A suit still awaits him, but it’s all about comfort now | Fashion


There’s something deeply satisfying about wearing a matching two-piece outfit. Stepping into the bottom half and then the top in a shared color and fabric, or slipping a matching coat over a dress, has a soothing, ritualistic simplicity. Like completing a Rubik’s cube, but much easier. After all, repetition is always comforting. A bowl of pasta, each forkful the same as the last, is soothing and comforting after a long day; an episode of Friends you’ve watched 20 times before provides a special kind of dopamine.

That’s why the pajamas match. That’s why, in the uncharted and psychologically choppy waters of the first jam, people who didn’t think they were people in overalls nothing started happily clicking add-to-cart on matching hooded joggers. Those days are gone, thank goodness, but the jumpsuit has left a fashion legacy beyond relying on an elastic waist. It has given us a taste for matchy-matchy as a nice way to dress.

For decades, the tailored suit symbolized the tyranny of the work schedule, the faceless greed of travel. A tailored suit was a look to consider, to pay respect to, but it wasn’t really a look to love. In the age of hybrid work, the balance of power has shifted: the regime of office life has loosened its iron grip on many – and it’s changed the way we feel about wearing suits.

This summer, off-duty suits in party colors were a favorite look for wedding guests. Super-cool versions of the suit became de rigueur in more informal settings. At festivals, a lively short-sleeved shirt and matching shorts were the menswear look of choice for youthful peacocks; even at the beach, beach pajamas (shorts with suspenders plus an open shirt) were the most stylish bikini cover-up of the summer. Matchy-matchy doesn’t mean tight anymore. It’s not about lining up your ankle straps or neurotically coordinating your court shoes with your clutch bag; it means pajamas and overalls and not having to think too much.

The linen suit is about as cool as a suit can get. Brad Pitt spent the summer riding the European heatwave on the press tour for Bullet Train wearing an array of fluidly colored linen suits. Pitt is always nice to look at, but there was something particularly cheery about him in slightly crumpled pastel linen, looking like he was about to step off the red carpet and sit outside a bar with a beer. Maybe for a game of cards or a cheeky cigarette.

Pitt’s only real rival for summer style icon – the seaside granny, fashion’s current fictional protagonist best embodied by Diane Keaton in Nancy Meyers’ Something’s Gotta Give – can also be found in a linen suit. This version would be the color of very good chardonnay. The pants would be rolled up – for walking on the beach, which a seaside grandma does a lot – and the jacket as soft as a button-down shirt. There may be a straw hat.

The genius of a slouchy suit is that you don’t need stripes, shoulder pads, a tie or a starched shirt to make it look like… well, a look. A matching two-piece looks slimmer, whether it’s Savile Row or a new Nike tracksuit. (This, after all, is why the tracksuit has such status in streetwear: a suit is always a solid, striped or swoosh.) Comfort wear is the new power wear. Double the impact, half the effort. It suits me.



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