HEY DUDE? WHAT'S WITH THE JACKET AND TIE?
There are many reasons why I want to write this story. I can’t help but be impressed with the way the kids looked on The Lloyd Thaxton Show. Our dress code was jackets and ties for the guys and “party dresses” for the gals. Watching clips during the editing of the LTDVD, I find it amazing how dignified the teens looked while having the time of their lives.
A jacket and tie for men (and boys) has always been considered dressing for success. You won’t find any one of the Presidential candidates debating on TV without a jacket and tie.
And even though they often wear shorts, jeans or sweats under the desk, your successful male news anchor always displays a jacket and tie from the waist up. I know. I’ve been there, seen that.
Sonny and Cher, back in the 60s, set their own dress code for Rock & Roll. Sonny even got himself thrown out of a popular restaurant because his dress code and the restaurants didn’t see eye to eye. That was actually good for Sonny. It inspired his only single hit, “Laugh At Me.”
However, years later Sonny put on a jacket and tie and laughed all the way to Mayor of Palm Springs. California, and from there, all the way to a United States Congressman.
When a “dress code” is mentioned, it most always means men must wear a jacket with a tie. Here’s my theory: Men just don’t have a clue as to how to dress. Women, on the other hand, usually check out the latest fashion magazines (and each other) before venturing out into important public or private functions.
Without a dress code, this is what happens much too often. Women: pretty basic black dresses. Men: T-shirts. It would be interesting to be there to see a young man picking up his new girl friend on their first date. How does the girl hold back the disappointed expression on her face? After spending hours shopping for just the right dress and more hours making herself look beautiful, the young man at the door most often looks like he just grabbed the first thing hanging on the back of the door.
I have been given the honor of speaking next month at a prestigious club in downtown LA. It is consistently named by national speaker's organizations as one of the top 10 speaker's forums in the U.S. A sampling includes Presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon; U.S. Senators; City Mayors, astronauts and authors; religious, civic and community leaders; university presidents; major coaches; Fortune 500 CEOs and other news makers. I wouldn't be the least surprised that when the chairperson introduces me, everyone shouts, "SO WHAT."
Even with all the high-powered speakers that have gone before me, the Club has never told me what to speak about. The only caveat, “You must wear a coat and a tie.” I am almost certain that, even though there is also a women’s dress code at the club, they never have to tell a women speaker what to wear. For successful women, proper dress codes are built in at birth.
Let’s face it, we men are not as smart as women. That’s why we need dress codes. It’s like your mom telling you how to dress (and even, if your mom was like my mom, knowing how to tie your tie).
As with the Lloyd Thaxton Show, I’m a big believer in school uniforms. This is a dress code that makes a person look like they are working their way toward success. After all, that is what all those candidates for President are wearing, UNIFORMS!
Face it, it's not just happenstance that those highly successful bosses of yours in the front office are referred to as “Suits?”