For close to 200 years, the suit has primarily been a corporate uniform, synonymous with business dress and pinstriped financiers. This is finally starting to change, and the strange events of 2020 have accelerated this culture shift. I see this as an opportunity for men who are into their clothes to reinvent the suit, so to speak. If tailored jackets and matching trousers are no longer associated with the doldrums of office life, this creates a huge realm of possibilities to style your suit in fresh, informal ways – and to wear tailoring for pleasure, rather than through necessity.
Seen through this lens, the future for men’s tailoring looks genuinely exciting. Open collar shirts, neckerchiefs, crewneck t-shirts and sweaters, roll necks and mock necks (my personal favourites), polos and denim shirts all have a place under suits and separates today. In this brave new uniform-free world, anything that helps to ‘deformalise’ the tailored pieces in your wardrobe can only be a good thing.
Drake’s have been clued up on this way of thinking for years, and whether deconstructed Neapolitan jackets or tailoring-cum-workwear Games Suits, the house’s suits are anything but formal. They lend themselves to this new, expressive interpretation of the suit as something that you’ll want to wear in your own time, rather than on the clock. To be able to walk into a bar of an evening with a jersey t-shirt layered beneath a corduroy Games Suit, and feel sharp rather than stuffy, is a truly satisfying experience.
At last, the tailored two-piece is shaking off its fusty connotations to become a tool for personal expression – and that’s a change I’ve been hoping to see for years.