Chris Evans Wants To Normalise Wearing a Vest and Suit

·2-min read
Photo credit: VALERIE MACON
Photo credit: VALERIE MACON

There is no shade in this long hot summer. Largely because London is without the modern joys of air conditioning, and has thus descended into a writhing, dribbling mess partly because of the modern joys of air conditioning. But also because The Culture has popped a Viagra after two very sexless summers. OnlyFans has lost much of its taboo. People roll around in parks next to picnicking families. The pool boy is now a style north star. Men – normal, innocent men! – are even wearing vests under suits.

For the once conservative (lower case C) world of menswear, that's steamy. Switching a shirt for a vest was once the sole niche of men who thrive on the hormonal fringe. People like Maluma, and Bad Bunny, and every POS Lana Del Rey has ever sang about. But now, the vest-suit combo paddles in the mainstream thanks to Chris Evans, one of the biggest, mainstream-iest, starriest men in Hollywood.

Photo credit: Leon Bennett
Photo credit: Leon Bennett

Which is no bad thing. People like Evans because he wears the stuff they wear. He's a nice guy. He's just like us! The 41-year-old's appearance on the campaign trail for his latest flick, The Gray Man opposite Ryan Gosling, feels like a watershed moment though. While the navy suit is permissible and standard issue on red carpets and Home County weddings since time began, the big shirt-to-vest switch is a heterodox move that looks strangely... OK. It works because Evans is famous, yes. But also because big risks just aren't so risky anymore.

The normalisation of sexy, sexy menswear has been coming for some time. At Alyx, the leather-clad, hypey, 'Dalston couple looking for open-minded third' brainchild of designer Matthew M Williams has gained momentum of late. Plenty of vests and suits over there. That whole thing was amplified even further thanks to his appointment at Givenchy, with the brand becoming a visible radio tower from which to broadcast Williams' call to flair. Labels like Dolce & Gabbana and Saint Laurent also walked so sexy suits could run; in the former, it was an all-black Sicilian holiday romance. And at the latter, indie sleaze rock planted by Hedi Slimane, and germinated by his successor in Anthony Vaccarello. Lots of big endorsements.

It's a look that, understandably, is still considered a little dicey. But as the mercury soars with the collective libido, and after two years of turning your biceps into pool floats, it's OK to lose the shirt for a vest. Planet Earth is like, really hot right now.

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