There are suits you wear to blend in with the people in business meetings, the conservatively-tailored suits that show you are man of substance (although that substance might be Wonder Bread).
And then there are suits by Clavon.
I discovered this difference when Kacy called me over to her office and said, “Have I got the suit for you!” and shared Clavon’s website. Upon seeing the suit selections, I have to admit to feeling a sense of trepidation. I had never seen suits like this. They were just so different, with their black-lined lapels redolent of early 20th century smoking jackets, the colorful plaids, the broad-shouldered cuts that shouted “move over because I’m coming through!”
It wasn’t that I didn’t like them. It was more that I was concerned that I personally might not be able to pull off wearing something so forward. Then Kacy said to me, in her subtle way, “You’re a creative director, for Christ’s sake! Just own it!” I picked out my suit on the spot.
When the suit arrived and I put it on, I found that I couldn’t stop smiling. The feeling was what I’d imagine it’s like to be working at Circuit City in a polyester polo shirt with a name tag (“Hi, I’m Ted!”) and suddenly being at the roulette tables in Monte Carlo with a supermodel on each arm. The martinis are chilled and plentiful. I have a soundtrack with a lot of bass. Dubstep, actually. I place a large bet and win, cash in my chips. I am addressed as “Mr. Page.”
Ok, so that sounds like a total fantasy, right? That’s not how anyone else would perceive me—more of my personal wishlist based on how the suit made ME feel.
But then I wore it out on the street this morning in Boston. A film crew was on Union Street getting ready for a production, and all eyes instantly turned to me as I strode towards them, and within 10 seconds someone said, “Nice suit!” and within 12 seconds, “You’re stylin’ it today, baby!”
I am not making this up. I went to get coffee, a five minute walk, and two more people complimented me on the suit. Then I wore it to a client meeting, a very conservative and prestigious institution, and the clients raved about the suit.
So my inner world, my perception of how the suit made me feel, was actually matched by everyone’s reaction. With this suit, worlds collide. It’s just really fun to wear. And there is no substitute for just owning its difference, and living up to it. Forget convention. Call Aunt Doris and tell her you can’t make it to brunch. Bla bla sent you a text and wants his averageness back. You left the land of boring behind. And there’s no going back.