Le second souffle du costume

The second wind of the costume

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No, the men's suit has not said its last word.

Blogs, magazines and influencers have been announcing its disappearance for many years; but it seems that many sold the skin of the suit before killing it.

At Hast as elsewhere, this monument of men's wardrobe is resisting , and we have personally never sold so many as in 2023.

Last stand or real comeback? This is the question we ask in this paper.

The suit is dead, long live the suit!

If you have read our article dedicated to the jacket , you know that Modern costume was born in the first half of the 19th century thanks to Beau Brummell , arbiter of elegance during the English Regency.

Caricature of Brummell, by Dighton, 1805.

Over the decades, it replaced ceremonial clothing in bourgeois and aristocratic circles and then gradually became more popular with the growth of commerce and industry.

Symbol of Western modernity , it conveys an idea of ​​the male body but also a form of connection to the current economic dynamics , which quickly made it “the uniform of progress” (as it was then perceived).

Following the Second World War, massive industrialized production is reshuffling the cards and disrupting both the fate of costumes and that of clothing:

  • Inspired by ready-to-wear North American, ready-to-wear is flooding the European market with standardized suits made from pre-selected fabrics. Accessible and available immediately, they quickly replaced the traditional artisanal measurement which was then legion. From the 1950s, fathers and sons no longer went to the tailor when they needed a suit, but went straight to the nearest store.

  • At the same time as ready-to-wear, the entire American culture spread across the Old Continent in the aftermath of the War. While James Dean, John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and Cary Grant are hitting the screen on the other side of the Atlantic, a new aesthetic is emerging where blue jeans and the white t-shirt are gradually dethroning the suit-jacket.

If you add to this the Philosophical Moment of the 60s and 70s (libertarianism, pacifism, emancipation, anti-authoritarianism, anti-materialism) and the repeated attacks by decolonized countries against this symbol of the imperialist West, you will easily perceive the context of his end of reign.

Since that time, it has been recognized that the costume for men is struggling. Hegemonic between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries, these last decades resemble a long agony for him.

Haunted by an imagination that sticks to him, mistreated by fashion designers, mocked by the self-proclaimed proponents of the new world, ridiculed by the leaders of Silicon Valley, destroyed by the Covid crisis and the advent of the era of comfort : the anachronistic male costume seems more than ever on the verge of extinction. Unless ?

The burst of pride of the costume

It is in this moribund context, to say the least, that we at Hast had the best year in our history in terms of costume sales.

Whether it's summer linen pieces or more wintery models in wool , we noticed - not without surprise and pleasure - an unprecedented enthusiasm for our two-piece suits. How to explain it?

Hypothesis #1: the eternal return

Open secret : Fashion is a cycle in which outdated pieces never stay that way for very long. After having deserted the streets and then businesses, retaining a private domain only on ceremonies and special occasions, perhaps it was time for the costume to make a comeback?

Hypothesis n°2: the fight for elegance

In response to the explosion of streetwear , it does not seem absurd to imagine the affirmation of a counter-current advocating a return to the sure values ​​of classic elegance. A fundamental movement, the renewed interest in sartorial matters observed in France in recent months seems to confirm this.

Hypothesis no. 3: a repercussion of the covid crisis?

The various episodes of confinement and the generalization of teleworking initially benefited sweatshirts and jogging pants. After the wave of relaxation, could it be that men once again want to dress up for the beauty of the gesture? Possible.

Hypothesis n°4: social networks and the reinvention of the costume

Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok are inexhaustible sources of inspiration. If traditional costume seems to have lost its splendor, it is becoming obvious that a contemporary vision of it is gradually taking over thanks to the new standards conveyed on these platforms : mismatched, casual, modernized, combined with sneakers or even worked in innovative volumes.

Hypothesis n°5: the development of the second hand

Propelled by ecological awareness, a reduction in purchasing power and/or an adaptation of consumption patterns, the second hand has unearthed many nuggets straight from the past. At the same time as its lines, its materials and its aesthetic, it is a whole style that the Man of the 21st century has (re)discovered by coming across these relics; a style from which he seems to be increasingly inspired.

The costume according to Hast

At the crossroads of all these conjectures, the awakening of the suit is fantastic news for lovers of elegance that we are. The embodiment of refinement that is impervious to the passage of time, this iconic set is - along with the shirt - the beating heart of any wardrobe worthy of the name. Ours included.

At Hast, we view this sacred monster of the locker room with passion, humility and high standards. ; firmly convinced that excellent ready-to-wear is better than bad made-to-measure.

While working balanced cuts and selecting noble and labeled natural materials , we offer today's men elegant and coherent suits with clean and harmonious lines.

Respectful of tradition although with both legs in their time, our creations claim a balance between the immortal lines of yesterday and the realities of the world of tomorrow, to become the allies of your daily life.

From the most classic to the most original, you will find on our racks these legends that have been condemned so many times and returned so many times: these invincible heirs of a certain idea of ​​Beauty.