In the words of Barney Stinson, ‘it’s time to suit up’, but this time, in a new way. The shirtless way. Going bare under your suits is the latest runway trend, which is now also being emulated by celebrities on red carpets. Disclaimer: women have been doing this for a few years, but men are now styling tailored double-breasted blazers, open or closed, with a scarf or some neckpiece that stands out.
Timothée Chalamet debuted a shirtless suit by Louis Vuitton at the 2022 Academy Awards — a solid hit that proved that the trend is here to stay. Inspired by Chalamet’s red carpet look, Simu Liu wore a red Versace suit with a white shirt and bow tie. At the after-party, the actor lost his bow-tie and shirt, wearing his look sans a shirt. He captioned his photo: “Loss of shirt syndrome was contact-traced to Timothée Chamalet and Donatella Versace.”
Speaking of the runway, this trend came to life when Dior unveiled Kim Jones’ kimono-inspired one-button jacket that had everyone’s attention. Similarly, Ermenegildo Zegna sent a bunch of models down the runway in earthy shades of suits sans the shirts. Fendi followed the trend with its Spring/ Summer 2020. Commenting on the trend, designer Kunal Rawal shares that he’s personally not a fan of the shirtless suit look, and often finds it to have something missing. “Maybe I have seen too many bad versions over the years. Suits are not made to be worn shirtless, or to touch your skin. So, when you are planning a look that is shirtless, you have to take care of the construction. The neck should be planned well.”
Nikhil Thampi, however, sees merit in the trend and thinks that it can be easily styled. “It’s a great fit for any occasion, because it has a universal silhouette, making it a good investment. Try to keep the suit as the hero product and make sure it’s well-tailored, and fits like a glove. I personally hate over-styled suits with lots of jewels, which can be avoided. Classic colour palettes and jewel tones are always the best, but an experimental consumer can try pop colours or cool prints too.”
If you are considering perfecting this trend, there are a few things that you need to check off the list. Start with shaving or waxing your chest, because, well, it’s just more groomed. Secondly, opt for a double-breasted blazer that will slightly show your chest, keeping it subtle. Lastly, go for minimal jewellery. Keep Chalamet in mind, and opt for a single-pendant chain and multiple rings that will complete the look.