Four weddings in three weeks. Four. Such is the life of a 30-year-old caught in a perfect storm of Being At That Age and an ever-shifting virus. Summer has been one of endless nuptials and slurred conversations with confused elderly relatives. I have consumed a lot of rosé. I have danced with a lot of bridesmaids. I have taken many deep breaths in the back of cars that careen, Mad Max-like, across the M62 the following morning. And whilst I have worried about the cost, and the condition of my liver, deciding on what to wear has not been a well of cortisol during this hedonistic season. There have been four weddings, one funeral (my own), and, thankfully, one very reliable black suit.
The Old Ways would suggest that black suits belong only on pallbearers and punchy door staff at West End clubs. The Old Ways are wrong. Because black suits are ultimately the most versatile of all the suits. It is but a fact. They go with everything. You can wear them to everything. As several brands can attest, they will be rolled out each season every single time. A lapel might be toothier, a trouser leg wider, but the black suit largely remains the same. And, in a firm rebuke to the close pal who likened me to an awkward cousin of the Addams Family (I hope you're reading this, Patrick), Dior has given its most ringing endorsement yet of the black suit. Sweet vindication, wash over me.
As part of a two season partnership with French football team Paris Saint-Germain, Dior's creative director Kim Jones has designed a casual and formal wardrobe that'll be worn by some of the world's best players. It's the latter rotation that had the Internet going mad. In a cashmere coat, jacket, shirt and trousers with a sensible, donnish pair of derbies, Neymar Jr., Ramos, Paredes, Diallo, Verratti and Donnarumma have, arguably, never looked better in a campaign that could well pass as the marketing material for a very dramatic, very injury-prone version of Reservoir Dogs.
Better yet, they look great. Because the black suit doesn't try too hard like a tweed, or a seersucker, or that Seventies showy thing that seems to keep doing the rounds. It's simple, and it's classic – probably the only suit that'll still shine when someone inevitably flicks through the wedding album in a decade's time (and one that'll survive when someone inevitably flicks a pint of Malbec on the dancefloor).
Dior isn't alone. With its romantic, histrionic roots in Sicily, Dolce & Gabbana have long peddled razor sharp suits in pitch black, and they continue to stand out despite the brand's love of rhinestones and tapestries. The same for Tom Ford's black suits (which are very flashy) and Saint Laurent's black suits (which are very sexy) and Celine's monochromatic looks under the steer of Hedi Slimane (which are very moody). The black suit can be classic and Dior, but it can also be many other things – and there will never be a newer, better version.
For now, wedding season is closed. I am to hibernate. Until November, anyway, at which point there is another holy union of two good friends. There is rosé to be sunk. There are bridesmaids to be twirled. There are paper bags to be clutched to watery mouths. And yes, I'll be doing all of that in one very solid, pitch black suit.
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