Power Players

Mark Cuban thinks there is no good reason for any 'sane person' to wear a suit to work

Mark Cuban
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Mark Cuban, the ultimate business man, has no use for business suits.

"Why am I such a suit hater? I'm not a suit hater, I just could never think of any good reason for any sane person to wear a suit in the first place," Cuban wrote on his blog, "Blog Maverick."

In November, Cuban tweeted the link to the blog post (which he first published in 2007), reiterating his bewilderment about formal dress. "Why I Don't Wear a Suit and Can't Figure Out Why Anyone Does," Cuban tweeted.

Cuban, who is worth almost $4 billion according to Forbes, wore suits early on in his career. After graduating from Indiana University in 1981, Cuban quit or was fired from three straight jobs, he said on ABC's "Shark Tank." He started his own tech company, MicroSolutions, when he was 24.

"I had just gotten fired from my job and was sleeping on the floor of a three-bedroom apartment with five other guys living there. I didn't have a closet or a bed, but I had two suits," Cuban writes in his blog post.

Those two "polyester wonders, one grey pinstripe, the other blue pinstripe," according to Cuban, cost $99 plus tax. He paired the suits with used button-downs and hand-me-down ties and wore them all the time, he says.

"I wore those babies when it was cold. I wore them when it was 100 degrees plus. I ironed them and when I could I got them drycleaned."

For seven years, Cuban says, he wore a suit to work at MicroSolutions every day. "I bought new suits as the business grew. I bought shirts and ties and shoes new instead of used. I went seven years without a vacation to make that company work, but I didn't go a workday without a suit," Cuban writes.

Cuban says he wore suits because he thought it was the right thing to do.

"Someone had once told me that you wear to work what your customers wear to work. That seemed to make sense to me, so I followed it, and expected those who worked for me to follow it as well," Cuban writes.

When he sold MicroSolutions in 1990, he vowed to never again wear a suit, but didn't accomplish it right away.

So after his next company, Broadcast.net, sold to Yahoo in April 2000 for $5.7 billion, Cuban officially put the formal wear aside, save for weddings and funerals — "and only then because it wasn't worth the hassle to deal with people asking why you didn't wear a suit," he writes. (Now add to that list appearances on ABC's reality show "Shark Tank," though even on national television Cuban doesn't wear a tie.)

To Cuban, "Suits make no sense whatsoever."

But that might not be entirely true.

"Putting on formal clothes makes us feel powerful, and that changes the basic way we see the world," Abraham Rutchick, a professor of psychology at California State University, said in The Atlantic. Rutchick's study, published in 2015, showed that dressing more formally than usual contributes to broad, holistic thinking and wearing a suit can affect the way thoughts are processed.

And a study published in 2014 found that wearing informal clothing when negotiating may make you less successful at it, according to Scientific American.

Cuban, however, is steadfast.

"[L]et me be the first to tell you that if you feel like you need a suit to gain that confidence, you got problems. The minute you open your mouth, all those people who might think you have a great suit, forget about the suit and have to deal with the person wearing it."

See also:

Mark Cuban remembers the exact moment he became a billionaire (Spoiler: It involves a 'naked billionaire dance')

Why the CEO of a billion-dollar company refuses to wear a suit

What billionaire Mark Cuban learned about building a successful business from the terrible boss who fired him

VIDEO1:0201:02
What billionaire Mark Cuban learned about business from a terrible boss who fired him

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