7/31/14

A Gallant’s Armor



With a suit, even if you're having a nervous breakdown, you still look like you're in charge.
Paul Feig
One of the biggest misconceptions constantly mentioned is the relationship between being a Gentleman and how it relates to a Men’s Suits. Some people are convinced that putting on a suit will turn automatically them into a Gentleman because they are convinced that to be a Gentleman you have to wear a suit. Many people view Men’s Suits as simple items of fashion, or even as a way to impress others. This is mostly because they have yet to understand how you wear a suit properly.

A suit is the modern version of a gallant’s armour; it is a tool of protection and empowerment for the warriors of old. A suit will change how you act, how you behave, and even how you carry yourself. Think of how modern warriors behave when they are in uniform. A man turns into a martial artist as soon as he tightens his belt, his usual discipline, focus, and attitude become even sharper. As soon as a fencer dons his mask, his intent becomes evident, from his eyes to every step he takes. A tailored suit creates the same effect on a man.

While wearing a suit you are aware of how you must project yourself and how you must behave. Yes, it limits somewhat your movement when compared to casual clothing. Yes, dress shoes aren’t made to run in them. But that’s precisely the point. It serves as a way to remind you that you must keep yourself in check. The very restrictions they impose will remind you to control your temper and your actions as you try a more civil way of handling problems. You will become more self-aware of your stance, of how you carry yourself. You tend to stand straighter and your head higher, taking up as much space as possible. Tailored suits are cut specifically to fit best in this posture, a posture conveying a sense of individual having power, a stance that psychologists call an Open Posture.

You might think that this is merely a psychological effect, somewhat of a subjective perception. And there is where it would end up, a person feeling empowered by his perception, if it weren’t for a 2012 study on human nature and postures. Social psychologist, Amy Cuddy found scientific evidence as to how these power poses can directly affect our biological production of hormones. The attitude of how you carry yourself will directly affect your testosterone levels, giving you more confidence, and lowers the stress hormone cortisol, lessening your insecurities.

And here is where a tailored suit accentuates these effects, as they are cut to maximize the Open Posture. Not only will they cause an impression on how you are perceived by others and how you perceive yourself, it will create a biological reaction that boosts your confidence and daring. What would be considered as a simple item of superficial fashion criticized by some actually provides the tools to empower the modern man to face the modern challenges. The power suit takes on an entirely valid connotation when you take these facts into account.