I never had a Ken doll. If I had, I might have given some childhood thought to what men wear. Coming of age in the era of polyester and the Leisure Suit did not help.
All I was concerned about was what looked good on me--how I could save enough money to get it and how I could keep my sisters from borrowing it once I had it. My future role as wife, mother, and men's suit fashion adviser never once blipped on my it's-all-about-me radar screen.
Then I married. I don't think Herb owned a suit, and it was not a problem for him or me. My first inkling that I had a supporting role in my husband's fashion play, a role for which I did not even have a script, was when he began working as an engineering intern for a firm in Atlanta. He asked me to help him pick out a tie to go with a new tweed sportcoat.
I was completely baffled. My instinct told me to get a solid color. Didn't my mama always say, "Better safe than sorry!"? Thankfully, we got some help from a salesman, and a much more interesting choice was made.
Since then, I've gradually gotten more confident in making tie choices simply by paying attention to shirt/tie combinations in catalogs and in the stores. In the last few years, I've been called upon more for advice on the actual cut and fit of the suit. My competence at this level of play is minimal. My main contribution here rests on the simple fact that I can see the suit from the back and tell whether there is a pucker across the shoulders or a gap in the jacket vent. There is so much more to learn.
Recently, the ante has been upped again. My son asked if I thought a high-contrast pinstripe suit would look good on him. How do you choose between pinstripes, plaids, and herringbones? I'm endeavoring to learn. This article helped.