There are seven fundamental types of catastrophes. Beauty is not one of them.

Justin Timberlake’s ‘Suit & Tie’, and the concept of dressing well

[photo source: Facebook]

[photo source: Facebook]

This post isn’t an ode to the boy band standout turned R&B crooner. It’s not a long-winded review of his latest single that marks the return of his music career. I’ll leave that to the music blogs. Nope. This is about something bigger, something missing, and why his song sends a message that resonates beyond the notes and lyrics of the track.

 The song’s hook:

And as long as I’ve got my suit and tie
I’mma leave it all on the floor tonight
And you got fixed up to the nines
Let me show you a few things

All pressed up in black and white
And you’re dressed in that dress I like
Love is swinging in the air tonight
Let me show you a few things

As I watched JT’s Grammy performance, where he danced all over that stage decked out in a sharp tux and coiffed mane, I started thinking about the underwhelming attire of many in the entertainment industry. Since the beginning of time, generations have taken their fashion cues from popular music and film. And there was once a time when that influence was classic, polished, poised and dapper. How great would it be to return to that!

Nowadays, people in my generation and younger seem to have no sense of what it means to “dress-up” anymore. As a child, we dressed for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter, whether visiting or staying at home. It was a requirement and eventually became something I looked forward to as a traditional marker for a special event in our lives. But it wasn’t just my family, traveling on those days meant seeing other families headed out together in suits, slacks, dresses, and heels. Holidays were a celebration and dressing the part played a key role in the festivities.

As a kid growing up in the 80s, the worse visible offense a mother made when visiting her child’s school was wearing rollers in her hair tucked under a scarf. Nothing like we see today, where you often can’t tell the parent from the child given their scant appearance. Parents must lead by example. What message is received by an impressionable kid when mom can’t keep it under wraps, or daddy has on a t-shirt that’s so long it could easily pass for a nightgown.


I’ve had four jobs in my life spanning twenty years, 18 of which were in corporate environments, where I felt most comfortable dressed in heels, slacks or skirts, a nice blouse, and oftentimes blazer. I was often asked by colleagues why I “dressed up” everyday. Yet, I often wondered why others responded so casually to the ‘business casual’ concept. A concept that had to be modified several times due to the habitual line-steppers who viewed it as a challenge of some sort. For me, dressing professionally was part of the job and ensured I was prepared for anything, even when I didn’t always feel that way. And giving that impression of constant preparedness led to projects and opportunities I hadn’t sought out or considered, but I know had I been a slouch they wouldn’t have happened. My advice to young people just starting out in entry-level positions: We’re a visual world. The workplace is challenging enough, allow your presentation to make it a little less difficult for you. Look the part!

I challenge anyone to walk through a mall today without spotting several young adults wearing ginormous pants dropped below their butts, complete with the incessant pull-up every ten-seconds and the boxer brief waistband fully visible. When did that become attractive? It’s an epidemic of tacky out there, which is why I LOVE Mr. Timberlake’s lyrical entry into the banal journal of celebrity fashion, and like the ugly flu strain we are battling in this country, may it spread and infect each of his counterparts thereby inspiring them all to don a suit & tie, get dressed up to the nines, put on that classy dress we like and show those watching and worshipping their every move, a few things….

Besides, what lady doesn’t love a well-dressed man…{and crickets were heard for miles and miles}

Check out my series: Dressing: The Art of the Gentleman 

Ladies, if you don’t see at least one image in there that makes your Valentine’s Day a little brighter, you can clip my blogger wings and grant me a typo! 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day all,


V. Nikol

One comment on “Justin Timberlake’s ‘Suit & Tie’, and the concept of dressing well

  1. Bee
    February 15, 2013

    Well stated and unfortunately true. It’s a shame that today’s youth think that an oversized white tee and pants that are 3 times oversized are the new, cool look. And I guess it’s more saddening that their are actual females who can be attracted to that. Hopefully J.T’s new song will inspire but it’s highly unlikely since the concept didn’t come from the more respected Lil Wayne or Wiz but I guess we still hope and pray!!


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This entry was posted on February 14, 2013 by in Etiquette, STYLE & FASHION and tagged , , , . Registered & Protected

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