Tuesday, September 6, 2011
A younger Florida attorney asked me to speak to dressing for summers that never end, and to that I say he has it easier than most of us. Once he chooses the level of formality with which to face his days, and that should be based on what his clients (or the seniors in his firm) expect their attorney to be wearing, he need only worry about a two season wardrobe with clothing for the heat and for the more moderate temperatures of winter.
For the heat, assuming the clients expect to see their counsel in a suit, I would choose the lightest weight air conditioned cloth I could find. Nine ounce/280 gram stuff from Minnis or Smith Woolens, in the usual navys, mid-grays and the occasional light gray would make up the majority of my wardrobe. I would complement it with a few tropical weight things in patterns, since the majority of the fresco and finmeresco cloth available is solid or striped, and a couple of mid-weight suits for cool winter days or trips North. Tropical weight cloth like H. Lesser's 8/9 ounce stuff is wearable in all but the worst heat but also warm enough for a day with temperatures in the sixties (perhaps 18C).
It may be a digression and it is certainly an expression of my own prejudices to add that in that young man's situation I would choose to wear suits even if his clients and peers dress in odd jackets or sweat suits, for dress sends marketing signals and clients respond best to professionals who look more professional than they do. If the environment is casual, lighter colors and patterns such as glen checks will fit in better than charcoal solids and pin stripes. But don't get carried away. Pierce Brosnan's light gray in the photo is just about right.