The Collected Sartorial Wisdom of SUITS’ Harvey Specter

When it comes to fashion, Harvey Specter leads by example every single day that he shows up to the office with a flawless tie dimple beneath an expertlytied Windsor knot. But more than just a paragon of power-suit style, he’s also a fashion philosopher, musing on the importance that our clothing choices have in impacting the perceptions and expectations of those around us. Harvey, for all his movie quoting, sports paraphernalia, and gelled hair, is the closest thing that television has to a modern-day Oscar Wilde. In anticipation of the season 3 premiere of SUITS, we take a look back at some of his most memorable and meaningful style lessons.

Make a Good Impression

"First impressions last. You get behind the eight ball, you'll never get in front."

The first meeting you have with someone, whether it’s in a boardroom or a nightclub, has a profound effect on how they perceive you from that day forward. That’s not to say you can’t get back into the good graces of a judge or a romantic interest after an unfortunate first encounter (even if it’s aggravated by a wilted collar or a suit jacket from the set of Anchorman), but it’s going to be an uphill climb.

Play the Game

Mike: “Why does it matter how much I spend on a suit?”
Harvey: “People respond to how we’re dressed, so like it or not this is what you have to do.”

Harvey is a pragmatist. He has an affinity for ticket pockets, peak lapels, and vests, but first and foremost he dresses the way he does to get what he wants. We’re judged by what we wear and how we present ourselves to the world.

Gain Entry (and free Champagne)

Mike: You just carry around an extra tux for the random occasion?
Harvey: Something told me you’d need it. And by something I mean common sense and by need it I mean you’re an idiot.
Mike: Speaking of which, this isn’t Havana in the 1950s. Why do we have to wear tuxes? What are you, Mo Green?
Harvey: Mo Green lived in Vegas
Mike: I know where Mo Green lived.
[Mike and Harvey are greeted with complimentary champagne]
Harvey: You think this happens if you walk in here in a T-shirt and jeans?

The favorable perceptions of others are good—and so are the perks that come with them. Walk with confidence in a tuxedo and there are few places you can’t go (and won’t be handed a glass of champagne). Good style is a necessity, a means to an end, and a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Be sure to tune in to the season 3 premiere of SUITS on USA on July 16 at 10/9c.

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