Covid has influenced the menswear landscape, and in more ways than one. The pandemic that we have had to come to accept as our new norm has changed the way a lot of us work, shop, eat, entertain, and dress.
“Working From Home” has placed our human need for comfort ahead of traditional business dress codes and decorum. We now juggle maintaining our composure and our blood-flow, while on mind-numbing Zoom calls. We create “Zoom outfits” that can be thrown on at a moment’s notice, barely passable for the curious eyes peering at us through our work screens.
The truth is that the pandemic has negated the need for traditional business wardrobes for a lot of us. For those of us who still must keep up appearances, we have modified the business dress code to fit today’s lowered expectations, and more livability. We are now wearing “Zoom shirts” in wrinkle-free / stretch fabrics, when not that long ago we were in proper suits and ties.
Before the pandemic was in full force, there was already a movement towards more relaxed fits. Nothing extreme. A pleat or two, a little more room, and a relaxed attitude as well. We at Harper + Jones recognized that we all need to relax a little and embrace giving ourselves a little more room with sensible proportions. A good change is always welcome.
Luxury menswear brands like Zegna, Isaia, Loro Piana are now showing suits, sport coats, and trousers in stretch/performance fabrics. Some are even machine washable. Subtle details like elasticized waistbands, softer construction for more comfortable garments, and more thoughtful pocket details designed for travel.
The traditional men’s suiting market is shifting faster than it has in years, as business norms are also becoming more relaxed as fewer of us are meeting together in the office. Dressing with intention now feels even more special and meaningful to many of us who still enjoy the experience of putting our best foot forward and enjoying a bit of luxury in our lives.