Separates - How to mix and match your wardrobe.
One of the most important sartorial lessons I've learnt is extending the life of your garments is crucial.
Resting your suits is crucial.
Mixing them is crucial.
The City has seen decades of two-piece domination: banking, law, insurance and recruitment favour uniformity which has meant people are extremely reluctant to build around statement or classic styles with separates. The navy and charcoal preferred by the City can seem like the only options, but it removes the creativity and individuality in dressing for the self.
I'm not going to call this a "post-lockdown phenomenon" because it's becoming an increasingly annoying phrase, and who wants to be reminded of the last miserable year? But not having to frequent the office so much now, means you can experiment with textures and colours. Separating your two-pieces is a freedom you aren't often afforded at work.
The beauty of being able to choose cloth or fabric in almost any colour is that you can develop a wardrobe that goes so much further, you also won't worry about moving from work to a garden party!
There is an ever-growing interest in ethical practices surrounding the creation, care and preservation of clothing to encourage longevity and buying well.
Investing in well-made two and three-piece suits is extremely exciting, and being able to wear them in multiple ways makes those investments more versatile and longer lasting.
So, before you do invest, consider how you might make each garment last and work with you.
Introduce colour by combining a beautiful navy twill jacket with a wool trouser in a deep green flannel, or a brilliantly light-blue breathable merino.
If you're concerned about the combination of sharp tailoring with more casual style options, look for ways to differentiate your jacketing and trousers - a flat-fronted trouser with subtle leg creasing means you can move them into more formal jacketing with ease, and with a large variety of styles. With coats, a patch pocket, notch lapels and a simple shoulder - no roll and nothing too wide - are absolute winners.
Colours like grey, navy, blue and charcoal are all complementary of each other, for example: a classic single-breasted navy blazer - gold buttons, spacious waist and slightly wider shoulder - then perhaps a similar colour but a different style: a navy double breasted jacket in the same navy, and three pairs of trousers in charcoal, beige and grey, means you have years of use and variable ensembles. Having two navy jackets ensures that each gets appropriately rotated, aired and rested.
Navy will never not be classic (if a little conservative) and is one of the most versatile colours in menswear, and you can add hosiery in a plethora of colours: neutrals in beige, cream, or white will all complement and even elevate this staple.
A wardrobe with an entirely different shelf-life, and so variable you'll never wear it out.