most situations, a lawyer wishes to be considered for his/her words, not his/her appearance. I’ve also heard some lawyers refer to their suits as “armor” - they assume a certain persona when suited up.

The concept of a suit as “professional” dress is well accepted within our society. For many people, if they were meeting with a lawyer or many other professionals, they would be comforted by the professional wearing a suit. I don’t share that perspective - I’m very able to separate performance from appearance. But many many people want people to look the role.

I really couldn’t care less whether the attorneys appearing before me wear suits or not. I’d far prefer that they be prepared and efficient, and present intelligent arguments and responses. I do think some minimal level of attire and grooming - business casual, rather than shorts and a t-shirt - convey an appropriate level of professionalism in the vast majority of situations. Really ludicrous when you see a lawyer all dressed up to play the part, who reveals himself to be a complete buffoon when he opens his mouth. Far too often the clients appear unaware of how incompetent their professional-looking attorney is.

Actually, now that I think of it, you might be able to make a connection between. The attorneys who seem to take the most concern with their dress/appearance - matching pocket square and all as though they researched by watching LA Law and The Good Wife - are by no measure the most competent. The moment a dandy struts into my hearing room, I know I’m in for a long day…