US menswear manufacturers have noted an increase in male tailored clothing, with slimline suits set to dominate 2012. A report published December 8 on WWD saw major American menswear retailers highlight an increasing trend towards flattering attire for gentlemen. American market research company The NPD Group says tailored clothing sales rose more than 11 percent and sales of men’s tailored shirts rose more than 3 percent in the first half of 2011. Although the trend for slim silhouettes has been attributed to the younger generations, older men are also looking to appear more toned in their attire. The popularity of slim-style suits and sportswear for all generations has been noted by retailers including Men’s Wearhouse, America’s largest suit seller.
The brand’s CEO Doug Ewert explained the increasing popularity of fitted sports coats and dress shirts. “These looks mostly target a younger customer; however, we’re starting to see growing acceptance among middle-aged customers. A modern fit is cut closer to the body. Other characteristics include narrower lapels on suits and sport coats and narrower ties.” Meanwhile, Brooks Brothers’ Lou Amendola explained that customers are “definitely looking for suits in a slimmer silhouette” and in classic colors such as navy, gray and simple pinstripes.
For this reason, the brand will introduce a “youthful sack suit” called the Cambridge in Spring 2012. Ronny Wurtzburger, president of Peerless Clothing, which produces clothing for labels including Calvin Klein, Michael Kors and DKNY, has also predicted a rise in vested clothing, while explaining that shorter length jackets have been driving sales. “A shorter jacket and tapered pants gives the slim customer a look that is different than his father’s. It’s a very hip look,” he explained. Other menswear brands including Hugo Boss, Burberry London and Ralph Lauren Black Label are all known for their slimline tailored suits.