The way guys wear suit jackets has fundamentally changed, says an Italian fashion CEO

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal in a full suit. Getty/Gareth Cattermole

Despite changing dress codes and a move to a more casual workplace, the suit isn’t dying.

Instead, suits are morphing into something completely different, the CEO of Italian fashion company Ermenegildo Zegna recently told GQ.

“It’s not that the suit is back. What we are selling right now is either more sports jackets or casual jackets,” Gildo Zegna said to the magazine. “He wants to wear the jacket in a more casual way, as a piece of sportswear.”

There is a trend with men who are striving to look nice but dress neither formally nor casually. Instead, they look at the suit jacket or blazer as a complement to dress up an outfit, Zegna says.

“Today the jacket has become a part of luxury sportswear, like an accessory,” Zegna told GQ. “In the old days, you used to have a sweater and today you want to wear a jacket and have it feel like a sweater.”

A full suit looks too formal for most occasions in many men’s eyes these days. Wearing a jacket as an accessory to kick your look up a notch seems to be the perfect antidote. It allows you to stay between the lines of casual and formal, while still appearing loosely appropriate in both settings.

Retailers will need to adapt to this new appetite for less formal suiting and more casual, laid-back tailoring. The jacket — and the suit — will never completely go away, however.

The lines between formal and casual are increasingly being blurred in men’s dress codes, and this is just one more example of it.

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