Long before the world went on sleep mode and everybody stopped changing out of their pajamas, the suit—or at least our broader cultural understanding of the suit—was on life support. Office rules and dress codes shifted towards a less formal, easier-wearing aesthetic, and stylish formal workwear has been shelved – at least for a while.
The suit may seem out of fashion, but fashion now has its eye on the suit. SS22 is full of tailoring, but not as we know it – these are suits, in louche silhouettes paired with eye-catching detailing and a far-from-formal attitude. The new tailoring mood is a touch more skate park than stock exchange: a little less polished and precise, a little more anarchic and fun. But unlike in the past, when we might’ve prescribed specific guidelines to collars and tie knots and cuff lengths, the only real rule for suiting up in 2022 is to do whatever feels right.
If you’re in the mood to dress up, smarten up without losing the ease to which we’ve become accustomed to, scroll away to find out how you can do just that.
Oversized tailoring is back
Suits are adapting and evolving to fit our increasingly anything-goes fashion climate, getting bolder and bigger. Do not mistake this for a simple case of merely buying a suit jacket that’s a few sizes up. Instead, look for tailoring cut with a generous relaxed fit to retain a sartorial slant, but one with all the easy wearability of a cardigan.
Get the balance right
The trick to finding the sweet spot between comfort and style is to wear your shirt tucked in, but with the top few buttons undone. Or, ditch the shirt entirely and layer a clean T-shirt, knitted polo shirt or crew-neck jumper under your jacket.
Try trousers in a completely different fabric
A blazer or a tailored jacket is a failproof solution to looking smart. Instead of going for a full suit, try teaming tailored separates with mismatched trousers in different textures, tones, and fits. The classic combos are grey and navy or grey and black, but you can also try tonal suit blazers and trousers – blue on blue, white on white – or pairing one brighter piece with a more neutral partner. Dressing up never felt so free.
Dress down with a pair of trainers or sandals
Unless you’re adhering to a formal dress code on an invite, you can break the code of formalwear by trading in your monk straps and oxfords for a pair of slick sneakers or sandals. One thing: just make sure your trousers are fitted if you’re going with comfortable footwear to avoid looking overly relaxed.
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