Sadiq Khan’s green linen suit splits opinion – but are they as controversial as the Sunak Sambas?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Much like Rishi Sunak, who was forced to issue an apology for killing adidas Sambas, Sadiq Khan’s sartorial choices have come under fire for “ruining” this season’s must-have wedding suit.

The re-elected mayor of London cut a dapper figure on the cover of The Evening Standard wearing a tailored forest green linen two-piece from the Hackney-based menswear brand Percival.

But the relaxed silhouette caught Londoners’ attention for more than just its summery colour.

Many social media users admitted they have the same Percival suit stored away in their wardrobes for special occasions – and joked that “un-cool” Khan’s satorial decision had ruined their summer wedding outfit plans.

“He’s gone and bought the exact green Percival suit I have been saving up for all spring. I am furious,” joked one X/Twitter user.

Another added: “I bought this for a wedding in two weeks. Got it refitted and everything.  At least he doesn’t look terrible but still this isn’t my proudest moment.”

One person expressed their amazement at how many people had the same suit as Khan, writing: “Obsessed with all the Twitter guys I follow being annoyed that they have/wanted this suit and now Sadiq has ruined it.”

Another remarked that their social media algorithm had been showing them targeted adverts for Percival’s suit range following Khan’s Evening Standard cover.

The sartorial backlash comes after Rishi Sunak faced brutal criticism from fans of the adidas Samba shoe, who accused him of ruining the credibility and coolness of the popular trainers when he wore a pair at a No 10 press conference.

Khan pictured with his wife, Saadiya Khan, wearing his forest green linen suit (Getty Images)
Khan pictured with his wife, Saadiya Khan, wearing his forest green linen suit (Getty Images)

Some fans swore off wearing the shoe again and footwear historian Elizabeth Semmelhack told The Times that Sunak’s wearing of the shoe could be “the death knell” for the retro trainer. Meanwhile, British GQ magazine said that “in a bid to present himself as young and hip, Rishi Sunak took an eternally cool sneaker and ruined it for everyone”.

Following the social media outcry from a large group of Adidas fans, Sunak issued message to the group who have been dubbed the “Samba community”. He told LBC Radio: “I issue a fulsome apology to the Samba community. But, in my defence, I would say I have been wearing Adidas trainers including Sambas – and others, in fact – for many, many years.

“The first pair my brother got for me many, many years ago – my first pair of fun Adidas trainers as a Christmas present. I haven’t looked back since. So I’ve been a longtime devotee.”

Sunak was accused of ‘ruining’ the adidas shoes for the ‘Samba community’ (Instagram via @rishisunakmp / Adidas)
Sunak was accused of ‘ruining’ the adidas shoes for the ‘Samba community’ (Instagram via @rishisunakmp / Adidas)

But does Khan have to issue a fulsome apology to the Percival linen suit community?

“See contrary to Sunak and the sambas, Sadiq is actually WORKING in that suit,” joked one X/Twitter user.

Others remarked that Khan had committed a fashion faux pas by wearing a smart, poplin shirt with the linen suit, and should have worn a more relaxed shirt with the outfit. By contrast, the Pervical brand advertises the suit on the model wearing a relaxed Cuban collar shirt, which has a flat, lapel-style collar.