Very often considered to be only a set of garments, the business suit has a long history and dates as far back as the seventeenth century. When they prepare for business meetings and power lunches men do not even spent a moment to think about how this particular piece of clothing has come to dominate their wardrobe. The account of its appearance is quite amazing and not many are aware of the fact that in the beginning the office suit used to be nothing more than a lounge suit. This particular men wear takes us back to the time of King Charles II of England. The King of England was a fashionable person and carried himself around with much grace and elegance. In order to establish authority at the court, the king introduced a code of dress. The true reason behind this is the fact that, as a result of the outbreak of the plague, Charles II perceived the luxurious court outfits to be a political inconvenience. |
Up until that moment, the ordinary Joe could not wear certain colors or fabrics. Fine furs and extravagant colors were reserved only for the elite. Consequently, the King of England took measures and forbid the members of high society to wear anything but modest tunics and neutral colors. The type of pret à porter home was a sort of prototype for the future business suit. Until the Edwardian era, the suit had been either in or out of fashion. Apart from this, it was totally abandoned due to the historical context of the French revolution. In the eighteenth century, men wore garments that were a bit more bespoken, while in the nineteenth century the lounge suit made a comeback. The trend in the nineteenth century is said to have been started by Beau Brummel who used to wear only fine-cut items and accessorized all his suits with neckties. It appears that this look was considered at the time more attractive than the sumptuous outfits of the upper-class because there was a high contrast between them.
The influence spread to Europe where people were smitten by the austere look. Apart from introducing a new style, Brummel taught men how to groom in men’s toilette and the influence remained till the regency period when men used to wear dark colored suits and tall boots. This is actually the ancestor of the tuxedo and it was more casual than it is today. The tuxedo was designed in order to be used for formal occasions. In the first years of the nineteenth century tailoring began to focus on wide -legged pants, known at the time as “oxford bags”, and further changes were represented by the pioneer work of Italian designers who introduced the trend of fitting suits which is still popular even at present. The latest history of the suit is a bit confusing due to the fact that tailors such as Savile Row manufactured garments for military personnel and professionals. In conclusion, nowadays men just cannot do without their elegant tuxedos and next time maybe they will remember how business suits have come to be so formal.
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