For some four hundred years, suits of matching coat, trousers, and waistcoat have been in and out of fashion. The modern suit derivation is visible in the outline of the brightly coloured, elaborately crafted royal court dress of the 17th century (suit, wig, knee breeches). This evolution is seen more recently in British tailoring’s use of steam and padding in moulding woollen cloth, the rise and fall in popularity of the necktie, and the gradual disuse of waistcoats and hats in the last fifty years.
After the end of the first World War, most men adopted the short lounge coated suit. Long coats quickly went out of fashion for everyday wear and business. During the 1920s, short suits were always worn except on formal occasions when a morning coat would be worn for formal occasions in the daytime. In America, for evening occasions, the short dinner jacket virtually replaced the long “full dress” tails. In Britain, black tie became acceptable as a general informal alternative to white tie, though at the time the style and accessories of black tie were still very fluid.
Throughout the 1940s and 1950s the trend had been to simplify and modernize the suit as much as possible. For example, by the 1960s the size of the lapel had shrunk to a very small size. Suit coats were also cut as straight as possible without any indication of a waistline. Cloth rationing changed styles significantly, contributing to a large reduction in the popularity of many cuts, such as the double-breasted suit.
Although the man’s tailored suit is commonly perceived as the ultimate conservative costume of Western Culture, extravagant variations on the tailored suit have been adopted by many subcultures over the last century as a matter of fashion or social identity.
Today’s modern suit takes the form of slim, well fitted with use of certain patterns and surface detail. A lot of designers are starting to experiment with bold colours, stepping away from the norms of black, grey and navy. Although now a key feature on the runway this season I think it’s still a sexy sophisticated look for any lady to have in her wardrobe season after season.
Co-ordinates your look from skirt and jacket two-pieces to tailored short suits, these versatile combos can be paired together or mixed and matched for a real style statement. Sheer shirts and eye-catching embellishments are key trends this season and add that extra WOW factor to your wardrobe.
Shop my look:
Blazer: Mr. Price
Shorts: Forever new
Top: Studio w for Woolworths
Necklace: made by MEA designs (for enquiries contact me)
Photography by: @iamcityslick (twitter handle)