Hello everyone, and welcome to The Rakish Man. My name is Léon Philippe and I am here with all the right responses to your sartorial queries. I’ve poured my first glass of Grand Marnier, so let’s get started.

Dear Léon,

I have recently been chosen as the winner of an award in my office. There will be a presentation ceremony later this month during a company meeting. We’re normally a business casual office, but would it be appropriate to wear something nicer to the ceremony? Or would that be too self-congratulatory? I look forward to hearing your response.

-Humble in Huntsville

Dear Humble,

First of all, I hope you use this addition to your CV as a stepping stone to lift yourself out of the horrors of the business casual underworld. Any office of polos and khakis is as detrimental to that taste in one’s eye as a lifetime of chain-smoking is to the taste in one’s tongue. Only when you free yourself of your drab circumstances will the doors of your perception be cleansed, and everything shall appear to you as it truly is - elegant.

But back to your query. I am no stranger to your situation, having been celebrated and fetid on a number of occasions during my time.

I confess that my instinct is the opposite of yours. The whole point of the occasion is to throw greater attention onto you and your accomplishments. If this is not your first award, then your whole collection of certificates, trophies, and gewgaws should be present to welcome another into their number. Just as a champion boxer wears all his belts when adding a new one to his collection, or a general wears all previous medals when being awarded another. So should you adorn your outfit - a ribbon pinned here, a commendation pinned there, a statuette strategically stuffed into the trousers.

Even if this is your first award, there is still no cause for shyness. Everyone must have their first award sometime. Mine was in the third grade. I spared no effort. White gloves. Walking stick. Button boots. Spats. A hired string quartet. No one has ever won the chess club’s perfect attendance award in such style.

Throughout your career in industry, Humble, you will surely experience every peak and valley - from shining glory to udder humiliation. Let the glory shine bright, Humble. At least wear a suit and tie.

By the by, as you continue to scale the corporate ladder, be aware that I do offer, for a reasonable sum, consulting services in matters of wardrobe and comportment. I would be much obliged if you might consider offering not only your own custom, but perhaps a mention of me in your acceptance speech, as your illustrious colleagues will surely be curious to know how you came to be so exceptionally clothed.


Ed. note: If you have a query for The Rakish Man, please send an email to david at nomanwalksalone  dot com and I will make sure he sees it.