Suits only? Four retailers talk about what's hot in classic men's fashion (2024)

Sales statistics do not lie: men are wearing suits again. Admittedly,the home office era is still far from history and appearing in person atthe office is not really everyday practice again. But apparently, men areslowly getting in the mood again to make themselves look presentable.Dressing more accurately, neatly, formally, for the office, for going outand yes, even for fun. So the suit is the order of the day. But whatexactly should it look like, the post-pandemic business suit? And whatabout the party suit? How do you combine them in a contemporary way? Aresneakers worn with a formal suit now en vogue or rather out? And is therestill hope for the tie? Four German menswear experts talk about theirexperiences during the current sales season and give insights into theirorders for spring/summer 2023.

Claus Burchard, Policke, Hamburg

When it comes to suits, there is no way around Policke in Hamburg.Before the pandemic, the suit specialist had around 10,000 itemspermanently in stock, 6,000 of which were suits. Currently, there arearound 5,000 suits in 80 sizes. Claus Burchard, owner for 22 years of theinstitution located in the St. Georg district since 1931, where even formerchancellor Helmut Schmidt liked to shop, continues to uphold his recipe forsuccess: “Good quality at attractive prices and many employees.” Althoughthe pandemic and the resulting home office era presented a very specialchallenge for him as a suit specialist, he ultimately made it through thelast two years well. The start of 2022, however, “was difficult onceagain,” but then things finally picked up in March, “by April we hadreached around 80 percent of 2019 sales, and since May, we have been on parwith that.”

Today, Burchard can report that “the suit is back in vogue; not only thefestive suit, but also the classic suit”. The driver of the big comebackwas initially the festive suit due to all the postponed weddings and familycelebrations that have been made up for since March, as well as the highschool graduation and confirmation ceremonies that are now taking placeagain. By now, many men want to dress smartly not only for occasions, butalso in the office. So what does a suit currently sold at Policke lookslike exactly? “Slim fit to normal width,” says Burchard. As a fashionalternative, other shapes are also coming, yet Slim Fit will also hold itsown, he adds. “We will have a coexistence of slim and fashionable widersilhouettes,” says Burchard. In business suits, blue in various shades willremain dominant. In the festive area, however, it may sometimes getbrighter or more colourful. “We have also sold festive suits in very niceshades of green," says Burchard, although green has been rather difficultin the past.

For the summer, he also sells pastel and beige tones, sometimes in linenlooks or cotton blends. White dominates in shirt colours, which havesuffered particularly from supply problems, followed by light blue. Forweddings, men often choose shades of cream, all in stretch qualities.Sneakers are bought to go with suits, yes, but “the majority of men wearleather shoes,” says Burchard. And the tie? “It's not exactly a draw - butit will come back, I'm sure of it,” says the Policke head, “the tie isactually a man's only piece of jewellery.” Although tie sales have halved,“order numbers are still in a decent range”. What's more, many men arereaching for the bow tie in its place. Though Burchard has had to raiseprices by ten to 15 percent, this has been “no problem at all” for hiscustomers.

So what's next for spring/summer ‘23? “The occasion category willcontinue to do well,” Burchard is sure, because “so many parties andweddings have been postponed; we will still benefit from this next year.”For his wedding department, he has ordered suits in slim silhouettes,sometimes in green or shades of red and burgundy. For the business section,he will rely on tried-and-tested colour schemes of blue, grey and black,with a few bright shades thrown in. “We're not all that exuberant when itcomes to fashion,” says Burchard who adopted the Hanseatic city of Hamburgas his home. In terms of pre-orders, he will act “very cautiously”. In anycase, the menswear expert has been working for years with a NOS share of upto 90 percent for suits and 80 percent for the entire range. He will stickto this purchasing policy, which “has saved us in the last two years”.Because “the tense situation in which we currently find ourselves will notchange for the time being”.

Manfred Müssig, M & W Mode, Bad Soden

”Men like to buy ready-to-wear again,” says Manfred Müssig. His store M& W Mode with its white-wood architecture reminds of an American East Coastvilla and seems like a mirage on a Bad Sodener avenue about twelvekilometres as the crow flies from Frankfurt's banking district. It is oneof the top addresses for high-quality men's fashion. Its customers includeplayers from the legal and business circles or the banking scene in theMain metropolis. A clientele, therefore, for whom a top-quality suit isworkwear, armour and must-have at the same time. Customers prefer discreetluxury to logos and labels, avoid loud fashion and, in view of thelonger-than-average working days, prefer fabrics and cuts with a feel-goodfactor. “My customers don't want extreme fashion,” says Manfred Müssig.“The pants may be a little shorter sometimes, the foot width a littlenarrower, but it must not be at the expense of comfort.” What does abusiness outfit currently look like that he recommends to his customers? “Itry to suggest to my customers alternatives to the usual dark blue,anthracite or black, and I like to offer them lighter shades, but also newfabrics, such as wool with silk or silk with linen.” It is usually the 30-to 50-year-olds among his customers who get excited, but about seven out often stick with darker shades. The silhouette “is still relatively narrow,”says Müssig, “but a desire for a little more comfort is noticeable.”

Do men working in top positions prefer to wear a plain white shirt withtheir business suit in spring ‘22? “Not necessarily, a shirt can alsosometimes have an attractive check or a special stripe.” And what detailsmatter for an exquisite business look? Basically, everything. “We have toconvey to customers that the suit starts with high-quality underwear, suchas an undershirt from Zimmerli,” says Müssig. Knee-high socks are also partof the package, from Gallo, for example, “preferably also with two- tothree-colour stripes.” It is not easy, however, to convince men of the kneesock, “it's a real educational challenge,” says Müssig, “but dedicatedsalespeople have to introduce their customers to an elegant look for theleg.”

And the shoes? “Fifty percent of my customers currently buy sneakers,the other half wear conventional leather shoes.” That leaves the questionof the tie. “I have a clear stance on this: if you wear a suit, then wear atie,” says Müssig - and observes to his delight that men are increasinglyin the mood for ties: “There are now men who buy three ties at onceagain.”

So much for the business outfit. But what does the M & W man wear who isin a celebratory mood? Definitely more fashion, more colour, moreuniqueness. “One of my clients recently needed something tuxedo-like for aninvitation in Monaco,” says Müssig. He then had a colourful jacket in pinktailormade by Italian tailoring brand Kiton with a matching bowtie. Thesolution was even more exclusive for another customer who had a suit in avery specific shade of light blue in mind for his wedding. Since Kitondidn't have exactly this shade, the fabric was made exclusively in thecompany's own weaving mill. This exclusivity, this individual service, butalso extraordinary, very personal shopping experiences enriched with acertain sensation, so to speak - that is where this segment willincreasingly go in the future. “Just recently, I spent two days in Naplesat Kiton with a very good customer,” Manfred Müssig tells us. “That kind ofthing is becoming more and more important.”

During the pre-order season for spring/summer ‘23, he wants to push thisindividuality even further, “act even more selectively, buy even morespecifically”. What he will definitely avoid: “Placing extremely largeorders where the respective target customers cannot yet be reliablyassigned”. What role does price pay at M & W actually? “A very differentone,” says Müssig. “Some customers don't even ask about it; what matters tothem is exclusively first-class goods.” Others, on the other hand, inquirevery carefully why fabrics at Kiton cost from 6,000 euros upwards. ForManfred Müssig and his store, the direction of travel for spring/summer2023 is clear: “Quality comes first - then comes the price.”

Markus Brüning, Hasardeur, Münster

“After two years of Covid, our customers are currently commuting betweenthe home office and in person meetings,” says Markus Brüning. That makesfor a certain disjointedness, which is why “a great deal of uncertainty”can be felt. “You have to learn to read your customers all over again,”says the managing director of Hasardeur, the first address forsophisticated fashion in Münster, where men find fine Italian brands likeLoro Piana, Zegna, Cucinelli, but also Jil Sander, Miyake or Lanvin. ForBrüning, however, it is clear that “the importance of occasion-relatedfashion is currently massively overrated. It is true that there arecurrently occasions and events where “men can present themselves moreformally again,” and seek “a sophisticated style”. However, the often-citedoccasion trend mainly refers to younger people who have postponed theirwedding for two years due to the pandemic and now want to catch up on thecelebration, which, however, “rather affects the segment of modularsuits”.

But what is indeed also noticeable at the premium level, “is anincreased demand for suits and jackets”. And what is important in thecurrent season for the classic suit for job and business? Basically, “youhave to combine it differently,” says Brüning, because “shirt, tie andleather shoes with a suit - that's no longer up-to-date.” He names variousoptions of how such new interpretations of the business look may be styled:As an alternative to the conventional dress shirt, “a sophisticated merinoshirt, for example, works very well." A pocket square is a substitute for atie. And sneakers take the place of leather shoes, because “of course youalso wear well-groomed sneakers with a suit.” Does this also apply toprofessions such as lawyers or bankers? Absolutely, because if bankers“have to deal with customers such as young heirs, they naturally have tohave a modern appearance.” Incidentally, the cardigan as a replacement forthe jacket is also becoming more popular again, as is the leather jacket asan alternative to the blazer.

However, materials can also be decisive impulses for contemporaryadaptations of the classic suit and a correspondingly modern appearance ofits wearer. “We currently have a high-tech suit from Tombolini made of avery light, soft material - keyword ‘Zero Gravity’ - which is doingextremely well," says Brüning. He has already reordered it twice, “Ihaven't experienced such a run in the last two years”. The special thingabout it: “The jacket, preferably dark blue or black, is as light as ashirt, and underneath, you just wear a white t-shirt - and there is yourneat look in an intelligent, formal style”.

Two different pant styles, a body-hugging blazer and a matching hoodyjacket allow for individual combinations tailored to different occasions,“which are super practical and look great, whether you're wearing them onthe job or on vacation,” says Brüning. The decisive factor here is thefundamentally casual but top-notch look combined with the special tactileexperience provided by super-soft materiasl. “In these suits, oneexperiences a very modern bodily feeling,” says Brüning. This shows howimportant it is to “pamper the skin with pleasant fabrics,” also because“touch has become much less frequent and hugging is no longer common.”Specialties and innovations like the Tombolini suits are what he wants tooffer his customers in the next spring/summer season, too, in silhouettesthat are relaxed on top, with the pants remaining slim. “You have to scorewith completely new things,” Brüning is convinced, “materiality istremendously important here: as soon as something feels good, it's alreadysold.”

Thomas Bode, Stackmann, Buxtehude

At Stackmann in Buxtehude, one of Germany's leading fashion retailerwith 15,000 square metres of women's, men's and children's fashion,sporting goods and apparel, the fate of the classic suit lies in theexperienced hands of Thomas Bode, head of the menswear department and ofthe company's cooperation management.

”The signs are pointing to demand, especially for festive occasions,”says Bode when asked how suits are currently doing. The occasion suit ismainly bought in dark blue or natural tones in the store located outsideHamburg; its silhouette is narrow, personal accents are set via details,the bow tie or suspenders, for example, “preferably with fancy patterns.”Are there new impulses? They come from double-breasted instead oftwo-button blazers and here and there pleats, “but that's only a very smallpercentage,” says Bode. When it comes to professional needs, Stackmann'sclientele, including many bank employees and sales representatives, prefersa casual, well-groomed business look instead of a suit: Gladly with a lightcheck pattern and a functional jacket, plus dark blue jersey pants andsneakers. “You don't define yourself by the jacket, but by the sneakers,”says the menswear expert. “White sneakers are currently indispensable.” Theclassic customer, however, still wears leather shoes. If a customer decidesto wear a suit, then “in dark blue, with a chic white shirt and, of course,sneakers.”

Is the tie dead as a doornail? “It's still twitching,” grins Bode. Couldone revive it? “One certainly can: through lively patterns and freshcolours.” By the way, he adds, ties are also bought in the festive sector.Prices have been raised slightly, “but that's not an issue at all for ourready-to-wear customers at the moment.” For spring/summer ‘23, Bode willfocus in particular on a higher feel-good factor. “The jacket has to becomeeven more comfortable and also have a certain functionality through light,technical qualities.”

Occasion wear for men will be “significantly more colourful” atStackmann next year. Bode is putting the brakes on classic black and whitestyling, giving priority to sage, red and natural tones. Such new impulsesare likely to fall on fertile ground, because the demand will also be quitelarge in Buxtehude next spring; after all, there is a real backlog here asfar as weddings and other occasions are concerned. “People can't keep upwith the celebrations,” observes Bode, “the restaurants in the area are allbooked up, and that's probably how it will continue in 2023.”

This article was originally published on Editedand translated by Simone Preuss.

Suits only? Four retailers talk about what's hot in classic men's fashion (2024)


What is the current trend in men's suits? ›

High-rise trousers, sharp lapels, and shoulder pads are the defining elements of the 2023 trend. In terms of color, men's suits have taken a turn towards the vibrant and expressive. Shades like electric blue, rich burgundy, and deep forest green have become the norm rather than the exception.

What is the trend in suits in 2024? ›

Suit trends in 2024 will be distinguished by a harmonious fusion of contemporary motifs and traditional elegance. Due to the significance attributed to fit and uniqueness, the notion of custom-tailored suits emerges as an indication of unique style within this context.

What 5 suits make 75 combinations? ›

Common Questions: What 5 suits should a man own? Everyman should own a black suit, a navy suit, a grey suit, a brown suit and a tan suit with white, powder blue or cream shirts. These can be mixed and matched to create 75 different combinations!

What are the three suits every man needs? ›

So, if there are only three suits you could ever have in the wardrobe, or if you are building a wardrobe of clothes from scratch, the dinner suit, navy suit and mid-grey suit are the three you should consider, no matter who you are or what you do.

What is the 3 suit rule? ›

The three-button suit, like others, comes with a simple rule: "sometimes, always, never." This means you should sometimes fasten the top button (if you want to), always fasten the middle button, and never fasten the bottom.

Why are guys in suits so attractive? ›

Suits make men look taller, their shoulders wider and their waists narrower. 'A well-tailored suit is to women what lingerie is to men,' as the saying has it. What's more, men say they feel confident wearing one. And the hunks of Hollywood's golden era knew it, too.

What Colour suit is in fashion 2024? ›

Bold Colors: Stand out with suits in bold colors, such as vibrant red, blue, or green, making you the focal point of the event. Details: Accentuate your style with details like thin ties, jacket brooches, or stylish shoes.

Why do men look so good in suits? ›

Suits are more flattering to the body shape, making the wearer seem taller and slimmer. Suits are fashionable at the moment, popular with young and old alike. A man in a suit projects himself as someone who is successful and reliable. This suggests that he is good boyfriend material.

What are the men's suits trends for spring 2024? ›

The tapered silhouette is in vogue, with an emphasis on the waistline. Spring 2024 sees the return of a classic tailoring element in menswear—the tapered waist—infusing traditional silhouettes with a modern energy that champions the male form.

What is the style for men in 2024? ›

Key trends in men's fashion for 2024

2024 is all about bold colours, an oversized fit, and a prominent role for denim. All with an eye for detail. Curious about the men's trends of 2024? We introduce you to the trends that will dominate this year.

Why are suits no longer popular? ›

Now, the “suit” has become casual-looking and has taken a back seat to more causal clothing styles like t-shirts and jeans. With globalization, American clothing standards have caused many other countries to emulate the same causal dressing styles, causing a decline in the “traditional” suit's use in daily life.

How much does Steve Harvey pay for his suits? ›

He regularly chooses looks from Dolce & Gabbana, whose suits run anywhere from $2,395 to $90,900 each. Harvey's also a fan of Tom Ford and Bottega Veneta, both of which sell suits that start in the $5,000 range.

What two color suits should a man own? ›

In fact, both the navy suit and medium-grey suit, when well-tailored, will almost certainly look superb on any gentleman and are therefore two items any man who takes the art of dressing well seriously should never be without.

How many suits should a man own? ›

For everyday, opt for a suit crafted in mid-weight wool with a touch of stretch. Depending on your profession, we recommend you should own a minimum of three business suits, but if you buy only one color, we recommend classic navy.

What is the difference between a $500 suit and a $5000 suit? ›

$500 vs. $5,000

The intimate details like hand-sewn sleeves and multiple fittings allow the tailor to understand your unique body movements and style. A $500 custom suit will fit you well standing still. A $5,000 bespoke suit and shirt will fit you no matter what you do!

What are the 5 suit colors for Steve Harvey? ›

steve harvey 5 suits | TikTok. Every man has to own a black suit. After you get a black suit, that's 5 suits you need to get. Black, navy, gray, brown, tan.

How many days in a row can you wear the same suit? ›

In fact, with the right mixing, we estimate you can wear the same suit at least three times a week. Think of your suit as the neutral foundation and mix up the underpinnings you wear with it. That means a solid shirt and a striped tie one day, a checked shirt with no tie and pocket share the next.

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