Dapper Men of Detroit: Suit Talk Event Discusses the Importance Behind Looking Sharp

When one looks good, they feel good. And that impacts others around them in a way words never could. Coupled together, though, with powerful communication tools — that’s a dynamic combination that many will take notice of.


Those tips and more were discussed from the male perspective during the premiere of a Suit Talk discussion on Facebook, presented by Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones. 


Stephen Grady Muhammad, Chief of Staff, Office of the City Council President at the City of Detroit, hosted the Suit Talk, which featured guests Detroit Police Chief James E. Craig and Detroit Police Asst. Chief Todd Bettlson — all of which were, fittingly, wearing suits that day.


“This is a program that is going to [have] men talk about fashion, leadership, service — things that are of interest to men in the Motor City,” Muhammad said, adding that as a Baby Boomer, fashion was everywhere. “We learned the importance of looking good; looking sharp.”


Muhammad asked Craig to explain how he dresses the way he does, which is dressed to the nines.


Craig said that “it’s no secret” to his sharp dressing.


“You dress for success,” Craig said adding that first impressions are lasting. “I had the good fortune of moving around the United States these 44 ½ years in law enforcement — 11/ ½ I was chief of police in three cities. I will tell you first impressions matter.”


Craig added that he tells young men to dress for success; he also gives credit to his tailor, Al Bartell, owner of Times Square Men’s Custom Clothing.


“I take my appearance seriously,” he said, adding that coordination is key. “People pay attention to details and it is very critical … if you are not put together you will lose people. They will solely focus on what is wrong with your appearance.”


Craig said that living in Los Angeles taught him to understand his appearance, including being physically fit and dressing well and how it “commands respect” esp in the police profession, which he described as a visible form of government.


Bettlson said that he always dons a police uniform because when he wants to draw folks in.


“By bridging the gap between police and community most of the folks that the community will encounter will be police officers,” he said. “I use the encounter to show empathy with the uniform, the heart behind the badge. [It is] important for me to break down the barriers between the community and the uniform … the other thing is Chief Craig is dressed too fresh — trying to compete with him and the suit game, no way I’ll just put that uniform on.” 


Craig said that his clothier, Bartell has taken his suit game “to another level.”


“Anytime I’m not in a uniform on television he’s [Bartell] getting calls — wow the way you have the chief dressed today is phenomenal,” Craig said. “That is how important it is.”


Bartell, [whose clientele includes Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Bishop J. Drew Sheard] said that a first impression is indeed a lasting impression.


“The chief is an easy client … he’s a leader of men. I try to keep him together and it is a pleasure to serve him and Warren Evans, Bishop J. Drew Sheard,” Bartell said, adding that dressing is fun. “There is nothing like it because it’s a lasting impression.”


Bartell, who came from a family of 14, said that “you might not always have the best but always stay neat and clean. 


He added that fashion is never out of style and some suits, like double-breasted suits, are still worn by those who like to look good.


“It was always classic, comfortable retro… that’s what’s happening now,” Bartell said.


Find the full conversation on Facebook under Brenda Jones.


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