Traditionally reserved for weddings, black tie events, and corporate workplaces amongst a sea of other formal occasions, the suit has undergone a casual makeover in recent years, with a relaxed boxy silhouette leading the tailoring race.
After two years spent in and out of loungewear, we can all agree that the thought of wearing anything restrictive on a daily basis isn’t appealing. But luckily, with a growing selection of oversized styles on the market, you can opt for suiting that’s comfortable, easy to dress up or down, and, worn well, will look even better than the classic two piece.
And it’s not a new trend, either. All you need to do is rifle through the Armani archives to see his transformation of the Eighties power suit to the louche, slouchy silhouette that dominated in the Nineties. This came post-stock market crash, when wearing a structured suit with padded shoulders and a nipped waist was associated with the corporate elite and savage capitalism - a social shift that’s not dissimilar to the post-Covid change we’re experiencing now.
When it comes to styling it up, just take a look at Brad Pitt’s recent looks to see how it’s done. Drop the shirt and tie, and instead layer a jumper, T-shirt, hoodie or camp collar shirt underneath to up the casual ante. The fit is best slightly oversized, with the trousers pooling around your shoes - which should be a pair of retro kicks.
Although they look great worn as a set, you don’t always need to opt for both the jacket and trousers together. A boxy blazer worn with straight leg jeans and a heavyweight tee is a surefire way to look like you’ve made an effort without feeling too formal - especially with a double breasted style à la Harry Styles.
Start by covering the black, navy, and neutral bases to build a tailoring collection that will last you a lifetime and work with almost anything in your wardrobe. If you’re feeling bold, a bright colour will turn heads, especially if you pair it with a tonal top and trainers for a cohesive look.
So, we’ve rounded up the best available to buy now that will see you through the party dressing season in smart casual style.
Cos Relaxed Fit Blazer and Tapered Trousers
Designing luxurious minimal staples at an affordable price is Cos’ MO - and this relaxed fit suit lives up to the Scandi brand’s rep. Crafted in a breathable cotton linen blend, it’s a lightweight style that would look equally good paired with mid wash denim. Cut to a relaxed fit in a deep navy, it’s a design that you’ll be dressing up and down for years to come.
Buy now, Cos
Gant Oversized Flannel Suit Blazer and Wide Leg Pants
With a peak lapel, double breasted fit, and exaggerated shoulders, Gant’s design is a modern update of a Nineties silhouette. Cut from super soft flannel, the warm brown works well paired with white or black, whether it’s a hoodie or a singlet, and the double front pleats on the trousers will keep you looking sharp when you wear them separately. A classic style that will stand the test of time.
Buy now, Gant
Weekday Petter Oversized Suit Blazer and Conrad Wide Trousers
If it’s comfort you’re after, look no further than Weekday’s boxy suit which is the perfect fit for a relaxed vibe. Featuring an oversized jacket and wide leg pants made using a recycled polyester enhanced with viscose and a touch of elastane, it’s super comfortable, responsibly made, and easy-to-wear.
Buy now, Weekday
Lemaire Single-breasted twill suit jacket and belted pleated-twill suit trousers
Known for his understated minimal aesthetic, designer Christophe Lemaire’s suit is a classic silhouette with elevated design details in all the right places - from the belted waist, and the front pleats, to the shaping darts on the single-breasted front. Cut for a relaxed fit in a crisp cream twill, it’s a medium weight versatile option that would work with almost anything in your wardrobe.
Buy now, MatchesFashion
Acne Studios Double-Breasted Pinstripe Jacket and Wool-Blend Tailored Trousers
Known for quality tailoring, Acne Studios knows its way around a well-made suit. Crafted from a wool blend, the brand’s pinstripe suit is perfect to throw on over a T-shirt for the transitional autumn months. Cut to a regular silhouette, it’s a slightly more fitted option for those wanting to look extra sharp.
Buy now, Acne Studios
Zara Double-Breasted Suit Blazer and Straight Fit Suit Trousers
The boxy fit of Zara’s blazer is made all the more square by the patch pockets and double breasted silhouette - resulting in a design that can be dressed up or down. In a cool beige, it’s a great all-rounder that would look great paired with a brown knit and white vintage-style trainers. Made using polyester, viscose, and elastane, it’s a soft, comfortable and versatile option.
Buy now, Zara
De Petrillo Double-Breasted Cotton-Seersucker Blazer and Suit Trousers
Family run Italian brand De Petrillo fuses classic Italian tradition with a modern take on tailoring for silhouettes that are equal parts timeless and stylish. Designed in a lightweight seersucker cotton blend, this green suit is subtly textured, with wide peak lapels and a relaxed fit for a laid back feel.
Buy now, Mr. Porter