Fashion has a cyclic way of existing, but it isn’t as much Karmic as it is perhaps repetitive. One often jokes that if you hold on to your wardrobe everything will come back in fashion, at least once, if not twice, in your lifetime.
Well, time is then ripe for the flower-power children, the ones who grew up with long hair, loose clothes and psychedelic prints, only to don suits and shoes in the 80s that were retro in their appeal even then.
The double-breast suit, already twice popular in the last century, is now back. Sure it has had some retouches, some structural modifications and adaptations, but it is back nonetheless.
Typically a double-breast jacket is referred to in terms of how many buttons it has and how many really clasp. The old favourite was a 6-on-1 or a 6-on-2. The original was a 6-on-4 but the civilian version was more gentle on men of a shorter stature. Today, the revival has a slimmer silhouette and the classic front is now a 4-on-1 fit or 4-on-2.
Side vents too are not uncommon, as against the vent-less backs earlier. The peaked lapels stay but are much thinner. All in all, it is a great look, slim, business-like and, as long as you keep the pinstripes not too broad or visually distinct, free from Mafia-undertones.
The other thing that is back in the mainstay are boots, both formal ones and good ol’ oil-and-acid-and-whatnot resistant sole-fitted, rounded steel-reinforced toe, laces-up-to-your-half-calves working boots. If there was ever a Christmas surprise from God, then the makers of Dr. Martens and Caterpillars are truly a blessed lot. They will surely be working longer shifts this winters for who knows how long the obsession lasts. And I did say `mainstay’ for these boots are no more blue-collar or college-biker-rebel chic but rather the statement to-be-made type. Slip them on with pride under a suit and walk in to your meeting and it might just imply that you mean business and can kick some serious behind to get the job done. Personally, I may not slip them on for a Black Tie event but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone did. From sheep-lining to other frills (metal trims, leather patches), the biggest of brands are going ga-ga over them.
But don’t go discarding your formal patents over this. Fashion, as I said, is repetitive. Before you know it, the boots and the double-breasts will be relegated again and we shall be back to whatever it was earlier, or was it after? The only solace to be had is that, (a) once we have been a victim of this vicious circle once, we are future-safe, and (b) no matter how bizarre, the only thing that can replace a fashion trend is another of its own older self, which somehow ensures that nothing too radical – especially the kind of stuff we see being worn in science fiction movies – will ever become street trends.