The end of the year means it’s time to hand out some awards. No, there aren’t any little statues to pass along, but over the next few days we’ll still highlight some of the best in affordable men’s style from this past year. Feel free to send in additional nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Suit that’s been Styled Slightly Differently
Translation: When someone wore a favorite suit, yet broke from the usual dress shirt, tie, + dress shoes formula.
The suit isn’t dead. It’s just *currently* being worn a bit differently.
People went nuts with their suits this year. Creatively dressing down suits was a way to stylistically bridge the environments of 2020’s lockdowns (sweatpants), and 2021’s attempts to break free from the pandemic. (How do we get dressed again?)
Shirts and ties got swapped out for polos, t-shirts, crewneck sweaters, turtlenecks, hoodies(!), camp collar shirts, crazy print shirts, pajama shirts, band collar shirts… and a few even went bare chested under their suits. Footwear with suits got weird too. Somewhere along the line even (some) sneakers, in the right context, started to look “right”… with the right kind of suit.
Traditionalists must hate this. No one is saying you have to like it. Hardly. A suit with a dress shirt and tie is as timeless as it gets.
But making even slight tweaks (say, wearing a dark shirt instead of a light shirt, going the polo route, or trying minimalist sneakers with a lightly constructed, easy going suit) can end with surprisingly positive results.
And this way you’ll get to wear your suits more. Which considering how casual things have gotten… any excuse is a good excuse.
And now onto the best brands in case that’s what you came here for: Spier & Mackay’s Slim or Contemporary Fit Suits – $358+, Suitsupply’s $399 “Wardrobe Starters” line, Banana Republic’s Italian Wool Suit Separates – $300 – $350 (when on significant sale), and for the hard to fit: Black Lapel Online Made to Measure – $599+. Yes, it’s the “same old names”. But these are the brands that continue to make good suits at great prices depending on need and use by wearer.