For many years, I have said that I’m a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. Â This semester I feel like I’m being beckoned to jump on my fashion soapbox. Â IÂ have noticed an ongoing problem in the courtroom: people wearing suits that are too small. Â I’ve seen this problem across the board, from law Â students to judges, in men and women equally. Â At first I thought it was just me, until I shared my observations with two judges. Â They both responded with an astounding, “Yes!”
A person that dresses according to the needs of the body that they have, as opposed to the body that they wish they had or used to have, they exude a stronger sense of confidence. Â When a person is presenting their case in court, they need to appear strong, solid, and trustworthy. Â If the person cannot see and accept the truth about their own size, how can they be trusted to speak the Â truth about the case at hand?
Tim Gunn said it best when he said that you should consider, “silhouette, proportion, and fit” when selecting your clothes. Â Some clothes are little more forgiving. Â For example, jeans – if they are Â touch to snug when you first put them on, they’ll loosen in up a few hours. Â A suit, however, has no give. Â If you think it’s too tight, it’s too tight.
Most people who are wearing the wrong size suit, are only off by one size, like a woman who is a size 8 and squeezes herself into a size 6. Â I want to share some of the visual give aways that you’re wearing the wrong size suit. Â I have seen all of these fashion problems in the law school or at the court this semester.
Let’s start with the jacket. Â The shoulder seams should sit on the end of the shoulder. Â The arms should fit comfortably in the sleeves. Â If the upper arm is too tight, there will be bunching, which gives you the “sausage arm” look. Â Buttoning the jacket should not take an effort or require you to suck in your stomach. Â You never want the judge to be afraid that a button might fly off your suit and hit her in the face.
Like the jacket, there should not be any bunching in the pants or skirt. Â When a man’s pants are too tight, he risks having bunching in the crotch area. Â Women are likely to have bunching through the thighs if they’re wearing pants and in the midsection if they’re wearing skirts. Â The length of the skirt should also be such that you don’t have to pull on your hem when you stand up.
Beyond wearing the proper size suit, I support people using fashion to display their personality. Â When deviating from the norm in a formal business environment, such a court room, it must be done impeccably. Â One of my classmates walked into his final mock trial today rocking a pair of suspenders and a fedora with his suit. Â He looked fantastic! Â Other fashion signature pieces could be a bow tie, a necktie on a woman, cuff links, a paisley pocket square, a brooch, or an untraditional hairstyle. Â Just be sure that what you’re wearing does not distract the court or detract from your message.
- Tim Gunn: How to Dress for Different Body Issues (marieclaire.com)
- The Ten Greatest Crimes Against Fashion: Watch What You Wear (socyberty.com)
- Tim Gunn’s Tips for Appropriate Dress (marieclaire.com)
- Fall 2010: Fashions go classic this season, but with contemporary attitude (commercialappeal.com)
- What to Wear to an Interview [TNW Lifehacks] (thenextweb.com)