June 25, 2015
The White Suit: Good Or Bad?
Men’s fashion brings with it debate – what is suitable, what is not. What even counts as menswear? – Jewellery? Flamboyant colours? What is a good or bad choice? What is fashionable or not? This whole array of questions feeds into what we, at MFM like to discuss and divulge. Certain questions cause us to stop and ponder. And the question that has been niggling at us this week is – the white suit: a good or bad decision? There are positives and negatives to every choice made when it comes to fashion but the white suit is something that continues to arouse discussion. Is it too bold? Too vulgar? Or is it a fashion statement that has been neglected?
If we believe for a moment that the white suit is too bold, too ‘in your face’ then we have to understand why. Why could a colour harbour so many views? Suits are generically one colour so why is white more extreme than, say, blue or black? When you walk down the street and look at what people wear, you have to consider – do many people wear white? And if they do, do they wear complete white? Usually not. Why? Because a lot of us wear clothes that help us slip in, not stand out. We want to merge, not express. But fashion is not about merging, it’s about expression. Fashion is about experimenting, trying new things and pushing the boundaries of what we preserve to be normal. The white suit can be that action.
However, the white suit is not very all-year-round friendly. The colour relates to summer – it has a very Leonardo De Caprio, Great-Gatsby-esque quality to it that has the ‘this is a summer outfit’ stamp on it. Why would we invest in an outfit that we can only wear at a specific time? This, however, transcends into the season we are currently leaving. Do we not adapt our fashion sense per season? The winter brings with it scarves, hats and coats that are a necessity but we make fashionable. The white suit could do the same. It may be suitable for only summer but that means we can get excited when the nights become warmer and we return to said suit that is alone in the wardrobe.
Now if we see the white suit as this neglected piece of genius – this unused gem – we would have to look at what to wear with it. What accompanying clothes could we incorporate in order to make it an outfit? White, as you know, is such a general colour that anything goes. You can add blue and give off a sailor feel or add some black stripes to do the same. With the sailor look you can merge smart and casual – add brown loafers, for example and you’ve given a suit a casual spin. Could you do this with a black suit? No. It would look out of place. The white suit Is much more versatile.
In addition, the white suit can offer up a host of connotations. You could add a red scarf and sophistication can meet experimentation. You can go on and add further accessories like a belt or a watch. This relates back to the concept of merging smart and casual together, the white suit is far more forgiving because it doesn’t take itself serious or un-serious, it simply demands that you do what you want to it.
If you’re in the blurred lines of whether a white suit is a good or bad idea and this back and forth discussion has furthered that blur here are three simple ways you can make a white suit look good:
The loafers and brown belt accompany each other perfectly to give off that sailor look. This use of the white suit has connections with summer – and is indeed a very summery look – meaning that you can look forward to putting this outfit together when those nights become warmer. The Lacoste check shirt ties together the whole outfit and shows that wearing a white suit can be all about what you wear with it.
This look is inspired from picture two which was inspired by Leonardo De Caprio’s role of Jay Gatsby. Here the focus is on what accompanies the blazer – the pocket square, the tie, the waistcoat – they’re all subtle things that make the white suit smart and sophisticated when giving it that edge. Just make sure when you walk around with this look you hold back from saying “I’m Gatsby!”
This look is all about the minor details. You may say this look is all white, not so. With the Alexander McQueen shirt you have the minor – yet affective – details that add to what’s underneath the suit. In addition, the accompaniment of accessories makes the white suit that bit more alive. It tells people that you take everything into account and a white suit doesn’t just have to be about the white.
There you have it. Evidence to the contrary that this perceived white suit can be a good idea when worn in the right way and accompanied with the right accessories. The white suit is one of the more versatile, forgiving pieces of fashion that is very much neglected. And if we believe that the white suit is only our friend in the summer, well, winter is leaving us, spring is coming so it’s time to rush out and find a white suit that suits you.