Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Experts Weigh In on the Tailored Style Trend of 2022

You heard it here first. Last summer, we told you that tailored clothing was going to be the next big thing for 2020. The style’s straight-laced, formal vibe offers more complement than competition to streetwear’s comfortable aesthetic. OK, so industry forecasters like WGSN predicted the trend a bit earlier than we did, pointing out that the “sporty” suit would be important. They were also into more fashion-forward items like the shorts suit, the double-breasted blazer, and pleated pants that we’re going to take a pass on for now.

Still, the current tailored style trend is not the corporate uniform that your father wore to the office every day, whether he liked it or not. Today’s tailored clothing incorporates all the comfort and performance that we’ve come to love from our favorite athleisure brands. Here’s our guide for putting together your tailored look.

Keep It Slim and Trim

man getting suit fitted
Hobo_018/Getty Images

Gary Flynn of Charleston, South Carolina’s leading men’s clothier, M. Dumas & Sons, says that he’s selling more suits now than he was a year ago. “Younger guys are looking at tailored clothing in a trim fit, but it has to be comfortable. A lot of men like a great statement sport coat that can easily be worn with an open collar shirt and jeans or trim-fit pants. A lot of guys drop in here when they’re on vacation and start checking out our casual clothes. They wander over to our tailored clothing selection and once they see how comfortable today’s suits can be, they start asking about updating their entire wardrobes.”

Jackets and trousers are both also being worn a bit shorter this season. The bottom of the coat may rest more “on” your butt, rather than covering it. Trim-fit pants will show off a bit of ankle.  Trust your tailor to advise you on what’s customary in your city or profession.

Stretch It Out

Max Perez is the CEO of xSuit, a company he founded in 2017. “I studied fashion design but worked in special events for a nightclub in Shanghai. I had to wear suits every day on the job but wasn’t happy with the comfort level. I designed a suit that uses stretch fabrics and sits right on that line between classic and edgy. We partnered with a company that creates finishes for the U.S. Army, so our suits are water-resistant.” (Or resistant to wine, or tears, or whatever comprises your liquid situation).

The suits are made from a polyester and viscose blend with a bit of stretch — not too different from the materials used to make your favorite clothes for the gym, lounging around on weekends, or lounging around your casual office. One jacket even features a zip-off hoodie so you can maintain that streetwear edge, even though you’re technically wearing a suit.

man in suit commuting in to work on bike
Westend61/Getty Images

Another plus? Today’s suits offer so much more movement they can easily be worn for a morning bicycle or scooter commute, and will even make the squeeze onto crowded public transportation a bit more comfortable.

Event Horizons

“[Charleston is] a wedding destination city, so a lot of guys come here to get a nice suit for a wedding, and realize it’s time to clean up and update their look,” adds M. Dumas’ Flynn. We think that’s a great approach. If you don’t “have to” wear a suit to work every day, take advantage of a wedding or any other more formal occasion to grab a great sport coat or suit, then mix it into your everyday wardrobe to look more polished and professional. Flynn likes the Paul Betenly brand as a “starter” suit, selling for about $500 to $600.

Suiting Rules

  • Make a statement: Make an investment in one great jacket to wear with multiple pants or jeans. We also like suit separates where the jacket has been designed to stand on its own.
  • Search for slim fit: Although designer collections are showing a return to 1980s-style volume, tailored clothing is still best worn close to the body.
  • Insist on stretch: Because the fit is slim, you’ll want stretch so you can move easily.
  • Work with a good tailor: He’ll make sure that jackets and suits fit your body perfectly, so you always look your best.

Get the Look

XSuit Corporate Black

xsuit corporate black
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As we mentioned, Perez’s xSuit includes stretch and water-resistance. It’s also stain-repellent, as well as odor- and wrinkle-resistance. The classic silhouette is modernized with zipper closures. One note of caution: make sure your dry cleaner knows to use only an oil-based solvent. Old-fashioned “perc” cleaners will harm your investment.

Paul Betenly Ronaldo Slim Fit Navy Blue Suit

paul bentely ronaldo slim fit navy suit
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Betenly suit features an updated classic silhouette, in a specially treated wool fabric that is water- and stain-resistant, but features natural stretch. The single-button, peak lapel is a perfect place to start building your suit wardrobe, even when making that statement. Hold off on peak lapels or double-breasted styles until adding your second or third sport coat or suit.

SuitSupply Havana Taupe Suit

SuitSupply Havana Taupe Suit
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As temps start to warm up for spring, this cotton stretch suit is unconstructed so it’s almost as light as wearing a second shirt. It’s a great start to a more casual, summery look; but can easily be dressed up with a woven shirt and tie. We like the seasonless taupe hue that takes nicely to tonal dressing, but also provides a neutral canvas for more colorful looks.

Rhone Commuter Shirt

Rhone Commuter Shirt
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Since Rhone got its start with a perfect workout short, we trust them to create a dress shirt that offers the same level of comfort and technology. The Commuter is machine washable with natural wrinkle release, offers four-way stretch in a lightweight Italian fabric, and is moisture-wicking. It’s a perfect complement to today’s suits, offering the option to dress it up, but allowing for easy movement and flexibility.

Nimble Made Crescent Dress Shirt

Nimble Made Crescent Dress Shirt
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Nimble Made is a new entry into the dress shirt market, offering a fit that is comparable to custom-made but at a fraction of the price. These 100% cotton shirts rely on the brand’s online calculator, an algorithm to match your body to one of six unique sizes. Customers are invited to enter their height and weight to find the Nimble Made model that’s best for them. The brand was originally inspired by guys with slim body frames that may have had trouble finding shirts from a “classic” American build.

Further Reading

John Jones
John Jones is a Jersey City, New Jersey-based writer who enjoys covering design in all its forms, from fashion to…
What to Wear to a Wedding: How to Be the Second-Best Dressed Man
what to wear a wedding 2021

Back around Christmas or New Year’s, during what the industrial wedding complex refers to as “engagement season,” you may have begun to mentally tally the number of weddings you’ll need to attend this coming summer 2021.

Assuming you’re not actually in the wedding party and thus regulated to a specific outfit, deciding exactly how to dress for someone else's nuptials can be a bit of a challenge, and that's not even factoring in the reality that wedding gifts, bachelor party budgets, even rehearsal dinner attire may take a bite out of your seasonal wardrobe allocation.  If it’s not your best friend (on either side of the aisle) getting hitched, you may not be entirely sure how formal to go. Generally speaking, have a frank conversation with your date (even if you’ve already been married for years) to brainstorm ideas, but here are a few suggestions for how we survive wedding season in style. 
How to Dress for Someone Else's Wedding
First, look at the invitation. Most likely, the Bridezilla’s — or, increasingly, the Groomzilla’s — control-freak tendencies will ensure that she or he has provided guidance for how the entire room should be styled on his or her special, Insta-perfect day. From casual to cocktail attire, for anything short of a black or white tie event, a dark suit should get you from “I do” to a slice of wedding cake with sartorial success. 
Boss Huge/Genius Trim Fit Solid Wool Suit

Read more
The Ultimate Work-From-Home Style Guide
ultimate work from home style guide man working in a outfit unsplash

I got my first taste of working from home when I decided to become a freelance writer. I realized pretty quickly that my most productive days weren’t the ones where I jumped out of bed, opened my laptop, and started banging away on a story while slurping coffee in my underwear. The best days were structured ones when I'd actually dress up for work. Sure, I’d get coffee and breakfast, but then I'd jump in the shower and get dressed to start my day. No, I wasn’t putting on a suit and tie, but I was at least taking a moment to wear clothes that made me feel good. Studies show that dressing up isn’t just about impressing those around you, it’s also great for stimulating abstract thinking, which is just what we all need during these surreal times. 

Set Up Time to Prepare
Taking a moment to transition between waking up and work time helps you feel better, especially when you're working from home. Preparing in the morning lets your brain know that it's not the weekend, a holiday, or (we hope) a sick day — the other times when you're normally at home during the day. Even putting on my shoes sends my unconscious mind the clearest message that the daily grind is about to get underway.
Keep It Real
Since you're not at the office, don't be afraid to skew more casual with your employment dress code, but still, make sure that you feel professional. While you may be tempted to tug on that college sweatshirt that got you through grad school, you still need to look camera ready for video conferences. Comb your hair. Groom your beard. Take the lead in this situation and be the one who shows up -- even if you show up alone -- looking polished, comfortable, and in charge. 
Spring Ahead
Working remotely also opens up a chance for you to get a jump on spring trends. Order in a few pieces to further build your work-to-weekend wardrobe, while doing your bit to stimulate our stressed-out economy. Here are our choices for the ultimate work-from-home style.
Our Favorite Work-From-Home Styles
Tasc Audubon Gingham Performance Sport Shirt

Read more
9 Socially Conscious Sweaters for Cozying Up in Comfort This 2022
Socially Conscious Sweaters

There’s nothing that can harsh the beginning of 2022 like the realities of our modern era. It just doesn’t feel right to be all snuggled up when people and places all over the world are suffering. Fortunately, slow fashion has an answer. Next time you’re shopping for a soft, snuggly pullover or cardigan, pick from one of the growing number of socially conscious apparel brands that are using commerce to do good in the world.

From restoring waterways to paying laborers a living wage, from repurposing waste material to contributing to marginalized communities, these fashion companies are leading the charge to make sure that one guy’s warm day doesn’t come at the cost of another guy’s well-being. And did we mention that the sweaters they make are the highest quality you’ll find anywhere? Whether cotton, cashmere, wool, or alpaca is your pleasure, these socially conscious, sustainable sweaters don’t ask you to compromise quality for the sake of your principles.

Read more