"Smart Casual": These tricks make the suit suitable for everyday use

Suits are no longer just office uniforms.

"Smart Casual": These tricks make the suit suitable for everyday use

Suits are no longer just office uniforms. Alexander Davaroukas, co-founder of the tailor-made clothing retailer "Monokel Berlin", has observed a trend reversal. Many of his clients wear their suits in their free time. Free from strict office dress codes, personal preferences can be better expressed. You not only need confidence in your own sense of style, but also in the fabric so that "you can also wear it in your free time," explains the fashion expert in an interview with the news agency spot on news.

Alexander Davaroukas: We never lost our suit. In the cosmos in which we move, people were more likely to come up to us and say: "Now that I don't have to wear a suit [for work] anymore, I can finally wear it my own way." We even started selling more interesting fabrics. But now the general public is also observing that suits are being worn more as an everyday uniform because people are going back to the office. Those who like to wear suits out of joy have done so in the meantime.

Davaroukas: Of course there are location-related differences. Munich has always been a bit more casual. Which sounds funny at first when you compare the two cities of Munich and Berlin. In Berlin we ["Monokel Berlin"] wear more suits. In Munich, the dress codes are a bit looser.

Davaroukas: In Munich, a pair of jeans and a jacket is enough and that's it. In Berlin, people either wear a suit or they don't. We have only been in Munich since March 2019. But the experiences we had there pre-Covid showed us that the suit there is not necessarily a uniform. But something that is also worn in individual parts in everyday life. When it comes to his wardrobe, the man doesn't differentiate between: "Okay, I wear it to the office and to events and I go out to eat and meet friends with it." The suit and trousers are worn with the t-shirt at the weekend. The same jacket is then worn to a business meeting on a Tuesday and to an event on a Saturday evening.

Davaroukas: The first characteristics are in the texture. Each suit has a different base toughness. There are substances that are more fragile or vulnerable, also in terms of their longevity. In itself, however, it is our goal to curate the fabrics in such a way that people can enjoy the suit as much as possible and that they have the confidence in the fabric to be able to wear it in their free time.

Davaroukas: In the best case, you have dressed so cleverly that you don't even have to change your clothes. That it's enough to take off the tie - nobody wears it anymore anyway. Here we are again at the keyword "texture". You don't need that super smooth fabric and white smooth shirt with it anymore. You can play with both elements and make the outfit more exciting. You no longer choose the most sterile outfit a man can wear.

Davaroukas: The bracelet is a difficult subject. There are many who have discovered this as an element for themselves or those colorful socks that men have worn for years. But that's a bit over the top now. The handkerchief, on the other hand, was always an option that continues to be worn with pleasure. In the last two years, knitwear and so-called "comfort fashion" have become more relevant in the men's fashion market. It has always been an important issue for women, but it is only now becoming significantly more important for men. As banal as that may sound, but a sweater as an accessory - that's something we're seeing more and more of. We even started building knitwear programs ourselves because the demand for it has increased so much.

Davaroukas: I wouldn't call it a substitute. It is true that there are repeated claims that the turtleneck replaces shirts. That's because everyone who had a remote meeting got up three minutes early and threw on a turtleneck to look formal. It's easier than wearing a shirt and more practical because you don't have to iron it. Shirts were still a very popular piece of clothing at the time because, in contrast to other products, they conveyed that feeling of being dressed even more. We made a lot of linen, a lot of cotton-linen blends. A very clear trend towards casual wear, away from the typical desk stallion shirt. But the shirt is definitely not gone and the T-shirt will never replace it.

Davaroukas: For me there are only loafers. Personally, I have not yet fully understood the sneaker as a product. Even if it is omnipresent and accepted everywhere - no matter what level in the company, no matter what role you hold. However, I am very happy when people still grab loafers instead.

Davaroukas: An indifference towards the product. Either you have no interest in it or you wear the suit with an attitude - a certain arrogance. When it seems like the elevator was forced on you. Seeing that the wearer doesn't feel comfortable in a suit is like buying the wrong size, wrong fabric. When a suit obviously doesn't suit you, both in terms of fit and personality.

Davaroukas: Anyone could be a suit guy. That is the core idea that we also sell. Fabric, design, etc. are important, but the customer is the basis of our product. It's about the suit also being tailored to the person in terms of character. What feeling would the customer like to associate with the suit? What role does he want to embody when wearing the suit? It is important to find out. Then you can turn everyone into a suit guy, as long as he feels comfortable in the product and doesn't feel reminded of his communion.

Davaroukas: I don't want to romanticize it and say that everyone has to wear a suit in private now. Of course, I would be happy if more people enjoyed the product. We got to know many advantages of the product in everyday life. It doesn't matter whether you go to the beer garden, jump on your bike or go out for a fancy meal. I no longer have to change my clothes or worry that my suit won't cope. Private everyday life can now just as easily be spent in a suit. Maybe you get looks and questions when you go to the bakery on Sunday, but the suit offers everything you need for everyday life. Any practicality of different jacket pockets as well as the comfort that can be achieved with the fit. For the past few days I've always been wearing wool, silk or linen trousers or a mixture of these and it was incredibly comfortable - no matter where I was and what I was doing. And in winter, the whole thing is then replaced by flannel trousers, which are just as good for sitting on the couch as in the office. This offers a flexibility that no jeans definitely have.

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