Saturday, February 06, 2010

Not feeling creative?: Let's blame the suits

There is a common belief that wearing suits is somehow antithetical to creativity and originality. From C-level executives to hedge fund masters of the universe, this belief reigns supreme. Gerald Levin, architect of one of the biggest merger failures in business history (AOL Time Warner) comments:

What most people don’t recall is that I had stopped wearing a tie and jacket for quite some time. Once we had a music company in our building, I thought it was a constraint to wear a tie and jacket, so it wasn’t planned but it was kind of a refreshing symbol.

So let's add design, publishing and music industries to the list of industries that have evolved to become anti-suit and jacket. Given the dismal state of the music industry (and the continuing doldrums of the movie business), it's tempting to say these industries might need an injection of more suits not less.

It's time to put an end, once and for all, to the peculiarly modern notion that wearing a suit is a burden, a blight upon imagination and creativity. It's simply a fallacy that suits constrain the intellectual and creative energies of the wearer.

the beatles mod suits

Almost every "innovator", performer or artist in a given field has seen fit to wear a suit or a jacket and tie. Pick your most admired creative artist or musician. Hmm, how about The Killers, The Beatles, Vincent Van Gogh for starters?

the killers

Vincent van Gogh

At the very worst, suits are benign accessories. They do no harm. At their very best, they add a touch of purpose and verve to the creative dimension of any profession.


Anonymous said...

The Killers are innovative?

sleevehead said...

Well, I suppose it is difficult being sandwiched between the Beatles and Van Gogh. The Killers are probably not innovative in that sense. However, I would say they are certainly creative as any musician at their level needs to be, even of the pop/mainstream variety.