Just take a seat in one of the local power-lunch emporiums in Newport Beach or Irvine and watch the guys who are nicely dressed stand up. There’s often an ugly black beeper attached to their belt, or something in their jacket that can only be a phone.
Technology’s not going away, it’s just going to get more complex, with more gadgets and buzzers that we’ll have to carry around, making the office truly mobile. What then? A mini-computer sticking out of your Armani? Fax paper rolling out of your back pocket?
There have to be better ways to conceal these fashion intrusions than just clipping them on anywhere or dumping them in the biggest available pocket.
“Inside a good jacket, on the bottom left-hand side there’s a ‘ticket pocket,’ ” says Tom Fuller of Fuller’s for Men & Women in Laguna Niguel. “It used to be larger, and it was a popular place to carry a cigarette pack. It became smaller over time, and it was used for tickets or pens. Now, they’re the perfect size for pagers.”
Not only does concealing a beeper make your suit look better, it also helps preserve it. “When you’ve got that pager clipped onto your waist, you can get it caught on something as you’re walking by and tear off a belt loop or some of the fabric,” Fuller says.
Cellular phones, although they’re getting smaller and thinner, are still a problem. “There are a lot of people who have the bulkier flip phones in their breast pockets who wish they could get rid of them,” says clothing consultant Bill Rigioni of Huntington Beach. “They stretch out the fabric of your jacket and make it look lumpy.”
Thinner phones and other electronic equipment might work well alone in a breast pocket, but be careful what you stuff in there. “If you get one of those thinner phones, it’s tempting to jam a checkbook, wallet and papers in your jacket with it because you feel like there’s more room,” Rigioni says. “But you end up ruining the look of the jacket.”
Try to balance your load so that one side doesn’t look too full. A thick wallet may have to be exchanged for a card case and money clip so that your new electronic organizer will slip in and out of your jacket. Three pens and two pencils may have to be traded for one of each.
“It’s especially tough to do this when you’re traveling and you have tickets and itineraries popping out of your pockets,” Rigioni says. “As I collect papers during the day, I’ll periodically put them in my briefcase so I’m not fumbling through them when my phone rings.”