Several of our friends have recently become new lawyers and attorneys (anyone know which is more politically correct?) by graduating law school and/or passing the bar exam. Congratulations...we hope we never need your services. With the law on our minds, we thought we'd offer a past and present wardrobe critique of two famous daytime TV lawyers Ben Matlock from the late 80's and early 90's and Denny Crane from the new millennium. Let's begin with the old school Mr. Matlock. Mr. Matlock consistently wears a suit, albeit the same type of suit. Cotton or Seersucker in pale grey or white with a white button down collar shirt, black dress shoes and a dark muted tie. No ordainment's, no embellishments, just plain old Matlock. Living and practicing law in the deep south of Atlanta the Seersucker or whipcord suit is a good option to keep cool, but we think Mr. Matlock does himself a disservice by wearing colors that drown him out. His silver hair and white suit do nothing to improve his complexion. His dark and muted ties--often in burgundy--don't play off of anything else in his ensemble. We rarely ever see his socks which I imagine are dark blue or black. He rarely wears a pocket square but has been seen with a white handkerchief being a southern gentleman.
All of this stark white and grey color only makes Mr. Matlock look older than he already is. Not to mention his suit jackets do not fit him around the collar and he rarely buttons his jacket when he stands which would certainly help him look like he dropped a few pounds and would pull his entire look together. I'm sure Mr. Matlock is more concerned with defending his clients than his attire since he's never lost a case, but we think with a spotless record and the $100,000 retainer fees he consistently charged in the late 80's, he could spend some time and money on improving his wardrobe.
Fast forward almost 30 years and we have a different type of lawyer. Mr. Denny Crane the manging partner of a lofty law firm in Boston is the consummate dresser. His power suits, contrast collar and french cuff shirts, bold ties, and colorful pocket squares are most asuredly extravegant compared to Mr. Matlock. Mr. Crane is routinely found in pinstripe suits with Full Windsor knotted ties and matching pocket squares in ever color of the rainbow. Whether in his corner office, in front of the media, in a conference room, or on the roof smoking cigars and drinking brandy with his partner, Mr. Crane dresses for the occasion.
Repps, patterns, designs, stripes and colors we can't spell. Nothing is off limits for Mr. Crane. We like that his suits match his position, but we feel like the Full Windsor knot sitting under his hefty chin is a bit much. While a bold character calls for a bold tie we think he would be better off expressing himself through the colors and patterns versus the knot and stick with the Half-Windsor at best. Unfortunately, Mr. Crane chooses to match his pocket square to his tie. While we are impressed with his utilization of elaborate folds we advise against matching color, pattern, and fabric between tie and pocket square. If the tie is shiny and smooth we recommend a matte and textured pocket square and vice versa. This adds texture and variety whereas matching creates a contrived and studied look. We think Mr. Crane would benefit from adding a white cotton or linen pocket square to his extensive collection of silk colored squares.
Both of these men are experts in their field, have attained lofty status in their communities, command the highest pay rates, and both have a substantial influence on their peers and colleagues. All the more reason their attire should reflect their position in society in every way possible.