Analysis: Suits targeted at younger generations will be influenced by the freedom of movement that sportswear has given us during the pandemic.

Whether inspired by Peaky Blinders or Daniel Craig's James Bond, the suit is a tailoring linchpin. Other than fiction these days, the suit barely appears other than on presenters or politicians on newsroom or current affairs programmes.

With tracksuit bottoms the mainstay of most of those working from home, albeit worn with a slightly more presentable top, has the pandemic killed off the suit? Or will we return to 'work clothes' when we're beckoned back to the office?

For those looking forward to consigning the tracksuit bottoms to the bottom of their wardrobe and aiming for a sharper return-to-work look, inspiration can be found in the French cult comedy, the talent agency drama Call My Agent.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

From Radio 1's Arena, Sophie Gorman and Mirian Diallo of the French embassy in Dublin review the new series of Call My Agent! 

When people return to work will 'Normcore' have given way to ‘Agencycore’?  With an eclectic mix of characters with individual style, the programme offers inspiration in chic Parisian office dressing for everyone from senior Arlette Azémar, in her 80s to Sofia Leprince, an aspiring young actress who works as the agency receptionist. The show’s costume designer, Anne Schotte, drew ideas from real talent agency professions.

For three piece formal suits, long tailored coats and suave scarves you need look no further than the agency partner Mathias Barneville. A less formal way of office dressing appears in the characters of Andréa Martel and Gabriel Sarda.

As seen in the show, the navy blazer is a Parisian’s friend. In Season 1, the ruthless, but charming Martel wears sharp blazers with skinny jeans, and heeled boots.

Sarda’s bohemian look is a different take on the blazer wearing them over zip-up hoodies. Younger characters combine street style with office wear. It’s easy to picture Hervé André-Jezak, Sarda’s assistant wearing AMI Paris’s combination of streetwear and tailoring.

The combination of street style with office wear will become more popular over time Photo: Ami Paris

For those wishing to return to sartorial formality, GQ offered a recent article on the best three-piece suits for timeless structured tailoring. However, structured suits may have reached their demise, even before the pandemic the suit was already softening and has reached its full 'supreme comfort' mode.

Suits targeted at younger generations will be influenced by the freedom of movement that sportswear has given us during the pandemic, as seen by Issey Miyake. In general suits are getting a new philosophy going streetstyle.

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

From Radio 1's Arena, singer-songwriter Róisín Murphy is not just a dance floor diva but also a style icon. She tells us about her love of clothes, of fashion, and of exhibitionism. 

Workwear-detailed jackets will take notes from utility wear, while trousers will have drawcord elasticated waists. Post-pandemic workwear will be designed for comfort and ease of movement as much as for making an impression in a formal setting. Working from home sees an appetite for relaxed, smart coordinating pieces.

There'll be a greater need for comfort and ease of movement as much as for making an impression in a formal setting Photo: Studio Nicholson

But what about those who have a wardrobe full of formal wear, including suits? You can update older fitted suits by wearing a jumper underneath or a casual untucked shirt. The secret is not to wear it a suit with a blouse, or shirt and tie.

Instead contemporise the look with a t-shirt or crew or polo-neck jumper. A trend of 2021 is the fine-knitted polo with a sharp jacket under a sharp jacket.

Expect to see some sharp dressing leisure dressing in the future. Extended lockdowns have seen missed chances for engaging with friends and meeting new people. The forecast is that once we socialise with others, there will be no expense spared on dressing up for going out.

When lockdown fever is released, there will be an upsurge of raves, clubs, and parties. And what to wear with this returned freedom? Catwalk shows for Autumn Winter 2021 were aimed at post-pandemic celebrations.

Fed up with wearing grey marl tracksuit bottoms expect to see sartorial boundaries pushed with colour, fabrics and sustainability in mind. Even though there will be utility clothing, it will come with a hint of luxury in the materials, such as wool and shearling, while tulle and faux fur add the fun. Suits will also make an appearance in party mode, such as this statements emerald green suit worn by Gucci design team member Shane Wilson.

According to W. David Marx Author of Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style (2015), "The more that suits disappear as a mandatory business uniform, the more they gain power as a status symbol of taste and refinement."  So the suit is not dead; instead it has adapted and transformed.


The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent or reflect the views of RTÉ