Making a case for the unexpected suit
These aren't your old man’s suits.
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Don’t be deceived when you read ‘fun suit’. We’re not referring to garish costumes worn by children’s entertainers or rowdy blokes on stag dos. We’re also not talking novelty ties and wacky prints here, so no need to be alarmed. Instead, think of alternative materials like cord and brighter colours that might look gaudy in a traditional cotton suit, but add depth and style to modern formalwear. Yes, our idea of fun involves corduroy.
Since most jobs no longer require a formal suit, now is the time to play around with the conventions and create your own style. “The basis of a traditional suit is a pair of tailored trousers with a matching jacket, and that timeless look isn’t going anywhere,” says stylist Luke McDonald. “But rather than flat, characterless pieces in navys, blacks, and greys, modern suits have the opportunity to adapt to the wearer’s own tastes.”
Fabrics like flannel, cord, and cotton are easy to wash, cheaper than wool, and lend themselves to different styles and occasions. Picking non-traditional suit materials and textures means you can wear these pieces separately, and get more wear out of them in the process. For instance, by pairing your blazer with jeans and trainers, you’ll nail a fresh take on smart-casual workwear. For evenings at the pub, try styling your smart trousers with jumpers and casual shirts. For formal events and weddings, ditch the tie and try a collarless shirt for a cooler take, and save traditional smart styles for funerals and job interviews.
“In colder weather, a cord blazer and trousers is smart and easy to wear and still works for more casual occasions, or as an alternative to your typical date night outfit. In summer, linen or seersucker jackets and trousers don’t require much thought, and are easily paired with a T-shirt rather than a button-down Oxford if you don’t want to look too formal,” Luke says.
Now you’re ready to rethink your smart casual wardrobe, it’s time to reserve the stuffy suits for the boardroom.
Words: Ella White
Photography: Lola & Pani
Styling: Luke McDonald