I purchased a suit in 2015 and other than wearing it for a wedding, it sat in my closet since. This is the modern day dilemma for the modern day fashion nerd. We have always been told it is an essential, but why spend significant dollars on it when it largely hibernates in your wardrobe. Since it’s apex during the #menswear era, the suit has lost its clout. Sportswear and streetwear have since dominated our outfit choices for an extended run. But like anything in the fickle world of fashion, what was once old and outdated will eventually make its way to become new again. What happened to the suit? How is it simmering again? Before it boils to the surface of trends, here is my case to still buy and rock one.
Decline of the Suit
The Zuckerberg Effect
Lax dress codes has given way to a casual wardrobe that can be worn week round. The idea of having a set of clothes to be worn on the weekend is archaic. Since the rise of the Zuckerberg workplace fit (hoodies, jeans, and sneakers), the sartorial bar has never been lower. For most workplace dress codes, wearing a collared shirt that does not even need to be tucked is now considered dressy.
Culturally Not Relevant
It was not a coincidence that the surge of the suit years ago coincided with the rise of cultural moments. Mad Men was a TV show that made the suit cool. It got guys who didn’t need to wear one in one. Kanye initiated the rosewood movement, dressing him and his crew in nothing but perfectly tailored suits for a extended period of time. The string of well recepted Daniel Craig Bond movies always got bros thinking they need to look a little more dapper. When suits was at the peak of its powers, it dominated what NBA superstars wore to games. Without these cultural highlights, the suit as a signifier of cool and battle armour in the workplace has struggled. Now, sneakers and graphic sweatshirts have been dominant in terms of cache.
Why The Suit is Coming Back
No Longer Boring
When the suit began to take a sharp decline in popularity, the biggest knock on them was that it became too drab. Wearing them for a period of time defined you as an office drone with little to no personality. Since it has taken a back seat to more casual offerings, it’s gotten time to reinvent itself. Since so few of us are wearing them at the moment, suiting up has become a statement piece. We’re seeing them in bold prints, bright colours, and even worn bare chested. We are now entering an era where expression through a lapel jacket and pants is more about personal expression rather than being uptight and rigorous. The lame and outdated sartorial rules men use to follow are now irrelevant. You’re allowed to have fun wearing them.
They Have Real Powers
There is a reason why suits have been worn for many decades when you’re trying to get shit done. You can’t argue with science; clothing has real powers. Studies have shown that wearing formal attire gives you a boost of authority. It alters the way you view your surroundings, in a broader and more holistic way.
It’s Become Cool To Dress Up Again
After years of opting for sweatshirts, the trend is beginning to revert back to tailoring. Urban Outfitters is trying to get ahead of the trend by opening up a dedicated suit shop. Yes, the same Urban Outfitters that has been relying on ironic graphic t-shirts to sell to teens now is doubling down on affordable tailoring. Looking like you don’t give a shit is cool and all, but you know what is better? Putting your best foot forward and looking handsome again. This is what a suit essentiality does. It hides the parts you don’t want people to see and elevates the traits that make you shine.