2023 Is the Year of the Baggy Suit

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There is a certain connotation, in my mind, to the term menswear. I think immediately of suits, and when I think of suits, I think of a certain kind of tailoring. Namely, a fitted jacket and slim trousers that just barely graze the tops of your shoes (leather, of course). It’s about looking not just polished but sharp, and it's been the default mode for most men for nearly two decades. Which, naturally, means we're right on time for a rethinking of what the suit means—and how it should fit.

In 2023, if the suits we've seen so far are any indication, it's all about bagginess. It's about relaxed silhouettes, oversized blazers, wide-legged trousers, and a general air of, “Oh, this old suit? It’s just something I threw on.” It's about being oversized and underworked—not in the Big Suit-era David Byrne way, necessarily, but in a gentler, softer, more androgynous way. One that recalls American Gigolo-era Armani and the '80s and '90s heyday of slouchy tailoring but tweaks it. One in which streetwear and high fashion intersect, and the lines between the elevated and the everyday are blurred.

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Things were already starting to shift in 2022, of course. Jerry Lorenzo's latest Fear of God collection, for example, was loose, louche, and perfectly on point. Forward-thinking guys like Seth Rogen embraced the vibe early, both in and out of FoG. But the shifting winds really hit me in December, when Dua Lipa—the pop star known for her form-fitting, sparkly Mugler outfits—showed up to the Variety Hitmakers' Brunch wearing a gloriously voluminous suit from The Attico. It was gray. It had pinstripes. It was masculine and boxy and nothing like what Dua Lipa usually wears, and it was fucking cool. The blazer was so long it grazed her fingertips; the trousers, with billowing legs and an abundance of fabric, were clearly leaning into the bagginess as well. It was chic, not because Dua Lipa was wearing it (sorry, Dua), but because she wore it so nonchalantly, like it took her less effort to throw on than a pair of jeans would.

Photo by KEVIN WINTER.
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Dua was just the beginning. At the 2023 Golden Globes, Emma D'Arcy took to the red carpet in an oversized Acne Studios suit. The actor was at once classy and nonchalant—black tie, with an air of casualness. A suit with all the components and integrity of a suit, but the effortlessness and aloofness of youthful fashion, too. D'Arcy was carving out common ground between Gen-Z and older generations in a suit that, through an exaggerated fit, becomes distinctly cool instead of cold.

Photo by KEVIN MAZUR.

The same night saw Abbott Elementary's Tyler James Williams in a blue pinstriped Amiri number that, although cropped at his waist, had a vaguely pajama-esque silhouette. It was at once unexpected and entirely welcoming. Refined, but utterly relaxed.

Photo by FRAZER HARRISON.
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At the Louis Vuitton show in Paris, too, baggy tailoring had its star moments. Desmond Tan may not have opted for a suit, but the jacket he wore was bigger, boxier—and, crucially, longer—than we've come to expect. In a sea of slim shoulders and fitted waists, this subversive approach to sophisticated dressing is a breath of fresh air, setting the tone for the state of menswear in 2023, where trends and tradition are not mutually exclusive.

Photo by JULIEN HEKIMIAN.

At the rest of the fall/winter 2023 menswear shows in Europe this past week, it was impossible not to notice designers following suit (ha) in a relaxed, effortlessly put-together fashion. This seems poised to be menswear's year of rest and relaxation (seriously; models at Prada and JW Anderson went down the runway with pillows), even when it comes to suits. At Gucci, the post-Alessandro Michele era is being ushered in with a distinctly casual flair. Elements of ‘70s glitz and glam remain, sure, but slouchy jackets that actually cover your ass, pants that pool at the ankle, and loose silhouettes are taking over.

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At Etro, suits on the runway were so baggy they bordered on billowing, with fabric flowing around models’ knees and calves. Even Fendi is letting loose and embracing the baggy suit, with androgynous looks that, even adorned with sparkly baubles, carry a distinctly dressed-down look about them.

All this loosening up isn't exactly surprising. Fashion is cyclical, and the dominance of the tightly tailored suit was due to dwindle. But even when the menswear pendulum starts swinging back—from tight to loose, traditional to experimental, or what have you—it rarely lands exactly where it began. Unlike the baggy tailoring of years past, the baggy tailoring of 2023 speaks to not just a reexamination of the structure of the suit but the structure of the society in which it exists. Androgyny, experimentation, gender and social fluidity...these elements are all built into the baggy suits of 2023. That shouldn't be surprising either, considering the ever-increasing influence of Gen-Z on the world of fashion. But it's still good news for all of us—and for the baggy suit, too.

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Collusion Oversized Pinstripe Blazer

$56 AT ASOS

Collusion Straight Pinstripe Pants

$55 AT ASOS

COS Relaxed-Fit Double-Breasted Blazer

$275 AT COS

COS Relaxed-Fit Tapered Chinos

$175 AT COS

Acne Studios Juylio Unstructured Faille Blazer

$480 AT MR PORTER

Acne Studios Straight-Leg Pleated Organic Cotton-Twill Trousers

$210 AT MR PORTER

FromEsquire US

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About The Author
Trishna Rikhy
Trishna Rikhy is the Associate Style Commerce Editor at Esquire. Previously, her writing has appeared in Vogue Runway, PAPER Magazine, V Magazine, V MAN, and more. She is based in NYC, but can probably be found wherever the strongest cup of coffee is.
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