Tag Archives: suits

IF THE SUIT FITS. .WEAR IT!!!

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Just think of all the big occassions in a typical mans life….he is wearing a suit right? Whether it’s a wedding, or court date, job interview or heck even their own funeral.  Suits are worn on these occasions because men want to feel special and important.  Not only do they feel special but women love to see men look their best and a suit definitely  helps that to happen. A well tailored or fitting suit, with a power tie, cuff links, crisp shirt and polished shoes,  whoooooowe….

When you see a man walking down the street dressed like this, you don’t know if he owns the block or just has an interview on the block.  What a powerful feeling, what a confidence builder, what a great experience.

Unfortunately many men all over are missing out on these experiences because they lack the knowledge of the importance of dressing professionally and /or they lack the finances to purchase them.

I see so many of our young men who don’t know how to tie a tie or have never worn a suit. Many of them because they lack a male figure in their lives to show them and train them. I thank God my father was around to show and teach my brother and I. When boys lack these positive male figures in their life it can hinder them in so many ways. No disrespect to women who have done great jobs when they had to but I believe there are things that a man can bring that is truly significant in a young mans development

So my brother and I want to help young men experience that feeling of wearing a suit, learning how to tie a tie, and then showing others the same. We formed a non-profit called WWW.THATSUITSYOU.ORG. We recieve donated suits and ties and provide them to men who complete job training programs throughtout the country.

Men, churches, businesses, men stores all over contact us to donate clothing to us to assist us in our vision. We want to help men all over to get back on their feet and support their families.

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THE EFFECT OF A SUIT ON A MAN

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When I was out of work and trying to get back into the workforce someone reached out to me and helped me tremendously. A mentor of mine who saw that I was beginning to make positive changes in my life took me to a suit store in Brooklyn and purchased me a brand new suit, shirt and a tie. I will never forget that moment, I practically cried from the emotions of another man buying me these items without wanting anything in return. That moment was etched in my heart until this day. It is that moment that I think about constantly when we give back to the men we serve today. It is that moment that got me started and keeps me going.

While cleaning out my closet of older suits I decided now was the time to make this dream of assisting men with professional attire a reality so I started That Suits You, a nonprofit organization that provides suits to men looking to get back into the workforce.

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The journey of starting the organization involved collecting suits from family and friends. I was amazed at the results I was received. My wife and brother joined the team and we began holding suit drives and reaching out to churches, businesses and individuals all over. I have found that people don’t mind giving these items if they know it will be helping people. The idea of men who have completed training and are ready to work but do not have anything to wear to their interview is heart wrenching and very sad to see. However when we see their face when we present them with a suit, tie, shirt and occasionally shoes, all at no cost to them, it is priceless. That same emotion I felt when I received my suit is what we strive to do to these men. When I received that first suit I felt empowered, I felt important, and I felt like I could take on the world. We want the men we assist to feel the same way and we have seen it time and time again.

There is something about a man in a suit. There is something empowering about it. Women love to see them, and men love to wear them. A man in a suit, says he is working, he is making things happen, he is successful. That may not be the reality but it gives that perception. When people see young men saggin their pants, that statement speaks volumes to the world. That look says they are not working, they are not being positive and they are not being successful. Although that may not be true, that is the image it portrays. A lot of times men dress that way because they haven’t been taught better or they don’t have the means to obtain better. We want to be a part of changing the culture, look, dress and perception of men all over. We want to be a part of teaching men to dress better. We want them to have that look of a well dressed man. Once I had my first suit, I wanted to wear them more and more. I believe once we get a man in his first suit, he will have that same feeling.

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We recently did a job conference workshop with NYC College of Technology, where we donated ties to some of the young men who came. We also taught men how to tie a tie and did mock interviews with the young adults. However to me, the most powerful part of the day was the time we spent speaking and sharing to everyone there. Having the opportunity to pour my heart into these young people was priceless. I shared with them about starting a business and seeing a dream become a reality. I also expressed the importance of dressing appropriately and being professional in everything you do. That Suits You places us in position to give back to teens and young adults and hopefully steer them in a positive direction to being a success story.

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Walk A Day In A Black mans New Shoes

I wake up, say my prayers, listen to some motivational words from Pastor Mitchell, Pastor Freeman, Bill Winston, TD Jakes or some other minister. Turn on the news and hear 3 black men arrested in a shooting spree, 2 black men caught robbing a bank, black man leaves his child home alone for 3 days, cops shoot and kill unarmed black man, or armed black men kill police officers, etc. I put my boys on the school bus, kiss my wife and get to work.

Getting to work may involve carrying 4 or 5 suits to a few different job training programs throughout the city. I have founded, That Suits You, which is a nonprofit organization that collects and distributes professional attire to qualified men. The team at TSY does this to try to help change the image of today’s black male. While we have given suits to all races and will continue to do so, I do not believe any image has a worse perception than that of the black man.

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The argument can be, well they deserve it or they bring it upon themselves by their actions. There are many occasions when the negative actions of some black men are totally irresponsible and definitely add to the perception. But from what I have witnessed all races have similar isolated incidents all the time. Yeah, but with blacks it is more frequent. That may be true, but if we just go by what we see in the media it would leave individuals to believe that 80-90 percent of black men are criminals, which is not accurate. I really dislike when I hear a black man proudly say, “I am one of the good ones!”, or “We are not all bad” Like there are only a handful of good black men around. But again that goes to that perception. Since starting up That Suits You I have come across plenty of “good” black men. However, that negative perception is very hard to shake. The “general” perception of almost every other race is nowhere near as bad as that of black men.

So as I am carrying these suits to men to help change that perception, I see difference all the time. We have some very wealthy donors, so when I enter their buildings or homes I can see the looks. When I am on the train, and someone decides not to sit next to me, someone holds their bag just as I walk pass them, as I enter a designer store security just decides to walk down my aisle, when I walk into a meeting and they say, “Oh you’re the founder”, when people say “Oh, I know they taking and selling those suits”, when I am the only person of color in an important meeting, and all this happens while I am wearing a nice suit, with a lapel, pocket square, colorful socks and shoes. So I can just imagine how black men are viewed who are not dressed in suits. Now I know simply wearing a suit will not change everything, but it can help men get to a place where they can do more for their family. I always tell people, a suit is not just for work, a suit is for you. You are the CEO of YOU, so always represent yourself the best way you can.

Another big thing also is that this perception is taught to every generation. ..lighter is better, don’t support black businesses, blacks are inferior. These thoughts most times are from other blacks. Yeah black men get it from all sides. The experiences, situations and challenges that black men go through daily from all sides can quite daunting. So it is time we stand up and not wait for the change to happen, but make it happen. Let’s destroy every misperception about black men and what they can do. Lets make a stand in unity and lets do it suited as well.

So through all the misperceptions, and negative images that we see on tv, or on the front of newspapers on news stands, through all the young black men we see sagging, through all the driving while black police stops, racial profiling, through all the jealousy and envy from different races, we can still stand strong and help others to stand with us. Some people say it’s lonely at the top, and I say only because you didn’t help others get there with you.

So after a long day, I go home to my boys and feed them, shower them, pray with them, then put them to sleep and do it all over again.

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