Ditch the suit
Tony Callaly PHOTOGRAPH: BRENDA FITZSIMONS, DARA MAC DÓNAILL
On the job: James Kavanagh, a fashion communications executive wearing a studded suit by designer Sick Studs PHOTOGRAPH: BRENDA FITZSIMONS
On the job: web designer Brian Rogers. PHOTOGRAPH: BRENDA FITZSIMONS
Different approaches: Yann Chalmers PHOTOGRAPH: BRENDA FITZSIMONS, DARA MAC DÓNAILL
Different approaches: Mark Campbell, PHOTOGRAPH: BRENDA FITZSIMONS, DARA MAC DÓNAILL
On the job: photographer and designer Martin McKenna. PHOTOGRAPH: BRENDA FITZSIMONS
Different approaches: Nick Appleby PHOTOGRAPH: BRENDA FITZSIMONS, DARA MAC DÓNAILL
On the job: Tom Lowe of NewsWhip. PHOTOGRAPH: BRENDA FITZSIMONS
Gone are the days of strict dress codes and stuffy shirts and ties – most men take a more relaxed approach to working wear these days. ANA KINSELLAreports
The late Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day for most of his long career at Apple: a black turtleneck, blue jeans and white New Balance trainers. As the chief executive of a leading international company, his actions were a blow to the role of the suit in the workplace. So, if the man responsible for the iPod and the iPhone didn’t let a suit get in the way of his work, do the rest of us need to? With fewer workplaces requiring strict dress codes, and without the suit as the go-to office outfit, what’s a young man to wear?
Feelance photographer and designer, 27
I work as a designer and photographer. I was print designer for the Dublin Web Summit until Christmas, but now I’m working freelance. My clients’ expectations don’t affect what I wear. As a freelancer, you can wear what you want and it’s part of who you are.
In my experience, my clients have bought into me as a package. They like my work, but they also like who I am and what I’m about. Typically, I might wear some leather shoes, chukka boots in the autumn, jeans or chinos with an Oxford cloth shirt or a T-shirt. Then a crew-neck sweater, cashmere if I’m feeling flush.
I like suits and I own three, but I only wear them for, say, an evening’s socialising, or going to a nice restaurant. I would get funny looks if I wore them in a work context. I enjoy wearing suits, but on my own terms. If I wore one every day, I would end up looking like most of the bank managers and estate agents in Ireland. There are definitely ways to dress smartly for work without a suit – grooming goes a long way, too.
Marketing director, NewsWhip, 24
I used to think I would end up working in finance, but after college I decided to give start-ups a go while I was paying rent rather than a mortgage. There was no mention of a dress code when I started at NewsWhip, although it was understood that it would be pretty relaxed. We’ve recently launched our iPhone app, so I have to be ready to do all sorts of jobs at the moment.
Typically, I wear a shirt with a jumper and jeans – simple stuff. It’s always stuck with me that while it mightn’t matter to yourself what you’re wearing, it affects other people’s perceptions of you. It’s about being presentable, so I do put more thought into it now than when I was a student. But I never wear a tie; no suits either. For the most part, I think in the media there aren’t many suit-and-tie-types anymore.
One of my friends put it to me like this: why would you ruin something as cool as a suit by wearing it to work every day?
UX and web designer, Lucidity Digital, 23
I started at Lucidity Digital last September. User experience design is a new frontier for many companies. I cover UX design as well as visual design. It’s both creative and quite technical. When I started, I dressed more informally, some clothes I had left over from summer, but as the seasons changed, I bought neater stuff. I go for slim chinos, a nice jumper and a shirt. When winter came along, I invested in a good overcoat from Zara.