Suit Trauma: A Very Real Thing

Disclaimer: We are not linguists. Neither are we licensed or employed mental health clinicians. And we don't take the word "trauma" lightly, as we've each experienced some sort of traumatic event that we hold with us and wish we could forget. So, please know, we've coined this term out of necessity--derived from our own experiences and the testimonies of several friends and clients. 

suit trauma

/so͞ot/ /ˈtroumə,ˈtrômə/


a deeply distressing or disturbing experience, of or related to suits, and the incurring damage that results

"Suit Trauma" is a very real thing and is often the reason why many men (and women) have expressed disdain at wearing a suit, let alone shopping for one!

We hear story after story about the dreaded invitation to a wedding or social event where the required attire is professional dress or semi-formal. What should be excitement at the thought of getting new threads is often the opposite--complete irritation that morphs into cold sweats, indigestion, fatigue…and in some cases, declining the invite altogether. If you decide to be brave and attempt to go shopping, for many, there is the never-ending frustration associated with fit, cut, style, etc. Sometimes, the issue is pricing--too expensive, not worth the money. For the creative, it might be the abundance of basic color palettes and lack of individuality. Whatever it is, the building agitation is just too much and, unsurprisingly, people give up, making the declaration: "Suits are stupid."

Here's what everyone needs to know:

Off-the-rack/ready-to-wear suiting is about convenience. That's it. The idea is that the customer has little time and/or monetary constraints and can't get a custom suit. AND, that he (or she) as an "average body"…whatever that means. Well, most of us have time and monetary constraints, and not "average" bodies. So, this is already a lose-lose situation. (It's not you, friend, it's the suit.)

Speaking of "average" bodies: Off-the-rack suiting doesn't consider broader or smaller shoulders, athletic or slender legs, high waists, barrel chests and any other attribute that makes us individuals. The search for the "most accommodating" size can be stressful and intimidating.It can cause a person to "go inward" and regret how they look, which can place them onto a path of body shaming.Far too many know what this feels like. (Remember, it's not you, friend. It's the suit.)

God bless the department store sales associate, but sometimes even they don't know what the hell they're talking about. Sadly, there are those who have been the recipient of bad advice and walked away with a suit that they weren't excited to wear; it didn't make them feel or look their best and they KNEW it BEFORE they left the store. But they suppressed their feelings at the perceived expertise of the sales associate. The associate knows better, right? Well sometimes, they just don't. (Again, it's not you, it's the suit AND the associate.)

Lots of off-the-rack/ready-to-wear suiting lack quality. It won't "hold up" as long as a high-quality, custom-made canvassed garment will; one that is designed to incorporate structure, which provides a smooth, crisp silhouette. (So, when you try on an off-the-rack suit and you find that it just "hangs" on you, it's probably not a well-made, quality garment. Say it: "It's not me. It's the suit.")

Of course, we want you to overcome your "suit trauma." We want you to experience the feeling of wearing something that fits well; something that speaks to who you are and tells YOUR story. We want your suits to bring you the confidence you need to face your daily hurdles and the assurance that you'll be the victor. Because whether you're slender, full-figured, athletic or big-and-tall, your size shouldn't determine your access to quality, well-fitting clothing. Your clothing should be made with you in mind. This is why there's a William & Lauren. Let us help.

Take risks. Tackle life. Wear William & Lauren.

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