It’s wedding season.
You know how I know? Gorgeous young brides-to-be are walking though the doors of Louis Boston with desperation in their eyes, and bewildered fiancés following closely behind them.
Several weeks ago, one such bride-to-be entered the store, with her bewildered fiancé not very far behind her. She had actually been in two month earlier when she purchased a brilliant Jason Wu gown for her wedding. Designed in ice colored satin and silk, it was sleeveless with an intricate high collar. But the element of design that we knew would take their collective breath away during the ceremony was the dramatic open back – with just a delicate chain that draped flawlessly across in just the right place. It was all at once, soft, sophisticated, sexy and kick ass!
There I was, recalling every detail of the dress, and at the same time my mind was working its way through our inventory so I could pull some things for him that would compliment her perfectly, and he said…
“I don’t want to wear a suit.”
“Excuse me?” I said. Not really believing what I was hearing. I took him gently by the hand and said “I understand, you’re getting married in July, by the water, and you don’t want to wear a heavy suit…” and he interrupted me to say, “If I have to I’ll just wear navy.”
And this is the part where I got to do what I truly love to do: style someone who doesn’t understand his own potential. I pulled a featherweight cotton suit with 1% cashmere (to hold it all together), a blueberry and white checked linen shirt, and a pair of kick ass Common Project sneakers, before I nudged him toward the dressing room.
Thinking about her dress again, I knew this look was going to compliment her well. I knew that when she saw him she would feel proud to approach him as she was walking down the isle. And as I was thinking that, to my amazement, he was turning around, looking at himself in the mirror not believing what he was seeing. He looked great and now he knew it.
He looked at me and said he couldn’t believe how comfortable the pieces were and how well everything fit him. I explained again the difference beautifully tailored pieces could make.
He grinned. He nodded. He looked at himself again in the mirror. I really thought he was there.
Then he turned to me and said, “What if I don’t wear the jacket…just the shirt and the pants?” Besides the fact that he looked incredible from head to toe, and that should be reason enough, I explained that the pants were part of the suit and were not sold separately.
He shrugged and said, “I don’t want to buy the suit. I never wear a suit.” Then he turned and walked back into the dressing room.
I took one look at his bride-to-be and saw her face drop. She quietly said, “If he doesn’t wear a jacket, won’t I look nicer than him? Won’t I look too dressed up?”
So I excused myself, pulled him aside and whispered to him, “I know you don’t know what she’s wearing, because it’s a secret, but your fiancé has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure she looks super sexy, and sophisticated for you – because she wants to. Don’t you want to do the same for her? She loves you in this suit…”
Don’t get your hopes up. He walked back into the dressing room, pulled on his old jeans and t-shirt, and they started to leave. She looked back at me with a defeated look on her face before she shrugged, as if to say, “what can I do?”
I wondered what he was going to do, and I prayed, for her sake, that he wouldn’t be renting a tux.
I wondered why he wasn’t willing to take more pride in himself and his appearance on his wedding day. Even if he did only wear the suit once, wouldn’t it be worth it to look back in later years and feel proud of who he was, and how he looked for the occasion? A wedding is one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities where a man should move outside of his comfort zone and raise his own bar – just a little bit, or even a lot.
Having been in this business for a very long time, I know that men used to really care about how they looked. Unfortunately we now live in the age of “Casual Friday Everyday,” and a lot of men just don’t really care at all. The times may have changed, but one thing should remain the same, and that is an understanding that there is a certain decorum that we should all adhere to when it comes to how we present ourselves for certain, if not most, occasions. Don’t you agree?
In other words, why do you want to look like everyone else on your wedding day?
In the end I’ll probably never know how he shows up to the wedding, but I will know that his bride looks stunning.
Guys, you don’t have to do anything, but don’t you want to?
Bowie? Say it isn’t so…