Friday, March 18, 2011
Suits do not need to be formal. Pinstripes have their place, though that place is usually limited to the centers of large urban areas. Elsewhere, and that is most places, the enterprising dresser has the opportunity to extend the scope of the daytime suit, as he should, for the best suits are the informal ones in my opinion. Less uniform and more personal expression, the less formal suit is the sign of the man who thinks about his clothes.
There is no simple definition of a less formal suit, but all of them share some characteristics of that informality. For one thing, the cloth will usually have more pattern, or a less traditional color, like the light gray corduroy suit in progress in the photograph. The cloth will often be anything but worsted wool. Cotton, linen or tweed perhaps. And the details will most likely vary from the ubiquitous two button, flapped pocket business suit - features such as patch pockets or buttons that stand out instead of blending in (though the full belted action back treatment is best left to clothing that will actually be worn for sporting pursuits more rigorous than clubbing).
That is not to say that the less formal suit blends in, for it does not. Where the objective of the business suit is subtlety, the less formal suit should put a twinkle in a lady's eye. It makes a statement.
So give me more of your green herringbone Cheviot. Bring on the tobacco linen and the olive cotton. Suits do not need to be formal.