I have to admit that if I saw a guy in the turquoise, or that lovely lilac suit, I might think is he gay?
My reaction tells me that I'm prejudiced, and stuck along with men, with their more traditional suit preferences. Apparently most men are happy and comfortable wearing the typical, "classical" outfits that have only minimally changed over the centuries.
Back in 1799, after the French Revolution, when the future king of England, George IV, graduated from Eton, he brought his buddy, Beau Brummel, home with him, to be his best man at his wedding.
Brummel, a handsome sexy guy, got a lot of attention. He designed the clothes he wore, replacing knee-length breeches with trousers, popularizing trousers, vest, coat, and cravat, while leading a wild, promiscuous life -- a love life that Oscar Wilde would later use as the pattern for his tragic protagonist, Dorian Gray.
As Brummel was charming the ladies of the British court, the cotton gin and sewing machine (1829), were changing things, along with slavery in America. Cotton production, increasing by more than 1,000 percent, made fabrics much cheaper, and men began wearing lounge suits.
Savile Row sprang up in London around that time -- today it's still the place for the world’s most esteemed men’s tailors. Back then, in the United States, Henry Sands Brooks opened the first men’s clothier, Brooks Brothers, which now boasts more than 250 Brooks Brothers outlets on six continents. Apparently, men have stayed with traditional clothes, while we women have gone to all sorts of extremes -- from bustles to bikinis, bravely, uninhibitedly trying to be sexy, and sexier.
In a recent Newsweek, sports writer John Walters summarizing fashion history, said in the late 1960's suits were for squares; the 1970s gave us the leisure suit; 1980s gave us Ronald Reagan in his conservative suits; in the 1990s when the dot-coms exploded, bankers and CEOS of capitalist firms, began wearing turtlenecks and hoodies, but most of them returned to wearing suits.
The editor of of "GQ"-- Gentlemen's Quarterly, the definitive men's magazine, with style advice, entertainment and culture news -- has declared, “The suit is a uniform. It’s the armor you wear each day into corporate life.”
Well, maybe men sense that women want the typical, classical, stockier, stronger look of their fathers and grandfathers. Probably males know that the more self contained and inaccessible they are, the more we women will do to attract their attention.
Hey, yay, hurray! It's a viva la différence thing!
I showed my husband, John Cullum, the picture of the colored suits, and asked him "wouldn't you, secretly, on the QT, enjoy wearing something unusual this spring like a bright green suit?"
He didn't say yes or no.