“Suit Yourself”: The Evolution of the Men’s Suit

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For the last four hundred years, suits have been in and out of fashion. Since the stark formality of the Victorian era, in which breeches essentially disappeared, men’s suits have evolved, without really evolving at all. The suit that we wear was in essence invented by Beau Brummell whose main objective then was to simplify the extraordinarily otiose, decorative court dress.

1900s: Frock coats, morning jackets and dress coats compete for formal supremacy while the lounge suit – the closest thing to suits today – is the garb for informal gatherings and housebound relaxation.

During the 1930’s, the suits were more “exaggerated”. Men like Clark Gable who was a leading actor during this time influenced this look. Loose-fitting coats were introduced with the trousers tapered toward the ankle.

Clark-Gable-in-a-fedora-hat-paired-with-a-windowpane-3-piece-suit-note-the-trouser-length

Immediately, after the World War II, men’s suits were broad-shouldered and often double-breasted. As wartime restrictions on fabric eased, trousers became fuller, and were usually styled with cuffs (turn-ups). 

During the 1960’s, society started to adopt the skinny fit suits with the drainpipe trouser cut short at the ankles. As the disco era we call “the 70s” rolled, the suit was a man’s weapon for seduction. Suits were a blend of professional with a flamboyant twist to it.

From the 1980s to the 2000’s, suits were taken bit more seriously. Adding broad shoulders, power of a tie, and suspenders. During this time, there was a confidence men had while wearing these bold suits and being a businessman.

Classic suits

Modern suits are generally cut in a body conscious manner, cinched at the waist with padded shoulders that further compliments the masculine physique. The woolen cloth that was used throughout history have become obsolete, giving way to synthetic blends and tightly woven garbardine. Suits have a history tied to formality, but can now be an option in more casual settings. What makes these variations possible is the fabric. For example, a light cotton suit creates comfort, making it an ideal option for a dinner party or date. Men are taking suits a step further with daring and extravagant prints, even wearing them with tee shirts.

 justin-bieber-al-met-ball-2015-con-olivier

The 2010’s have brought us the evolution of the “fashion star”. Today, the suit can be whatever you want it to be. Throw on all of you accessories, even a grill, or not. The classical way of wearing a suit is still the foundation, which exudes gentlemen!

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