As an addendum to my article on dressing, here are some answers to common reader questions:
Q: Why did an early version recommend J&M shoes and a later edition change that to Allen Edmonds?
A: I got the two confused. J&M has really gone down. Allen Edmonds is tip top.
Q: What's wrong with Church's shoes?
A: They are fine. I was talking about American shoes.
Q: What's wrong with a full Windsor knot?
A: Too big, and to make it small requires an absurdly tight knot, which wrecks the silk. A small knot knocks 10 pounds off a guy.
Q: Do you recommend bowties like the ones you wear?
A: Not unless you want to be suspected as a bomb-thrower.
Q: Do you recommend tailor-made clothing?
A: Not really. You can find good and bad off-the-rack suits and good and bad tailor-made suits. How many times have you had someone mess up your alterations? The risk of tailor-made suits is 100 times that of basic alterations.
Q: My boss is a slob. Can I dress higher than he?
A: Sure, with self-deprecation. Same is true for social occasions. If questioned, just say: I work better this way, or, I'm more comfortable this way. Your initiative will begin to change the culture around you.
Q: I'm a tough guy in a tough profession. I can't look like Fred Astaire.
A: Granted, adjustments for time and place are always necessary. Even so, what a man looks best in is confidence. That's the biggest problem with sloppy clothes; they drain mental energy and thus confidence about who you are and what you are doing.