Originally Posted by inlandisland
Thanks for the great responses. I just feel like I've been seeing it more and more and more over the past few months - pocket squares, jackets, chinos at the mall, suits on blogs - I just saw some camo double monks on tumblr yesterday. Do you find that it becomes more popular based on any particular social factors? Do you think it's crossing over into tailored menswear is an attempt to appropriate 'classic' or 'traditional' values in a way somewhat similar to the appropriation of military constructs by streetwear?
It's pretty clear that the lounge suit, which was the uniform for essentially *all* working men for a short period of time, is becoming something else. For a lot of men, it already occupies the same space as a dinner jacket - special occasion clothing. For some, it's as antiquated as morning dress - I'm betting that only a very small minority of men can tell you what are the differences between informal and formal morning dress (the information is here - I've discussed this several times, and I think that Doc Holliday and Manton have as well, among others), because morning dress is, for all intents and purposes, irrelevant in 2012 as anything other than a costume.
Since so few men really have to wear a suit to work, or to be considered "properly dressed', designers can play with it a lot more. A lot of designers through the years, from Yamamoto to Armani to Gianfranco Ferre, have tried to redefine the suit. Streetwear usually has less lofty, less coherent, goals. The attitude is much more playful, generally, adding alien details, changing the proportions in often haphazard ways, mixing and matching with other styles and inspirations, etc... I think that all the camo linings, pairing "suit" jackets with camo pants, etc... are just a manifestation of a new way of looking at the suit.