Also referred to as a shirtless suit, the going commando suit is not exactly a new thing: Mr Timothée Chalamet rocked a shirtless tux to the 2022 Oscars to much fanfare. Mr Jonah Hill also did it in powder-blue Gucci in 2021. And designers from Dries Van Noten and Paul Smith to Zegna have all put the commando suit look on the runway in recent seasons. But what once felt like a fashion industry folly has begun to feel convincing.
Going shirtless under a suit is about playing around with formal dress codes in a way that looks like you’re making a statement, but without trying too hard. It also represents the logical conclusion of how men can make the suit interesting again. Suits have fallen out of favour over the past decade. But with fatigue over WFH sweatpants long set in, dressing up in a blazer and trousers feels appealing again. To ensure it doesn’t feel stuffy, though, forgoing a shirt provides a way to spice things up for a party. When done well, it doesn’t look like you’ve forgotten to put a layer on underneath, but instead gives a suited and booted evening look an element of undone elegance. Sexiness, even.
Overall, though, the adoption of the commando suit is about bringing back tailoring for the here and now. A decade ago, men began wearing their suits with sneakers and T-shirts in order to freshen them up but at the cost of making them feel more casual. What’s clear now (and what our louchely suited trio at the Grammys evidently know) is that dressing down a suit isn’t always the way to modernise it. In other words, whether you frequent the red carpet or not, you may no longer need a shirt – or indeed your own personal stylist – to look your best.