The New Comfy, Quiet Luxury of Modern Fashion

No sentence makes my heart ache quite like "I don’t care about fashion, I just dress comfortably.” But, because lately it means I get to spend the next four to seven minutes schooling someone, it actually sounds more like music to my inner fashion snob's ears.  Before going any further, I’d like to point out that the BC Basics have not, in fact, won the war; that tights, an overpriced burgundy-gold football hoodie from the campus bookstore and Starbucks coffee in hand do not count as fashion-forward.  As much as it hurts to admit, though, it may just be a step in the right direction of dressing for success.  Radical, yes, but names like GQ’s recently crowned Man of the Year Tom Brady and globally-recognized supermodel Kendall Jenner are prime examples of how a pair of joggers and matching trainers will soon serve as the perfect transition from a morning run to afternoon brunch all thanks to the growing trend of “quiet luxury,” the newest (and most stylish) way (for those who can afford it) to spend snobbishly but not have their wardrobe reflect it on the surface.
Spending more money just to look like everyone else?
Image courtesy of Tumblr

Photo courtesy of Tumblr

Seems a bit counterproductive, in theory, but take it from Brady’s point of view.  First of all, when you’re arguably one of the best NFL players of your generation, if not all time, and unarguably married to America’s highest paid model who lives with you in what’s basically a modern-day castle, no one’s questioning the legitimacy of anything you’ve got in your closet. But more importantly, it’s all about who’ve you got in your circle. Obviously, you’re usually having dinner with people in your pay grade, people who can recognize from afar that those aren’t just Fruit of the Loom thermal bottoms, but actually $350 joggers from Vince just by the quality of the fabric and tailoring. Because like any other class of attire, precise cuts and high-grade materials are the key to separating the corner offices from the cubicles.
This specific distinction, or rather, defiance of our cultural code concerning what’s regarded as professional and what’s made for eating cereal on your couch, is what’s really sparking controversial conversation.  After GQ released their latest photo shoot with Brady, featuring him in a relaxed mock neck and perfectly trimmed—and super comfy—sweat suit (we’re talking full on suit with slim lapels, pocket square slit, buttons and all) menswear experts everywhere broke out in havoc, or at least jealousy, intrigued by the drastic shift away from the classic two-piece and tie ensemble GQ usually has to offer.  Perhaps this movement might have been more acceptable for the likes of Don Draper, considering he just got plastered on the job everyday anyway, but it only seems right to deny the radical notion of going to business meetings in glorified PJs.

On the other hand, looking past such conservative principles of professionalism, if it weren’t for a double-take of Brady’s suit, I would have totally glanced over the fact that it wasn't necessarily “traditional.” Furthermore, it only makes sense that the fashion industry would have had such an influence on said change.  The once hipster and haute couture-driven concepts of minimalism, relaxed silhouettes and fabrics have slowly crept their way into common clothing culture, making sweat suits nothing but predictable for both men’s and women’s brands. Of these brands embracing the chicness of simplicity are the Olsen-twins’ The Row and Atea Oceanie, an essentialist London-based brand that made its way into U.S. stores like Barney’s New York just this year, as well as more high-end fashion houses like Hermés, all executing the French-based style of trading in flashy extravagance for subtle details of opulence.

Image courtesy of Betabrand

Image courtesy of Betabrand

Once it’s realized that the new-and-improved “sweat suit” is actually just another sign of progression in the garment industry, fashion conservatism kicks in again and moves me to the supporting side, as Betabrand advertises their own “fancy sweatpants,” mixing “boardroom-style” with “bedroom comfort.” While Lebron James might still be the only guy who can get away with wearing tights and gym shorts to Sunday brunch, you’ve got to admit Tom looks pretty damn good in those tailored jammies.

Comments