The big idea: back to the basics

The events of the past 12 months have all made us rethink our definition of “essential”. In the first days of the lockdown, we had to think about what we really needed and what we could live without. Cocktail hour? Difficult yes. Double-breasted suit? Not as much. Understandably, fashion often seems irrelevant in times of crisis. But on the other hand, it’s important to get dressed. It might not be the time for bold fashion statements, but style is still fundamental.

Despite the changes in the way we shop and dress, the appeal of beautiful classics is stronger than ever. Rather than responding with rigor, this year’s best menswear focused on items that are as important to the wardrobe as salt and flour are to a well-stocked pantry. That’s not to say that going back to basics meant foregoing indulgence or innovation; These are pieces of clothing that have been brought to their most beautiful shape.

Comfort was a priority across the style spectrum, and for many it meant dressing in sweats (if the occasion demands it, we suggest Loro PianaCasual wear). But some manufacturers took the go-to dress code as an opportunity to deviate from the formality for which they are known and move to a more relaxed kind of sophistication. Check out the cozy luxury of Brionis washed silk suits and Cleverley‘s unlined suede loafers. It doesn’t reduce decadence, it doubles it, with quality, style and comfort in equal measure. Call it the Marie Kondo 2.0 effect: infinitely wearable clothing that should objectively bring joy.

Fashion usually thrives on novelty – what’s hot and what’s not – but this year has the shortcomings in this insatiable attitude. There have been industry-wide calls to slow down and get back in tune with what shoppers really want: thoughtful, fun items to wear to the death. Yes, over the past few years you’ve heard the phrase “less, but better” ad nauseam 12 months, but some designers took it to heart and produced more sustainable and desirable goods. Of course, this is a mantra that some like Brunello Cucinelli and Hermès have long subscribed to. But others better known for keeping up with the zeitgeist, such as Fear of God and Dior, also turned their attention to designs that endure.

Now that life is nearing normal, this is that The urge to get dressed again is palpable. The vicissitudes of fashion may return, but with an arsenal of extraordinary basics in your closet, you’ll emerge again to elegantly weather whatever the future holds.