Formal clothes is something that is violent; formal clothes separates us from the next person. When we are in “regular” clothes, let’s say a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, and someone with a business suit walks in the room we see this person as an “important” person that probably makes a lot of money, which can lead to the assumption that that person also has lots of materials (something that we have been conditioned to favored in our Western society). Someone that makes a lot of money/owns lots of expensive materials in our society is considered to be someone of importance. This is when favoritism happens. When we favor the one with so called “fancy” clothes/money we discriminate against everyone else that does not look like of “importance”. Are we not all one? Are we not all the same human being? Just because someone else has more capital or many times born into capital (whether that may be natural, social, human, financial, and/or manufactured), does not mean that they are better than anyone else. We are all one.
Wearing “fancy” formal clothes is considered to be something violent. It is something violent because it separates us from one another. It leads our society into the illusion of needing/ desiring material objects for happiness. Desiring and seeking this kind of “happiness” creates a society that is attached to material objects; always wanting the newer, bigger and “better” material (bigger does not necessarily mean better). Often times we seek materials so we can look a certain way to be accepted by our society, which can lead to being attached to the idea that you do have to look a certain way to achieve happiness. This is something that the West knows a lot about. Being attached to materials creates this vicious cycle (led by the ego) in our lives to need to keep up with the new best products that are coming out everyday in order to stay “happy” and be content. However, living this kind of lifestyle never brings any contentment or happiness that will truly last into your life, as we become numb to material - always wanting the “better” material than the one you currently own (whether you have to wait for it to come out or not).
Happiness comes from two different places from the ego (from satisfaction of such materials which comes and goes), and also the heart and mind (from having generosity, compassion, and love for yourself and others). When the seek of happiness comes from the ego, we are in the future state of mind (always thinking about/wanting that next big thing). Practicing the latter way of happiness that comes from the heart and mind (which is found in the present moment) will lead to joy which is much more enduring. As joy is a way of being. The greatest joy comes from helping others, by being generous (not necessarily with money but with our compassion and love for others). Striving for this kind of happiness in the mind and heart will lead us to more opportunities in life because we are in the present moment, which leads us to more opportunities where we can be more generous, and have more compassion and love for ourselves and others, which leads to living a life of joy.
Also, more often times than not, clothes come from places that are violent (i.e. coming from child labour, exploitation of workers, sweatshops, environmental non-friendly practices, etc.). Even though we are not doing the actual violence ourselves that came from the production of these clothes, we are still perpetuating the problem if we partake in the consumption of such materials. In other words, we are indirectly committing violence by consuming (whether it is us buying the product or accepting gifts from others) such products that came from violent matters. Not knowing where our products come from, for example if the clothing brand is not transparent, it is still something violent. A clothing company that is not transparent usually means that they are hiding information from the public for a reason (e.g. they are practicing unethical practices).
Here is a link to a great website that have thousands of rated clothing brands. They tell you which company is a good clothing company to buy from according to their ethical practices of both labour and environment. They also look at where each material comes from and if the clothing brand is a fully transparent brand or not.