Are Suits an Endangered Species?
By Ed Goldman
Costumed in my customary semi-bespoke, big-boy suit, I attended a few semi-formal, semi-sassiety events this holiday season. When a Chablis-infused old guy staggered up to me and said—with what I’m sure he considered jocular, possibly even urbane wit—“Hey, tomorrow I’ll treat you to a tie”—it reminded me of an interview Kai Ryssdal did on his “Marketplace” radio show a couple of months ago about an apparently endangered species: not necessarily men’s ties but definitely men’s suits.
Ryssdal was yakking with Mark Dent, who’d just written for Vox, the nearly five-year-old media/opinion news site, about the fall of the power suit (which sounds like the title of a fashion article whose subheads would include “Is Tweed too Twee for Autumn? Are You?”). Dent said that in the computer world, where the workplace ensemble for overnight billionaires often consists of hoodies, cutoffs and flipflops, someone who shows up that day wearing a suit probably has a job interview scheduled for his lunch hour.
RYSSDAL: I’m surprised you made it here!
GUEST: Why, Ky?
RYSSDAL: Because I just heard you testifying on The Hill earlier in the day about—
GUEST: Not I, Ky.
RYSSDAL: You mean that wasn’t you testifying about misappropriating—
GUEST: Oh my, Ky. (Begins to sob)
RYSSDAL: Oh, geez, I’ve upset you—
GUEST: You made me cry, Ky.
RYSSDAL: Cry? I? Why?