Suits for Men
Harking back to my early teens and the favourite items that were thrown haphazardly within my wardrobe, I cannot recall a time when the suit would have ever entered my mind as a must have in my collection, in fact I’d go as far too say it was probably the last item in the world I wanted hanging from my rails.
Throughout my teenage years, those years of rebellion and angst, wearing a suit meant one of three things: you were either attending a wedding, going to a funeral or you were making an appearance at the behest of Her Majesty’s Service.
In the mid 90’s – an era of grunge and indie – neither my friends nor I would have ever been seen in a suit unless the occasion truly called for it, it was simply non-granta in the lexicon of fashionable clothing.
2013 – Suits
Leap forward a decade or so (ok, add another five years plus), and the suit has become a main stay of any mans wardrobe; it may still have it roots immersed in the aristocracy and the city gents but walk through the streets of any city or town in modern Britain and you will see hipsters and teens mixing it with the gentrified urban man.
The suit has become a major player in all walks of life. No longer do you have to be a banker or working along Savile Row to be seen adoring a well crafted suit; rappers such as Tinie Tempah and Jay-Z can often be seen strutting their stuff wearing a suit, while actors such as Ryan Gosling and Ben Wishhaw are making the suit a hybrid of contemporary and classicism.
Tinie Tempah and Reggie Yates wearing tight fitted suits at London Collections, men 2013
When I spoke to the personal stylists at Topmans Oxford Street mecca recently and asked them what was going to be on trend for this season they informed me that guys as young as 15 were looking for suits to wear on a ‘casual’ basis. The idea of dressing up, of making oneself look smarter has filtered down from the workplace and onto the street.
The Key In Wearing The Suit
The key to it all is in the cut. Men want to look sharp, they want to look smart but they want it with a modern day twist. The suit can no longer be a hand-me-down from your father, it has to be cut to your figure; it must sit well on the shoulder and the trousers can’t look like the final scene in Big (if you haven’t seen it, watch it).
You will see the suit in so many guises upon the torso of the 21st century man. Be it worn with a pair of trainers, a high roll-up leg (thanks in part to designers such as Thom Browne), or with a t-shirt instead of the classic shirt, the suit has fully immersed itself in the streetwear savvy shopper looking to smarten up their attire while at the same juncture maintaining a sense of youthful promiscuity.
It is a far cry from my youth and shows the perpetual evolution of fashion. Which can only be a good thing.
Thom Browne, designs wearing suits for 2013
TOPMAN suits for 2013