F*ck Your Suit: Why A T-Shirt Is The New Status Symbol Of Success
I’m a big fan of the Food Network. I watch anywhere from one to four hours of programming on it pretty much every day.
For the most part, I’m never too discriminative about which specific show is on; I like ‘em all, frankly, and after a couple planes, just about anything involving food is enjoyable.
Anyway, of all the various programs on Food Network, my favorite would have to be “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” undeniably.
I mean -- aside from Guy Fieri embodying everything pleasant about humankind -- the show, itself, advertises some of the country’s best food, and it’s rarely ever coming from any Michelin starred restaurants.
Instead, Fieri chooses to seek smaller, more “hole-in-the-wall-ish” type places, where the focal point isn’t sh*t like the presentation or serving sizes that are small and classy.
Hell no -- “Triple D” is all about those places where the food speaks for itself.
At the end of the day, when things are good, it’s hard to be a critic. And this concept does not just apply to matters of food, either.
And, ultimately, if you do anything well enough, it’s hard for other people to be critical of you.
Hunter Pence, right fielder for the San Francisco Giants, is one of the most unorthodox baseball players to ever throw on a pair of studs.
He hits awkwardly. He fields awkwardly. He throws awkwardly. He runs awkwardly. He’s awkward.
Nevertheless, he’s also one of the more productive players in the league, so all of his technical imperfections rarely ever see the light of day in kangaroo court.
This should serve as valuable advice for you and how you handle your own work.
Sure, visual presentation is key -- and a charming aesthetic can never hurt -- but the true measure of success isn’t just based on appearance but also the quality of the work.
When push comes to shove, regardless of how glamorous Option A might seem or if Option B works better, the correct decision is rather apparent.
Growing up, the idea of “dressing the part” was always reinforced whenever a big opportunity arose.
If we had to give a presentation back in high school, we made sure to wear a shirt with a collar. On first dates, we’ll make sure to shave and do our hair -- even spray some cologne.
And before a big job interview, we may even hit Bloomingdale’s just to ensure we have the right tie for the occasion.
While I don’t downplay the importance of dressing the part, I’ve always considered “doing the job” -- the one required by the part -- as a better target to aim for. And this is why I don’t think you’ll need a closet full of high fashion in order to have high hopes.
As a matter of fact, I think, in many cases, a T-shirt can be more emblematic of success than even the finest of tailored suits.
Like Zuckerberg and Jobs alike, some of the brightest minds our generation has seen have been known to flaunt casual attire.
This isn’t because they’re sloppy or ignorant to what is -- or isn’t -- fashion; it’s because they’re confident and successful enough to realize they’ve got nothing left to prove, at least nothing that can be confirmed by an article of clothing.
T-shirts radiate confidence and show a comfort with one’s own ability.
It shows you aren’t concerned with trying to fool anyone -- or dress the part of something you have no business doing.
What people see is, likely, what they’ll get.
In fact, many people get caught up trying to look a certain way that they’ll lose sight of what they’re actually working on in the first place.
Hard work doesn’t require a dress code, and success doesn’t require a suit.
Success comes from within and can be seen through your actions, not what you’re wearing.
After all, the most successful people in the industry rarely have to answer to anyone -- especially regarding matters of fashion.
Success is all about comfort and NOT having to impress anyone, and I’ve always considered “dressing down” as one of success' many perks.
And, in the end, what’s more comfortable than a T-shirt?
Before anything else, focus on mastering your craft -- not your wardrobe.
Ultimately, if you do anything well enough, the rest won’t matter.
Strive towards a level of success where you set your own standards, whether they be regarding fashion or any way you choose to live your life, for that matter.
When everything in life can be debated or questioned, success can’t. So you might as well be comfortably successful.