The humble suit has fallen by the wayside in recent years. Businesses are becoming more casual (with a dress code to match open-plan workspaces, Friday drinks, bean bags and all the rest of it), and the idea of the suit as an everyday staple is starting to go out of fashion.
But all is well in the world of contemporary tailoring—we’re finding that men are increasingly wearing suits because they want to, not because they have to. We’ve even come up with a word for this especially reassuring phenomenon: Un-suit.
Yes, it isn’t a real word, but we do think it sums up this approach to men’s fashion rather neatly. Un-suit is the art of viewing the suit in a different light—a sophisticated and versatile addition to any wardrobe, and something that men can wear in any situation (not just weddings and funerals.)
We cornered Philip (Mr. Start himself) and picked his brain on how contemporary tailoring might just be the way to shake up the progressively casual world of men’s fashion.
What is contemporary tailoring?
So why are men turning towards tailored suits over more casual alternatives? We’ve found that flexibility is a big part of that shift. Where contemporary tailoring has an edge over traditional tailoring is in its versatility—it allows for the creation of unconventional, singular fabric combinations and distinctive patterns. If suits were once thought of as a uniform, modern tailoring allows for the creation of your uniform.
I like to wear tailoring, but my wardrobe is super interchangeable—I like to experiment with the way I wear mine, tastefully mismatching jackets, trousers, shoes and accessories. It’s easy to create looks that you just can’t achieve with casualwear.
Versatility is at the heart of Un-suit: Dressing down for a more relaxed occasion? Go with just the blazer and pop on a pair of trainers.
Need something a little smarter? Pair the trousers with a crisp shirt and some choice accessories.
Off to a wedding? Wear the lot as a suit.
Of course, there’s a more practical side to all this. A contemporary suit can’t be called a contemporary suit unless it’s been made with soft fabrics. A suit—however you wear it—needs to be comfortable, and softer, stretchier fabrics unsurprisingly lead to a more sporty look and feel.
How is the Mr. Start style different from traditional tailoring brands?
While we still respect tailoring creeds, we have an approach that takes a not-so-traditional view of tailoring.
The beauty of modern tailoring is that it caters for individual tastes. With the suit becoming less of a necessity in the workplace, a new position has opened up for the suit as an everyday essential and a statement piece.
The suit is the ultimate showcase of personal taste, and we’re here to help men make that leap. When creating a style that works for you, there are no rules: I use my expertise and eye for style to create something to suit everyone’s taste, regardless of age.
Why is tailoring still the answer?
In a nutshell: because it’s cool. I’ve always believed that the suit is the piece to identify yourself and stand out from the masses. It allows you to be disruptive and expressive, and at Mr. Start, we’ve always believed that contemporary tailoring is the only way to do this.
The prevailing view of the suit as a uniform is so outdated—in a world where everyone’s wearing jeans, trainers and sweatshirts, isn’t everyone just wearing a new uniform? In a way, men’s fashion is being reclaimed; I’ve found that as traditional items and accessories go out of style, the more fashionable they become.
Born in 2002, Mr. Start is a Shoreditch menswear institution. Looking for more on contemporary tailoring and men’s fashion? Take a look at the rest of our blog. If you’re after a suit for yourself, take a look at our full men’s tailoring range in our shop.