Yesterday, I was doing some last-minute shopping for my fraternity’s national conference when I decided to attempt to buy a new suit. I realized that it had been over four years since I had purchased my last one and I figured it was about time that I take my professional appearance more seriously–especially since my job requires me to go out and meet clients. Unfortunately, yesterday’s adventure reminded me of why I wear jeans and t-shirts so often.
Since I generally have trouble finding clothing my size, I made the decision to go to the outlet mall. I figured that the high number of stores there would increase the likelihood of me finding something that I actually liked. However, I was wrong. The majority of the stores did not carry my size and the few items that would fit me were either ugly or outside of my budget.
In one store, I tried on a suit jacket that I really liked only to have a cashier and a kind passerby inform me that the sleeves were too short for my arms. They both encouraged me to find the suit in a “Long.” I responded by showing them the jacket’s tag, which read “40 Long.” They frowned and suggested that I start having my suits custom made. Needless to say, I was a bit dismayed. Custom suits are expensive. Nonetheless, I’ll have to find a way to strengthen my professional wardrobe if I want any real chance at being successful.
Before I end this post, I figured I should explain my lack of traditional professional attire. For the past three years, I have been going to the gym regularly. I often complain that I have seen no real results because my weight has remained relatively constant. Apparently, I was wrong. My proportions have changed just enough to make clothing purchases even more difficult–especially now that fashion trends are leaning toward smaller cuts. As a result, I am a strange combination of too thin to find pants of the correct length and too muscular for some designer pants not to fit me like tights. (If you don’t believe me, just sk my family who pretty much laughed at me in those pairs of H&M pants I bought yesterday that I need to return sometime this week. Smh.) At least I have a slightly easier time with shirts.
For now, I have accepted the fact that my definition of business casual for this conference this week will likely include jeans.