The old-school term, “the lounge suit” is rarely used these days and while it seems like a whole new style of suiting, we’re here to set you straight. Simply translated as a suit, shirt and tie, the blanket term for this style of dress can take you from boardroom to wedding with navy wool, and then to a tropical get away when linen gets involved.
What is a lounge suit?
The term “lounge suit” is an umbrella term, covering ordinary two or three piece suits, single or double-breasted, that you wear to work, weddings or less formally at parties. It indicates that a business suit, rather than cocktail attire or a casual jacket-and-trousers outfit is an expected dress code.
The lounge suit originated in Victorian times as relaxed wear to be worn at home as well as casual wear for outdoors and along the countryside. Starting off in a tweed fabric, it was considered the sportswear of the era. Fast forward to the 20th century the lounge suit was seen more and more in the office and as the dress-code got even more casual in the last two decades, they will even be seen at weddings. And for the upcoming Melbourne Cup, it is the perfect alternative for comfort, while looking dapper at the same time.
Appropriate occasions for the lounge suit:
Most commonly used for workwear, a well-fitting suit is hard to beat in the corporate world, despite more businesses looking to the t-shirt and jeans dress-code. It is not common these days to see the three-piece, pinstripe and white shirt look, allowing for more casual pairings. Tailoring teamed with lighter fabrics like linen have also gained popularity for holiday trips and weekends, when you want to look smart. As comfortable as top and jeans, it is not unusual to see the style layered with more casual pieces.
That being said, fit is the most important thing even if you want to stick to the casual look. If the jacket isn’t quite right, we highly suggest you look into altering.
Lounge suit DO’s & DONT’S
- DO Prioritise fit. A suit will always look best when it fits well. Even if you’re heading for a casual outing, you will never look quite right in a poor fitting suit.
- don’t go ott with the embellishments. For the classic look, steer clear of anything like contrast-stitched buttonholes, skinny lapels or a cropped jacket to avoid looking like an awkward teen.
- do invest in a wool suit. Better than a polyester blend, the suit will not only look better but will breathe and resist crushing.
- don’t opt for a cheap suit. Not only will it be ill-fitting, it will also look ‘off’, and quickly fall apart.
- DO AVOID PLAIN BLACK. Speaking for lounge suits, avoid plain black unless you’re attending a funeral or white-tie event.
Key lounge suit styles
To find the perfect balance between formal and casual suiting, look to a dark grey or navy suit. No matter if you prefer a two or three piece suit, wear with a plain shirt and plain knitted silk tie for simplicity and timelessness.
Giorgio Armani Slim Fit Soho Line Half-Canvas Suit / $3,000 AUD SHOP NOW
Another slightly more formal take on the lounge suit, the check suit gives the instant impression of style and confidence – but shoe selection is important. Wear a pair of good shoes – the best you can afford – as a cheap flimsy pair will diminish the appearance you’ve strived to achieve. Opt for brogues in black or dark brown that will suit the country feel of the cloth.
Suit Supply Lazio Blue Check / $499 AUD SHOP NOW
Moving more and more into popularity, the linen suit is the perfect solution to warm weather and casual suiting. Pair with a linen shirt and casual loafers, and leave the tie at home for the full, beach effect. Colour and lighter tones look best on the linen suit, perfect to make a statement.
Calibre Textured Linen Blazer Pink Combo / $699 AUD SHOP NOW