It’s story is as well known as any in menswear: In the ’80s and ’90s, offices got more casual, and as a result, suits got way too big. Then, in the early-to-mid ’00s, designers like then-Dior’s Hedi Slimane and Thom Browne showed us the wonders of a slim suit. (You may have noticed we’ve been showing well-tailored styles in the pages of GQ ever since.) In 2017, it finally seems like the industry at all price points has embraced a less-boxy, better-fitting suiting aesthetic. But in fashion no trend is too big to fail. Over the past few seasons, something strange has been happening on runways: Suits are getting bigger.
We know. That’s scary stuff. But don’t go trashing your bespoke suits just yet. Big suits are hot right now, but we’re confident that this trend will not lead to a mass-scale return of the 3-for-1 two-sizes-too-big oversized suits of yesteryear. More importantly, these new big suits, which this season have graced the runways of brands like Balenciaga (which for Spring-Summer 2017 went full David Byrne with its tailoring), Gosha Rubchinskiy, Neil Barrett, E.Tautz, and many more, aren’t just cut bigger for the sake of it, but are styled in more interesting ways. (Where shirts and ties once were have entered graphic tees, sweaters, and scarves.)
Furthermore, the fabrics utilized for this new crop of suits seem specially tailored to meet the inherent flowiness of bigger proportions. And their respective pants aren’t just bigger width wise, but overall more graceful than something that clings to the thigh. (Bonus tip: big pants look even better in a slight breeze that at a stand still.) Sure, there’s something to be said for the idea that a bigger suit can only look good on a tall, skinny model. That’s definitely possible, but this trend is also very new. Ultimately, all we’re saying is that the big suit trend only seems to be getting bigger, and if you can pull it off, it’s one of the coolest ways to stand out right now. In other words, proceed with caution and be aware that a well-tailored suit will look better on almost every guy.