Suitless future

You know what people in the future used to wear? Jumpsuits and shorts. By Blade Runner and Fifth Element, we had pretty much done away with that. But in a future in which air conditioning is shunned as unhealthy for ourselves or our planet, can we assume folks will be trading in their three-season wool for three-season linen and cotton suits, and doing away with neckties?

My partner’s white shoe firm is one of several known for forgoing the white shoes and encouraging “dress casual,” and now the UN building in New York is encouraging staff to forgo dark wool so that they can raise the temperature in the building and save power and the emissions that go with it. This makes a lot of sense in a walking city like New York, where the shift from inside hits the sinuses and the wardrobe alike.

Of course, at the same time there is a push back to 3-piece suits in men’s fashion; as seems always to be the case during economic downturns, there is a swing to the conservative. Hints of Victorian formality are pushing though as well, not least thanks to the influence of goth fashion in various forms.

I doubt we’ll see a sudden influx of Bermuda shorts or more extreme above-the-knee fashions for men, but if you don’t already have some linen, cotton, and bamboo to balance out the wool in your closet, it might be time to think about it.

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