“Like every good man, I strive for perfection, and, like every ordinary man , I have found that perfection is out of reach – but not the perfect suit”
— Edward Tivnan
Since the early 19th century (long before Savile Row tailors started to strut their stuff in England), the men’s business suit has undergone a chequered history. It all began in the 17th century when King Charles II instituted the proto-suit as the standard reference point for formal dressing. Next came the pre-tuxedo, then the tuxedo itself – used by the upper class for formal evening outings.
From that point, the history of the suit took a complex turn. No one really knows who first came up with the idea of the lounge suit (that’s the name men’s business suits go by these days). What is known, however, is that in the middle of the 19th century, the first lounge suit took the world by storm, and became the toast of both the elite and the working class as casual apparel and dressing item respectively.
It gained global acclaim and made all who appeared in it polished and professional. It still does. It became (and remains) a chic, constant, irreplaceable feature in all wardrobes that lay a huge store on sartorial elegance.
Today, we pay respect to the men’s business (lounge) suit with a few of the more memorable tributes and quotes about men’s fashion and style in general over the years.
“Putting on a beautifully designed suit elevates my spirit, extols my sense of self, and helps define me as a man to whom details matter”
“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
– Yves Saint Laurent
“If you can’t be better than your competition, just dress better.”
– Anna Wintour
“The difference between style and fashion is quality.”
– Giorgio Armani
“I don’t design clothes, I design dreams.”
– Ralph Lauren
“To me, clothing is a form of self-expression – there are hints about who you are in what you wear.”
– Marc Jacobs
“There is one other reason for dressing well, namely that dogs respect it, and would not attack you in good clothes.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Almost every man looks more so in a belted trench coat.”
– Sydney Harris