Why some black american men are suiting up to survive

Discussion in 'Career, Work, Finances and Education' started by Infinite_loop, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. Infinite_loop

    Infinite_loop Is this thing on?
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    I thought this was a very interesting article from Mashable. Are we actually losing our sense of self by conforming to white collar dress codes that make fit in and appear "less hostile"?

    What are you thoughts?
    Why some American black men are dressing in suits to survive

    Some black American men are dressing up to deflect negative attention, as a conscious means of survival.
     
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  2. ControlledXaos

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    What if dressing up is your style though?

    I don't like urban clothes. I get very few trend pieces. But most of my stuff is pretty classic/basic because I like the capsule wardrobe technique where I only need a few signature items.

    That being said my current job has business causal everyday. I chose to wear slacks and khakis Monday - Wednesday and dress casual on Thursday and Friday. I'm not the only black male in my department but I feel that I should dress nice even if I don't have to so that I can command more respect and show that I'm a professional.

    Lord knows I'd stroll in here with cargo shorts and a t shirt if I didn't care about that.
     
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  3. OckyDub

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    Dressing up (suit, button down, tie, etc) may make some black men appear less threatening but having dressed up for years...many white folks still see color above the suit.
     
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  4. Infinite_loop

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    @ControlledXaos You make valid points. I work in the west coast which is famously casual all day everyday. I have literally seen people in cargo shorts and a t-shirt during the summer. I am a semi-business casual dude as well and like you, I like to keep a few signature denims/khakis/slacks and few polo/shirts to go with them. NEVER in cargo shorts at work. I am actually the only black dude in my department(used to it by now, from my years in college), but it is not even that. I just like to be my authentic self and easy comfortable closes just fit my lifestyle. I bring my brain, not my fashion sense.


    I do believe though, that the article was referring to the black-men-in-suits trend from a historical perspective. As in how black men dress up in Sunday(read: "non-threatening", "conformist", "I am nice don't shoot") to ease the minds of white people.

    @ockydub also makes a good point. MLK was killed in a suit....go figure
     
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  5. bisonboy

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    Without having read the article I can just say that I wear a suit because I love how I feel in one.
     
  6. Infinite_loop

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    :foxxxy: come on man, you gotta read the article! lol
     
  7. BlackguyExecutive

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    I am a black man that wears a suit almost everyday and I actually enjoy dressing up, suiting up etc. Despite the fact I do wear suits, I still have people who perceive me for whatever reason as the scary black man. While I get the sentiments of the article, I don't think men are suiting up for added protection nor do I think wearing a suit will protect you from a fearful public or an overzealous police officer.
     
    #7 BlackguyExecutive, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  8. Ishmal

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    Me and a friend/coworker, another black gay man, were having this conversation when I first started with my current company.
    I told him I understand the politics of respectability, and I do not agree with it. I do not feel that I should put your comfort and feelings before mine. My white counter parts don't so why am I held to a different standard.

    I however think it is so powerful because we use it to judge our own people.
    I have locs and have had people, men and women of color, say, o well we have a grooming clause and that's not professional and blah blah blah. But I have seen men and women with locs working in banks in Phyilly. To really change this, we have to stop buying into it. We have to change the narrative.
     
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  9. Kouncelor

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    Interesting article and discussion. I didn't grow up with jeans and sneakers as casual. In fact, I didn't really start dressing down until college. Casual to me use to be khakis and some loafers.
    While I do believe that some "dress up" their casual in efforts to change the image, most do it for trend. I say this because the dress up is flashy and overtly trendy... and would not necessarily be considered conservative. Unlike the article pictures and content tend towards conservative "dress up".

    Either way, I love it. Conservative or flashy, I enjoy seeing black men of all ages being,serious their outward appearance and perception.
     
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