The end of men's suits? Why we'd miss taking them off – Scotsman comment

Fashion is fickle, or so we are told.

Suits have been fashionable for decades but the Covid lockdown may have fundamentally changed our dress sense (Picture: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

But the remarkable longevity of the men’s lounge suit, along with other exceptions like the ‘little black dress’, has been an example of what some would call tradition but others dismiss as conformity.

For about a century, it has been the near-universal uniform of business in Britain and across the world.

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However, as Scotsman columnist Aidan Smith points out today, the Covid lockdown and the need for many to work from home has seen people prioritise comfort over style.

After a fall in sales, both online and in stores, Marks and Spencer now only sells suits in 110 out of 254 of their stores.

Of course, this may quickly change as people increasingly return to working in offices, assuming our fondness for track-suit bottoms does not acquire a defiant, even militant edge.

However, the sustained period of doing without suits may well prove to have a lasting impact. It could be that Ralph Lauren, Huge Boss and co are already working on a way to accommodate an elasticated waistband that does not ruin the apparently graceful lines of their trousers at this very moment.

But then, isn't one of the great pleasures of wearing a suit to work that moment when you come home and change into more comfortable clothes, with the associated change in outlook and feeling that this brings?

Just as working from home has blurred the lines between the two, if office-wear and home-wear become one and the same, we may find we miss this ritual act of relaxation.

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