Origins of ordinary things: Suits

Suits are a form of modern attire which is mostly worn by the working class. Basic versions of it consist of a jacket and a marching trouser or skirt. For a look of sophistication, some people opt for a three-piece suit which includes a waistcoat.

Coming into existence approximately four hundred years ago, the first form of the attire had different versions; one for men and one for women. This is according to Wikipedia an encyclopedia. Men wore three-piece suits which comprised a long frock (coat), a waistcoat and a knee breech (a trouser that stops at the knee.) They wore cravats in the place of ties, wigs and their legs and feet were covered by stockings. These were normally worn to formal meetings.


Women had coats and marching skirts for riding horses, travel and other work. Women’s early versions of the suit were not referred to as “costumes.”


According to Parisian Gentleman a fashion blog, full length trousers are said to have been introduced by a fashion-forward European named Brummell during the 19th century.


In the early 20th century, the “morning coat” was introduced. Unlike its predecessor, it had a short lounge. This is according to The Atlantic, a media platform. First, the morning suit was worn to informal events but by the end of World War 1, the long coat had gone out of fashion and the short lounge coat was now more common.

After World War II, according to Shortlist a media platform there was rationing of fabrics. Those who made clothes aimed at minimizing the amount of cloth used to make different attires including suits. 

Through the centuries and decades that followed, people have kept the same concept of the suit but they have changed styles. There have been decades with baggy suits, and decades where it was stylish to wear suits with high-waist trousers and coats which exposed a bare chest. The biggest influence on fashion trends is pop-culture. People in the entertainment industry often start fashion trends.

It’s hard to tell if in the years to come there will be a fashion for suits which is completely different from what has been done before. This is because research into fashion trends shows that people are constantly rotating styles that have existed in the past. 

It is possible that due to the fact that work environments are becoming more relaxed about dress code, the suit is likely to take a backseat at some point in the future.

However, for now, in the 21st century, suits are considered to be the epitome of style, class and elegance.


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