Ever since Mr Beau Brummell helped make the suit famous in the 18th century, it has been the cornerstone of the modern man’s wardrobe. A suit is both formal and finesse when worn well and it is an unspoken confirmation that the person wearing the suit is in control, and the suit’s ability to adapt and move with time is by far one of its greatest assets.
However, over the past decade streetwear has come to dominate the fashion world: hoodies instead of blazers, dress pants were swapped out to sweat pants and sneakers are the new Oxfords. The new generation of young adults doesn’t seem to be bound by the classic blazer-trouser combination any longer and many have displaced, or even worse, abandoned the suit from their closets. But, listen up dear lovers of tailored garments, the suit is coming back. Both, streetwear and formal wear are now integral components of today’s menswear.
In this season’s Paris Fashion Week a surfeit of suits was spotted on the catwalks, from the soft pastel tones at Dior to the strong-shouldered blazers at Balenciaga, each brand borrows looks from the past and adds a twist of their own modern idea to it. All of them are reaching back to what came before, Mr Brummell and his dapper days. Whichever way you decide to go, there is no denying that the biggest power move of the new decade is to walk into a room wearing a suit.
Down below we take a look back at our favorite power players in all things suit and the lessons we can learn from them.
Sadly, suits have a reputation of being plain and boring. But visionaries such as David Bowie sho us that that’s hardly the case. At the height of his career, Bowie took the classic suit and flipped it into something never seen before. He wore versions of suits that came bold cuts, decorative prints and intense colors. Today Bowie’s legacy gets to live on through the fascinating work of Mr Alessandro Michele, a fashion designer for Gucci. His designs bring David Bowie’s unique style into the present day, proving that suits can be just as fund and daring as any other item in your closet.
MR MICHAEL DOUGLAS IN WALL STREET
With his pinstriped suits, wide lapels, ties and braces, Mr Michael Douglas as the role of Gordon Gekko in the 1987 movie The Wall Street was the perfect example of extravagance of the 1980s incarnate. He is the ultimate example for the power suit, and proves to us the the 1980s are still somehow with us today. The so called Decade of Greed is a fascinating era that has transfixed fashion designers, who are channelling the silhouettes and transplanting them over to their fashion shows.
Fashion designer Thom Browne launched his label in 2001 and centered it around a different version of the classic suit. He took tailoring with a hint of 1950s flavor and shrank it down to create a look that almost seems as if it had been left in the dryer for just a bit too long. This look confused many critics and left a generation looking for new was to understand the suit thrilled and speechless. Today, Browne’s signature – red, white and blue grosgrain trimmings and floodwater ankles – have made him one of the most influential fashion designers of the 21st century. He dresses A-list celebrities, hip-hop artists and since 2018 the entire Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team under the lead of its star player, LeBron James.
MR RICHARD GERE IN AMERICAN GIGOLO
In more than just one way, Giorgio Armani called our current fashion moment, where men would want suits free from stuffiness. His signature look of fabrics that drape over the body with casual ease rendered in an understated palette. Armani knew how to make sure his brand was part of the zeitgeist, take the design of the costumes for the film American Gigolo as an example. By dressing the lead role, Richard Gere, he reached an audience far beyond the fashion crowd and showed that the power of tailoring comes in subtle shades and soft silhouettes.
Minimalism is often overlooked for its understated qualities and simplicity. Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 feature-film debut, Reservoir Dogs, was a masterpiece in cinematic finesse, and the movie cast came to be known for the black suits, white shirts and black ties look. That brand of formality, when executed well, has an uncomplicated power of its own. Another great example of this finesse is Hedi Slimane a fashion designer at Celine. He is doing similar work by crafting uncomplicated, exemplary menswear.