The Staying Power of the Suit | Bleader

The Staying Power of the Suit

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  • Nelson Pavlovsky/Creative Commons
In her review of some of the Paris men's fashion shows last week, Cathy Horyn wrote, "[A]s we know, the suit doesn’t do the trick anymore. It’s not that the suit is an object of suspicion — not entirely, not if thousands of men coming through Grand Central every morning are still in suits. . . . Rather, the problem is that a suit, the silhouette of a suit, doesn’t visually engage us at the moment."

The real issue is that the great majority of American men don't want to stand out that much. While women are willing to try risky touches like pointy shoulder pads, men generally hew close to tradition. Some might work within the suit framework by trying shorter pants, slimmer cuts, or daring color and pattern combinations (I once met a guy who could pull off a striped suit, striped shirt, and striped tie), but they're not going to rock the boat—at least until everyone else does.

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