Introducing Bodyguard Blogs new ongoing feature on Etiquette & Protocol. Like any other profession, image is important in our business and first impressions are lasting ones. Knowing how to shoot is great, but if you can not get a second interview with an employer, all those great skills might go to waste. To help with this, we brought in the big guns, namely writer and etiquette coach, Susanne Dancer.
Q: What’s the best type of suit for an EP agent to wear? (Fabric? Single or double breasted? Color?) –Larry W. Texas
A: The best suit fabric for any suit is wool as there two weights available: summer or tropical, such as worsted which is the most common weight used for suits and winter such as tweed or flannel. Linen suits might look good for the first half hour, but do not wear well in an EP environment.
The recommended colours for suits are navy, gray, charcoal and black if you can wear it plain wool, herringbone, pin stripe or chalk stripe without giving off that “hit man bodyguard” look.
Buy the best you can afford and always get an extra pair of pants with a suit. Try on different styles and colours along with plain or striped to see what suits you based off of skin tone, weight and height.
Always go with a single breasted suit. Double breasted might be making a fashion come back but also would be a hindrance for the Close Protection Agent as you cannot wear it unbuttoned without it looking sloppy.
A three piece can look good but requires a degree of confidence to pull off. Also it can help to provide some additional concealment for body armour for hazardous situations. There are some options to a normal waist coat such as the Stab Vest from PPSS featured in a recent edition of The Circuit Magazine.
Remember if you do wear a weapon or other gear (i.e. radios) as part of your assignments remember to bring it with you and wear it when you are getting suits fitted. It also would not hurt to make friends with a reliable tailor, as it makes all the difference when it comes to getting alterations on short notice.
Susanne Dancer is a former butler and administrator who has trained with the Guild of Professional English Butlers. Her work in Etiquette has taken her from Brisbane to London with an emphasis on International Protocol. She is regularly consulted as an expert in her field on subjects such as how to dress appropriately while working with High Net Worth individuals, and the delicate subject of table manners.
Have an etiquette question for Susan? Ask it HERE.