According to a recent article from Vox, we can add “Power Suits” to the long, long list of things that died in 2019.
“Although the suit is historically associated with projecting elegance, authority, and mastery of a profession,” the story said, now, it’s “become associated with the opposite… a uniform for the powerless.”
Referencing Mark Zuckerberg’s rare donning of one at his congressional appearance as an allegory of sorts, the story noted that “these days, when you are not in control you wear a suit.”
“When you’re in control… you wear whatever you want, which is almost never a suit,” the story posited. “It is the vest or bomber jacket for men, a blouse or a shell top for women.”
While most sartorial obituaries are worth taking with a grain of salt, this one actually carries some statistical weight: as Vox noted, the Consumer Price Index for suits in June 2019, “was about 25 percent lower than in June 2000,” which is kind of staggering considering the price of everything else.
Plus, Americans are “”buying fewer suits,” with revenue declining from $2.2 billion in 2013 to $1.9 billion for men’s suits in 2018, and $795 million to $402 million for women’s options in the same timeframe. None of that bodes well for the longterm future of suits, despite fashion’s cyclical nature.
But, according to some experts, the impending recession could actually be a boon for suits, as people will most likely be “[seeking] comfort in old traditions” as well as attending lots and lots of job interviews.
You can read more about it at Vox.