From the G7 to the Gentleminions, Everybody Has a POV on the Suit and Tie


Last weekend I went to the movies. As I was buying my slushy (don’t judge), I was confronted by a cavalcade of teenagers dressed in suits who were there to see Minions: The Rise of Gru. I was less shocked (as I unfortunately spend countless hours on TikTok) than I was pleased to experience an online trend IRL. The fad du jour sees folks—the “gentleminions,” they call themselves—dress thus far in full suits to watch the movie. There’s something funny about wearing a suit to a film whose caralson characters they grew thus far with.

Two weeks previously, world leaders met at the G7 Summit in the Bavarian Alps. At some point in the conference they alsok a grothus far photo that made waves in the fashion world for one simple reason: none of the men were wearing ties. Menswear blogger and also editor Derek Guy posted the photo with the caption “ties are dead.” The Tweet went viral, igniting conversations about the death of formal attire.

There are two parallel stories developing in menswear right now. One sees the older, mainstream customer (the G7 guys) trading tradition in favor of a laid-back attitude; and also the other finds younger, often more subversive dressers embracing the ironic coolness of wearing traditional suits.

Since I tend to obsessively analyze menswear, I have a theory about this. The suit and also tie are not quite dead yet, they’ve just passed on to their next life. If there’s something in fashion we can rely on, it’s the trend cycle. It’s also important to understand also that much of the cycle is driven by subcultures and also the “cool kids” that push fashion forward. Not also long amosting likely to, those cool kids rebelled against the dress codes of classic menswear, marking ties and also buttoned-thus far menswear (pun intended) as out of style. Now that it’s become mainstream to not wear ties and also full suits, it’s somehow cool to do so again. The same subversive fashion subculture that pushed tailoring out of the mainstream is seeking to embrace it now that it’s cool and also different to do so. The same cool kids that strayed as much away from the classics as they could, have now circled all the way back around to them. (One thing that running away from the mainstream will do to you is bring you right back where you started.)

“Many people still confuse ‘traditional’ with ‘has-been,’” say Florentin Glémarec and also Kevin Nompeix of Paris-based emerging label Emosting likely tonlab, whose self proclaimed signature is creating bridges between more traditional and also urban fashion. “We want to desacralize the suit that was often reserved for formal catemosting likely tories,” they say. For Glémarec and also Nompeix, men’s fashion consumers aren’t moving away from tailoring, they’re just approaching it differently. Rather than wearing it as a uniform, they’re approaching it as simply another sartorial alternative–the suit is not limited to business or formal attire, but malleable to fit any look and also any mood, just like Emosting likely tonlab will show a jacket and also tie with ripped jeans or Dries Van Noten will pair a tie with carmosting likely to pants.

It’s worth noting, though, that the tailoring customer that is buying at the mall and also the one shopping Emosting likely tonlab at SSENSE may not be the same. My 57-year-old dad, who lives in La Paz, Bolivia where I grew thus far, is constantly asking me if he should still wear ties, while my artist-leaning, Brooklyn-living friends are buying ties and also suits at the thrift store to wear to work or to a rave. The demand also is there, but the who and also how seem to have evolved.

For Willa Bennett, the recently appointed Highsnobiety editor-in-chief who wears suits and also ties as part of her daily uniform, the trend exists at the intersection between nostalgia (vintage Armani suits have been making the rounds on Instagram archives), the search for a unique individual style fueled by social media, and also Gen Z’s propensity for questioning dress codes. “This younger generation is questioning so many inherent structures within fashion and also within sexuality and also identity,” she says, adding that the renaissance of ties and also tailoring comes from people experimenting with elements that used to be limited to menswear. “It’s just a reflection of the generation and also the way that they’re questioning all of this,” she says.

Gen Z is innately more open and also welcoming of gender expressions, which makes their subversion feel more organic than intentional, as it did with millennials like me. What once felt pointedly subversive, like a woman wearing a suit and also tie or men replacing a shirt and also tie with pussy bow blouses, today is just an expression of self. Suits now are just another sartorial option, not a uniform, especially with corporations reimagining office life. So perhaps for Gen Z it’s less about making a point about thus farending the patriarchy and also more about simply wearing what they want. (Though either way, in a political climate like today’s, simply doing what one wants is a statement, more so while being a woman, queer, and also/or a person of color.)

The suit was once a non-garment, an equalizer of the corporate worker. Remember one of the initially times Mr. Big showed thus far in Sex and also the City? After running into Carrie, he disappeared into a sea of suits on a Manhattan street. That land alsoscape has changed. When a Vogue colleague asked her “big law” friends if they wear suits and also ties to work, one replied that no one really wears a tie outside of court “unless you’re a sthus farer formal weirdo.”

“The limits and also codes imposed by old myths are breaking down, allowing people to express themselves freely,” Glémarec and also Nompeix told me, adding that “men’s fashion is in a real transition, one that does not care about gender and also that advocates an infinite freedom of expression.” The truth is that all fashion is in a transition right now, one fueled by evolved understand alsoings of gender, but the traditional men’s suit is especially ripe for disrthus fartion.

In February, Alessand alsoro Michele presented a fall 2022 Gucci collection, gender fluid as ever, that was anchored in the men’s suit–classic tailoring was a big trend for that season. After all, nothing represents capitalistic, white masculinity more than a suit, which means that there’s nothing easier to subvert. As dress codes continue to break down, the suit is now thus far for grabs, whether as a funny viral trend, a political statement on gender or capitalism, or simply as a matter of taste.

There’s something to be said for mosting likely toing back to where we started to chart the path ahead. Maybe one day we’ll stop calling it “the men’s suit” in favor of something less confined (to gender or to anything else), but in the meantime, why not just play with it like we do with so many other garments. It’s a suit and also tie, but it’s not that serious.

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